PWA World Cup Catalunya Costa Brava 2011 saw numerous fluctuations in weather conditions that significantly affected the action in Costa Brava on day four.
During the morning the fastest sailors on the planet were greeted by Catalunya’s gentler side which provided them the chance to take a break and nurse their injuries and strategize for the competition that remains ahead.
As the morning progressed and the skies cleared the sailors tuned their equipment whilst keeping one eye on the switching wind. The onshore breeze took a turn for the better as midday approached allowing four heats of elimination eight to be completed. With winds blowing between 8-12 knots on the inside marks the sailors took to the water on their biggest equipment.
Four heats took place seeing Josh Angulo (Angulo / Gun / Dakine), Micah Buzianis (JP / NeilPryde), Ben Van Der Steen (Starboard / Loft / Mystic) and Julien Quentel (RRD / NeilPryde) claim the number one spots and sail through to round two. Controversy raised its ugly head in the final heat of the day.
Cyril Moussilmani (Starboard / North) was in an unfortunate position at the start and failed to plane off the line, whilst the rest of the pack caught a lucky gust and pulled away leaving him in sixth place and unable to advance further in this elimination. His protests that the wind was not strong enough fell on deaf ears as the race committee had been carefully monitoring the wind to ensure it was above the minimum threshold of seven knots.
Moussilmani will have to keep his fingers crossed this elimination won’t count in order to maintain his podium position.
Following this heat Maciek Rutkowski’s (Tabou / Gaastra) premature start resulted is his demise from this round. Competition remained on standby for the remainder of the day as it switched back to the morning’s onshore direction, insufficient for racing. The PWA took the moments of down time to put a few questions to the sailors. Peter Volwater (Fanatic / MauiSails) How is the racing going for you?
'I went pretty well, I started off in third in the first day but I have slipped down to sixth. I would have liked to have done a couple more races so that I could have a couple more discards, but the wind is looking a bit light now. It was really fun to do some high wind racing again, and that is definitely what we got. I was prepared with my 5.5 and 58 liter wide board.
I sailed some high wind before this event and got a little bit of an injury on my shin and could hardly walk yesterday morning. I took some ibuprofen and I was happy to hang-in where I was but having a rest day today is good timing for me.' Arnon Dagan (Tabou / Gaastra)
How do you deal with the strong winds?
'It is kind of hard, even though we are training all year round, you don’t get that many days of wind like that. It is a surprise, you have to rely on your knowledge and you go into your survival settings, longer harness lines and bigger footstraps at the front and a much more controllable fin. Once you get into the groove it is ok.' Jesper Orth (RRD)
Could you talk us through your big crash?
'It was the quarter final, usually I try to go furthest downwind. I was in a position where there were a lot of people. In front of me Ross Williams (Tabou / Gaastra) and another guy were really close to the mark, I tried to go on the inside but there was no room. Not only did I take Ross out and fall in, the guy behind me hit me in the head with his board.
Looking back I was quite lucky it must have just been the rail, but I got a full impact on my nose. I went straight to the beach to get it checked out because you never know what is going on and you have a lot of adrenaline. But it feels ok today.' Gonzalo Costa Hoevel (Fanatic / North Sails)
What has been your wildest moment so far?
'My wildest moment was on the second loser’s final of event. It was the windiest race and the water was blowing everywhere. We were all on our big gear as it just picked up on the start. On the final straight I could see Jimmy Diaz (Starboard / North Sails) in front of me trying to survive to finish. I saw the opportunity and tried to go full power, I managed to pass him but on the finish I catapulted and completely exploded; for me this was the most exciting moment of the competition. Ludovic Jossin (Loft)
Could you talk us through your massive jump?
'It was early in the morning and I was the first on the water, there were some big waves and the wind was quite side shore. I went out full speed and hit the wave like I was on my wave gear. I managed to fly really high, it was really cool and I was in control. The photo looks great!' Chris Pressler (Starboard / Severne)
What is your most memorable moment?
'My two most memorable moment were: one day we had massive wind, I crashed on the way out and spun the whole way around with my sail like a spin loop into the waterstart position, It felt like I was going around 60kmph.
My second moment was when I had the chance to qualify for the top 16. Fully powered on my 5.6m I was flying but I went a bit too wide at the inside mark, it was windsurfing at its best I never knew I could go so fast.' This leaves the results untouched for today: Results
First - Antoine Albeau (JP / NeilPryde)
Second - Cyril Moussilmani (Starboard / North)
Third - Bjorn Dunkerbeck (Starboard / Severne / Mystic /DunkerbeckEyewear)
Fourth Ben Van Der Steen (Starboard / Loft / Mystic)
5th Julien Quentel (RRD / NeilPryde) Event website