2008 FW Grand Prix Series

Last day of racing would decide the places 2nd to 5th in the 2008 Wind Brasil Grand Prix.

The chasing pack would know their fate at the end of the last race of the series - there is a local saying here in Fortaleza, the last race decides the winners!

Similar winds to yesterday were forecast, but to make racing more interesting there was a swell to contend with, and two "gates" ( marks of the course) to negociate.

Race 14, and two sailors were over eager to get a good start, the individual recall flag was hoisted on the start boat, but the sailors did not return. Fabio Melo (BRA74 ) and Hubert Mokrzycki (POL25) were later disqualified.

Three sailors, leading contenders for a podium position, battled it out for the top points. It was Ross Williams (GBR83) who crossed the finish line ahead of close rivals Willhelm Schurmann (BRA999) and Gabriel Browne (BRA50)- a result that after 14 races moved him into second overall.

Race 15, and the spectators on the harbour wall in front of the Marina Park Hotel were treated to a thrilling finale to this final race of the 2008 Formula World Tour. This time Fabio made no mistake at the start, and with brother Victor (BRA2497 ) led the sailors to the first, windward, gate.

Ross, followed by Gabriel, was close behind and needed to keep one place ahead of Biel to retain second place overall. As the sailors fought their way around the second lap it was Gabriel who moved ahead of Ross, and held off the challenge of Willhelm Schurmann (BRA999) who sailed a storming 2 lap to move ahead of Ross into 3rd place. Fabio retained his lead to the finish; and Gabriel's second place in race 15 earned him second place in the overall event ranking.

On the podium at the prize giving were :
1st Gonzalo Costa Hoevel (ARG3)
2nd Gabriel Browne (BRA50)
3rd Ross Williams (GBR83)


Pieter Bijl

Dutchman Pieter Bijl buries the hatchet to secure a new 100m speed record in hammering Maui trade winds.

Maui seems to be the place for wind right now. We’re inundated with reports of relentless wind and pounding waves, day in and day out.

With all the ingredients necessary for some serious speed, it comes as no surprise that the Maui crew have been pushing the limits of windsurfing.

This time round, it’s the speed guys that have made their mark, namely Dutchman Pieter Bijl. The newly adopted Maui local has set a new Hawaiian state 100m speed record of 41.4 knots.

Armed with a Fanatic falcon and NeilPryde prototype sail, Bijl blasted his way to the record at Kanaha beach in winds gusting over 35 knots. Here’s the numbers that matter:

  time        m    km/h    knots
16:33:12    21.7  78.0  42.2

  time        s    km/h    knots
16:33:14     4.7  76.4  41.4

  time        m    km/h    knots
16:33:15   201.3  72.5  39.2

Pieter currently tops the open section of the 2008 Maui Vmax Speed ladder.



The world’s highest ranking international speed sailors will coverage on the harbour town of Dungarvan, Co Waterford this week for the final stage of the 2008 Windsurfing Production Speed World Cup.

The World Championships in 2008 were awarded in one-off events earlier in 2008 in Fuerteventura, mainland Spain and the final stage now in Co Waterford, Ireland.

The competition will commence on Saturday 29th of November at 12 noon the programme of events runs for a full seven days with the competitions on each day beginning at 10am on Sunday 30th, 10.30am on Monday December 1, 11am on Tuesday 2, 12 noon Wednesday December 3, 12.40 on Thursday, December 4, 1.30pm on Friday December 5 and the final day of the competition where the action will be nail biting will kick off at 2pm late afternoon on Saturday December 6 will see the World Champion 2008 announced.

The event organisers and competitors are welcoming to public to come along and cheer on the Irish and global competitors. There will be designated viewing spots on the ‘Cunnigar’ in Dungarvan but according to event organiser and current Irish Vice Champion Martin Waldron, the best viewing spot for the public will be at St Augustine’s Church in Abbeyside on the East side of the harbour.

“This really is something special for Co Waterford I hope everyone comes out to join in the fun and view the action, I’ll be competing myself so hopefully I’ll hear some support for the Irish competitors while on the water,” said Martin.

A number of social events are also open to the public to join in the celebration of the World Class event to the town; a launch party for the event will take place in the Seanachai with Irish music, mid week on Tuesday a ‘Trad Sessiun’ will take place in ‘The Local’ in Dungarvan and the closing party will take place on Friday December 5 in ‘The Moorings’ in Dungarvan.