The 2007 Catalunya Costa Brava PWA World Cup Slalom - Day 4
Tension builds as the event turns into a time-bomb with only 2 days to go. Micah Buzianis (JP / NeilPryde) is sitting pretty in the lead ahead of Slalom World Champion Antoine Albeau (Starboard / NeilPryde) and Australia’s Steve Allen (Tabou / Gaastra) in third. Tour leader Kevin Pritchard (Starboard / MauiSails) has crashed out, failing to qualify for yet another final.
Everyone’s patience was tested again today. Light and variable wind kept everyone on edge and many heats of Race 4 were abandoned, re-run, and cancelled once again.
Winner of the first semi-final Gonzalo Costa Hoevel (F2 / NeilPryde) was thankful to make it through the ordeal. ‘Today again there wasn’t much wind but we were able to run the semi finals. It looked a little light but I was able to get close to the boat and that paid off as I got to the first gust before anyone so I reached the first mark in second place. I made a really good planing gybe on my 8.4 and ‘Large’ to take the lead after some assistance from a swell which helped me accelerate away. I feel good and I need to be in this final. I won the first heat of the event, the first heat of this race and this semi, so, I know I’ve got good speed against guys like Antoine and Micah. All in all today was a positive test for me and I’m super-happy’
Israeli Arnon Dagan (Fanatic / NeilPryde) won the second semi after keeping his cool over the drawn out day. ‘It was my kind of conditions. We did OK despite having to re-run a lot of heats. It was kind of frustrating but there‘s nothing we can do about it. Personally I think some heats could’ve been kept, but the race director judged otherwise. I felt comfortable though and I just hope we get wind tomorrow’
It was a dark day for tour leader Kevin Pritchard, who won the opening event of the season. Failing to advance from his first round qualifying heat, it was a bitter pill to swallow for the American, currently placed just 23rd. His chances of recovery are almost certainly blown - even after the first discard comes into effect. Heading off for a wind-down game of tennis with his girlfriend he refused to comment, making it apparent his mistakes had cut-deep.
Event leader Micah Buzianis was simply relieved to get through it. ‘It was a pretty long yet un-eventful and so stressful day. It started off looking really windy, and then it shut off and came up a little. We held some light wind racing, and I was lucky to have my one and only heat not cancelled. The way things are looking here it doesn’t look like we’re going to get a lot more racing. But, I can relax and sleep a little better at night now knowing I’m in the final for this round’
The forecast is doubtful for tomorrow. But, as is the norm in Costa Brava, the last day looks like being the decisive day in settling the event title.
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