Current event leader Dorota Staszewska cruising at L'Almanarre (pic: Souville/PWA)
The 2004 Nestea PWA Almanarre Hyeres World Cup – Day 4
Clear skies and very light airs greeted the waiting fleet at this mornings skippers meeting. Weather forecasters were predicting solid 9-12 knot Westerly winds for the afternoon however, so hope remained in the hungry eyes of the championship contenders. For Antoine Albeau (AHD, Neil Pryde) and Alison Shreeve (F2) the light winds offered even greater security for their World Title hopes. After 6 Races both sailors have done enough to become Nestea PWA World Racing Champions, but neither has done enough to be 100% safe as and when racing continues here in France.
Albeau currently leads the event by just 3 points, but more importantly he is only 6 points ahead of his main Championship rival, Steve Allen (Fanatic, Neil Pryde), a separation that could easily disappear in the possible nine races remaining. Shreeve on the other hand is currently in third place at the event with every likelihood that she will move up. If Dorota Staszewska (Starboard, Gaastra) can hold onto first position, then Shreeve only needs to finish third or above to take the 2004 crown in her rookie year on the PWA circuit. Should she drop below fourth however, then current event number 2, Lucy Horwood (Fanatic, North Sails) will slip straight onto the 2004 throne after a very consistent year.
Tension continued to build through the day as the relevant parties considered their strategy in advance of the predicted afternoon winds, but unfortunately the promised breeze never materialized and at 5 o’clock, competition was officially cancelled for the day.
As the event moves further and further toward the weekend, it moves further and further towards a dramatic climax to the 2004 season. Forecasts still hold high hopes of good wind for the remainder of the week so stay tuned to www.pwaworldtour.com for all the latest news. For the sailors eye view check out www.devonboulon.com.