Chris Pressler: 2nd at the 2013 Austrian Slalom Championships

Chris Pressler attended the 2013 Austrian Slalom Nationals at Lake Neusiedl last weekend. Despite light winds, Chris managed to finish the tight race in 2nd position with his iSonics and Reflex. Read his report below:

An exciting weekend is over! We had three day with wind at Lake Neusiedl, several starts, a lot of jibes and fun at the 2013 Austrian Slalom State Nationals.

On the first day, we saw light and gusty off-shore winds from 8 to 12 knots. Actually quite similar conditions to the ones at Sylt for the PWA World Cup event. I was on my iSonic 117 and Reflex IV 9.2m². The race crew tried to run three rounds but it was tough to get a planing start done. Both races got canceled when I was almost over the finish line. Both time I was in a great position: once in 2nd, once in first. Later on, heavy rainfall kicked in and the wind was gone completely for the day.

The second day saw sunny weather and again, gusty off-shore winds in Weiden at Lake Neusiedl. The wind was between 4 and 12 knots and allowed us to train and prepare for the final day. There was a chance the northern winds would kick in during the morning hours.

On Sunday, it was slalom racing day! The wind shifted during the morning hours from South East to North and North Westerly direction and picked up within 10 minutes from 12 to 22 knots in the gusts. What a dream! I was extremely powered up on the iSonic 117 and the Reflex IV in 8.6m², but felt good speed. I probably hesitated a bit too much at the starts of the first two rounds and lost a few meters on Marco Lang at the first reach. He won both races and I finished in 2nd.

In race 3 and 4, I took a bit more risk, started at the pin and was able to keep Marco and the rest of the fleet behind me. The wind dropped a bit and we went for a fifth race. The wind shifted a bit to a Western direction and I decided to start near the boat at the upwind part of the starting line. I had a "hamburger situation" with two racers sandwiching me at the start and Marco picked up a solid advance towards the first mark. I risked a lot at the first jibe and almost caught up with Marco Lang but he managed to get planing just a second earlier than me, which cost me the title.

The race crew started a 6th round which got canceled half way: the wind died and the Austrian Slalom Nationals were over. One point was missing in the end, but I was happy about my performance. It was tough fight and I really felt good speed. Taking just a bit more risk at the start would have been helpful. Anyway, congratulations to Marco Lang and all other racers who gave it all! See you on the race course next year!

Three events are planned for 2014. All will take place at Lake Neusiedl: two of them during the spring and one in autumn. Peter Pfaffenbichler got elected as the new president and he will communicate all the dates in the near future.

Chris Pressler

- Pictures are courtesy of Kerstin Reiger / Continent Seven -