The 2006 Catalunya Costa Brava PWA World Cup Super-X Day One

Some weary sailors arrived from the Guincho wave contest overnight and went straight to registration here in Costa Brava. Recent PWA rules allow competition to start on the registration day should the conditions look suitable for getting a result. And so it was that a 32 man format was drawn up ready to go should the sea breeze kick in which it did moderately around 2pm.

A few abandoned attempts at race 1 illustrated the sketchy winds which were shifting and hovering around the 12 knot minimum – lower this season than in past years to allow competition with sails as large as 8.0sqm. Heat 1 saw Phil Horrocks (K-303, JP/ Neil Pryde) win over John Skye (K-57, F2) and 2005’s third ranked racer Kevin Pritchard (US-3 Starboard / Maui Sails), and Julian Taboulet (F-100 JP / Neil Pryde Sails).

Experienced racer, but newcomer to Super-X Ross Williams (GBR-83, Tabou / Gaastra) showed racing pedigree by winning his opening heat, number 2, over Super-X veterans Peter Volwater (H-24 F2 / North) and 2nd placed rider overall in 2005 Frenchman Cyril Moussilmani (F-71, Fanatic/ North Sails).

Another Frenchmen, Nicolas Reynes ((F-456 Tabou / Gaastra) showed promise by winning heat 3 over Nik Baker (K-66, Mistral/ North Sails) and Robby Swift (K-89, JP/ Neil Pryde). Heat 4 had a couple of no shows but it seemed Nicolas Akgazciyan (F-400, RRD/ Neil Pryde) has ambition in supercross as well as Freestyle, and the indoor wizard easily won his heat.

See the Mens elimination 1 ladder here.

Heat 5, the first semi-final was closely contested and many fell on their compulsory spocks. Crashing out though and losing their winners final slots were Julian Taboulet, Phil Horrocks and John Skye. Heat had a couple of no shows but it seemed Nicolas Akgazciyan (F-400, RRD/ Neil Pryde) has ambition in supercross as well as Freestyle, and the indoor wizard easily won his heat.

Heat 6, the second semi-final, let Matt Pritchard, Antoine Albeau, Nicolas Akgazciyan and Nik Baker through, but they shut the door on Reynes, Swift, Orjan Jensen (E-19, North Sails) and Kevin Mevissen (H-79 JP / Neil Pryde Sails).

The loser’s final was fast and furious, and the more experienced riders showed their dissapointment by high performance damage limitation. Making the best of their less than ideal starts were Taboulet first, then Swift – both hoping this round will be their worst in the event of enough wind allowing enough rounds to earn a discard.

The gun went off for the big one, which in the fading wind looked like the last of the day, and a great race ensued. A super-fast first reach saw a close fleet, but Kevin Pritchard taking the fast and short downwind route. Ross Williams was rocket fast too, but was out-gunned by world champion Matt Pritchard at the duck-gybe. Slipping on the inside of Williams he planed out full speed in pursuit of his brother. But steady sailing and smooth tricks from Nicolas Akgazciyan saw him fall less than most others. Maybe he was in a hurry to watch France in the Soccer world cup, or else it was the presence of racing giant Antoine Albeau behind him in third that pushed him to slide over the final sausage and follow Kevin Pritchard over the finish line in second. Matt Pritchard just missed out on a pile-up at the last inflatable jump to claim fourth.

Race Director Juan Antonio Aragon did a fine job in setting the course and forcing this round through in difficult conditions and short notice. The forecast is good for tomorrow in terms of another thermal wind being likely. Keep an eye on this page for to find out any progress. Skippers meeting is set for 10.00 and the first possible start at 10.30

See the full Round 1 results here.

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