The 2007 Catalunya Costa Brava PWA World Cup Slalom – Day 5
16.06.07 – By: Brian McDowell
Nerves of steel are required as the final day approaches. Event leader Micah Buzianis’ (JP / NeilPryde) focus remains total as he prepares to fend-off runner up Antoine Albeau (Starboard / NeilPryde), the reigning World Champ, and Steve Allen (Tabou / Gaastra) who holds third place.
A glassy sea and limp flags ruled-out any action today. Grey skies, drizzle and barely a breath of wind tested everyone’s patience as they scanned tomorrow’s forecasts for hope.
Albeau, from La Rochelle, France, has been in this scenario many times before and knows full well what it takes to sit and wait for his chances. ‘I was happy to return to the Bay or Roses, as I’ve been here many times before – it used to be freestyle here and then Super-X. So, I knew the conditions would be OK for slalom. We had a good first day with south wind, but the next 2, especially the third day, were frustrating with light thermal winds making it hard to validate the results, meaning we didn’t get many heats done. It’s hard for the competitors to stay focused on their job here with such long days at the beach where you are doing nothing but then maybe having to suddenly spring into action. Tomorrow’s going to be interesting as some people really need that first discard if we get enough racing done’
Pieter Bijl (Fanatic / NeilPryde), who’s currently in 6th place after just two counting races, must’ve spent the entire day online checking the weather maps for detail. ‘So it was just another day at the beach –at least we didn’t get teased by the wind today –it just didn’t show up, but it’s been kinda funny over the other days, shifting, getting up, backing off and switching direction again. We had a lot of cancelled heats which is exasperating for everyone as it takes a lot of skill and concentration to get in a good position at the start line. I’d imagine doing that around 7 times like Heat 4 in race 4 did must be pretty frustrating. Also, having races cancelled that you were doing well in takes a lot out of the competitors who have to hustle a lot without posting results. There’s a few people here who’re hoping for that first discard – I’m one of them, as I had an over early in the first race and I’d like to get rid of that and replace it with something more useful. I think tomorrow’s looking more promising, but here you never know what’s going to happen, we’ll just have to wait and see’
Should the wind show up the game’s wide open, especially if race 4 and one more race are completed to allow the first discard. The finale to this event is sure to be captivating.
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