Pegasus Airlines Alaçati PWA World Cup

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).

In the lower half of the draw, there wasn’t a great deal of surprise when Antoine Albeau (Starboard, NeilPryde) emerged victorious in his semi final. Sailing fast in second place, Ben Van Der Steen (Exocet, Simmer) looked hungry to continue his run of form after finishing 4th place overall in the last event in Fuerteventura.

Moving into the final and predictability struck again when Albeau barged his way to the front of the fleet. Starting as he no doubt intends to go on, he claimed the first race and early event lead as his. Always consistent, Kevin Pritchard (Starboard, Gaastra, MFC, Dakine) settled into his familiar second position, and Maynard looked like he was warming up for bigger and better things in third.

Toping the ranks in the losers final was Gonzalo Costa Hoevel (F2, NeilPryde, MFC), who had his work cut out to defeat Peter Bijl (Fanatic, NeilPryde), who’s more determined than ever after missing out on the start of the season due to issues with the US immigration process!

In the women’s fleet the seething Turkish crowd showed their support for compatriots and PWA regulars Cagla Kubat (Starboard, North) and Lena Erdil (The Loft). In response, the pair made their way into the final and proceeded to take 8th and 7th respectively.

Familiarly it was Valerie Ghibaudo (Tabou, The Loft) and Karin Jaggi (F2, North) that had the firmest grip on the finale, fuelled by an age-old rivalry that’s pushed them to another level of racing.

In this instance it was Ghibaudo that took top honors, leaving Jaggi simmering in second and Verena Fauster (F2, Gaastra) in third. Polish racer Mara Hlavaty (MauiSails) put her mark on the loser’s final when she crossed the finish line in first.

Audi NeilPryde Baltic Cup

About 70 windsurfers from Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Finland and Russia gathered together to celebrate the final event for 2008 in Estonia and compete in Formula or Raceboard classes. Latvian Janis Preiss was declared the best windsurfer in the Baltics & Finland.

During the season the competitions of the Audi NeilPryde Baltic Cup were organized in Latvia, Lithuania, and Finland, all of them being Level 3 Formula Windsurfing World Ranking events. The final event always takes place in Estonia where exactly ten years ago Mr Neil Pryde himself honoured our competition by visiting Estonia.

This year the most important windsurfing competition series in the Baltics and Finland – Audi NeilPryde Baltic Cup - celebrated its 10th anniversary. 8th-10th of August the last of the four events in the series took place in Roomassaare, Estonia where Latvian Janis Preiss (LAT-23, Neilpryde/Starboard) won all races held.

Estonians Martin Ervin (EST-202, Neilpryde/Starboard) and Toomas Mölder (EST-44, Gaastra/Gaastra) took the second and third places. The first three were the same also in the overall results of the Audi NeilPryde Baltic Cup 2008.

At least three races were needed to calculate the results of the event. Very good wind conditions (12-28 knots) enabled to do 9 races for both Formula and Raceboard classes. Adrenaline, crashes, breaking the equipment and smiling happy faces were part of the competition an all three racing days.

In the prize giving ceremony on Sunday cups were handed out to the fastest in the Estonian event and the best in overall as well.

The best on the Estonian event follow:
Audi NeilPryde Baltic Cup 2008 the final event, Formula, overall:
1.    Janis Preiss (LAT-23) Neilpryde/Starboard
2.    Martin Ervin (EST-202) Neilpryde/Starboard
3.    Toomas Mölder (EST-44) Gaastra/Gaastra

Audi NeilPryde Baltic Cup 2008 the final event, Raceboard, overall:
1.    Ingrid Puusta (EST-215) Neilpryde RS:X
2.    Benjamin Siirak (EST-67)
3.    Uldis Akmentins (LAT-31)

The best in the series, that is after 4 events are:
Audi NeilPryde Baltic Cup 2008, Formula, overall:
1.    Janis Preiss (LAT-23) Neilpryde/Starboard
2.    Martin Ervin (EST-202) Neilpryde/Starboard
3.    Toomas Mölder (EST-44) Gaastra/Gaastra

Audi NeilPryde Baltic Cup 2008, Raceboard, overall:
1.  Ingrid Puusta (EST-215)
2.  Gunnars Rosenbergs (LAT-1)
3.  Ilona Grinberga (LAT-18)

Steve Allen

European Championships in Formula Windsurfing Cup 2008 are over! Those were the last two races that decided who won. Ross Williams became the European Champion, while Steve Allen won the Cup for the fourth time in a row.

After the heavy rain, the competition was cancelled due to the weak and unstable wind, however, it started to blow stronger. When the wind reached the speed of about 16 knots, the judges decided that women and the silver fleet would race for the last time.

They also gave the chance to the gold fleet to compete even more fiercely. The best of the best took part in another two races.

The end of the event was full of excitement. During the last two races, the wind was really strong. It exceeded 20 knots! As a result, those races were extremely spectacular. Each of them was commented live by Michał Olszański. This time the course was set closer to the shore so that everyone could observe a fantastic rivalry on water.

Wojtek Brzozowski was unbeatable as he feels best when the wind is strong.

It was him who, after an exciting struggle, won the last two races and in the whole event he took the eighth position.
The victory of the European Championships in Formula Windsurfing Cup 2008 among women was won by a Pole – Marta Hlavaty! Agnieszka Pietrasik (2nd place) and Maarja Niinemets (3rd place) will also appear on the podium.

In the evening winners will be granted medals and cups on the great stage in beach town. The whole ceremony will be honoured by a world-class celebrity – Shaggy. This will be a fantastic end to this year’s European Championships in Formula Windsurfing.

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