Penghu Island, Taiwan: Conditions couldn’t have been more radical this
year as winds in excess of 40 knots blasted competitors for 4 solid days.
Six rounds of slalom competition were completed and Gaastra’s own, Matt Pritchard
convinced everybody that he was the fastest man on the water. Using his latest
Nitro’s, the fired up Pritchard won every race. His closest competition was
the big Frenchman, Antoine Albeau. Antoine fought hard but it wasn’t enough
to slow Pritchard down. "I was on a mission to win this one- last year
Antoine beat me here and I didn’t want that to happen again! I fought till the
death and won the fight! My sails are the fastest they
have ever been- the Nitro 3’s are awesome-a big thanks go to the rest of the
Team for making this victory possible!" said the excited Pritchard.
The infamous long distance race sends competitors across to the other end of
the island and back- twice. It is quite a long reach especially in the 45 knots
of wind that hammered through the channel.
Nerves were high and anything could happen. The name of the game was keeping
it together. Last year, Pritchard suffered from equipment failure as he was
picked up and launched out of the competition. This year, he kept it on two
wheels and walked away with another win over Albeau.
The locals here are very hardcore. A typical sailing day consists of a 3.3
and the smallest board they can get their hands on. "This is one of the
windiest places I have ever been- and I have been in search of wind for the
past 10 years" said Matt.
1st Matt Pritchard Gaastra/AHD
2nd Antoine Albeau Neil Pryde/AHD
3rd Robby Raddis Neil Pryde/Fanatic