Fuerteventura Grand Slam
The pressure will begin to mount on Antoine Albeau (JP/NeilPryde) after an epic day of competition saw three new faces take the top spots. Micah Buzianis (JP/NeilPryde) has had a solid day, crowned by his win in the opening round. Josh Angulo (Angulo/MauiSails/Dakine) finally realized his potential by winning the second round convincingly, whilst Finian Maynard (RRD/NeilPryde) took the third round after an incredible start line performance.
It would seem that the Rene Egli Centre is perhaps the best-positioned windsurfing school in the world. Sotavento Beach has once again provided incredible conditions, allowing the stars of the PWA to compete for glory just meters from an adoring crowd. The wind speed varied between 22 and 38 knots, in a day where consistency, talent, and speed were put to the test. It was all to play for as the competitors fought their way through the third epic day of slalom, here at the 2009 Fuerteventura Grand Slam.
It was made quite clear today that no sailors were prepared to step to one side to let the dominant Antoine Albeau (JP/NeilPryde) walk away with a victory. Albeau was constantly challenged, being forced back to second, fifth and twelfth in today’s three eliminations. By any normal standards these results would be exceptional, but for Albeau, nothing but the best will suffice.
Micah Buzianis (JP/NeilPryde) stole the show this morning, proving his ability to read the fickle conditions, and rocketing his way up the results ladder after a first and second place. Buzianis, however, missed out of his place in the winner’s final in today’s third elimination, which cost him crucial points.
Josh Angulo (Angulo/MauiSails/Dakine) finally held out in the second round to take his first victory in this event. Throughout the contest, he has looked dominant from the start line, often leading the pack until the last stages of a race, but until today he was yet to convert his great ability to a win. Angulo recorded the lowest overall points today, and as such, he has been nominated as the ‘PWA Sailor of the Day’.
In the third round, the coveted number one spot in the went to Finian Maynard (RRD/NeilPryde), who got off to an incredible start, and left the fleet for dead. There was no catching the speed demon as he dominated the final, and took his first win here in Fuerteventura. This convincing victory was exactly what he needed, pushing him up to second overall in this event.
Kevin Pritchard (Starboard/Gaastra/Dakine) lived up to his consistent reputation, and recorded a solid set of results, while teammate Ross Williams (Tabou/Gaastra) kept himself firmly in the running for a good overall position, after a steady day on the water.
Continuing his incredible run at this event, Peter Volwater (F2/MauiSails) dominated his qualifying heats throughout all three rounds. The Dutchman was often seen putting his foot to the floor over the longest reaches, where he managed to burn past some of the biggest names in the sport. Volwater’s great string of results almost took a serious tumble when he sailed the wrong course in the final round. Thanks to the incredible lead that he had built up, he was able to fight back to sixth place, and qualify for the final once again.
The top names maintained their positions in the elite Winner’s Finals after entertaining battles in the semis. Cyril Moussilmani (Starboard/North Sails), Bjorn Dunkerbeck (Starboard/Severne), Arnon Dagan (Tabou/Gaastra) and Ben Van Der Steen (Exocet/Simmer Style) were familiar faces in the ultimate show down for the best rankings. The French twins Benoit Moussilmani (Starboard/Simmer Style) and Sylvain Moussilmani (Starboard/Simmer Style) were excellent again today, maintaining their great run of success here.
Both Jimmy Diaz (Starboard/North Sails) and Robby Swift (JP/NeilPryde) had a good day on the water, making it into the top ten of the day’s third round. Jesper Orth (Starboard/Severne) and Diony Guadagnino (Hot Sails Maui/MFC) also continued to impress with their speed and persistence.
There are only a handful of points between the top sailors as we head into the penultimate day of competition; the leader-board has never been so tight. Albeau will want to pull ahead tomorrow to try and regain a clear lead, but it will be increasingly difficult against such an immensely talented fleet. After today’s powerful gusts, rumors of lighter trades tomorrow may bring some competitors hope. One thing is for sure: it will be an incredibly close battle to the end.
Join us again tomorrow for live event coverage, amazing photos and inspiring video footage, exclusively from www.pwaworldtour.com.