It must be a pretty stressful experience having Dunkerbeck breathing down your neck. But Dan Ellis kept his cool as he over took him to the first buoy and held the inside line.
This afternoons slalom racing was held in perfect side shore winds gusting up to 20 knots. The racing was exciting as their were several pile ups at the gybe marks and general recalls. First casualty was Kevin Pritchard who was over early and out. Meanwhile the usuals were cruising. Peter Volwater in particular on form and easily one of the best at the gybe marks.
The second semi final was full of controversy. Micah Buzianis rounded the mark amongst the pack only for his mast to burst through the top of the sail. In front Arnon Dagen and Albeau were sparring at warp speeds. Just as they finished the final, the whole race was abandoned although no one actually knew why. So it then had to be raced again. The second semi saw Dunkerbeck being challenged by Ross Williams for the finish line. This also saw both Ross and Dan in the Final. The first semi was then re run, this time Arnon had not such a good start, and was challenging for Micah. Albeau was out in front. Then there was a mass pile up at the gybe mark as everyone tried to get the tightest line. It was a race to get up and going, Arnon just got away in front of Micah. They tussled all the way to the end, but Micah was the casualty. And despite getting a second chance do you think he was happy. Nada! Straight to the race office to appeal, but after much shouting it was thrown out, he would have to settle for the losers final, whilst his main rival and arch enemy Dunkerbeck was back in Terminator mode.
The situation in the final became even more tense, two general recalls. First over was Phil McGain, then it was Ben Van Der Steen. The 3rd final got off to a great start, Dan Ellis took the inside line and put the metal down and reached the mark with Bjorn breathing down his neck. A great gybe and he left the whole fleet in his wake. Why he did not win this race we do not know, but one thing is for sure Bjorn and Albeau are not used to seeing a GBR number winning a slalom final, and were certainly not going to let it happen. Dan went too wide at the second gybe and Bjorn took his chance, Albeau also squeezed through completely taking his wind and dropping Dan down to 5th. From there on Dunkerbeck extended his lead, ahead of Albeau and Volwater whilst Dan and Ross battled it out between them. Peter Volwater is definately the man on form at the moment, using a set of borrowed Maui Sails in the racing (Arrows are not registered), and he is still in the running for the wave title. If there was an overall for this event, it would be his so far… The next race follows soon.
Report by Clyde Waite
Photo Credit: Clyde Waite