|Day 10 PWA Fuerteventura-Kiri Thode Leads in the Overall Freestyle Standings!|
Despite light wind that resulted in no competition for the day, Kiri Thode still had good reason to celebrate as he is now at the top of the points for the 2007 PWA Freestyle Standing's!
Hard training and consistency is paying off for Kiri. In second position overall going into the event, Kiri pulled off some amazing moves on day 7 when he beat many of the heavy weights. This amazing feat propelled Kiri to second place at Fuerteventura and take the lead in the championship, but with one more event for points in the season, there's still many more battles to fight. For Sarah-Quita, second overall in the event and the championship is a solid result that she will be happy with after many hard fought battles. To further emphasise the impressiveness of this result, Sarah-Quita aged 16 and Kiri Thode aged 17 are amongst the youngest on the tour, so beating the older more experienced riders is definitely a major achievement and testament that we will be seeing a lot more of these two fantastic freestyle stars in events and seasons ahead.
Summary below with results and photos courtesy of the PWA
Marcilio Browne enjoys his first taste of victory as champagne corks pop for the Sotavento Freestyle winners. Kiri Thode of Bonaire secures second overall as light wind prevents a second double elimination and Thomas Traversa bags third. Daida Moreno wins the Women's event to seal the 2007 title- her fifth world freestyle crown. Sarah-Quita Offringa settles for second overall and Laure Treboux keeps third.
A final day heat wave denied any further competition to allow 18-yr old 'Brawzinho' Browne (Mistral / Gaastra) a famous first-ever event win.
After three agonizingly windless days in raging heat, Daida Moreno (North) and Marcilio Browne's wait was over and the titles finally became theirs.
Earlier in the competition Browne defeated Bonaire youngster Kiri Thode (Starboard / Gaastra) in an inspiring double elimination re-sail.
17-yr old Thode's second place means he becomes the 2007 tour leader with one event to go. 'I'm happy to lead the tour' said the former youth world champion. 'I really had fun here although I sailed really badly in the single elimination. In the double though I beat some talented riders like Ricardo Campello, the current world champion Gollito Estredo and Brawzinho of course. I was pretty nervous through the event as I did well in Lanzarote and I didn't want to do any worse to waste my second place there, and needed to come and build on that good result here. I'll go back to Bonaire now to train for Sylt and just see how it goes'
Frenchman Thomas Traversa earned his third place finish after beating Tonky Frans in the loser's final.
Browne was visibly relieved that the day was over and the trophy his. With a hoarse voice he explained what it meant to him to win. 'I'm so happy. Today was a long day and I was so nervous as we waited for wind, plus I was a little sick which wouldn't have helped me if we'd competed today. I'm glad it's over as the level here is so close??- anyone from 25th upwards in the rankings is capable of a win these days. I'm going to train now on big boards and big sails for Sylt and just aim to get a high finish in the 2006 rankings. The wave tour will remain my main focus, as it's my favorite discipline even if my rankings are lower than my freestyle status'
The women's event was settled without a re-sail. However Sarah-Quita Offringa's (Starboard / NeilPryde) second place secured her the runner's-up spot for 2007??- no mean feat aged just 16.
Laure Treboux of Switzerland beat Spanish stylist Nayra Alonso in the women's loser's final.
Daida Moreno talked to us about her fifth world title in the cut-throat women's freestyle fleet. 'I'm stoked as this year the title was between Sarah-Quita and I, and it was really close in the end. I came here confident and focused and everything was working perfectly with my boards and sails. I know everyone wanted to see a new name win through and that really motivated me to go for it even more. In the winter I only really trained in the waves and put freestyle to one side. But the two new boards I had ready for this event were amazing and so I felt more motivated than ever to sail my best'
Sotavento once more delivered a stunning racing and freestyle spectacle for the loyal crowds who flock to see the action. For over 20 years the Rene Egli Pro Center has hosted elite level competition and witnessed standards shoot through the ceiling. 2007 was no exception, so we thank our hosts and look forward to returning once again in July '08.
Kiri Thode, the 17 year old leading the 2007 PWA Freestyle World Championship
A content Sarah-Quita -2nd best Freestyler in the World
Final Event Men's Freestyle Results
Final Event Women's Freestyle Results
OVERALL STANDINGS 2007-MEN'S FREESTYLE
OVERALL STANDINGS 2007-WOMEN'S FREESTYLE
Day 9 PWA Fuerteventura-Starboard's Kiri Thode and Sarah-Quita patiently wait for wind in 2nd place
Over the last few days Kiri Thode has been working his magic and making some purely phenomenal results. This has been a hard fought battle reminiscent of a David Vs Goliath, where he has beaten some of he biggest starts of the sport including Compello, Gollito and even fellow Gaastra team mate Tonky Frans. Along with Sara-Quita, both are now in second place as both are forced to patiently wait for wind and their final showdowns for the event
For a full summary of Kiri's magical day, please scroll below to Day 7
All photos, summaries and results below are courtesy of the PWA.
Day 9 PWA Fuerteventura- Waiting for wind
Pending on the schedule is the completion of a second single elimination of men's and women's freestyle.
But soaring temperatures cooked everyone's hopes of a second crack at ousting the winners.
In the first double elimination final Marcilio 'Brawzinho' Browne defeated Kiri Thode (Starboard / Gaastra).
In the women's competition Daida Moreno quashed teenage Caribbean star Sarah-Quita Offringa (Starboard / NeilPryde).
Thomas Traversa of France keeps third place in the men's fleet and Laure Treboux defends third place in the ladies event.
The final day's forecast suggests we'll have more wind to play with than today. All hope now rests on tomorrow for completing the second single and double eliminations to iron out a final result.
This season has served-up several final-day showdowns, so who'd be surprised if the title is settled at the last once again?
Let's wait and see.
Kiri Thode cools down after a purely magical couple of days
PWA's bikini jam as the sun sucks the power out of the wind
The windless and actionless scene at Sotavento
Day 8 PWA Fuerteventura-The hot Calema sun exhausts all the wind
Marcilio Browne and Daida Moreno sit pretty as double elimination winners whilst light Calema wind snuffs out their rival's chances of revenge.
Today's plan was to complete a second single elimination of men's and women's freestyle. But red-hot temperatures and virtually zero breeze turned on the heat for those who fell victim to the Browne and Moreno in the first single and double eliminations.
Browne beat Kiri Thode (Starboard / Gaastra) after a tense re-sail and Moreno triumphed against Aruban prodigy Sarah-Quita Offringa (Starboard / NeilPryde) in the women's event.
Thomas Traversa lies in third place in the men's fleet and Switzerland's Laure Treboux currently sits in the remaining podium place in the women's' competition.
Two days remain in this event and forecasts suggest tomorrow may have enough wind to complete the second single elimination and perhaps a second double elimination too.
In the meantime the spectators and riders enjoyed the beach scene and the fiesta style ambience created by Rene Egli's Pro Center the long-standing local organizers.
Overnight everyone's fingers will be crossed for more wind and the chance to settle their scores.
Day 7 PWA Fuerteventura-Kiri Thode on fire! Beating Campello, Gollito & Tonky!
Kiri Thode had a puirtely magical day as he beat some of the biggest names in the sport . Sarah-Quita Offringa also had a big day against
Daida Moreno in the opening women's double elimination final.
On the schedule today was the completion of the first double elimination of the men's and women's events. The water state was much flatter than on previous days and the wind much more offshore than we've seen so far during the competition.
The plan was also to start the second single eliminations but sadly the wind shut down later in the day, and disrupted competition by being so gusty due to obstructions upwind.
Men's Double Elimination 1
The first heat contained drama from the start with Kiri Thode (Starboard / Gaastra) of Bonaire preventing reigning world champion Jose 'Gollito' Estredo staging any form of backlash through the ladder. The youngster beat the Venezuelan comprehensively in the lighter flatter conditions that must have reminded him of his Caribbean home spot of Lac Bay.
Also paired in that heat were Ricardo Campello and Colin Sifferlen (Starboard / Simmer). Campello dominated in the fluky wind around the competition area and scraped a narrow victory in a close fought encounter.
All eyes were then on Campello and Thode to see which one might be able to launch an offensive on the final four. Thode surprisingly struggled at the start of his heat and rapidly ended-up in the downwind part of the course area, meaning some of his movies could not be counted. Campello was consistent and upwind, but the time Thode was in the zone was spent landing a barrage of combination moves and air tricks.
The decision was predictably close and it was the former world youth freestyle champion Thode who took the win and ended Campello's ambitions on a crack at the final.
Thode's run at the top gained some momentum when Anthony Ruenes became his next victim. The wind was really strong in the gusts and outside the course, but was choppy and light on the inside near the flatter surfaces for sliding tricks.
An all-Bonaire match was next on the agenda when Thode took on his friend, rival and Gaastra Team mate Tonky Frans (F2 / Gaastra). Tonky's power moves were hard to pull outside in the chop and it was probably too light for him on the inside. Frans still had some impressive and higher tricks scored which were smoother and more powerful than many of Thode's replies, but youth won through and Kiri moved on to the next stage against single elimination runner-up Thomas Traversa of France.
Featherweight Thode prevailed through the lulls landing a Funnel and a double Spock into gecko, whilst Traversa struggled a little in the lighter wind. Traversa drifted pretty far downwind before springing back with a high shaka and a clew first flaka. The judges certainly had their work cut out but it was Thode's time once again to make the final and to apply pressure on single elimination winner Marcilio Browne.
The conditions in the final once again favored Thode and he predictably racked up the points as Browne stuttered and frequently fell. No one was surprised to see Thode had won after he'd clearly outscored modern windsurfing's much-hyped sensation. Under the double elimination format that meant there had to be a re-sail to break the tie, and so after a short break they headed-out to do battle for a final time.
Browne was a hundred percent more active in his heat and the crowds certainly appreciated the action close to the beach. He got the nod from the judging panel and sealed a famous victory that justified the hype that surrounds him as a force of the future.
The overjoyed young Brazilian described how he won the heat for us. 'In the first final I started really badly. The wind was offshore and it was hard to stay upwind or find any flat sections. In the re-sail I made sure that I started really upwind and was lucky to make Gozzadas on both tacks, a Cana Brabu, a Funnel, a Clew-first Shuvit-Spock and a Burner. I also made all my basic moves, plus a Slider Diablo and all the regular Spocks and Flakas. I'm so stoked to have won. I knew it would be hard to beat Kiri when it's flat and gusty. My sponsors never pressure me and recently I've been nervous about not doing as well as this. So, I've tried to just work on making all my basic moves and things I know I can pull-off before I try new stuff and risk falling. Focusing on being consistent is what's made a difference and that's how I'll be approaching the rest of this event'
Women's Double Elimination 1
Yoli De Brendt made a breakthrough in the women's double elimination when she beat Iballa Moreno for a shot against the final four contenders.
De Brendt loved the flatter conditions, which were similar to her home spot in El Yaque, Venezuela. Margarita's top female competitor showed us a full range of switch tricks and jumps to earn a tie against Nayra Alonso of Gran Canaria.
All in all Alonso stuck a solid 4-heat streak together today beating Junko Nagoshi, De Brendt and Silvia Alba before she finally fell exhausted at the hands of Laure Treboux. 'I managed to put all the moves today' she explained. 'Forwards, planing spocks, grubbies plus all the usual stuff. I was a bit scared in the morning as all the girls here can beat anyone on their day, but I was in a really good state of mind this morning. Against Laure I lost it though. All the concentration I had was gone and I just wasn't in the same zone. Tiredness really affected me and I crashed more or less everything I tried in that heat'
Treboux reveled in the flat parts of the course, pulling clew first Spocks, Punetas, e-sliders and grubbies. After beating Alonso she challenged single elimination runner-up Sarah-Quita Offringa (Starboard / NeilPryde).
Initially the heat went Treboux's way. She completed an E-slider, a Clew-first Puneta and a Grubby whilst Offringa completed a Flaka an E-slider and a Puneta too. Most people expected her to go for the Switch Chacho too but time ran out and the judges deemed she'd done enough to make the final against Daida Moreno.
The final opened up at a frightening pace. Both girls opened with one-handed Spocks and Moreno launched full pelt into high speed Flaka and a Clew-first Spock. Sticking to the windier parts of the course her assault continued. An E-Slider 540, a forward, and a one-footed forward all added to the sliding tricks and spelt disaster for Offringa who could only reply with a flaka and sketchier switch moves compared to her usual high standards. A unanimous decision from the judges awarded the 2006 champion the victory eliminating the need for a re-sail.
The first round of the second single elimination was started but abandoned, as the wind was just too light to continue. Instead, during the odd gust along the shoreline, the competitors entertained the crowds by coming at full speed into the super shallow water to twist Goytas, Wymeroos and much, much more off the tiny waves lapping at the shore.
Kiri Thode lays it on has he impresses the judges and spectators
Colin Sifferlin making his mark
Starboard's inverted Nicolas Akgazciyan
Starboard's inverted Nicolas Akgazciyan
Sarah- Quita on fire in front of the judges
Always happy Sarah-Quita always has something to smile about.
Sarah cheers on her competitor Daida
Men's Freestle results as at day 9
Women's Freestyle Results as at day 9
PWA Day 6 Fuerteventura-With the 2007 PWA Slalom Championship in the bag, it's time for freestyle.
After a fantastic day that saw Antoine Albeau and Kevin Pritchard complete the slalom event (and very the 2007 PWA Championship in 1st and 2nd), Fuerteventura shifted it's focus to freestyle.
With Sarah-Quita having just finished her first ever PWA Slalom event, she went on to complete a very close battle in the Freestyle against rival Daida Moreno. Neither were totally sure who would win until the official final announcement which placed Sarah-Quita in a close second. Starboard / Severne rider Anna Jonsson also made a positive appearance, finishing in the top 10.
In the men's freestle Kiri Thode, who was in 2nd place on the tour, pulled off some amazing moves including clew-first shuvit-spock. Despite his dazzling array of moves Taty faced strong competition and now shares 5th place along with Starboard's French Freestylist Nicolas Akgaziyan. More action will follow tomorrow as we see who will advance towards to the top 4.
In a move similar to the Pritchard brothers and the Moreno twins, Sarah-Quita's younger brother is also looking set to follow in his sisters footsteps, as he competes in the mens' freestyle. The PWA reported him as being "an outstanding sailor" and we look forward to seeing more of him in the not too distant future.
Summary, results and pictures below courtesy of the PWA
Men's Single Elimination 1
Some big names fell early in the heavyweight qualifying rounds. First to crash-out was Canary Islander Antxon Otaegui who was axed by Nicholas Akgazciyan (Starboard) in the second round. Otaegui was amongst the favorites for this event title, especially as he can boast a third overall ranking from 2006.
Next to suffer was 3-times world champion Ricardo Campello who rocked-up here in 3rd overall and looking resurgent in Lanzarote after a disappointing season in 2006. He was the victim of French stylist Anthony Ruenes who sailed his way right up to the semi-finals before having to settle for a loser's final slot against Tonky Frans
The trend continued for top-ranked riders to bow-out when a much improved performance from Tine Slabe accounted for Germany's Normen Gunzlein.
But the biggest shock of the day was the exit of world champion 'Gollito' Estredo when he was comprehensively defeated by 'Brawzinho' Browne on his route to the final. Browne really gave Gollito a hard time, although he'd landed less tricks, he hardly fell and executed super- polished moves such as one-handed ponches and air-flakas. Gollito also suffered by crashing his trademark burner.
Anthony Ruenes also took another massive scalp in the quarterfinals when he slapped-down number 2 ranked rider Kiri Thode (Starboard / Gaastra). Thode is the busiest heat sailor by far and despite landing a clew-first shuvit-spock he lost out on a 2-1 decision by the judging panel. Traversa also pulled off the clew-first shuvit Spock on his first ever attempt of the stunt in his semi-final heat against Tonky Frans. Frans however was entertaining the crowds on the beachside grandstand as usual rather than solely focusing on his heat!
The final was certainly not as intense as the semi's but the there was still a barrage of top-drawer tricks to be seen. Traversa fell a little more than the Brazilian youngster who threw down clew-first ponches, and punch flakas amongst the standard repertoire the elite sailors all possess. The victory visibly helped the youngster find relief from all the pressure of expectation that's heaped on his shoulders. Today Brawzinho took a big step towards living up to the hype that surrounds him, on a day that cements his footprint in windsurfing's elite.
Tonky Frans' Goytas and shuvit Spocks just inches from the sand in super-shallow water won him the loser's final against Ruenes.
Women's Single Elimination 1
The flatter water conditions brought the standard of the women's competition to a higher level than earlier in the season. This was predicted to favor the freestyle specialist like Laure Treboux and Sarah-Quita Offringa (Starboard / NeilPryde), but no one expected Moreno to find the lack of ramps suitable for success either.
The first round heats inevitably favored the higher seeds but the going got tough in the second round and first to make a breakthrough was Silvia Alba when she defeated Iballa Moreno for a shot at the semi-finals.
Things got serious at the semis though when world number 3 Laure Treboux was crushed by joint tour leader and 2006 world champ Daida Moreno. Treboux was billed as a hot-favorite here in conditions ideal for her style but Moreno found the smoother water to her advantage too when she showed she's got more than just air-moves to brag about.
Offringa beat Alba fairly easily in the other semi with her wide range of switch moves and flakas.
The final started out looking better for Offringa as Moreno fell a few times at the start. Meanwhile the 16-yr old Aruban was racking-up points by opening with a flaka, a perfect Spock, an e-slider and Puneta in the first minute or so. But Moreno hit back and gained momentum. She pulled a T-Bone, a one-footed forward, and a flaka Diablo while Offringa disappeared off downwind, running out of room in the official competition area that judging is limited to.
It was close call, and a switch chacho made it even closer for Offringa but by Moreno had nearly matched all of Offringa's earlier moves.?? Neither competitor looked certain of victory before the prize-giving announcement, and Moreno certainly looked grateful for the win.
The first rounds of the double elimination were completed late in the afternoon
Men's Double Elimination 1
Antxon Otaegui's bad day got worse after a surge in performance from Quincy Offringa (Starboard / Severne) saw him past the Lanzarote rider. Offringa is a fine example of an outstanding sailor who's been suppressed by the incredible standard of PWA freestyle.
But the double is always about the fight backs, and as the shadows got longer today a couple of names emerged from the settling dust of the single. Ricardo Campello came into form late in the day, obviously loving the lighter and flukier conditions that his opponents found harder to handle.
But the most impressive claw-back came from someone who's not frequented the scene for some time and whom many thought had fallen by the wayside. Colin Sifferlen (Starboard / Simmer) of New Caledonia however had other ideas and showed he's far from being a written-off just yet. The French-based rider bolted out of the blocks in the double after an early single elimination exit.
Tomorrow sees Sifferlen line-up against Campello, whilst world numbers one and two, Estredo and Thode compete for the right to advance towards the top 4.
The lights stayed on in the tents till early morning as the Starboard crew celebrated Antoine and Kevin's 1st and 2nd title results
Sarah-Quita congratulates Daida on her win
The judges busy checking their scores-(nice shades)
Sarah-Quita blows the competition with her moves
Kiri Thode impressing everyone with his dazzling array of tricks
Starboard's New Caledonian rider Colin Sifferlen shows off his bag of tricks
Womens Freestyle Results
Men's Freestyle Results
Day 5 PWA Fuerteventura-Antoine and Kevin complete the event in 1st and 2nd
With three back to back wins in the final day of racing, Antoine wins the event and very possibly secures his Slalom World Title! This is a phenomenal performance on which the Starboard iSonic has ruled, having so far won every 2007 PWA Slalom event and brought Antoine victory at four events in a row. As 2006 PWA Slalom World Champion, Antoine looks set for a second world title, but??this will be no easy battle with strong pressure from all riders, including team mate Kevin Pritchard who took the first win of the season on his iSonic in South Korea and completes the event at Fuerteventura in second place.
Summary, photos and results below courtesy of the PWA
18-25 knots and much flatter water than previous days treated the racers to a speedy final's day racing. The three final men's races and two remaining women's races. Christmas came early for Micah Buzianis's fellow podium contenders when stage-fright gifted them valuable points as the American started prematurely in 2 out of the day's 3 races.
Men's Race 13
With so much on the line on the final day there were no pretenders in the final. The hierarchy established in the early heats shutout just about all wannabees and lower-ranked sailors. Ben van Der Steen made -up for his failure to qualify by winning the loser's final.
A star-stacked winner's final was led off the line by Josh Angulo with Finian Maynard and Antoine Albeau (Starboard / NeilPryde) in hot pursuit. Kevin Pritchard (Starboard / MauiSails) had a shocking start, rounding the first mark in second last position.
By the end of the second reach Josh Angulo threw his lead with a full-on catapult approaching the second gybe which handed Albeau the initiative. At mark 3 Albeau was concentrating on controlling pressure from Maynard who had Buzianis snapping at his heels, all whilst Pritchard had worked his way back up to 5th.
By the 4th mark and final reach Albeau had covered an impressive amount more distance, and took the win despite a massive catapult just inches after crossing the finish line! Finian Maynard survived to score second and Pieter Bijl thundered over in third.
Men's Race 14
Micah Buzianis pushed the start hard in a last chance bid to win the event, but was caught-out for jumping the gun far too early.That left a massive opportunity for Bjorn Dunkerbeck and Kevin Pritchard to exploit in his absence.
In the final there was no messing about for Albeau. He didn't push the start but sped into the led on the first reach chased by Dan Ellis and Maynard. On the second reach Dunkerbeck and Pritchard hustled past traffic into second and third respectively.
On the third reach Dunkerbeck pushed Albeau really hard but just couldn't catch him and the Frenchman pulled-away from Dunkerbeck, as Dunkerbeck put distance between himself and Pritchard.
Dunkerbeck turned as tightly to the mark as possible around the last buoy in an attempt to get upwind advantage for the final leg. But Albeau was uncatchable after a fast safe, wide gybe saw him hold his lead all the way to the finish. Dunkerbeck followed shortly afterwards and Kevin Pritchard finished third.
Men's Slalom Race 15
For the final race a long distance course was set, with a start around 2km upwind and a massive long leg towards a short 5-leg zigzag including a speed reach along the beach in front of the waterside grandstand.
There were two general re-calls as the top-10 launched a final all-out assault on the point's rankings. Unbelievably Buzianis couldn't hold back enough to cross safely and he was dispatched back to the beach along with Maynard and several others.
After the initial nerves had settled the third start was successful with the magnificent sight of 46 sailors screaming towards the beach from Costa Calma.
Albeau was predictably at the head of the pack at the first mark despite the pack being less spread-out than would normally be expected. Josh Angulo was right in Albeau's wake as they rounded the buoy with Pieter Bijl just inches behind him. A gigantic pile-up soon followed behind as rider after rider poured in trying to avoid the carnage, but stray masts and boards just axed even more chancers who tried to skirt the fringes of the havoc and mayhem.
Albeau stretched his lead over Angulo along that second reach as Dunkerbeck and van Der Steen hustled for the inside line at mark 2.
Angulo endured a lot of pressure from Dunkerbeck along the third reach and from some angles it looked like Switzerland's finest was about to mow him down. But the Cabo Verdian held his own to round the third and fourth marks safely and follow race winner Albeau over the line for second.
Dunkerbeck bagged third and subsequently booked the last place left on the podium. Pritchard's 6th place finish was enough to see him into the runner'-up slot after Buzianis' shortcomings at the last start.
Women's Race 14
Valerie Ghibaudo headed the pack away from the start and showed superior speed from Karin Jaggi along the opening reach. She held the lead despite pressure from Jaggi at the second mark which caused the Swiss girl to fall after attempting an inside overtaking maneuver. That fall allowed Iballa Moreno and Sarah-Quita Offringa to cruise on by.
Offringa stayed glued to second position, reluctant to let Moreno past as Jaggi recovered and sailed back into 4th. Ghibaudo coolly rounded the final gybe still in the lead; as Offringa survived an inside swoosh by Jaggi who subsequently fell once again.
Ghibaudo surged ahead to win as Offringa and Moreno slugged it out for second and third, but the Offringa had the composure to finish the job as Moreno settled for third.
Women's Race 15
The final women's race would settle the title in a fitting end to a week's fantastic racing.
Jaggi made no mistakes with a clear-cut start-to-finish victory. Ghibaudo tried several times to sneak an inside line or to push hard for a direct downwind line along the reaches. Jaggi was in no mood to lose the event after this many mistakes and she drove it home ruthlessly to take the event title and 2007 tour lead. Ghibaudo followed soon in second and Moreno snaked Offringa for third.
Antoine Albeau modestly commented upon his impressive event win and second successive Sotavento crown. 'I'm happy because once again it came down to the last day and was intense between Kevin, Micah, Bjorn and myself. They really had to attack today but watch their backs at the same time under pressure. Today I just had to do fairly well instead of having extreme results go my way. The second win today gave me the title so I tried not to push the starts too much and to just go safely around the course. 2007 has seen more slalom competition, and many more events. It's tighter and tighter at the top and next season will be interesting with guys like Ross Williams and Cyril Moussilmani pushing more than they did this year plus lots of new sailors gaining experience for years to come'
Kevin Pritchard was also thankful for his result. 'Relieved. Happy. Fuerte isn't usually my best location and 2 'aint too bad. That's two events in a row with a final day pressure-cooker scenario and I came through. Perfect!'
Karin Jaggi similarly reflective on her victory. 'It was super-tough racing all week and all down to the last race between Valerie and me. I made the battle more exciting by making so many mistakes, but I got it together which was nice in the end. It's also nice to see girls like Iballa trying Slalom too and nice to have it so close. It's fun!'
Men's final results:
Antoine Albeau (Starboard / NeilPryde)
Kevin Pritchard (Starboard / MauiSails)
Bjorn Dunkerbeck (T1 / North)
Micah Buzianis (JP /NeilPryde)
Finian Maynard (Fanatic / NeilPryde)
Peter Volwater (F2 / North)
Ross Williams (Tabou /Gaastra)
Pieter Bijl (Fanatic / NeilPryde)
Steve Allen (Tabou / Gaastra)
Cyril Moussilmani (Fanatic / North)
Women's final results
1. Karin Jaggi (F2 / North)
2. Valerie Ghibaudo (Tabou)
3. Iballa Moreno (North)
4. Sarah-Quita Offringa (Starboard / NeilPryde)
5. Sarah Hebert (Starboard / Naish)
6. Verena Fauster (F2 / Gaastra)
7. Astrid Muldoon (JP / NeilPryde)
8. Marion Raisi (Exocet / Naish)
9. Cagla Kubat (Starboard / North)
10. Sedef Koktenturk
11. Birgit Hoefer (Gaastra / Tabou)
An ecstatic Antoine as he crossers the finishes line
to win the event and the 2007 PWA Slalom World Championship title
Albeau powering on to take the championship
The 2006 and 2007 PWA Slalom World Champion Antoine Albeau
Kevin gybes round the mark
The full fleet in action
Antoine, Kevin and Bjorn
Men's Slalom Results
Women's 42 Slalom Results
Day 4 PWA Fuerteventura-Starboard's Antoine leads with Kevin close in 3rd
Starboard's Antoine Albeau clings on to the event lead on the eve of the final day's racing, while Starboard's Kevin Pritchard stays in the frame in third as Micah Buzianis scores a three-race hat-trick to surge into second overall. In the women's slalom both Sarah's (Sarah Quita and Sarah Hebert) are currently in fourth and fifth. Freestyle action is expected to get underway on Thursday.
Summary, results and photos below courtesy of the PWA.
Men's Race 10
Steve Allen dented his hopes of climbing further up the top-10 when he missed the last qualifying spot in his first round heat - Sylvain Moussilmani beat him to it.
Pieter Bijl also suffered in the first semi-final when Josh Angulo denied him the 6th and final ticket to the final. Another top-10 hustler, Ross Williams fought tooth and nail with Finian Maynard in the second semi-final only to have the door shut in his face by the giant Virgin Islander and Jarek Miarcyzynski of Poland.
A good showing from Benoit Moussilmani put him among good company in the final.
Final - Micah Buzianis' sail could be seen streaking off the start line and along the first reach in the lead. Hot on his heels were Cyril Moussilmani and Ben van Der Steen as they rounded the first mark before heading back out to sea.
With Buzianis still clear out in front Albeau was working his magic further down the pack and he soon picked-off Maynard along the second reach.
Moussilmani gybed inside Van Der Steen at the second turn but the Frenchman got the better of him at the next gybe.
By the final mark Albeau was in second, and, as Buzianis crossed the line to win, the two French representatives fought-it out for second and third. Moussilmani took a downwind path as Albeau chose the inside track, which successfully earned him second place.
Men's Race 11
The less hectic conditions at the start once again allowed Buzianis a clean get-away on the starting gun. This time it was Peter Volwater who stuck to the American like glue along the first reach, with Kevin Pritchard (Starboard /MauiSails) fresh in this trail. But, free from traffic snarl-ups at the first mark, outstanding speed from Bjorn Dunkerbeck brushed Volwater aside for the time being along reach 2.
Buzianis kept his cool ahead of the sparring behind him, as did Kevin Pritchard who soared into second through the last two gybes. Buzianis crossed the line clear as Pritchard kept clear of Volwater and Dunkerbeck slogging-it out for third. Dunkerbeck's board speed and acceleration right until the end was enough to squeak him past the Dutchmen who had to settle for fourth.
Men's Race 12
A shorter-legged course including a speed reach from the start was set for the day's final race.
Cyril Moussilmani blew-out when his harness broke in the first round and sailed a couple of legs before retiring.
Jarek Miarcyzynski deprived Ben van der Steen in the second semi-final. That good work lined the Polishman up with the elite in the final.
Final-Albeau appeared to lead the pack from the start and along the speed reach chased by Dunkerbeck, but, by the second mark, at the end of the super-broad leg, Buzianis rounded in the lead.
Finian Maynard was now in second place and it was no surprise to see Kevin Pritchard emerge from the first turn in third position.
However, on the third reach Albeau motored past Pritchard and onwards to challenge Maynard.
Maynard held his own as he followed Buzianis around the fourth mark, but Albeau finally edged into second along the penultimate reach.
NeilPryde team-mates Buzianis and Albeau rocketed along the final stretch to the finish with Albeau taking the downwind line to gain on last season's runner-up. But, the reigning world champ just couldn't make it time to deny Buzianis the maximum points from the day.
'Yeah a hat-trick! How cool is that?' exclaimed Buzianis as he packed-up his gear. 'The conditions mellowed - out a lot today, and I felt so much more comfortable. After the first race win I gained confidence and just built momentum from there. Bring-on tomorrow!'
The women completed two races leaving two for the final day showdown Race 12 was on the first course earlier in the day and race 13 was on the shorter speed-reach layout.
Women's Race 12
Predictably Valerie Ghibaudo and Karin Jaggi led off the line, and took a similar route from the start to the first mark. Ghibaudo seemed to have the edge in speed and kept the initiative around the first mark. Jaws on the beach then dropped when Jaggi sailed far too far downwind towards the 4th buoy instead, forcing her to turn and re-round mark 2 in last position.
In the meantime Iballa Moreno took her chance to pressure Ghibaudo, with Sarah-Quita Offringa (Starboard / NeilPryde) in contention in third.
Ghibaudo finished the race un-hassled and Moreno took home valuable points for crossing in second ahead of Sarah Hebert (Starboard / Naish). Jaggi's determination to finish rewarded her with an admirable 8th place.
Women's Race 13
Jaggi's resolve to make up for her earlier errors was evident as she led off the line ahead of Ghibaudo. A fall at the first mark from Offringa allowed Moreno to sneak by into third. Ghibaudo and Jaggi tried their hardest to out-do each other at the second mark, with Jaggi going tight and on an inside line and Ghibaudo going wide, fast and safe. Ghibaudo's method seemed to work well until Jaggi's superior acceleration pushed her clear in front once again.
At the third mark Ghibaudo switched tactic to try for the inside track, but she couldn't get past the Swiss legend. Now far ahead of Offringa and the rest of the pack it was France vs. Switzerland all the way to the finish, but Jaggi's speed sailing experience allowed the win.
Jaggi leads the event and will win unless she achieves two thirds or worse, and Ghibaudo wins both the final two races.
In the men's event it's still possible for any of the top 5 or in extreme circumstances even some of the top 10, to deny Albeau the event title. Buzianis is in the best position to attack, and the forecast would suggest it's likely to be similar conditions that he'll favor again tomorrow. However, it all came down to the final race recently in Gran Canaria and Albeau can be ruthless when the going gets tough.
The pack chases leader Antoine
Stuck in traffic round the mark
Full speed ahead
Antoine checks his sail tuning
Taty Frans at the start line
Sarah Tiki Action in the women's as both Sarah's
Sarah-Quita Offringa and Sarah Herbert) chase for the lead.
Local media looking for the best vantage point
Sometimes all the action becomes too much and
some people just need to chill out... and enjoy those UV rays
Men's Slalom Results
Women's Slalom Results
PWA Day 3 Fuerteventura-Great winds, great racing...great resultsFinal: Cyril Moussilmani (Fanatic / North) took his second race win of the season with a start-to-finish lead. The Frenchman started perfectly pursued by Maynard and Buzianis. Buzianis took Maynard on the second reach with Bjorn Dunkerbeck (T1 / North), who'd also passed Maynard, hot on his heels.
Errors all-round help Antoine Albeau build a sizeable event lead backed-up by a useful race 9 win. Kevin Pritchard clings onto second position as Micah Buzianis ghosts into contention in third overall. Karin Jaggi's grip on the women's event lead is weakened as Valerie Ghibaudo wins 2 of the days 3 races. Iballa Moreno continues to hustle hard and climb-up into third after an exhilarating race 11 win. Sotavento delivered the goods again today with more classic slalom racing on the menu.
3 Women's races and 3 Men's races were planned and successfully held in bright sunshine and 20-30 knots of wind. A longer 6-leg course was chosen for the first 2 races before a shorter course with a speed reach after the start was selected in the afternoon.
Men's Race 7
Kevin Pritchard (Starboard / MauiSails) had a shocker in his qualifying heat and only managed to finish in 8th. That cost him a berth in the second semi-final.
Finian Maynard (F2 / NeilPryde) and Ben van der Steen (Exocet / Naish) collided in the first semi-final meaning both missed-out on slots in the final.
Final: Josh Angulo led the fleet down the first reach after a precise start bang on the gun. He was pursued by Micah Buzianis (JP / NeilPryde) and event leader Antoine Albeau (Starboard / NeilPryde) towards the first mark.
Buzianis however had the speed to round the mark in first before Albeau cut an inside line to hold an upwind position on the second reach. By the third reach Angulo was super-deep, and Albeau had no problems in overtaking him to round the third mark in second.
At the final gybe Albeau and Buzianis both gybed tightly to the mark, but Albeau couldn't quite slip into a commanding position for the final reach. Buzianis took his first race win of the event and some valuable points to help his uncharacteristically poor performance so far.
Men's Race 8
Ross Williams (Tabou / Gaastra) who sat in third overnight had a nightmare in his qualification heat and just missed a chance at the semi-finals by one place.
Josh Angulo also failed to advance after he was disqualified for a premature start in the first heat of the race. So far the Cabo Verdian has made an impressive return to the slalom scene and show signs of being a real threat should he choose to make a full-time return to the fold.
Another name making another final showing why he's bound to be a force for the future in this his debut year on the Slalom tour was Julien Quentel (Starboard / NeilPryde). The youngster from the Caribbean is earning a solid reputation here amongst much heavier and more experienced competitors.
Over the third and fourth reaches Maynard and Dunkerbeck struggled against each other for second place after Dunkerbeck had edged-out Buzianis at the third gybe.
At the fifth and final mark Dunkerbeck finally got the better of Maynard and stormed down the last reach to score second.
Meanwhile further down the fleet Albeau had recovered from a poor start to the race and traffic in his way to fight his way back up to 5th??- one place ahead of Maynard who slowed at that final gybe. Buzianis rolled in third.
Women's Race 9
A clean start all-round and a crash-free first gybe meant competition for the top places was rife in the ladies first race of the day.?? Valerie Ghibaudo (Tabou) however kept her initial lead by slowing for control at the gybes and using all her speed on the reaches to build a lead.
Karin Jaggi (F2 / North) tried to pass Ghibaudo on the last reach after she'd fought her way past Italy's Verena Fauster (F2 / Gaastra) into second.
Ghibaudo took the victory and event leader Jaggi had to settle for second whilst Fauster secured third.
Women's Race 10
Ghibaudo started at the pin-end and streaked towards the first mark in the lead. Behind her Jaggi fell whilst gybing which let Sarah-Quita Offringa (Starboard / NeilPryde) into second place. Ghibaudo made sure she gybed safely around the third mark shadowed by Offringa and Iballa Moreno (North). Ghibaudo won a ruthlessly finished race and Offringa coasted home in second.
Jaggi worked her way back up the fleet with incredible speed, and gybed wide at the fourth mark in an effort to pass Moreno on the fourth reach. Jaggi finally did sneak inside Moreno at the fifth and final mark and the two North team mates had a great photo finish for 3rd which the Swiss star edged by a whisker.
Women's Race 11
Jaggi and Ghibaudo characteristically led from the start but then collided with each other as they turned into the first gybe - leaving the door wide-open for Fauster and Moreno to skirt around them.
Unbelievably Moreno then headed for the wrong mark entering the second reach and had to head-up into the wind hard to get back on track. Luckily Moreno kept the initiative and rounded mark 2 in the lead with Fauster and Offringa hot on her heels.
By the third gybe Sarah Hebert (Starboard / Naish) had passed Offringa into third position. But, by the fourth mark everything changed. Jaggi had typically clawed her way back into contention and her final gybe showed exactly why she's got more world titles than any women windsurfer ever.
The crowds were thrilled to witness a breathtaking final reach as Jaggi, now in second, blasted towards the finish in a desperate attempt to catch Moreno. Moreno crossed the line just in time to deny Jaggi a famous race win as Ghibaudo narrowly missed a shot at third behind Offringa.
After lunch the men headed back out for a final race over a shorted 5-leg course
Men's Race 9
With the results all over the show at this event it was almost no surprise that another big player would take a fall early in this race. Eyebrows were raised when Bjorn Dunkerbeck tripped-up in the first semi-final to leave a massive opportunity for the rest of the top 10 to capitalize upon.
Quentel continued a good day with another final appearance as did Nicolas Reynes (Tabou / Gaastra) who made his third final of the event.
Final: Micah Buzianis led the pack down the first reach of the final chased by Albeau and Peter Volwater, who then fell at the first mark causing a massive pile-up. That gifted Ross Williams a chance to pass by into third.
But, as the second gybe approached Albeau looked intent on a passing move on Buzianis which he successfully pulled-off to take the lead. Williams and Buzianis stayed glued to the trail until Kevin Pritchard mimicked Albeau's maneuver by swooshing Williams to slide into third.
Albeau coasted home in first and Pritchard couldn't quite steal second from fellow American Buzianis.
Sotavento promises to deliver more of the same tomorrow. The first possible start is set for 11.30.
Above summary, picture sand results courtesy of the PWA.
Nice one Antoine!
Crossing the start line
Kevin heading out
Taty takes to the skies
Sarah taking a refreshing beak
Sarah Herbert in the action
Blue skies, wind, sandy beaches, and a giant beer tent... what more could we Ask for?
Men's Slalom Results
Slalom Women's Result
Day 2 PWA Fuerteventura-Pandemonium on the water
Starboard's Antoine Albeau (1st) steadies himself after two early slip-ups during a crazy day of chaos and errors amongst the top seeds. Kevin Pritchard survives his own mistakes to steal second overall ahead of Britain's Ross Williams in third. In the women's slalom, Starboard's Sarah Hebert is in 3rd while Sarah-Quita is not far behind in 5th.
Plesae see below for a more detailed summary of the day's action.
Men's Race 3
Matt Pearch and Josh Angulo raced well through the qualifying heats and semi-finals and denied some top seeds their slots in the final.
The first semi-final had some drama when Wilhelm Schurmann (Starboard / NeilPryde) went down at the second mark causing carnage as virtually everyone behind piled on top of him.
Bjorn Dunkerbeck won the race convincingly after a solid start in the middle of the line. Fully powered on a 5.8, the champ obviously enjoyed the less choppy conditions compared to yesterday and stayed safe once out in the lead after safely rounding the first mark.
The overnight event runner-up Antoine Albeau (Starboard / NeilPryde) exploded along the second reach and was forced to make an uncharacteristic retirement after his boom and harness lines ripped into pieces. Cyril Moussilmani kept things steady to register third.
Men's Race 4
The fourth race turned-out a bizarre result.
In an error-ridden elimination Bjorn Dunkerbeck immediately slipped-up after his solid win by failing to advance from his first round qualifying heat.
Next to trip over was Albeau who once again crashed-out in the second semi-final and had to settle for a slot in the loser's final, which he won, instead
The final resulted in all but three of the 12 competitors being disqualified for prematurely crossing the line.
That left Cedric Bordes, Britain's Ross Williams and Nicolas Warembourg to fight it out for the guaranteed top 3 results.
Williams led for most of the way around the track but Bordes snaked inside Williams as the Englishman made a safe wide gybe at the third mark to take the lead and the race win. Warembourg took third after a crash at the second last gybe.
Women's Race 5
There was a collision before the start of women's race 5 between Iballa Moreno and Valerie Ghibaudo. Moreno was bearing-off to gain speed as the French woman headed-up down wind of her. Moreno survived the collision but Ghibaudo was knocked-off her board and had to play catch-up in the rest of the race.
Sarah-Quita Offringa (Starboard / NeilPryde) led from the start line but fell when rounding the first mark in the lead. That left the door open for Karin Jaggi to nose into the lead and take the race win. Verena Fauster of Italy picked her way through the stragglers to bag second and Sarah Hebert (Starboard / Naish) to claim third.
Women's Race 6
Race winner Jaggi executed a precision start and led the fleet along the first reach ahead of Iballa Moreno and Offringa. At the third mark Moreno fell and slowed Offringa down considerably as race runner-up Ghibaudo skirted wide around the outside of them followed by Hebert who earned third.
Women's Race 7
After a great start Jaggi fell at the first mark to allow Iballa Moreno to capitalize on her misfortune. But Moreno then fell herself at the third gybe to allow Offringa into the lead. But the drama continued as Offringa crashed at the next mark, as did Moreno, which allowed Fauster to get in front.
Perhaps unbelievably Fauster then fell entering the final reach, but recovered to overtake Offringa and record a famous victory. Offringa was sure to take second and Jaggi recovered well to steal third.
Women's Race 8
After the seventh race excitement and mayhem Jaggi was in no mood for messing about in the ladies final race of the day. However there was more pandemonium on the cards when everyone bar Sarah Hebert, who'd not had the greatest of starts, fell as Valerie Ghibaudo blocked the racing line around the first mark.
Hebert calmly glided around the traffic and into second place followed by Astrid Muldoon. Sarah-Quita Offringa tried to overtake Muldoon along the third reach but fell at the gybe number three. Meanwhile Jaggi had extended her lead.
As Jaggi crossed the finish line there was an amazing struggle for the remaining places behind her along the last reach. Hebert rounded that last mark in control but Ghibaudo had recovered and streaked through the rest of the fleet into third and showed incredible speed along the final stretch to the finish line.
Hebert just couldn't hold Ghibaudo off and was forced to settle for third after the Frenchwomen's startling pace earned her a valuable second.
Men's Race 5
Holland's Pieter Bijl, who sat in third overall last night, blew-out in the first semi-final after a crash at the second mark. Bjorn Dunkerbeck also crashed in the other semi-final, but he managed to recover and fight back into the third qualification spot.
The biggest surprise however of race 5 was Kevin Pritchard bowing-out early after he got tangled-up with Cyril Moussilmani.
That set-up an exciting final for Albeau and Dunkerbeck who'd failed to make the final of the previous race.
Albeau and Dunkerbeck led the first reach followed closely by Finian Maynard as Patrick Diethelm crashed behind them along the first reach. Dunkerbeck then fell at the second mark, which let Maynard into second.
By the third mark Albeau was still leading Maynard but Ross Williams had snuck into third place after breaking waves near the third mark called for huge amounts of skill to negotiate the course.
Albeau won after building a sizeable lead but on the final reach however, Peter Volwater emerged from the final gybe and put the pedal to the metal to scream towards the finish second and overtake Maynard who had to settle for third.
Men's Race 6-Half Fleet
The steady wind meant a half-fleet format was chosen for the day's final race. A lengthened course and speed reach along the beach made for a fresh perspective for the racers and spectators alike.
Bjorn Dunkerbeck's bad day in the new no-rules environment continued after he was knocked-off at the first mark and then got hit once again as he water started away leaving him unable to qualify for the 24-man final.
Kevin <31-jul-07 read="" times=""/>