The PWA has officially kicked off in Spain today. Winds were fickle with strong gusts and big lulls leading to some pretty mixed reactions from the riders, no more so than Bjorn Dunkerbeck, read on for the official PWA press release to find out more...
The inaugural day of the PWA Catalunya World Cup saw the competitors registering for the upcoming competition between 10am and 11am. With a less than promising wind forecast, combined with a very quiet start to the day, not everybody was expecting to be competing come the afternoon. However, as the skippers’ meeting took place at one o’clock the wind gradually started to increase as the local thermal effect kicked in. Shortly after 14:45 the first heat of race one was underway in winds ranging from 7-10 knots. A stop-start afternoon was eventually concluded at around 17:30 with five heats being completed - there were however a number of casualties in the opening round as the marginal winds made for very tricky racing conditions.
The biggest news of the day involved Bjorn Dunkerbeck (Starboard / Severne / Dunkerbeck Eyewear / Chris Benz) in the opening heat of the day - who was one of the aforementioned casualties above. The terminator was in the crucial top four at the third mark, but light winds then haunted Dunkerbeck as he failed to get back on the plane which saw him drop out of the qualifying places. Dunkerbeck wasn’t the only surprise exit from heat one though, as Gonzalo Costa Hoevel (Starboard / Loft Sails) also fell victim to the light winds after gybing underneath Micah Buzianis (JP / MauiSails), only to find himself in a no wind zone and unable to get planing again. In the end Oliver-Tom Schliemann (Starboard / Point-7) finished at the front of the pack with Buzianis, Casper Bouman (Angulo / NeilPryde / Mystic) and Peter Volwater (Fanatic / Avanti) all qualifying too.
A very upset and hugely frustrated Dunkerbeck speaking after day one:
“I got to the first mark in second place, but after that the wind became lighter and getting going was hardly possible - of course that was nice for the lighter guys. With some rule changes, which have been implemented this year, this will happen more often - sailing in these lighter wind conditions!"
“Good or bad I guess it will make other windsurfers win!"
On a day where the conditions were marginal, it was no surprise to see the sailors pushing their starts extremely hard to try and guarantee their survival into the next round, however as you would expect their were a number of premature starts today - the first of which came in heat two with Enes Yilmazer (JP / NeilPryde) jumping the gun. Upon the restart Patrick Diethelm (Patrik / Loft Sails), Ben Van Der Steen (Starboard / Gaastra / Mystic / Different), Matteo Iachino (F2 / Challenger / AL360) all did well to advance, but sixteen year old debutant - Coen Swijnenburg (JP / NeilPryde) - couldn’t have asked for a better introduction to life on the PWA World Tour as he booked his place in the quarterfinals at the first time of asking.
For the rest of the article head on over to this link.