Steve Palier of Open Ocean Media reports from the seventh day of La Reunion Wave Classic 2011, which saw a third round of wavesailing competition in the Indian Ocean…
Too violent a wind and messy waves in Ravine Blanche sent the riders back to the beach of l’Etang Salé this morning. Once at the spot, a rare alchemy of conditions allowed the organisers to launch another round in perfect down-the-line conditions!
Heat #1 : New Cal’ ripper Sifferlen goes off!
At noon, the wind was blowing at a good 30/35 knots outside in the bay. With 8 to 10 feet hollow waves very technical to ride, the timing had an important part in the sailing today. As he had a perfect timing, an excellent wave choice, very high and smooth aerials perfectly landed in the pocket of the wave, Sifferlen wins ahead of Jules Denel who showed an excellent potential with power turns and a good wave work. Unlucky again, Leon Jamaer rips his sail 10 minutes before the end of the heat.
Heat #2 : a locals’ affair.
As the teams were drawn this morning, it was a big surprise to find the 3 local captains in the same heat. With an excellent wave choice, as great wave work and perfectly landed big airs, Pierre Godet took the honours of this heat, showing he has the perfect control in any conditions. Actual leader in the teams ranking, Steven Pichot will then go for it, launching 2 big aerials he unfortunately did not land. He ended in 2nd ahead of Sylvain Bourlard who could not find the best waves in this heat.
Heat #3 : Taboulet’s revenge.
Facing the Austrian Tom Hartmann who could not really find the right timing in these conditions, this heat saw a duel between Julien ‘Wesh’ Taboulet and Camille Juban. Already beaten twice by Juban in the first 2 rounds, Wesh wanted to have his revenge this time. From the start, he nails an awesome aerial on a hollow section and will then fight with power style, charging hard on the biggest sets he could find. He wins ahead of Juban who was slightly below his usual level. Do not mess with ‘Wesh’!
4th round cancelled
Around 3.30pm, after a small break and some interviews with local TV Réunion Première that was doing a report, the wind was still blowing. Waves were still in the place, up to 8 feet. The organization decided to launch another 4th round but unfortunately, the wind dropped down after 15mn. The heat is cancelled. The organisation waited for about 20mn before the wind finally came back, but it was already too late to launch 3 heats in a row. Over for this 7th day of competition.
Tomorrow, strong wind is still forecasted. The organisation will adapt the program to the conditions, after an early check of the spots. In any case, the riders and locals will meet at 4.30pm in Ravine Blanche for the “beach cleaning” and beach party/BBQ organized by local association “Windsurf Réunion”.
Afters 3 rounds, Steven Pichot’s team is still leading the ranking thanks to Sifferlen’s 3 times victories, and scores a nice 23 points, which is a nice advance ahead of the team of Sylvain Bourlard (17 points) and Pierre Godet (14 points). But it’s not over yet!