Fuerteventura Grand Slam
The Albeau Show
Following what some would call a mediocre start to the event for the 2009 slalom world champion, Antoine Albeau (JP, NeilPryde) well and truly reaffirmed his dominance today. Three races were held, which meant three bullets in the bag for the modern day slalom legend.
Sotavento’s beautiful white sands provided the perfect backdrop for Albeau to make his mark, with heaps of spectators basking in the sun, and cheering the champion on. The sixteen to twenty-five knot winds cooled his fans to the perfect degree, whilst propelling him time and time again to the head of the fleet.
During the qualification rounds there was never a moment when Albeau looked under threat. He waltzed to the front on numerous occasions, and then when he was comfortably inside the top four, throttled back to conserve energy, letting the rest of the sailors do as they please. Albeau only ever stepped back on the gas to remain in a qualifying position.
However, when it came to the finals he took no prisoners taking the scalp off those in his path. On every occasion, Albeau showed great speed to lead the finalists around the course from mark one. With a long reach at the top, speed was the key to the day, and the mighty Albeau proved to have plenty.
The Battle Behind
With Albeau claiming every win, the race for second began to heat up. Yesterday’s champion, Cyril Moussilmani (Starboard, North) failed to qualify for the first winner’s final, which not only meant handing the day to his fellow Frenchman, but also allowed the 2009 world title runner up, Finian Maynard (RRD, Gaastra) to close the gap with a second place.
Moussilmani didn’t make the same mistake in race five, and instead followed in Albeau’s wake all the way over the finish line, which left Maynard fighting for third with the many times world champion, Bjorn Dunkerbeck (Starboard, Severne, Mystic). In an awesome display of outright speed, the two battled it out down the final sprint, with Dunkerbeck finally edging out in front.
In the final race of the day, the tables turned once more with Maynard blasting ahead of Moussilmani and claiming honours behind Albeau. Moussilmani had other issues in race 6 though, which included the American racing legend, Micah Buzianis (JP, NeilPryde) who, following a rocky start to the event, has begun to make a comeback. Unfortunately for Moussilmani, Buzianis stood between him and Maynard in the final race of the day, reducing the gap overall.
Moussilmani remains in second place for now, but Maynard is showing no mercy. With plenty of racing still to go, everything could change at the top!
Top Three Talk
“I feel amazing at the moment because I had the perfect day. You can’t get any better than three victories from three races! I didn’t make any mistakes even though it was quite tricky deciding which board to use. In the end, I was fast on my small board, and my medium board even when the wind was up, so it didn’t matter. I think my real asset today was my speed on the first reach, that certainly helped me win today. We still have plenty of races to go though with three days left, and for sure it’s going to be windy!”
“I had an ok day today, I managed to defend myself enough to stay in second place. I had a terrible race in the semi finals of race four because the wind was shifting a lot, making the starts very difficult. I got it completely wrong and failed to qualify for the winner’s final. I kept it together though, and did much better in the following two races. It’s not so bad for the second day.”
“I held on to my 7.6 Gaastra Vapor all day which was a bit bigger than everyone else, but it was working really well for me so I stuck with it. There’s a huge battle at the front now between some really good sailors, so it’ll be interesting to see what happens in the following few days.”
Results After 6 Races
1st Antoine Albeau (JP, NeilPryde) 4.8 pts
2nd Cyril Moussilmani (Starboard, North) 11.7 pts
3rd Finian Maynard (RRD, Gaastra) 14 pts
4th Bjorn Dunkerbeck (Starboard, Severne, Mystic) 27 pts
5th Ross Williams (Tabou, Gaastra) 34 pts
6th Ben Van Der Steen (JP, Mystic) 36 pts
7th Kevin Prtichard (Starboard, Gaastra, Dakine) 37 pts
8th Micah Buzianis (JP, NeilPryde) 38.7 pts
9th Steve Allen (Starboard, Severne) 51 pts
10th Benoit Moussilmani (Starboard, Simmer) 58 pts
Keep in the groove
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