The third day of the PWA Fuerteventura Grand Slam finally saw the slalom sailors hit the water after two long days waiting anxiously on the beach. The wind arrived at 11am before soon disappearing again after the completion of eleven heats. The competitors continued to be teased by the wind for the duration of the afternoon, but in the end their patience duly paid off as the first elimination of the men’s slalom was concluded.
Men’s First Elimination - Winners’ Final
The men’s winners’ final proved to be a spectacular event as the wind picked up throughout the race to produce some full power, high octane slalom. Peter Volwater crossed the start line in first place but that would all change by exit of the first mark. An absolutely perfect gybe from Ben Van Der Steen saw him leap into the lead as he bypassed Volwater, Bjorn Dunkerbeck and Antoine Albeau (RRD / NeilPryde). By the third mark the flying Dutchman, Van Der Steen, had extended his lead over the rest of the chasing pack, whilst Albeau started a charge of his own to leave the third gybe in second place ahead of Volwater and Buzianis. Van Der Steen managed to hold his nerve around the final mark and he cruised to the opening victory of the 2012 PWA Fuerteventura Grand Slam. Albeau claimed second followed by Volwater and Buzianis in third and fourth respectively. Dunkerbeck in the mean time had to settle for fifth.
Here are Antoine words after the Winners’ final:
Long day today again. We start in the morning but the wind dropped almost all afternoon after it came back late afternoon and was on and off, really hard to decide what sail and board to take.
I was on 7.0 on my first heat and all the rest I was on 7.8 and my 114. I won all my heats except the final.
In the final I had a ok start Bjorn was just downwind of me. We arrived more or less together at the first jibe but he took it super large and 3 guys went inside so I was 5th at the second reach. I manage to jibe before Bjorn. Then on the 3rd reach I overtake Micah and took Peter W at the next jibe. After that I was 2nd and Ben had too much advance to come back on him.
Well done Ben it was a very good battle and interesting final.