The Labello, Sylt, PWA, 2003 Grand Slam Day 4

The unpredictable weather here in Sylt continues at the Labello, PWA, Grand
Slam with 8-10 knot winds picking up late in the day allowing two races. Continuing
in his winning ways after yesterdays wave victory, Kevin Pritchard of America
(Gaastra, Starboard) picked up a bullet in the first race win with British sailor
Ross Williams (Gaastra, Starboard) sailing brilliantly to take the second. Peter
Bijl (Neil Pryde, Fanatic) of Holland also had an excellent day on the race
course picking up runner up finishes in both races. After today’s results,
Antoine Albeau (AHD, Neil Pryde) of France still remains in the lead after six
races (with two discards) although Ross Williams has closed the gap in second
with Wojtek Brzozowski (Starboard, Neil Pryde) moving up from seventh into the
remaining podium position.

In race number one today Kevin Pritchard (Gaastra, Starboard) stormed off the
line with blistering speed and made the windward mark in first ahead of Dutch
sailor Pieter Bijl (Neil Pryde, Fanatic). Pritchard maintained his lead round
the course and finished well ahead of Bijl in second, Micah Buzianis (Mistral,
North) third and Jimmy Diaz (Neil Pryde) in fourth. Current overall race leader
Antoine Albeau (AHD, Neil Pryde) struggled in the lighter wind conditions but
managed to pick up seventh place behind Wojtek Brzozowski 5th and Ross Williams

In race two British all rounder Ross Williams pulled off his first bullet of
the competition after chasing down Peter Bijl who was first to the upwind mark.
Micah Buzianis maintained his consistent race performances here in Germany taking
third with Gonzalo Costa Hoevel (Starboard, Neil Pryde) of Argentina taking
fourth. Albeau once again struggled in the 8-10 knot northwesterly breeze and
finished back in twelfth.

I had a full flyer on the start line, cut my way through the fleet and came
out clear. I was well placed around the windward mark; I think I was in second
place. I went past Peter on the downwind and just lead the race from there.
I was a bit worried when I went around the top windward mark because I looked
behind me and everybody was going much deeper than me. I managed to pump my
way down and got into another gust. I had to work for it but was rewarded in
the end. I am very pleased with my results so far, it is about time I had some
good luck this year. The pressure is now on…I am in second and closing
the gap on Antoine…It’s on!

Today was better than the first day of racing from my point of view. My Fanatic
board is a little bit harder to sail in the stronger winds but definitely gives
you more speed in the lighter winds. I am stoked today after taking two seconds
even though I had a plastic bag round my fin in the last race. I am stoked!

With six races already completed here in Sylt there is still a long way to
go. Albeau is leading overall for the event victory but Wojtek Brzozowski is
closing the gap on Buzianis for the 2003 PWA overall race title.

The men’s wave competition here in Sylt is on hold although Kevin Pritchard
(Gaastra, Starboard) stands in pole position after his defeat of fellow American
Josh Angulo in yesterdays single elimination wave final. Pritchard earned his
victory after a sensational day of extreme wave action in what can only be described
as survival conditions. This year’s number one ranked sailor; Vidar Jensen
(North) of Norway picked up third place ahead of Victor Fernandez (Fanatic)
of Spain, which keeps him on track to take the men’s overall wave title
if there is no further competition. Jonas Ceballos (Fanatic, Gaastra), Bjorn
Dunkerbeck (Neil Pryde) and Josh Angulo are all still in contention and if wind
and waves return it looks like we could be in for an explosive finish to the
2003 PWA wave season.

In the women’s rankings last years champion Daida Moreno (Mistral, North)
is currently looking favorite after her victory yesterday over Karin Jaggi (F2,
Arrows) of Switzerland. Jaggi could fight back and take equal first overall
for the season but she will have a tough job on her hands and have to beat Moreno
twice in the finals of the double elimination.

The long-term forecast is now calling for strengthening southwesterly winds
at the weekend and a high chance that we could see the wave double elimination
ladders completed over the weekend. Next, Friday and Saturday are traditionally
the wild party and nights here in Sylt and no doubt the infamous Hanger, American
Bar and Irish pub will all be full to the brim with sailors and crowds rocking
the night away.

Stay tuned to the PWA web site for the latest news updated daily as the 2003
PWA race and wave tours draw to their conclusion.


1. Antoine Albeau (AHD, Neil Pryde)
2. Ross Williams (Gaastra, Starboard)
3. Wojtek Brzozowski (Neil Pryde, Starboard)
4. Micah Buzianis (Mistral, North)
5. Kevin Pritchard (Gaastra, Starboard)


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