The 2008 Catalunya Costa Brava PWA Slalom World Cup – Day One
Slalom’s second bout of race action is locked, loaded, and ready to go, as the biggest fleet in almost a decade registered to become part of this historic windsurfing face off.
The biggest players in windsurfing’s elite slalom racing discipline have touched down on the Costa Brava, hungry to state their intentions for the forthcoming season, and begin the points race for the 2008 title.
The first day of competition kicked off with the registration of the mammoth men’s and women’s slalom fleets at the event HQ on La Ballena Alegre 2 camp site, in the Spanish town of Sant Pere Pescador.
Following a final count of entrants, a total of 66 men and 21 women registered, making it one of the biggest slalom fleets to compete in a PWA event in the last eight years.
With a forecast ranging from super light, marginal conditions, to howling Tramontana winds predicted in the latter half of the week, many of the sailors have had difficult decisions to make regarding the equipment they’ve registered.
Over the course of the afternoon we asked several of the riders how they go about selecting their equipment, and what gear they’re going to use for competition in such a variable environment.
Gonzalo Costa Hoevel (F2, NeilPryde): “I think it’s gonna be like last year, windy then really light. I’m going to be using pretty big stuff, and my smaller stuff. I’m not going to take my medium size gear. Hopefully, from last year’s conditions, and the forecast, I should be alright.”
Kevin Pritchard (Starboard, Gaastra): “It wasn’t so bad, my sails and boards have a pretty good wind range on them, so I’m not too nervous. I’ve got a 9.0m as my biggest, and a 6.7m as my smallest. I think the chances of it being super windy are pretty low, so I went with the big gear and we’ll see...”
Gabriel Browne (Mistral, MauiSails): “I’ve been talking to other sailors and checking the forecast. I’ve chosen my bigger stuff and my medium size stuff. For me, hopefully that should be ok.”
With the wind remaining light over the remainder of the afternoon, most of the sailors took the time out to tweak and tune their gear in preparation for the arrival of the wind, which is forecast to grow to a peak of around 30 knots towards the end of the week.
This evening sees the official event opening ceremony, marking the start of the second slalom event of the 2008 PWA season in Sant Pere Pescador.
Tomorrow’s skippers meeting is scheduled for 10.00am, and heats will commence shortly after this. Keep up to date with every piece of the action at www.pwaworldtour.com, where you can take advantage of our:
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© PWA / Andrew Buchanan