No doubt about it, light winds are definitely more suited to Max Wojcik than to Patrik Pollak as Max claimed all three bullets in the last three championship races and thus takes the title of 2013 Raceboard World Champion.
Overall, the 2013 Raceboard World Championships have been a huge success for Starboard: out of the 110 competitors registered for the championships, 85 were on a Starboard Phantom Race. And it gets better! In the Men's Division, the Top 14, including the World Champion Max Wojcik, the runner-up Patrik Pollak and third-ranked Louis Morris is on Starboard Phantom Race with the Top 5 being on Starboard Phantom Race 377. In the Women's Division, although the World Champion Vita Matise is on a Mistral, the rest of the Top 9 is also on Starboard Phantom Race 377 or 380.
Tension mounted as the start of the day's races was delayed waiting for the wind to appear but eventually conditions similar to the previous day allowed for two good championship races, and then a third in perhaps marginal conditions but enough to count towards the championship. Definitely a day for light wind specialists!
Max Wojcik thrashed the competition finishing on 9 points, a clear 8 points ahead of Patrik Pollak who floundered in the light wind conditions but nonetheless claims the First Master trophy as well as second overall. Britain's Louis Morris managed to maintain his foothold on the third place on the podium with a consistently strong performance throughout the championship.
Juha Blinnikka from Finland deserves a mention as the first Grandmaster, fellow compatriot Mai Mannisto was the first Veteran. First Youth was Nikl Andras from Hungary.
Over in the Women's Fleet, overnight leader Czech Jana Slivova lost her position at the top of the leader board and slipped down to second, whilst Latvian Vita Matise edged past with three bullets taking her just one point ahead of Jana at the close of the championship, earning her the title of 2013 Raceboard Women's World Champion. Consequently Martina Hruba was left to take a well deserved third place on the podium.
The organizers have put on an amazing event on behalf of the Czech Windsurfing Association, providing great entertainment when the wind gods didn't want to come out to play, and all at DYJE Sailing Club have been wonderful hosts. The Race Committee have done an excellent job in trying conditions and have provided the maximum amount of racing possible. Special thanks of course go to sponsors Generali, Rubio and a whole host of other partners who have ensured that such a high quality event could be delivered.
Final Overall Rankings - Men's:
1. Max Wojcik (POL 7): Starboard Phantom Race 377
2. Patrick Pollak (SVK 1): Starboard Phantom Race 377
3. Louis Morris (GBR 730): Starboard Phantom Race 377
4. Curro Manchon (ESP 9): Starboard Phantom Race 377
5. Sylvain Dehouve (FRA 89): Starboard Phantom Race 377
6. Petr Kucera (CZE 15): Starboard Phantom Race 380
7. Majeic Wojcik (POL 8): Starboard Phantom Race 380
8. Andres Anderson (ARG 119): Starboard Phantom Race 377
9. Radim Kamensky (CZE 110): Starboard Phantom Race 377
10. Jakub Silva (CZE 6): Starboard Phantom Race 377
11. Juha Blinnikka (FIN 6): Starboard Phantom Race 380
12. Pedro Corte Moura (POR 73): Starboard Phantom Race 377
13. Marcos Ruesch (ARG 13): Starboard Phantom Race 377
14. Kai Mannisto (FIN 50): Starboard Phantom Race 377
15. Thomas Wallner (AUT 11): F2 380
Final Overall Rankings - Women's:
1. Vita Matise (LAT 1): Mistral Panam
2. Jana Slivova (CZE 26): Starboard Phantom Race 380
3. Martina Hruba (CZE 251): Starboard Phantom Race 380
4. Ilona Grinberga (LAT 18): Starboard Phantom Race 380
5. Maria Antonia Dominguez (ESP 11): Starboard Phantom Race 377
6. Susanne Striepe-Langer (GER 305): Starboard Phantom Race 377
7. Dagmar Hruba (CZE 125): Starboard Phantom Race 380
8. Marketa Vranova (CZE 44): Starboard Phantom Race 380
9. Ingard Borgel (GER 640): Starboard Phantom Race 380
10. Aleksandra Blinnikka (FIN 56): Fanatic Ultra Cat
Three races today making a total of 7 in the qualifying series, with 6 to count. Race 5 started on time after the 10:00 AM warning signal with racers taking to the water in 8 to 10 knots of stable wind and glorious sunshine. Race 6 followed before a break for the pasta lunch, then Race 7 was away in the afternoon. At the end of the day's racing, the men's fleet was divided into Gold and Silver fleets for the remainder of the championship.
Past champions Patrik Pollak and Wojcik Maksymilian are on equal points with 6 race wins apiece, ranked first and second respectively on the leader board purely by their discard. It's going to be a tough battle between them for the World Championship 2013 title!
It will also be a close fight for Great Britain's Louis Morris and Czech Petre Kucera for the third position on the podium, both having very consistent results, just one point separating them. Spaniard Curro Manchon will also be joining this fight, if he can recover from the disappointing OCS he scored in Race 7, and others close behind Curro are still in with a chance and will be pushing hard. All to play for!!
In the Women's Division, Jana Slivova has a very healthy lead with 3 race wins under her belt and half the points of her closest rivals fellow Czech Martina Hruba and Latvian Vita Matise. Vita also has three race wins but sadly carries a DNC from day one. She really needs to lose that as a second discard to stand a chance of the Women's title.
Just one Championship racing day remains. Will the wind gods be kind enough to make a difference?
Men's Results after Qualifying Series
1. Patrik Pollak - SVK 1
2. Max Wojcik - POL 7
3. Louis Morris - GBR 730
4. Petr Kucera Jr. - CZE 15
5. Curro Manchon - ESP 9
6. Sylvain Dhouve - FRA 89
7. Maciej Wojcik - POL 8
8. Andres Anderson - ARG 119
9. Pedro Corte Moura - POR 73
10. Radim Kamensky - CZE 110
Two days of no wind has meant no racing. However, the organizers have ensured competitors have been entertained with a climbing contest on inflatable wall, presentation of the JetSurf, some paddleboarding, a barbecue in the party tent and with a lucky dip, the main prize being a JetSurf...
Day 2 for racing began with an early skippers meeting at 08:30 AM. The forecast delivered by the Principal Race Officer, Jan Blahonovsky, was not encouraging - little or no wind were today's likely conditions, and it was exactly what we got! However, the organizers were not complacent and offered a series of SUP races in the afternoon with the support of one of the many sponsors lined up for this event.
Many thanks to Patrik Hrdina and Jan Rott, representing the Paddle Shop Prague for the equipment and expertise.
The PRO decided to call an end to the wait for racing at 17:00 PM; and sailors were released for the day to go and prepare for the Wine Tasting evening, to be followed by the Raceboard Class Annual General Meeting. Another full day here at the World Championships on Nove Mlyny, Pavlov, in the Czech Republic!
With a near record entry of 110 competitors and 4 races completed, the 2013 Raceboard World Championships have had an impressive start. It is also the first major windsurfing championships to be hosted in the Czech Republic and national riders have responded magnificently with the Top 2 women in the overall ranking at the end of day, and 2 men in the Top 8.
At the morning briefing, the competitors were advised of difficult racing conditions, at least for the first part of the day, with strong winds and sudden gusts expected. And that is exactly what happened during the morning session - two races 'back to back' in winds between 14 and 28 knots! A third of the men's fleet remained ashore and only 3 women were able to complete the two races. However, after the break, the majority of the fleet were able to complete the two back-to-back races scheduled for the afternoon.
The qualifying series for men have ensured a close contest at the top, as the overall rankings at the close of the day illustrate. Leading the way are past and current world champions: Patrik Pollak (Slovakia) and Max Wojcik (Poland) with three wins each. Another race winner, Petr Kucera from the Czech Republic, is in 3rd place. But not far behind is the chasing pack of top raceboarders from Great Britain, Argentina, Spain, France, and Portugal - no less than 8 countries represented in the Top 10! The mens' fleet will be reseeded into new groups for racing on Day 2.
Over in the women's fleet, Jana Silvova has a clear lead over fellow Czech compatriot Martina Hruba. However, the last 2 races of the day were won by Vita Matise, also a world champion, who was able to master the lighter conditions later in the day, but struggled in the morning session.