The VW PWA Reno World Cup Sylt Grand Slam has now completed day three of competition. It was indeed a tough day on the water for the slalom sailors as light wind turned racing into a particularly tactical affair.
In order to take advantage of what promised to be an epic day of wind, the PWA crew and the freestyle sailors were ready and raring to go at 6:45am, however it was only a gentle breeze that greeted the fleet,preventing them from strutting their stuff on the water. As the morning progressed the crowd on the beach built, as did the wind, and by 2pm the conditions were deemed suitable for the slalom sailors to blast their way around the four mark downwind course.
Winds blowing around 8-12 knots put the sailorson their largest equipment and ensured the best starts and the finest light wind skills were essential in order to qualify into the next round. Obviously eager to secure a good result, Jules Denel (Exocet) and Malte Reuscher (RRD /Point-7 / AL360) pushed the start a little too hard and went over early in the first heat, allowing the rest of the pack an easy pass into the next round without having to sail.
The drama continued throughout the first round,with a number of key players missing out on qualifying positions including Finian Maynard (RRD) who suffered from the effects of awind hole at the third mark, allowing his opponents to sail past. The tough conditions also played havoc with Gunnar Asmussen (F2 / North) and PascalToselli’s (RRD / Point-7) game plan and they also failed to qualify in the difficult conditions.
Ross Williams (Tabou / Gaastra) was on fine form and he displayed some incredible light wind skills, leading the fleet all the way around the course, as was Alberto Menegatti (Starboard / Gaastra),Arnon Dagan (Tabou / Gaastra), Kurosh Kiani (Simmer / Angulo) and the flying Frenchman Cedric Bordes (Tabou / Gaastra / Mystic). The massive crowd on the beach also witnessed exceptional sailing from Chris Pressler (Starboard /Severne) as he fought his way into fourth place past Asmussen.
The upsets continued in the second round of the elimination with Peter Bijl (JP / NeilPryde) falling victim to a wind hole, deeming him unable to complete the heat in qualifying position, and Peter Volwater (Fanatic / MauiSails) going over early, leading to his disqualification.
All eyes were on the 2011 world champion Bjorn Dunkerbeck (Starboard / Severne / Mystic / DunkerbeckEyewear) who looked to be taking things at a relaxed pace in his first race, not wanting to risk making a mistake, whilst his biggest threats Antoine Albeau (JP / NeilPryde) and Ben Van Der Steen (Starboard / Loft / Mystic) were charging hard to guarantee their qualifying positions.
Heat eleven and twelve in the second round we rerun a number of times, however light wind at the first mark was causing a few problems. With the wind dropping below the suitable level for racing, the sailors were released for the day at 4:30pm. The skippers meeting for all three fleets will kick off at 10am tomorrow morning with the first possible start to competition at 10:30am. If you missed the slalom action from today make sure you check out the highlights video on the PWA website
PWA Reno World Cup Sylt Grand Slam website