IFCA Slalom Worlds 08

This morning the competitors learned that we would start with one or two slaloms and then finalise the Wave event. Wind was predicted to be the 'normal' south-easterly growing during the day up to 35 knots with 2.5 metre swell.

By 11 the wind was 15-20 knots and a 3 mark slalom was set.  In slalom 4 Ben Van der Steen had the inside on the finish line and finished milliseconds in front of Ross Williams. The heat was on, both had 2 first and 2 second places so it would all be decided in the last race slalom 5.

In slalom 5 Ross had bad starts in both the semi-finals and the finals due to timing problems.  In the final Ross (Tabou/Gaastra) finished only 4th behind a surprising Chris Pressler (Starboard/Severne) and Klaas Voget (Fanatic Neil Pryde). The win was for Ben Van der Steen (Exocet/Simmer) securing the World Title slalom 2008.

Meanwhile the wind increased and Olaf Van Tol (NED) decided to stop slaloming and start heat 10B of the wave performance. First surprise came in heat 11B when local Matthew Swart took out Ross Williams.  In the quarter finals we lost Andrea Rosati, Andreas Oleandersson, Ben Van der Steen and Matthew Swart.

Semi-finals between Kevin Mevissen, who won the event last year, and Phil Horrocks and Klaas Voget and Ben Profit. Phil and Klaas came out winning despite some freestyle tricks from Kevin and the 2 attempts of Ben for double forward.

In the losers' final Kevin got the better of Ben and in the winners' final it was very tight until the last jump where Phil Horrocks set a double forward and took the event home.

A Girls heat was run with Natasha Petersmann from South Africa taking the win.

The famous Cape Docor wind took 4 days to come but when he came it was full on spectacle on the beach of Big Bay. 2 speakers, a good sound system and a lot of spectators enjoyed together a spectacular final of a beautiful 5 day event.

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Marcilio Browne 

Fanatic and North Sails are proud to announce the signing of their latest windsurfing super start, Brazil’s Marcilio Browne. Moving from his previous home at Mistral and Gaastra, Browne joins his new sponsors with immediate effect.

At 19 years old, this wave and freestyle specialist is one of the biggest players on the PWA World Tour, with results to match the media hype that surrounds him. Having already conquered the freestyle discipline, securing the World Title and runner up positions in 2007 and 2008 respectively, Browne’s diligent and calculating approach is now focused on the wave crown.

With a transfer of this magnitude, both Fanatic and North Sails are eager to boast about their new addition; here’s what the brands, and the man himself have to say about the situation:

Fanatic Brand Manager, Craig Gertenbach: "I´m happy to welcome Marcilio, he fits perfectly into our Fanatic team and shows the youthful enthusiasm for windsurfing that our sport needs and lives from!”
Marcilio Browne: “I’m very stoked! I think that at Fanatic the atmosphere between riders and company is very good. Sebastian Wenzel is also an excellent shaper and I´m looking forward to work with him in the future and use his boards. So altogether it’s a perfect package for me!”

North Sails Line and Product Manager, Raoul Joa: “Brawzinho is not only very dedicated during competition he is also very meticulous in testing wave and freestyle sails. Being a huge asset for North Sails he will play a major part in the future success story of North Sails.“

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After four days of waiting for the wind, the organisers made the decision to move to a new location for day 5 (Fri 2 Jan). It was a very brave decision that paid off. El Paraiso, 60 miles North of Ancon was indeed windy.

After a 6.30am start from home base at Ancon, competitors were met by an offshore 16 knot wind with flat water in the middle of the desert. We did four races at El Paraiso.

I found it difficult to get used to the shifty conditions at first and finished the first two races 5th and 2nd overall and 2nd Master in both. Riszard Pikul from Poland already beat me two years ago in Belgium also for the Youth and Masters.
It seemed he had retained his advantage.

In the third race, I finished about 5th overall but made sure I covered Riszard so I got 1st place in the Masters. In the fourth race, I finally found speed in stronger winds and led the whole fleet by a good margin. In the last downwind, I just left one of the Youths slip past by playing safe.

Richard Jones posted 8th, 8th, 9th, 9th in the Youths with a slighly unfortunate change up to 10.7 in the last race as the wind picked up.

Ian Jones got a respectable 7th and 10th in the Masters but afterwards, he decided the wind was too shifty and the sun a bit too strong. He went for the photographer’s option on the shore.

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