From June 8th through to June 13th the cream of the slalom crop will be racing round the buoys on the waters off the Catalunya coastline to gain precious points towards their overall world ranking, and to claim the ultimate windsurfing crown of Costa Brava.
The highly attractive Bay of Roses extends for twelve kilometres along Spain’s Costa Brava, to the north of Barcelona, in the Catalunya region. Steady thermal winds, that you can literally set your watch to, blow from June to September creating a windsurfing paradise that attracts visitors the world over, so expect plenty of action at this infamous world tour spot.
The local town of Sant Pere Pescador has played host to many PWA events throughout the years, including the explosive discipline of freestyle, the spectacular Super Cross, and of course the well established racing discipline of slalom. This year the town will once again witness the world’s most talented slalom sailors in both the men’s and women’s divisions fighting it out for world cup glory.
After yet another convincing win at the Ulsan World Cup, Korea we would expect nothing less than a podium finish for the unstoppable 2009 PWA slalom world champion, Antoine Albeau (JP, NeilPryde). He was the only sailor to qualify for every single winner’s final in Korea, and is leading the world rankings at this stage. He took the crown in Costa Brava in 2009, and will surely sail to his usual cool, calm, and consistent standard this time round.
Many times world champion, and absolute windsurfing legend, Bjorn Dunkerbeck (Starboard, Severne), is currently lying in second place in the overall rankings, and will be looking to knock Albeau off his perch at every conceivable opportunity. We expect Dunkerbeck to be one of the three fastest sailors on the water. If he gets to the first mark in pole position, it’ll be tough task for anyone to take him down.
After an impeccable performance at the opening event of the 2010 slalom season, Jimmy Diaz (Starboard, North) takes the final podium position overall. A consistent set of results worked well for the PWA’s president in Korea. It’ll be interesting to see if he can repeat the task here in Costa Brava with so many international super stars looking to redeem themselves.
Away from the top three, it’ll be worth keeping an eye on the likes of Cyril Moussilmani (Starboard, North) who won the final race in Korea with a broken rib. Finian Maynard (RRD, Gaastra) will also be hungry for success after tasting it briefly with a race win in Korea, but failing to make the podium due to a mixed bag of results. Also in with a shot is Steve Allen (Starboard, Severne), Micah Buzianis (JP, NeilPryde), Kevin Pritchard (Starboard, Gaastra, Dakine), and Ross Williams (Tabou, Gaastra). If any of these guys have their day, they could easily claim victory.
After an exciting showdown in Korea, it looks like things should be very interesting in the women’s division here in Costa Brava. The Swiss success story that is Karin Jaggi (Patrik, Severne) had a shocking start to the season with a PMS in the first race of the season, but her wealth of experience shone through as she battled hard to claw back first event victory. Jaggi will surely be looking at making a less dramatic mark in Costa Brava by playing it safe at the start line, whilst still trying to reaffirm her dominance.
Both the young French racer, Alice Arutkin (Starboard, North) and the Aruban freestyler come slalom racer, Sarah-Quita Offringa (Starboard, Gaastra) have proved they have what it takes to claim victory on the course after putting in some impressive performances in Korea. However, a lack of experience saw them making stupid mistakes that cost them dearly. If either of these girls can hold it together they could easily claim the crown.
In it to win it
With a €55,000 prize purse up for grabs, expect high-octane action whilst the very best sailors in the world push their boards to the limits around the fast and furious downwind slalom course.