Today was the fourth day of the Slalom World Championships in Texel, Netherlands and again the spot at Paal 17 delivered windy conditions. Two races with a 4 mark Slalom were on the schedule. The first one, elimination 9, got started at 13.30. The conditions were tough. Full onshore wind and a rough sea made it difficult to sail very fluid on the race course. Unexpected waves, which built up in front of the sailors stopped the boards or shaked up the whole body gear system. German Bernd Flessner was again the man of the day. It looked like he could accelerate at each moment and managed the nasty waves and chops quite nice. Kasper Larsen (Den-11) managed to make it in second position and young Polish talent Maciek Rutkowski (Pol-23) finished in excellent third position in the 9th race!
Racing action day 4
Race 10, the second and last one of day 4, got started at 15.30. The conditions got even harder. The low tide and a heavy gust forced the riders to switch from their 8,5 uo to 9,3 sails down to 7,0 and 7,8 sails and medium sized boards. The dark clouds went through, heavy rain came down for 10 minutes and afterwards the wind totally dropped. Heat 1, which got started in the meanwhile, had to be abandoned due to the fading wind.
20 minutes later the wind was back, but dropped from 18 - 24 knots down to 11 to 13 knots, what made it quite hard for the sailors to make it even upwind to the starting boat. Heat 1 had to be resailed. A sailing boat, which got fixed at a mark, totally blocked the jibing mark and was the reason for the resail. The beach was massively crowded with sailing boats, spectators, windsurfing gear and tractors driving around carrying gear, boats or catamarans. While the weekend the biggest Catamaran race in the world will take place exactly at the beach, where the Slalom worldchampionships are held.
The closer the second final of the day in elimination 10 came, the less consistent the wind blew. Already in the losers final the fleet had problems to keep on going. But the racecrew measured steady 11 knots, the official windlimit of the IFCA. The sailors kept on going by using the energy of waves. In the winners final many sailors also stopped on the first reach directly after the start due to the light wind. Bernd Flessner again made the best out of and took the victory in race 10, followed by his countryman Vincent Langer, who was on a 85 cm wide board and a 9,3 m big sail and French top sailor Damien Leguen. But the conditions were close to be irregular we would say.
The sailors, who are placed top 20, will compete in the medal races tomorrow afternoon at 14.00. The rest of the sailors already packed their equipment. Excellent wind from southern direction is predicted. Two final heats will be held. The top 10 and the sailors placed from 11th to 20th position will fight for their final result.
©Text: Continentseven 2011