- 14 August 2008 | Windsurfing
The third day of competition started out with the completion of race four, which had been whittled down to the finals on the previous day. First to hit the race course was the men’s losers final, which got off to a nervous start after Jimmy Diaz (Starboard, North), local Bora Kozanoglu (Starboard) and Patrick Diethelm (F2, North) all false started.
Taking the reins of the under strength heat, Gabriel Browne (Mistral, MauiSails) led from the start to take a decisive victory ahead of Gonzalo Costa Hoevel (Exocet, NeilPryde) in second.
Moving onto to the final, and disaster struck for Antoine Albeau (Starboard, NeilPryde) on the first reach “I went too downwind towards Finian at the gybe, and my clew hit his mast causing me to fall in”. The mistake left Albeau languishing at the back of the pack, and despite an effort to climb back up the ranks; he crossed the finish line in tenth position.
At the front of the pack, Bjorn Dunkerbeck (T1, North) dialed into the conditions, opening up a massive lead before finishing the race a solid half reach ahead of his nearest rival, Ross Williams (Tabou, Gaastra) in second. Filling out the remaining podium position was Kevin Pritchard (Starboard, Gaastra, Dakine, MFC), who managed to hold off a sustained attack from Finian Maynard (RRD, NeilPryde), who had to settle for fourth.
In the women’s losers final of race four, Lee Korzitz (Tabou, Gaastra) struggled to match her form from previous events, despite finding herself at the front of the fleet. She stood her ground to take the win, and eleventh overall for the race, with Australian Annika Gillgren (Severne) crossing the finish line behind her in second, and twelfth for the race.
In the winners final, Valerie Ghibaudo (Tabou, The Loft) had her foot firmly on the throttle as she negotiated the four buoy downwind course. On the finish line she was rewarded with the victory almost an entire reach ahead of the chasing pack. Padding out the all-French podium was Alice Arutkin (Starboard, North) in second, and fifteen year old Morane Demont (Starboard, Severne) in third.
- 13 August 2008 | Windsurfing
Starting the day with the second race in the men’s fleet, the 74 man first round was quickly pruned down to two ten man semi finals without major upset.
Showing his thirst for victory, Bjorn Dunkerbeck (T1, North) made light work of the 4 buoy down wind course to sail to victory in his semi final, with rival Antoine Albeau (Starboard, NeilPryde) mimicking his performance in the second semi final. The pair both advanced to the final where they’d go head to head.
Final time, and Kevin Pritchard (Starboard, Gaastra, MFC, Dakine) made his presence known as he pressured Dunkerbeck for the number one spot. Behind them and off the pace of the leaders, Albeau jostled with Ross Williams (Tabou, Gaastra) for third position.
The final reach said it all, as Dunkerbeck opened up an impressive lead to cruise to victory completely untouched by his nearest challenger, Pritchard, who took second place. The Albeau vs. Williams battle ended with William’s succumbing to the World Champion’s brute strength in fourth, leaving Albeau free to take third position.
In the losers final, Robby Swift (JP, NeilPryde) put his foot down to sail to victory ahead of Arnon Dagan (Fanatic, Gaastra) in second and Cedric Bordes (Tabou, Gaastra) in third.
Moving directly into race three, proceedings seemed to sway in favor of the unexpected. The first shock came when Peter Bijl (Fanatic, NeilPryde) blew his chances in the first round with a false start.
Moving into the quarterfinals, and Chris Pressler (Starboard, Severne) fell to the same fate when he crossed the start line early. This however, was only a small taste of things to come.
- 12 August 2008 | Windsurfing
The biggest players in the PWA’s prestigious Slalom discipline have touched down in Alaçati, Turkey, joining forces with an impressive local racing contingent. The combined total of the men’s and women’s fleets comes in just short of 100 competitors, making this the biggest racing fleet in eight years.
The first morning of the event was set aside for rigging and registration, giving the local thermal wind plenty of time to build before racing commenced in the afternoon.
When registration was completed, 75 men and 18 women signed up for the event, and the trademark Alaçati wind had built to a solid 20-25 knots, accompanied by super smooth water. In nothing short of perfect slalom conditions, the event was ready to be christened with the first men’s and women’s races.
Starting with the men’s fleet, the first round of heats passed without upset, the only exception being Dan Ellis (Fanatic, MauiSails), who let nerves get the better of him when he false started. The implications mean Ellis clocks up a 75th position finish and will no doubt have to use one of his discards on the result should four races be completed (four races grants the first discard).
Flying the Turkish flag, Enes Yilmazer (JP, NeilPryde) carried the hopes of the local fans on his shoulders. A promising start saw him fly into fourth in his first heat, but a lapse of concentration in the subsequent round meant he missed out on a place in the semi finals by one position.
Moving through to the semi finals and Finian Maynard (RRD, NeilPryde) showed a welcome return to form. The iconic speed sailor looked dominant in a heat laden with slaloms heaviest hitters, and ultimately stormed to victory ahead of second and third place rivals Jimmy Diaz (North) and Bjorn Dunkerbeck (T1, North).