Karpathos Grand Prix 2007
Wednesday, 27 June 2007
The 1st round of the ISA speed world cup kicked of on the idyllic island of Karpathos in Greece. The event was run last year for the 1st time and proved to be very popular with the racers for being the most welcoming on the tour. It was not surprising then for 2007, a record 75 entrants turned up from 22 countries including Australia, Brazil and Hawaii.
The lineup was extremely strong including PWA sailors Antoine Albeau, Bjorn Dunkerbeck and all the Moussilmani brothers, speed stars Finian Maynard the world 500m record holder and David White production world record holder. The women’s line up was also formidable with Karin Jaggi the women’s 500m world record holder and Zara Davis the world mile record holder all in attendance. It was set to be a very high standard competition.
The 1st heat was held on the wind minimum and really tested the light wind skill level of the fleet. The ladies were up first and the skill and racing experience showed through with a win for Valerie Ghibaudo and Karin Jaggi second and Marion Raisi third. The men’s gold fleet had the best wind of the day by far with a win for the slalom specialist Cyril Moussilmani at 38.24 knots in 25 knots of wind. Second place Light wind specialist Jose Bahadour and third the undisputed best all rounder Antoine Albeau in third.
The Maltemi wind unfortunately failed to materialise for this normally very windy site. The thermal winds did provide enough wind for two more rounds with the usual suspects Finian Maynard, Bjorn Dunkerbeck and Patrick Diethelm the F2 shaper coming into the frame and giving Jose a run for his money. With the places changing with every heat and the top ten only separated by less than a knot it was going to be a tough one to call.
The men’s fleets finally drew to a close with Antoine Albeau, third, Finian Maynard second and the ever consistent Jose Bahadour winning the overall and the production title.
Jose, 40, who some will remember as a seasoned speed campaigner of yore, only took delivery of his new sails a few days before the event, and was apparently as surprised about the result as his rivals after rigging them up for the first time and then seeing his speed on the GPS the readings.
The women’s result was also not a forgone conclusion, with Karin and Valerie swapping 1st place two times and Zara Davis a consistent third and taking 1st place in the final round and top speed for the week threatening an upset. The final result Zara Davis 3rd Karin Jaggi 2nd (and 1st production) and a well deserved 1st place for Valerie Ghibaudo.
The island of Karpathos and its people put on yet another very successful event, with the team promising 2008 to be bigger and better.