The 2006 Fuerteventura PWA Grand Slam Day Two
Bjorn Dunkerbeck (E-11, T1 / North) clings on to the event lead ahead of Finian Maynard (KV-11 F2 / NeilPryde) in second. Has tour leader Antoine Albeau (F192 Starboard / Neil Pryde) lost his grip as he sinks to third? In the women’s event Karin Jaggi (Z-14, F2 / North Sails) stays in pole position with 5 wins from 7 Races despite relentless pressure from Valerie Ghibaudo (FRA-444)
There were lighter than normal conditions this morning but there was enough wind to start racing after the morning skippers’ meeting. First up was the third men’s race.
Men’s Race Three
All the usual suspects advanced from the first four heats into the semi-finals. Here it got tougher and Jimmy Diaz (ISV-11 F2 /North), Bjorn Dunkerbeck, and Cyril Moussilmani (F-71, Fanatic/ North Sails) were all lucky to qualify for the final. Some of the main players missing the cut were Peter Volwater (H-24 F2 / North Sails), Ross Williams (GBR-83, Tabou/ Gaastra), Ben van der Steen (NED-57, Exocet / Naish), and Daniel Ellis (GBR-52, Fanatic/ Naish). Ellis helped to avenge his failure to advance when he won the losers final by a massive margin.
In the final, Finian Maynard blasted off the line just ahead of Micah Buzianis (US-34 JP / NeilPryde) and Antoine Albeau, who together screamed down the first reach, with Dunkerbeck gaining fast behind. Sure enough, during the first gybe, Dunkerbeck slid past Buzianis to claim second position going into the second reach. Maynard certainly showed his speed pedigree over the next couple of reaches and held Dunkerbeck off well who had taken an upwind line for the final blast to the finish. Downwind, Albeau and Maynard were taking the shorter route to the finish, but it was Maynard who passed the checkered flag in first place, with Albeau in second and Dunkerbeck in third.
Women’s Race Five
Jaggi had a poor start to the fifth race behind Valerie Ghibaudo (FRA-444) and Allison Shreeve (AUS-911, F2 / NeilPryde). Jaggi fought hard and sped past into the lead. It was close between Jaggi and Shreeve at the third mark, where Shreeve tried desperately to gybe inside Jaggi before falling. This only really left Jaggi and Ghibaudo to fight it out for the honors, and it was Ghibaudo who had the superior speed to win, while Jaggi came in second and Shreeve third.
Women’s Race Six
Valerie Ghibaudo stormed off the start line towards the first gybe mark ahead of Allison Shreeve who had nudged ahead of Jaggi at the start. Jaggi ’s speed was enough to get her past Shreeve by the third gybe, but Ghibaudo was really extending her lead, and she looked untouchable until the fourth gybe. Unbelievably she fell without anyone nearby to pressure her, and gifted Jaggi the lead. Ghibaudo chased hard on the final reach and looked to be gaining, but it was Jaggi who won and Ghibaudo had to settle for second and Sarah Herbert (FRA-61) third.
Men’s Race Four
Taty Frans (NB-9, Starboard/ MauiSails) and Patrick Diethelm (ITA-120 F2 / North) were sent back to the beach and disqualified from heat one for premature starts, and there was another surprise when Arnon Dagan (ISR-1, Fanatic / NeilPryde) failed to finish in heat two. The key players were also impressed when Diony Guadagnino (V-69 Mistral / NeilPryde) backed up his great Slalom 42 debut yesterday by advancing to another final. But, the biggest shock of the day was when Antoine Albeau was disqualified from the first semi-final for crossing
All eyes were on Finian Maynard for the fourth race final, wondering if he could back up his earlier win and leapfrog Albeau? It all looked positive when he flew off the start line ahead of Pieter Bijl (NED-0 Fanatic / NeilPryde) and Kevin Pritchard (US-3 Starboard / Maui Sails). Maynard maintained his lead as he rounded the first gybe mark as Bijl followed, pursued by Pritchard, Dunkerbeck and Buzianis. Maynard held Bijl off well and looked untouchable until he went really wide around the third gybe leaving the inside line wide open for Bijl to take the lead. Bijl capitalized on Maynard’s mistake and held his lead to win as Maynard fought to secure second place ahead of Dunkerbeck in third.
Women’s Race Seven
Karin Jaggi screamed off the start line chased by Verena Fauster (ITA-31 F2 / Gaastra) and Valerie Ghibaudo (FRA-444). At the first mark Fauster fell, letting Jaggi extend her lead. Jaggi looked un-catchable until all the way until the second mark where this time she fell, but recovered just in time to keep ahead of Ghibaudo, and Shreeve, who’d clawed her way up to third position. Jaggi spared no speed towards the finish line to win as Ghibaudo finished in second and Shreeve third.
Slalom competition was over for the day as many competitors had to head for the speed course further down the beach.
The forecast for tomorrow is looking positive, so skippers’ meeting is set for 09.30. Please check www.pwaworldtour.com throughout tomorrow for live updates and news.
Or for more information, please contact the PWA office at firstname.lastname@example.org.