The 2007 Catalunya Costa Brava PWA World Cup Slalom - Day 3
A Pressure-cooker atmosphere builds as the wind plays games, allowing just one heat to be completed. Micah Buzianis (JP / NeilPryde) keeps his event lead over World Champ Antoine Albeau (Starboard / NeilPryde), and Steve Allen (Tabou / Gaastra) who keeps third.
A good forecast made for a relaxed atmosphere all morning and during the early afternoon. That soon changed as many realised the chances of vital racing, and making up for earlier mistakes diminished in the untypical, hazy conditions.
Eventually around 18.30 just one heat was completed, and straight away there was a single victim of this protracted day at the beach.
Wilhelm Schurmann (Starboard / NeilPryde) of Brazil was the guilty party. He was philosophical about it overall. ‘It was my 2nd over early of the competition. I thought it was going to be the dream start but I guess I was about half a meter over. It’s a shame as it was perfect - about 12-18 knots - and I was comfortable on my 8.4…I was just too keen. What can you do?’
The winner of today’s only heat, Argentinean Gonzalo Costa Hoevel (F2 / NeilPryde) was relieved to get through after errors on the first two days. ‘We were waiting all day and the wind was just teasing us, but, it was perfect in that heat. It was quite windy for once - I was on the ‘Large’ which is 120 litres and an 8.4 - and I was 2nd at the first mark before I caught Micah. He was just taking it easy ‘cos it was the first heat, and so was I really. All in all it was a better day than yesterday when I made far too many mistakes’
Tour leader Kevin Pritchard (Starboard / MauiSails), who’s lagging back in 23rd place, seemed a little frustrated after the marathon wait. ‘I had a long day at the office for nothing - just sitting around for ages for it to come together. We’ve got what 3 more days left? So, I just hope the wind comes through so I can get some crucial results in the bag'
Those few days will be fascinating as the possibility of the first discard comes into play. The tension’s certainly rising for those who’ve major work to do to haul themselves back in contention.
However, in this fleet there are many players capable of bouncing-back to claim victory. Only time will tell…
The sailors have been invited to a typical Catanunyan restaurant tonight to sample some local cuisine after sitting in the harsh sun all day.
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© PWA / Brian McDowell