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SHREEVE AND ALBEAU NEW WORLD CHAMPIONS

Shreeve and Albeau new World Champions

Five wins give Shreeve the World Championship title

Five wins at Sail Melbourne’s Formula Windsurfing World Championship held at Elwood Sailing Club in Victoria has given Sydney based Allison Shreeve her first windsurfing world title.


With racing stymied once again, first by lack of wind, then shifty wind, followed by almost gale force conditions, accompanied by big seas and swell, the Open Womens division of the Championship was called to a halt this afternoon.


The seven races sailed up until today was enough to constitute the series and despite two collisions with male competitors during the event, one which bruised her foot severely, Shreeve became all the more determined to win the Championship, notching up win after win in the lighter conditions she finds more to her liking.


“This world title means a lot to me a naturally excited,” Shreeve said this afternoon, adding, “this is my first world title and to win it in your own country is very special.” She also praised her sponsors, Neil Pryde, F2 and Deboichet, for their support.


Finishing with a tally of five points after discarding her two worst races, a third and a DNF after breaking gear, the 23 year old defeated the current and four time world champion, Dorota Staszewska from Poland. Current European champion, Lucy Horwood from Great Britain finished third.


It’s been a big year for Shreeve. She is the 2005 PWA Tour World Champion and actually won the European Championship, but could not claim the title, being an Australian. Only recently, the Sydneysider set a new 500 metre course A Class world sailing speed record of 27.70 knots on the canal in St. Maries de la Mer, in the south of France.


Leaving Melbourne tonight to head straight home to Sydney with her family to contest the SIR Olympic class regatta on Sydney Harbour on the new Neil Pryde RS:X sailboard, this will be the first time Shreeve has raced on the new Olympic class board.


From there, it’s straight back to Melbourne to contest the Olympic & Invited Classes at Sail Melbourne, the only Grade 1 event in the Southern hemisphere for which she will get points towards her second Olympic campaign. “I’ve sailed the new board, but I haven’t raced on it yet,” she said.


Shreeve narrowly missed selection to the 2004 Olympic Games, in fact it came down to the last race of the series at Sail Melbourne in January 2004. “I really want to go to the Olympics, that’s my big ambition. It was very hard not getting selected for the Athens Games,” said the former athletics champion.


A big year for Staszewska too. She suffered a herniated disc in May this year, just before the European Championship, which she subsequently could not attend. Her injury is not a reversible one and doctors in Poland advised her not to race again, but the 27 year old was determined to get to the Sail Melbourne Worlds this year.


“I did some training, but no racing, so I am very pleased I did the way I did, considering my injury. I am very happy with my second place and I congratulate Allison on her win,” a smiling Staszewska said this afternoon adding, “this is my second time here at Sail Melbourne, I was here six years ago, so I wanted to come back.”


Ninety six competitors representing 22 countries contested the series that was marred by unsuitable sailing conditions, frustrating sailors and officials alike.


Sail Melbourne is made possible by the support of event sponsors: Sport & Recreation Victoria, Collex, Parks Victoria; associate sponsors Bayside City Council and Menere’s BMW Brighton and support sponsors Ronstan International, Schenker Australia, City of Kingston and the City of Port Philip.


To view full results, images and other information: www.sailmelbourne.com.au



Antoine Albeau wins Formula Windsurfing Worlds

France’s Antoine Albeau, a champion windsurfer across a range of disciplines, has taken out the Open Men’s Windsurfer World Championship at Sail Melbourne on Port Phillip in Victoria, Australia this afternoon.


The 33 year-old, from Ile De Re near La Rochelle in France, had a slow start to his campaign here. At 100 kilos, he did not find the light weather that figured heavily in the series to his liking.


Originally set down for 15 races, only seven were completed in both the Open Men’s and Open Women’s events.


Albeau, who beat second placed Vojtek Brzozowski (POL) and third placed Gonzalo Costa Hoevel (ARG), said there were at least 10 others who could have won the title. “After my bad start to competition, I had to try to sail consistently, so I am pretty happy to win this, especially after fighting Vojtek for the European title” he said. He cited Micah Buzianis (USA) and Steve Allen (AUS) as two others he thought would be strong competition.


“I had a very good year this year. I won the Formula European Championship and I won the PWA World Tour Championship too. I would like to thank my sponsors, Neil Pryde and Quiksilver,” said the 1995 Formula Slalom world champion.


More delays as winds came and went and shifted across the course on the final day of the Championship sailed off Elwood Sailing Club in Melbourne.


Racing was due to start at 10.00am and officials nervously watched as the winds just petered out, leaving all wondering if any further racing would occur. However, just as all thought it might be over, huge almost gale force conditions hit the Bay, and right on the time limit at 4.00pm, conditions eased just enough; 25-30 knot winds, for officials to get a seventh race away, which then allowed competitors to drop their worst two races.


Exciting for onlookers as the boardsailors had a hard time just getting their boards through the surf at Elwood Beach and out to the start area. Once out there, they had to contend with big lumpy and choppy seas, which provided plenty of action, exhilaration, but also many breakages, not to mention some minor injuries as the fleet, minus a number who elected to stay ashore, battled the conditions.


Damage included two broken boards. One sailor attempting to reach the beach got caught up on jetty, ripping his sail and needed help to free his board, whilst others broke rigs, sails and fittings and struggled to get to the beach. It was a photographer’s paradise.


As the last of the competitors finished racing, winds grew even more excessive and the rain pelted down. All ashore just in time.


Ninety six competitors representing 22 countries contested the series that was marred by unsuitable sailing conditions, frustrating sailors and officials alike.


Sail Melbourne is made possible by the support of event sponsors: Sport & Recreation Victoria, Collex, Parks Victoria; associate sponsors Bayside City Council and Menere’s BMW Brighton and support sponsors Ronstan International, Schenker Australia, City of Kingston and the City of Port Philip.


 

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