The 2007 Colgate World Cup Sylt – Day 2
Team Fanatic’s furious featherweight Arnon Dagan takes the first bullet on a frustrating days racing for the big guns. Light wind specialists Australian Steve Allen and youngster Julien Quentel also drive home their advantage as the opening volleys of the slalom shooting match begin.
The lower end of the wind limits really tested both the competitors and race crew today as conditions on the edge of suitability kept everyone on their toes.
Breeze between just 5 and 13 knots meant disruptive lulls forced many heats to be cancelled.
In between the racing the freestylers pumped onto the plane to perform for the crowds, and it wasn’t long before 2006 world champ Jose Estredo had won over the beachside fans with his extensive bag of tricks.
Meanwhile a fair amount of racing heavyweights struggled in the early heats and many failed to advance to the semi-finals.
There was drama in the first semi when Bjorn Dunkerbeck (T1 / North), who was set to qualify easily, pumped out of the gybe at the first mark when his mast snapped and left him unable to complete the race.
The winner’s final was run in about as close as you can get to the minimum wind strength allowed, which really suited lightweight Arnon Dagan (Fanatic / NeilPryde) who won.
The 30-yr old talked us through the heat. ‘Just before the start the wind dropped and that makes it even harder to time it right as you don’t want to have to slow down in light air and then try to accelerate away again late. I chose the pin-end and timed it just right and from there I knew I’d be OK as somehow I have such unbelievable speed in low wind strengths.
I used my Falcon 125 and a 9.0 sail and was untouchable all the way around the track. Of course I’m happy to get off to a good start but I’m going to be cautious as this has happened before and then I’ve let things slip in the past. I always enjoy the crowds in Sylt and seem to perform well here including a podium finish last season. Let’s hope we get some more racing in soon!’
Dagan was pursued relentlessly by Formula racer Steve Allen (Tabou / Gaastra) of Australia who secured second place ahead of French rider Julien Quentel (Starboard / NeilPryde).
The Caribbean-based youth world champion’s third place proved that his remarkable debut slalom season is no fluke, and that he’s a force of the future who’s definitely set to stick around.
Sadly the loser’s final was abandoned and will have to be re-run as soon as conditions improve and slalom is back on the agenda.
Tomorrow’s forecast gives hope for both freestyle and wave sailing action, and the first possible start has been set at 08.30.
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