The 2006 Fuerteventura PWA Grand Slam Day Four
Nerves strike the top players as mistakes allround see many disqualified. Amongst the guilty, Antoine Albeau (F192 Starboard / Neil Pryde) stays lucky in first position, Micah Buzianis (US-34 JP / NeilPryde) fails to capitalise on the mistakes of others in second and Karin Jaggi (Z-14, F2 / North Sails) keeps pole position in the women’s competition, despite one disqualification.
Light winds meant a break in the action this morning and all sailors hung out at the beach waiting for wind. Eventually the wind increased just enough in the late afternoon to allow racing, although it was not windy enough to finish yesterday’s half-fleet final. This is because in lighter winds, that amount of sailors on the start line create too much turbulence. A regular ladder was drawn up and race eight nominated to start with the final of race seven to stay pending.
Men’s Race Eight
In the qualifying heats brothers Sylvain Moussilmani (F-73 F2 / Simmer) and Cyril Moussilmani (F-71, Fanatic / North Sails) repeated yesterday performance by both winning their Race 8 heats. Peter Volwater (H-24 F2 / North Sails) and Ross Williams (GBR-83, Tabou / Gaastra) both missed the cut, having to settle for the loser’s final spots. In that loser’s final there was a mass disqualification as all but four riders were sent back to the beach for crossing the line too early. This left a four man heat which Ben van der Steen (NED-57, Exocet / Naish) won easily.
The starting problems continued in the winner’s final, as one by one some of the main players fell out of the game. First event leader Antoine Albeau was the guilty party; he must have made the whole fleet nervous, as on the re-start, Bjorn Dunkerbeck (E-11 T1 / North Sails) made a false start himself. With Albeau and Dunkerbeck out, Micah Buzianis (US-34 JP / NeilPryde), and Finian Maynard (KV-11 F2 / NeilPryde) couldn’t believe their luck. Unbelievably, on the third attempt, Maynard slipped out of the blocks prematurely, leaving Buzianis the chance to take the event lead.
The fourth and final start was clean and Steve Allen (AUS-0 Tabou / Gaastra)
was away first and rounded mark one ahead of Sylvain Moussilmani (F-73 F2 / Simmer) and Patrick Diethelm (ITA-120 F2 / North). But during the second reach the sail of Pieter Bijl (NED-0, Fanatic/ NeilPryde) could be seen steaming through the pack, and into third place after the second gybe. Allen held his own along the third reach and around the fourth mark, as Moussilmani slipped to third behind Bijl. On the final reach to the finish line Allen did all he could to hold Bijl, off but the flying Dutchman took Allen’s wind and crossed first to take the win. Allen rolled in second and Moussilmani took a well deserved third.
Ladies Race Eleven
The trend of early starts plagued event leader Karin Jaggi in the eleventh race who had to sit out the race after the re-start. Femke van der Valk (NED-19 F2 / Maui Sails) won the re-start and raced down the first reach pursued by Marie Andres (E-2 Starboard) and Valerie Ghibaudo (FRA-444). On the second reach Ghibaudo sped into the lead as Allison Shreeve (AUS-911, F2 / NeilPryde) forced her way past Andres into second. Ghibaudo rounded the third mark first and Shreeve fell letting Andres back into second and Verena Fauster (ITA-31 F2 / Gaastra) past into third. Over the fourth and final reach Ghibaudo extended her lead as Fauster and Shreeve both overtook Andres. Ghibaudo won easily and Fauster came second with Shreeve in third.
Ladies Race Twelve
Karin Jaggi made up for her disqualification in the previous race by getting an excellent upwind, boat end start. She was chased by Shreeve and Ghibaudo towards the first gybe, and along the next two reaches. Ghibaudo overtook Shreeve at the third mark, leaving her struggling to get on the plane. Jaggi and Ghibaudo then put huge distance between themselves and Shreeve over the final reach. Jaggi won clearly and Ghibaudo took second. Shreeve sped home in third.
There’s no change at the top of the men’s ranking overnight and the final day tomorrow is set to bring a spectacular finish to both the men’s and ladies competitions.