PWA CATALUNYA WORLD CUP
The second installment of the 2013 PWA Slalom World Cup is just a week away - so with this in mind we take a look back at the previous five years of fantastic competition to see who the likely front runners are and if history will repeat itself, or will there be some shocks in store? There’s only one way to find out and that’s by making sure you tune into www.pwaworldtour.com from the 11th June to see how the action unfolds.
The elite of the slalom world are furiously preparing for another colossal battle on the stunning white sand beaches and beautiful blue waters of Costa Brava, Spain, as they ready themselves to take on either the idyllic sea breezes or the howling Tramontana winds which can whistle down through the majestic Pyrenees mountain range in excess of thirty knots - creating nail biting slalom conditions which test the sailors to their limits.
Looking back to 2008 and it was the reigning World Champion Antoine Albeau (RRD / NeilPryde) who managed to hold his nerve in the terrifying and testing Tramontana winds. The big Frenchman literally blew away the rest of the competition as he claimed victory in all three races which were completed, and in doing so he rightfully secured his place at the top of the podium. Behind him was the ever competitive 2000 World Champion Kevin Pritchard - who also claimed the PWA Wave World title in 2006 - whilst the most decorated sailor in windsurfing history, Bjorn Dunkerbeck (Starboard / Severne / Dunkerbeck Eyewear / Chris Benz) completed the top three
In 2009 the idyllic sea breezes which are so often associated with Costa Brava during the summer months returned, but on this occasion only with enough consistency for one full elimination to be completed. Once again Antoine Albeau sailed flawlessly to be crowned the King of Costa Brava ahead of Britain’s Ross Williams (Tabou / Gaastra) and Australia’s Steven Allen (Starboard / Severne).
Since 2010 there’s only been one name on the top spot in the formidable shape of Bjorn Dunkerbeck, who has now claimed an illustrious hat-trick of Costa Brava event victories, with Antoine Albeau being made to play second fiddle in 2010 and 2011. Cyril Moussilmani (Starboard / Severne) showed his class in 2010 to claim third place, whilst Ben Van Der Steen (Starboard / Loft Sails / Mystic / Different) held that honour on the coveted podium two years ago.
With wind on every day last year the 2012 PWA Catalunya World Cup saw six - adrenaline fuelled - races as Bjorn Dunkerbeck produced a simply outstanding performance to win three eliminations to secure the event victory as well as securing the aforementioned hat-trick. However, Antoine Albeau, had to settle for third place on this occasion as his fellow compatriot Julien Quentel showed that he’s a real contender for the title in years to come by muscling his way into second place. Not only did the twenty-seven year old claim his first ever bullet in race five, but his superb display of sailing over the five days saw him rewarded with his first ever podium finish.
If you were a betting man then you’d probably have to put your money on either Antoine Albeau or Bjorn Dunkerbeck for the event victory this year - given the fact that between them they have won every event here since 2007 - a formidable record. However, Alberto Menegatti (Starboard / Point-7), will have different plans in mind. The Italian claimed his first ever event victory in Korea last month and as a result he currently sits proudly at the top of the rankings. Menegatti showed blistering pace and the ability to hold his nerve under pressure in Korea and with confidence at an all time high he has the potential to stop the two heavy hitters of slalom again.
Of course the likes of Ben Van Der Steen, Gonzalo Costa Hoevel (Starboard / Loft Sails), Josh Angulo (Angulo / Gun Sails), Micah Buzianis (JP / NeilPryde), Ross Williams and the extremely strong French contingent consisting of Cyril Moussilmani, Julien Quentel, Antoine Questel (Starboard / Loft Sails), Pierre Mortefon (Starboard / North) and Cedric Bordes (Tabou / Gaastra) will all fancy their chances, but we will look at that in more detail over the coming days as well as having exclusive previews with some of the biggest names in slalom.
The PWA Catalunya World Cup will be running from the 11th to the 16th June, make sure you don’t miss any of the fantastic action by tuning into www.pwaworldtour.com.