Finian Maynard and Antoine Albeau stole a bullet a piece on the racecourse today, whilst freestyle world champion, Jose ‘Gollito’ Estredo popped and styled his way to victory in an evening tow-in extravaganza!
On the penultimate day of competition, the crowds gathered on Sylt’s iconic golden sands witnessed two full rounds of spectacular racing throughout the afternoon, and saw two new race winners emerge from the mist.
The gusty offshore breeze once again proved tough for the world’s top ranked racers to tame, but with the help of a few caddies, and some patience from the race crew, everyone had a fair chance of choosing the right gear to match the conditions they were dealt during their heat. With gusts of twenty-five knots and lulls of fourteen, the wind tested the sailors skills to their maximum, and with a nastier chop than yesterday mistakes were easily made at the marks.
To add to the chaos, during the second race heavy rain moved in, and this coupled with board speeds of over 30 knots and temperatures of around 10 degrees created extremely harsh conditions for the racers to endure, many of whom are used to champagne sailing throughout the rest of the year!
After a disappointing previous day – for him – the current world tour leader, Antoine Albeau (JP, NeilPryde) fought back with a vengeance this afternoon to claim a second in the fourth race of the series, and more importantly, a bullet in the fifth to end the afternoon on a high, hoping for much of the same tomorrow.
Albeau’s second race final was by far the most impressive, not least because he won, but because he hit the pin end at full speed, and although not the first to cross the line, stamped his authority on the star-studded fleet with tremendous speed that saw him to the first gybe in pole position. From there on it was back to business for the modern day slalom champ, who led the fleet around the course in his usual dominant fashion.
His results from today have helped him to close the gap on event leader, Bjorn Dunkerbeck (Starboard, Severne, Mystic), and two more bullets for the five times world champion could see him steal the show on the final day!
In the first race of the day Sylt’s many spectators saw a new character claiming line honours in the form of 2009 overall rankings runner up, Finian Maynard (RRD, Gaastra). Following a successful second day of racing yesterday, having enlisted the help of British Wave Champion and RRD team manger, John Skye (RRD, MFC) for a small fee, the Irish blooded British Virgin Island resident shot right up the rankings. Maynard’s caddy commented, “My boss has done an amazing job on the water today, but I’d have to say some of that success is clearly down to the team behind him (me). Just look at the results, I’ve helped him go from 30th to 3rd in the space of two days!” Maynard replied, “John’s help has been invaluable over these past two days, but he really needs to work on his slalom technique!”
Following a smoking hot start to Sylt, cracks began to appear in the thirty-five times world champion, Bjorn Dunkerbeck’s armour today. It all started to go wrong with a failure to qualify for the first winner’s final, which unfortunately for him wasn’t down to sailor error. The mighty terminator was powering towards the final gybe in a qualifying position when his harness line snapped, causing an almighty explosion as the sail hit the deck at full speed, and Dunkerbeck fell in backwards!
With a discard in Bjorn’s bag, the top ranked sailors in the fleet are once again on a more level playing field, but windsurfing’s legend remains on top after a successful comeback in the second race of the day saw him hot on Albeau’s heels. However, the roles reverse if you look at the event results with Albeau chasing Dunkerbeck for the final event crown. If there’s more racing tomorrow, which is more than likely, it’ll be an exciting finale for the last race of the season.
Stand Out Sailors
Elsewhere in the fleet, Patrik Diethelm (Patrik, North) and Cyril Moussilmani (Starboard, North) exchanged winner’s final results with a 5th and a 3rd each to claim equal third in the race for sailor of the day behind Albeau and Maynard. Although not Moussilmani’s best event of the year, Diethelm is having an absolute corker, proving his own shapes to be a worthy investment for any wannabe racers.
Results After Five Races
1st Bjorn Dunkerbeck (Starboard, Severne, Mystic)
2nd Antoine Albeau (JP, NeilPryde)
3rd Finian Maynard (RRD, Gaastra)
4th Kevin Pritchard (Starboard, Gaastra, Dakine, MFC)
5th Micah Buzianis (JP, NeilPryde)
Panasonic Night Tow-In Freestyle
With the weekend parties in full force, freestyle’s elite threw two fingers up to the wind, and wowed the crowds with a floodlit display of tow-in trickery. Current freestyle world champion, Jose ‘Gollito’ Estredo (Fanatic, North) leapt out of the darkness to claim the top cash prize, followed by current wave tour runner up, Ricardo Campello (JP, NeilPryde, MFC), and 2010 Podersdorf freestyle champion, Taty Frans (Starboard, MauiSails, Mystic).
Keep In The Groove
For more information on all the entrants, and to keep up to date with every piece of the action, click on www.pwaworldtour.com
Here you can:
• View the live streaming broadcast
• View the live ticker service for heat-by-heat bulletins
• Check live elimination ladders
• Check results
• Read daily news summaries
• Browse awesome action photo galleries
There’s also a dedicated event website which can be found at www.windsurfworldcup.de