EC MONDIAL DU VENT Leucate – Antoine Albeau takes the lead
+++ Leucate, April 26th 2006.
Today Leucate went off in its famous way. The Tramontana wind kicked in
overnight and got nuclear over the day. With gusts reaching up to 42 knots
the racers were partially pushed to their limit. Not less then four full
slalom eliminations for the men and additional six for the women were run
today. At the end the French crowds were able to celebrate their national
hero Antoine Albeau (FRA-192, Starboard, Neil Pryde) as winner of the day.
The current Formula Windsurfing World Champion won three of the four
eliminations and scored another second place.
The first final brought a spectacular fight between two dominators: Antoine
Albeau and Finian Maynard, the current Speed World Rekord holder. Finian was
leading the whole race but on the way to the last mark the wind dropped so
that he and some other racers were forced to tack to reach the mark. Antoine
Albeau took advantage of that and sneaked around the mark winning the race.
Steve Allen (AUS-0, Tabou, Gaastra), the Formula Windsurfing World Champion
of 2003 got second in front of Julien Quentel (FRA-421, Starboard, Neil
Pryde), the current Formula Windsurfing Youth World Champion and Cyril
Moussilmani (FRA-71, Fanatic, North Sails). Finian Maynard only managed to
come in as seventh.
In the second final Finian was hungry for revenge and over motivated crossed
the starting line too early together with Steve Allen. The disqualification
of these two opponents opened the door for another victory of Antoine
Albeau. The Fanatic racer Cyril Moussilmani continued his great performance
with a second place in front of the F2 shaper and racer Patrick Diethelm
(ITA-120, F2, North Sails) and his brother Benoit Moussilmani (FRA-73,
Fanatic, Simmer Sails).
In the third final everything seemed to be fine for the first victory of
Finian. The fastest man on the water had an excellent start and was leading
the fleet at the first mark. But he took too much speed into the first jibe
and ended up too far from the mark and too much downwind. This allowed the
experienced Antoine Albeau to sneak inside and to pass him on the second
leg. Finian tried to strike back but Antoine didn’t allow himself any
mistake and therefore scored the third victory in the third race. Cyril
Moussilmani was again able to prove his skills with a third place in front
of the current IFCA European Slalom Champion Ben van der Steen (NED-57,
Exocet, Naish Sails).
In the last race of the day Finian was finally able to score his first
bullet. He fully dominated this race with his superior speed. After an
excellent start he never allowed his opponents to come even close. Antoine
confirmed his great performance with a second place. Patrick Diethelm
defended the third position against the French Youngster Julien Quentel and
Ross Williams (GBR-83, Tabou, Gaastra).
After four complete eliminations granting the first discard Antoine Albeau
is leading with the optimum of 2,1 points. Cyril Moussilmani surprised the
experts with a strong performance and is currently second with a total of
9,0 points. Only 0,7 points behind follows Finian Maynard with 9,7 points.
He obviously expected more from himself but was a little bit unlucky with an
over early and a forced additional tack to get the mark. Julien Quentel is
not only fourth but also best Youth (U17) with 15 points. On his heals he
has Patrick Diethelm (16 points), Steve Allen (17 points) and Benoit
Moussilmani (18 points).
In the womens fleet the current Slalom World Champion Karin Jaggi (SUI-14,
F2, North Sails) fully dominated with six bullets and a total of 2,8 points
in front of Valerie Ghibaudo (FRA-444, T1, Gun Sails) and Marion Raisi
(FRA-21, Exocet, Neil Pryde).
Several racers are putting their hopes into the final day which should again
bring strong wind and hopefully four more eliminations to give two more
discards which would allow them to get rid of their worst results. The
forecast looks excellent for them: The locals and meteorologists expect the
same or even stronger wind for tomorrow. So we are looking forward to a
great final at the Euro-Cup Mondial du Vent Leucate 2006.