The 2008 Catalunya Costa Brava PWA Slalom World Cup – Day Four
Uncharacteristic Spanish conditions called an early halt to proceedings on day four of competition in Sant Pere Pescador.
Following day three’s epic conditions, the PWA elite gathered at sunrise to take advantage of the hammering Tramontana wind that had been forecast for the morning session. The day that lay ahead appeared to have all the ingredients for another spectacle of adrenaline fuelled slalom racing.
As predicted, the offshore wind soon began to swing side shore and build, allowing the race committee to scramble the riders to the water and begin the start sequence of heat one, race four.
Getting underway in gusty winds of between 7 and 12 knots, conditions were far more testing than the consistent winds seen the day before.
It became evident how crucial a well timed start was going to be in the marginal conditions, which only offered small windows to negotiate overtaking manoeuvres.
Frenchman, Sylvain Moussilmani (F2, North Sails) lead the way at the first gybe mark, with Ben Van Der Steen (Exocet, Simmer Sails) hot on his heels. Wide, arcing gybes seemed to be the order of the day, as the sailors struggled to keep their boards on the plane around the corners.
Progressing into marks three and four, the lighter sailors seized their advantage in the dropping wind, with Florent Renard (Mistral, North Sails) and Antoine Questel (Tabou, Gaastra) edging past Van Der Steen to cement their positions in the next round.
Crossing the line in first was Sylvain Moussilmani, followed by Renard in second, Questel in third, and Van Der Steen hung on to take fourth place. This was to be the first and last heat sailed in the fourth elimination, as rain, thunder, and lightening called a premature end to the day’s competition.
Tomorrow’s skippers meeting has been scheduled for 10.00am, and heat two in the men’s fleet will commence at 10.30am. Stay tuned to pwaworldtour.com