WINDSURFING ERA PWA FORMULA RACING WORLD CUP, DAY 1

Polish sailors, Wojtek Brzozowski (Starboard, Neil Pryde) and Dorata

Staszewska (Starboard, Neil Pryde) have taken the lead here on the opening

day of racing at the ERA PWA Formula racing World Cup. In the men s racing

Brzozowski finished 2nd 1st and 3rd after three races to take pole

position ahead of Antoine Albeau (Neil Pryde, AHD) of France in Second and

Kevin Pritchard (Gaastra, Bic) who took third. Dorata Staszewska dominated

the women s races with three straight victories. Lucy Horwood (Gaastra,

AHD) of the UK finished in second overall after finishing in 2nd, 2nd and

3rd whilst Italian sailor Verena Fauster took third slot (3rd, 3rd, and 2nd).

Racing kicked off this morning in perfect conditions&10-16 knot winds and

sunny skies. During a compelling day of race action the men s competition,

which featured a ninety-man fleet, saw three separate winners. Sailors

spent most of the day holding down 11m or 12m sails despite some gusts

bordering on 20 knots.

Sam Ireland (North, Starboard) of Canada took the opening race after

leading from start to finish despite having the Polish Champion,

Brzozowski hot on his heels all the way around the course. Ireland

returned to the beach after his victory and was immediately surrounded by

hundreds of Polish spectators. A victory in the bag&girls on the

beach&Ireland was on top of the world with a grin stretching form ear to

ear!

SAM IRELAND (Starboard/North Sails)

The first race was fun! It was perfect for Formula racing today&10-16

knots. The wind was very shifty so it was hard to pick what side of the

course to go to. I am having fun though&apart from a few mistakes, I am

having a great time!

In the second race Wojtek started to take control and stormed off the

start line towards the upwind mark leaving the remainder of the fleet

following his smoldering wake. The chasing pack, consisting of Micah

Buzianis (North, Mistral) Jamie Lever and Ben Van Der Steen (Fanatic, Neil

Pryde) tried desperately to close the gap but Brzozowski was making no

mistakes in front of his home Polish crowds. This time it was Brzozowski s

turn to be mobbed by the crowds. First win under his belt&girls on the

beach& Wojtek looked a happy man!

WOJTEK BRZOZOWSKI (Starboard/Neil Pryde)

It was great conditions out there today. The wind was strong and stable

although it dropped off towards the end of the day. For sure I am enjoying

it out there! There are beautiful girls on the beach, good organization

and everything is perfect

After a brief interval for lunch, racing continued with a new course,

which featured a finish line extremely close to the beach. French sailor

Antoine Albeau stamped his authority on proceedings using his trademark

12.5m sail. On the second lap Albeau helped consolidate his lead by using

his up haul to help him point higher upwind. Ross Williams (Gaastra, AHD)

sailed an excellent race to take second ahead of Brzozowski who completed

the day with another top three placing.

ANTOINE ALBEAU (AHD/Neil Pryde)

I did not start so well but I won the third race so I was happy with that.

I have not done any Formula races since Rhodes so I am a little out of

tune. I am glad the PWA are involved here in Poland, we will have a race

champion at the end of the year&I think it is good!

Kevin Pritchard (Gaastra, Bic) of America finished the day in third

overall despite failing to finish in the top three in any of the races.

Pritchard s consistency (9th, 5th, and 7th today) can often be the key

factor in his victories and he is certainly not to be discounted as a

possible winner here in Poland.

KEVIN PRITCHARD (Bic/Gaastra)

It was good fun out there but I hate losing! So far it is not really going

as planned but we ll get there. It was perfect conditions today. Wojtek is

really in tune with the conditions here. I don t think my tactics have

been that good so far so hopefully that will improve. It definitely helps

if you are on the racecourse full time. I have been in the Canaries

competing in waves and it is hard to get back in tune !

Women s world champion Dorota Staszewska completed a typical day at the

office today with her three straight victories. Dorota who has been

sponsored by ERA the event sponsors for the past year, looks like she is

going to be tough to beat here in front of her home crowds.

The stakes are high here in Poland! The prize fund of 450 thousand zlotys

(47,000 Euro.) is the biggest in Polish windsurfing history. With twelve

possible races and three full days remaining there is still all to play

for. The weekend is also looming and with so many girls on the beach, the

male competitors are all preparing to party after the closing ceremony!