Day 5 - Tension mounts on the penultimate day of PWA competition, as the leaders sweat it out on the Costa Brava coastline.
A long, hot day in Catalunya saw the PWA fleet swelter on the beach as they patiently waited for the thermal Mediterranean wind to arrive. Unfortunately despite peaking at nearly 10kts, the suitable wind speed never materialised and competition was eventually ended at 18.30.
Despite the frustration, there was plenty of action in the Ballena Allegre campsite. With both a windsurf trade exhibition and huge VW rally, there was something for everyone as the weekend crowd descended upon the race site to soak up the carnival atmosphere, rub shoulders with the stars and prepare for tonight extravaganza on the beach.
There was also time for a live chat with four of the PWA’s premier talkers; Finian Maynard (RRD/NeilPryde), Josh Angulo (Angulo/MauiSails), Robby Swift (JP/NeilPryde) and Arnon Dagan (Tabou/Gaastra). Check today’s ticker to find out their words of wisdom about: slalom starting, hustles on the race course and Albeau’s domination. South Africa’s only competitor James Moore also had a few words to say about his first experience on the PWA.
"It’s been such a great experience. In terms of racing it’s been hard. I am not used to the light winds and it was the first time I ever sailed my 9.0 and 133 board. In South Africa the biggest sail I ever use is a 7.8 and I only used that once all year! I couldn't even get hold of a 9.0, as there were none in the country!
Everyone has been so friendly here though. My fins were lost by the airline and didn't arrive in time. I didn’t know anyone here but they were really open and all offered me their fins. There are not many sports like that.
It was also interesting to see how slick the PWA organisation is here, how efficient they are both on and off the water, its incredible! It has given us loads of ideas for our events back at home. Next year we are re-launching our South Africa tour, with 4 events around the country, 3 of them even include both waves and slalom. I really hope we can get younger sailors interested in competition and hopefully one day we can have a South Africa World Champion.”
As we head towards tomorrows grand finale, Antoine Albeau (JP/NeilPryde) and Valerie Ghibaudo (Tabou/The Loft) lead the pack, but the race is still open and it is anyone’s game. Today’s PWA “Sailor of the day” award goes to birthday girl Morane Demont, who turns 16 today.
Tomorrow’s forecast is the best all week, so everything is in place for a dramatic climax to the PWA Costa Brava Slalom World Cup. Be sure to check www.pwaworldtour.com for all the latest news, photos and the live ticker.
1st Antoine Albeau (JP/NeilPryde)
2nd Ross Williams (Tabou/Gaastra)
3rd Steve Allen
4th Micah Buzianis (JP/NeilPryde)
5th Jimmy Diaz (Starboard/North Sails)
6th Finian Maynard (RRD/NeilPryde)
7th Peter Volwater (F2/MauiSails)
8th Bjorn Dunkerbeck (Starboard/Severne)
9th Robby Swift (JP/NeilPryde)
10th Sylvain Moussilmani (Starboard/Simmer Style)
1st Valerie Ghibaudo (Tabou/The Loft)
2nd Karin Jaggi (F2/Severne)
3rd Marta Hlavaty (Starboard/MauiSails)
4th Sarah Hebert (Starboard/Naish)
5th Lise Vidal (Exocet/North Sails)