After Korea, the second installment of the 2013 PWA Slalom World Cup is just a week away - so with this in mind, we take a look back at the previous five years of fantastic competition to see who the likely front runners are and if history will repeat itself, or will there be some shocks in store? There’s only one way to find out... and that’s by tuning in on the 11th June to see how the action unfolds!
The elite of the slalom world are furiously preparing for another colossal battle on the stunning white sand beaches and beautiful blue waters of Costa Brava, Spain, as they ready themselves to take on either the idyllic sea breezes or the howling Tramontana winds which can whistle down through the majestic Pyrenees mountain range in excess of 35 knots - creating nail biting slalom conditions which pushes the sailors to their limits.
Looking back to 2008, it was the reigning World Champion Antoine Albeau who managed to hold his nerve in the terrifying and testing Tramontana winds. The big Frenchman literally blew away the rest of the competition as he claimed victory in all three races which were completed, and in doing so he rightfully secured his place at the top of the podium. Behind him was the ever competitive 2000 World Champion Kevin Pritchard - who also claimed the PWA Wave World title in 2006 - whilst the most decorated sailor in windsurfing history, Björn Dunkerbeck completed the podium.
In 2009, the idyllic southern sea breezes which are so often associated with Costa Brava during the summer months returned, but on this occasion only with enough consistency for one full elimination to be completed. Once again, Antoine Albeau sailed flawlessly to be crowned the King of Costa Brava ahead of Britain’s Ross Williams and Australia’s Steve Allen.
2010 & 2011:
Since 2010, there’s only been one name on the top spot in the formidable shape of Björn Dunkerbeck, who has now claimed an illustrious hat-trick of Costa Brava event victories, with Antoine Albeau being made to play second fiddle in 2010 and 2011. Cyril Moussilmani showed his class in 2010 to claim third place, whilst the flying Dutchman Ben van der Steen held that honor on the coveted podium two years ago.
With wind on everyday last year, the 2012 PWA Catalunya World Cup saw six adrenaline-fueled races as Björn Dunkerbeck produced a simply outstanding performance to win three eliminations to secure the event victory as well as securing the aforementioned hat-trick. However, Antoine Albeau had to settle for third place on this occasion as his fellow compatriot Julien Quentel showed that he’s a real contender for the title in years to come by muscling his way into second place.
If you were a betting man, you’d probably have to put your money on either Antoine Albeau or Björn Dunkerbeck for the event victory this year - given the fact that between them they have won every event here since 2007 - a formidable record! However, Alberto Menegatti, will have different plans in mind! The Italian claimed his first ever event victory in Korea last month and as a result he currently sits proudly at the top of the rankings. Menegatti showed blistering pace and the ability to hold his nerve under pressure in Korea. With confidence at an all-time high, he has the potential to stop the two heavy hitters of slalom again.
Of course the likes of Ben van der Steen, Gonzalo Costa Hoevel, Micah Buzianis, Ross Williams and the extremely strong French contingent consisting of Cyril Moussilmani, Julien Quentel, Antoine Questel and Cédric Bordes will all fancy their chances, but we will look at that in more detail over the coming days...