Day 7 at the PWA event at Sotavento saw the first exciting Slalom elimination with a win of Antoine Albeau, followed by Björn Dunkerbeck and Ben van der Steen


Watch here the video, inlcuding statements of Antoine Albeau, Björn Dunkerbeck and Taty Frans


The first day of the this year´s PWA Slalom competition, which sees a men competition only this year, started with a skippersmeeting at 10.00. The first possible start, which was set for 11.00 had to be delayed. Very light wind was the reason for that. All the area was covered by clouds. The 56 registered riders had enough time to prepare gaer and get lunch at 13.00. Around 15.00 the wind picked up to 10 to 20 knots and the 4 mark downwind course was ready set. Sails in between 7,8 and 8,6 and the medium wide boards were choosen by most of the sailors. Just Taty Frans decided for a 6,6 m big sail on his medium sized board.

Taty leans inside at the jibemark. Again he impressed the crowds and his opponents making it into the winners final. (Pic: PWA/Carter).


In the beginning the wind dropped several times under the necessary wind limit and races had to be cancelled. As well several masts cracked due to the strong sun, which came out again and heated them massively up.

The opening round of slalom was filled with highs and lows; Taty Frans flew over the start line and held pole position the whole way around the first race of the day. Big names Ludovic Jossin, Peter Volwater, Antoine Albeau, Finian Maynard, Cedric Bordes, Micah Buzianis, and Arnon Dagan all started the day on a high, winning their first races and qualifying for the next round.
Disaster struck for Ross Williams and Josh Angulo in their opening races, as both sailors were caught out by the tough conditions and failed to advance.
As the sailors moved into the second round the fluctuating wind made the conditions all the more complex and the slalom elite had to utilize all their experience and tactics to qualify. Ben Van Der Steen opted for all out speed, dominating the rest of the fleet to make his way to the semi-finals. Albeau chose a slick line to undercut his opponents at the first mark to secure his victory, and Maynard hit the start line at full speed on the buzzer providing him with an easy pass into the next round.

Jossin and Julien battle it out for the winner´s final (Pic: PWA/Carter 2011).

By the semi-finals the sailors were really fired up and willing to work hard for their place in the winner’s final. Volwater went over the start line early in the first heat and was forced to settle for a place in the losers’ final. Julien Quentel and Jossin battled the whole way around the course but Jossin stole the qualifying position by a board length to make the final. Meanwhile super cool Albeau didn’t let the pressure affect him, claiming his third first place of the day.
Bjorn Dunkerbeck didn’t mess around in heat fourteen, charging his way around the course and guaranteeing his position in the winners’ final. Dagan continued with his faultless sailing, sticking to Dunkerbeck’s line to finish in second place, while Jimmy Diaz’s tactical sailing saw him fend off any advances from the rest of the fleet to finish in third.
Cyril Moussilmani went over early in the start of the losers’ final, opening the door for Volwater and his brother Benoit Moussilmani to claim the top spots. A rouge piece of chop caught Quentel out at the third mark and he fell from third place to last, allowing Sylvain Moussilmani to slip into third and Pascal Toselli to claim fourth place.

Antoine leads from the start on, followed by Björn (Pic: PWA/Carter 2011).

In the first winner´s final of the event we saw a fast Antoine Albeau followed by PWA Worldcup leader Björn Dunkerbeck and current number 3 Ben van der Steen.
Albeau, who recently won the Formula World Championships at Puerte Rico, opened the winners’ final with a perfectly timed start providing him with the advantage from the very beginning. Jossin and Maynard followed in second and third, whilst Dunkerbeck came from the upwind, overtook several guys and followed Antoine in second position. Albeau managed to distance himself away from the rest of the fleet allowing him to focus on the finish line. Dunkerbeck slipped off the board on the final jibe. but was back up and running in a split second but by this time he was unable to catch Albeau. Dunkerbeck had to settle for second place, with the Tarifa connection Ben van der Van Der Steen and Ludovic Jossin in third and fourth, followed by Finian Maynard, Jimmy Diaz, an incredible sailing Taty Frans in 7th, who just finished the freestyle event in 5th and could win the Freestyle supersession yesterday and Arnon Dagan from Israel, the vice Formula Windsurfing Worldchampion.

The slalom will continue tomorrow morning picking up the action with elimination two. The skippers’ meeting is planned for 10:30am with the first possible start to racing at 11:00am. The windforecast looks ok, but there should be a lot of cloudcover as well.


Results after elimination 1:


1. Antoine Albeau (JP/NeilPryde)

2. Björn Dunkerbeck (Starboard/Severne)

3. Ben van der Steen (Starboard/Loft)

full results here

have a look on the heatboard of the first round here


©, Ed Sinclair, PWA 2011