The 2001 Micronesian Open took place this past week on the beautiful island
of Saipan, off the coast of Guam. Warm weather, gusty winds, and beautiful water
made for some awesome racing conditions to battle it out in the first event
of the season.
A select few of the worlds best came to battle it out for the event including
the 2000 World Champion Kevin Pritchard. Pritchard had just came in from a promotional
tour that took him from Germany to the Island of Margarita finally arriving
the day of the competition just in time for the battle. After an equipment failure
in the first race, the champ was out to make it known that he is ready to defend
his title by winning the next few races.
The race was not a walk in the park for Pritchard as his rivals were breathing
down his neck the entire event. Hot on his heals was fellow Gaastra riders Phil
McGain and brother of Kevin, Matt Pritchard, both putting in solid performances.
Matt Pritchard was just getting back up to speed after a devastating ankle injury
and looked impressive on the water. Jimmy Diaz had surprisingly good speed and
was putting on a good performance as well as the French Champion Antoine Albeau.
The racing was tight and the conditions were challenging. Each race had several
different leaders before the final victor would prevail. In the end Kevin Pritchard
took the title in a narrow victory over McGain, Diaz, Albeau, and Matt Pritchard.
"I was pretty excited to come out on top. It seems like Phil had a little
more speed than I did, but I just managed to get the roll. It is always hard
after putting so much energy into something like winning last year and then
to go out and compete again is not so easy. I am glad to get this win under
my belt and keep the momentum alive."
"This was a good event. We had seven races and everyone was up to speed.
I thought that I was going to take it, but being over early in race number 5
took me out of the hunt. Beautiful sailing here nonetheless and will be back
"It felt really good to be out on the race course again. It is good
to know that I haven t missed too much speed after being out of action for most
of the season, and now I am keeping up with the Champ. I now know that I am
100 percent confident that I can start winning again."