SYLT PWA GRAND SLAM – DAY 3
Pritchard Shoots Off!
Tuesday September 24, 2002
The third day of competition here in the resort town of Westerland began
quietly with a 5-knot onshore breeze keeping racers and wave sailors on
the shore and relaxing in the hospitality tent. The wind direction had
swung to the northwest giving cross onshore as opposed to yesterday s
brisk cross-offshore. By 2.00 pm the wind had strengthened to 9 to 10
knots. Time for the racing to commence. Race Director Klaus Michel made
the decision to send the Women s fleet out first to complete their 6th
race after missing one on day 1 due to the extreme conditions.
Race 6 Women
Out on the water alone for a change the full women s fleet got away to a
clean start at the first time of asking. The leading pack quickly pulled
clear and this time Christine Johnston (Starboard/Neil Pryde) who rounded
the windward mark first with 50 meters to spare ahead of Lucy Horwood
(AHD/Gaastra) and current leader Dorota Staszewska (Starboard/Neil Pryde)
and Geraldine Jambert (Starboard). The long downwind leg saw no change and
the leaders headed back upwind with Christine taking the right, Lucy the
middle and Dorota the left side of the course. Dorota had made the right
choice and reversed the order once again at the top of the course,
rounding 50 meters ahead of Christine. Geraldine Jambert, edged out Lucy
Horwood when the British sailor overlaid the mark. The downwind leg was
frantic with some of the girls on 11m2 rigs in a solid 15 knots. The first
four stayed the same all the way to the finish flag.
DOROTA STASZEWSKA (Starboard/Neil Pryde)
I went to the left side for the second upwind leg, which was much better.
I was lifted all the way and Lucy and Christine both overlaid the mark. My
start was not so good but I sailed well!
Race 7 – Women
The wind had increased a little and stayed around the 15-knot mark. The
women once again started cleanly and Dorota Staszewska made a great start
this time and found the front of the fleet. Lucy Horwood was close behind
at the windward mark but just could not gain on Dorota. The positions were
unchanged for the rest of the race and Dorota comfortably took the win
ahead of Lucy, followed by Christine Johnston and an improving Verena
Fauster (Starboard /Gaastra) from Italy in 4th position.
After seven races from a possible maximum of 15 Dorota has once again
built an impressive lead with 6 consecutive 1st positions! The two British
sailors continue to fight for the number two spot, but there is plenty of
time for everything to change.
Women s results after 7 races
1st Dorota Staszewska (Starboard/Neil Pryde) 3.5 pts
2nd Lucy Horwood (AHD/Gaastra) 9.7 pts
3rd Christine Johnston (Starboard/Neil Pryde) 11 pts
4th Jenny Le Bihan (Bic/Neil Pryde) 22 pts
RACE 7 Men
The men s fleet got away after one general recall and this time it was
reigning Formula world champion, Kevin Pritchard s (Bic/Gaastra) turn to
fire off first to the windward mark followed by Phil McGain (Gaastra) and
Virgin Islander Devon Boulon (Mistral/ North). The deep downwind leg saw
the top three unchanged, but Steve Allen (Fanatic) crept up to fourth and
a hard working, pumping Wojtek Brzozowski tried to get the jump on the 10
sailors ahead by heading deeper downwind than anyone. It was an audacious
move that partly paid off moving him into 6th place behind Israel s Arnon
Dagan (Fanatic/Neil Pryde).
The second lap was much the same for Kevin Pritchard, cruising out ahead
on his own and that s how he stayed right to the line. The battle of the
Aussies carried on for second place with Steve Allen eventually getting
the better of Phil McGain. Patrice Belbeoc h (Neil Pryde) sailed a great
lap to improve from 9th and pushing Wojtek back to 5th. Current leader
Antoine Albeau (AHD/Neil Pryde) forced his way through the fleet after a
shocking start to finish 7th, taking Devon Boulon on the line.
KEVIN PRITCHARD (Bic/Gaastra)
I had a great port tack start with Devon, then just basically hooked in
and held on. I pretty much sailed my own race and didn t even have to
cover anyone. I only made one change to my whole set up but sometimes that
s all you need to get that extra spurt and I just stroked the 12.0m2 for
the home run.
STEVE ALLEN (Fanatic)
I sailed a really good second lap and had a great tussle with Phil but I
under-laid the windward mark by 50m and it would have been so sweet to
make it. I am happy though and it keeps me in the game. Everything is
still to play for.
That was all we had time for today, but the wind direction is good and
it’s blowing about 30 knots now, so the wave sailors might not be taking
too much advantage of tonights hospitality at the famous American bar.
Their briefing is set for 8.30 a.m. So fingers crossed for great conditions.
Men s Result after 7 races
1. Antoine Albeau (AHD/Neil Pryde) 7.1 pts
2. Kevin Pritchard (Bic/Gaastra) 14.7 pts
3. Phil McGain (Gaastra) 14.7 pts
4. Steve Allen (Fanatic) 16.7 pts
5. Wojtek Brzozowki (Starboard/Neil Pryde) 18.7 pts
6. Patrice Belbeoc h (Neil Pryde) 24 pts