Day 5: Congratulations to Antoine Albeau, Finian Maynard and Kevin Pritchard, who reap the glory from the 2009 Fuerteventura Grand Slam.
Antoine Albeau (JP/NeilPryde) has done it again, winning the 2009 Fuerteventura Slalom Event by a convincing margin. He now moves even clearer ahead of his competition in his quest for the PWA Overall Title. Finian Maynard (RRD/NeilPryde) and Kevin Pritchard (Starboard/Gaastra/Dakine) complete the podium after fantastic performances.
A calm morning gave way to a gusty afternoon here on Sotavento beach today, as the PWA race crew tried to complete another round of slalom. After an epic display throughout the week, tensions were running high as sailors battled for their final rankings. Unfortunately, there was not enough wind to complete a round today, leaving yesterday’s results standing firm.
Winning the event after yet another world-class performance, the incredible Antoine Albeau (JP/NeilPryde) has proved to the world that he is the number one. After his fourth event win of the year, it is almost certain that this incredible athlete will win the 2009 PWA Overall World Title. Results such as these suggest that the Frenchman may have had it easy; but nothing could be further from the truth. Albeau has fought hard and dug deep for his victory here, and nothing can be taken away from his outstanding achievement. Congratulations Antoine.
Finian Maynard (RRD/NeilPryde) will be thrilled with his second place ranking, after a long, hard fight with Kevin Pritchard (Starboard/Gaastra/Dakine). Maynard’s speed has never been in question – he is one of the sailors who never fails to impress, as he blasts off the start line into clear water, somehow controlling his equipment in the extreme conditions. However, his consistency has sometimes been overlooked, and has let him down in the past. It is clear that he has put this problem behind him, after a fantastic event boosts him to second overall in the World Rankings.
The second podium in as many weeks for Kevin Pritchard (Starboard/Gaastra/Dakine) was all in a day’s work for the ex-World Champ, who never fails to impress with his unflinching consistency. Throughout the week, Cyril Moussilmani (Starboard/North Sails), Ross Williams (Tabou/Gaastra) and Micah Buzianis (JP/NeilPryde) put Pritchard to the test, yet his mental strength and well-honed skills were enough to secure him the valuable third place position.
Praise must go to the main challengers Cyril Moussilmani (Starboard/North Sails), Micah Buzianis (JP/NeilPryde) and Ross Williams (Tabou/Gaastra), who fought until the end in pursuit of the top three. Each of these contestants only missed the elite Winner’s final once, and they were always in amongst the faces at the front of the fleet.
The exciting power-sailors in the fleet Bjorn Dunkerbeck (F2/Severne), Peter Volwater (F2/MauiSails), Josh Angulo (Angulo/MauiSails/Dakine) and Patrick Diethelm (F2/North Sails) amazed the crowd throughout the week with their overtaking ability and their gybe-mark aggression. These sailors were a pleasure to watch, especially in the super-high-wind conditions, when they would blast through the ranks and dominate their races.
Arnon Dagan (Tabou/Gaastra), Ben Van Der Steen (Exocet/Simmer Style), Sylvain Moussilmani (Starboard/Simmer Style) and Benoit Moussilmani (Starboard/Simmer Style) were never far behind the action, and all four enjoyed moments of brilliance here. After two weeks of intense slalom, Dagan has worn a hole in his foot down to the bone, his physical scars showing the pressure that has been felt by everyone.
Great individual performances by Robby Swift (JP/NeilPryde), Diony Guadagnino (AHD/Hot Sails Maui/MFC), Jesper Orth (Starboard/Severne) Matt Pearch (Fanatic/North Sails) and Alberto Menegatti (Starboard/Simmer Style) will give them a boost ahead of Turkey, while Jimmy Diaz (Starboard/North Sails) will look to improve to maintain his solid overall ranking.
After a week of breathtaking action, we now look ahead to the opening round of freestyle that will start at 10.30 tomorrow. The promise of five more days of incredible windsurfing will please the crowds here, as we prepare for the penultimate event in the men’s freestyle tour, and the final event for the women.