Windsurfing Magazine





The 2007 Cataluña Costa Brava PWA World Cup Slalom – Day 2

13.06.07 – By: Brian McDowell

It’s all up for grabs after 2 Races in tricky conditions. Micah Buzianis (JP / NeilPryde) etches a slim event lead over World Champion Antoine Albeau (Starboard / NeilPryde). Consistency from Steve Allen (Tabou / Gaastra) keep him in the frame in third overall so far. Tour leader Kevin Pritchard (Starboard / MauiSails blows out with gear failure, and Bjorn Dunkerbeck (T1 / North) grafts a race win to stay in the running.

Bjorn back on top

Antoine always in the running

Micah claims
the honors

Top of the agenda this afternoon was the completion of Race 1, which was left just short of the semi final stage.

Race 1:

Race 1 was a scrappy, disjointed affair. The first surprise of the day came in a heavily loaded 3rd qualification heat when tour leader Kevin Pritchard snapped a mast and failed to advance.

By now the wind had gusted up a lot, and started to cause problems. Even Bjorn Dunkerbeck fell and finished 11th, as did Arnon Dagan (Fanatic / NeilPryde) who was also a victim of the stronger wind. ‘I didn’t really have a great start, and I was set for the lighter winds on my 7.8 but got really back-handed and started spinning out everywhere. It was pretty hectic out there’

But, the final was clean race won clearly by Buzianis who clearly outpaced Albeau, and Jimmy Diaz (F2 / North), who bagged a crucial 3rd.

Buzianis, still struggling for breath after the intense encounter said ‘I had a good start – I think everyone was a bit late but I think I held it together pretty well. I had good board speed and I reckon I pulled away from everyone in the first leg and put it on as hard as I could, and then rounded the marks well all the way round to make it count’.

Race Director Juan Antonio Aragon then opted for a half-fleet format to try and make the most of the strong wind and crack through some races.

Race 2

This was the best action of the day, making a spectacular sight for the crowds on the beach as 24 sailors in two qualification heats blazed downwind.

Half Fleet Heat 1:

1. Antoine Albeau
2. Bjorn Dunkerbeck
3. Patrik Diethelm (F2 / North)

Half Fleet Heat 2:

1. Bernd Flessner (F2 / NeilPryde)
2. Pieter Bijl
3. Julien Quentel (Starboard / NeilPryde)

In the final Dunkerbeck hammered home a key result after his Race 1 disaster.

Antoine Albeau the current world champ pushed him hard but just couldn’t catch the legend, now racing with a Swiss sail number SUI-11.

The Frenchman seemed fairly satisfied with second place. ‘I had a good start, upwind by the boat while Bjorn and Micah were down at the Pin-end. At first I was faster than Micah, but Bjorn was flying even though I tried to catch him at the third mark. In fact I was pushing so hard and going so fast I couldn’t unhook in time to go for it!’

Bjorn was pretty happy with his result. ‘Well, unlike the first race where I was spinning out crossing the start line, this time I had a good start, and great speed and kept everyone on my tail. One mistake though and it would’ve been game over. Once I was in the lead I was going at about 90% capacity, and kept a bit in the reserve tank in case I needed it. Slalom racing is about getting a good start, and a good first leg, but of course, from then you’ve got to drive it home’

Buzianis claimed third, this time on a 7.8 after using an 8.4 in the first race final that he won. Steve Allen’s fourth place meant he keeps third overall overnight.

Results after 2 races:

1. Micah Buzianis
2. Antoine Albeau
3. Steve Allen

It’ll be fascinating tomorrow to see if anyone’s got what it takes to seize the bull by the horns and establish up a significant lead.

Skipper’s meeting is at 10.00, and the forecast is once again positive for an afternoon thermal wind.

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