The 2004 Leucate – Mondial du Vent PWA Super X World Cup – Final Day
Thursday April 15, 2004
Antoine Albeau (AHD, Neil Pryde) has taken first place at the inaugural
PWA Super X World Cup of 2004, at the Mondial du Vent in Leucate France.
Albeau has led throughout most of the contest despite strong challenges
from Matt Pritchard (Gaastra), Robby Swift (JP, Neil Pryde) and Nik Baker
The light onshore winds and warm sunshine present in Leucate on the final
day were a stark contrast to the tension that remained among the top
ranked sailors. Albeau and Pritchard were still separated by just a few
points and the final round of competition still held the possibility for
Pritchard to steal victory. As the day pushed on though, it became
increasingly clear that the forecast wind was unlikely to materialize.
Eventually, at three o’clock in the afternoon, race Director Klaus Michel
decided that the competitors need no longer suffer the stress of the
waiting game and called an end to what has been a thoroughly superb
contest. The final results would read Albeau, Pritchard, and Swift.
This has been the first ever PWA Super X World Cup and Leucate has proved
to be a very worthy location. With consistently strong winds over 4 days
and ten rounds of competition run the event has been an unprecedented
success with crowds in their thousands enjoying the nail biting action.
Albeau has won a deserved victory leading almost constantly from day one.
Pritchard has challenged very hard and would have also been a worthy
victor, but Albeau is a tough man to beat in any discipline and Super X is
a true test of all-round ability.
There have been other notable performances from a large number of sailors
during what has been a great event for new talent and veterans alike.
Baker held the lead for a fleeting moment after round three, but then fell
from grace through a subsequently inconsistent performance. Dutchman
Pieter Bijl (Fanatic, Neil Pryde) showed remarkable talent at times, but
his extreme style also carried extreme risk, seeing him crash out more
than once. Also from Holland, Peter Volwater (Arrows) sailed solidly at
high velocity and with massive jumps to finish fourth.
Julien Taboulet (JP, Neil Pryde), Ricardo Campello (JP, Neil Pryde) and
Diony Guadagnino (Neil Pryde) have also been frequent visitors to the
finals during the week and a combination of speed and fluid, powerful
maneuvers has undoubtedly contributed to their final positions in sixth,
seventh and eighth respectively.
There has been (unsurprisingly) a huge French contingent here and, apart
from the obvious front runners, many “locals” have made their mark on the
event. Cyril Moussilmani (Fanatic) won the third round ahead of event
number 3, Robby Swift and Nichol Akgazciyan (AHD, Neil Pryde) was always
very fast off the line coping well with the freestyle moves even in the
One entertaining talent in the fleet was Douglas Diaz (Fanatic, North) who
performed very capably in the strong winds despite his small size, often
carrying 4.5m sails when even the seasoned pro’s like Baker were on 4.0m!!
Diaz, often last off the start line performed the compulsory spocks and
forward loops with such consistency that he often recovered six to seven
places during his heats.