Sean O'Brien Reports from PWA Costa Brava

Dunkerbeck takes the title, with young gun Julien Quentel a very close second ahead of his RRD team mate Antoine Albeau. Sean O’Brian has a final report for us from Costa Brava.

With only one heat sailed yesterday of Round 6 and Bjorn still in a clear lead of the event over the RRD team of Julien Quentel and Antoine Albeau, it was going to be a long day at the beach as the PWA race crew were very keen to get this round completed.

Dunkerbeck takes the win.
Dunkerbeck takes the win. Image credit PWA/JC.

Against the forecast, the wind actually picked up enough to start some racing and by 2pm we were out on the water for a very fickle onshore day of racing! You can always tell the conditions are tricky by how many over-earlies there are in the racing. No less than 15 over-early general recalls took place today with on average 2-3 sailors getting bumped per heat! The race was all down to the start as in 10-12 knots there is not as big a speed difference between a lot of us sailors and with the flatter water it was unlikely that anyone of us would fall off a gybe! I spoke a bit too soon and in my Heat (which happened to be the French National Championships with Albeau, Montefon, Le Guen, Questel and De Souza all in my Heat!) I managed to hit the first mark with everyone at once and promptly spat my gybe and took waaaaay too long to get the sail back up and finished LAST. Not my finest moment but in a way I was glad to not have to sail so late in to the afternoon!

Micah and Bjorn.
Micah and Bjorn. Image credit PWA/JC.

Somehow we managed to sneak in enough heats to sail the winner’s final but not the loser’s final, with Micah Buzianis dominating this final race taking the winner’s final ahead of Bjorn Dunkerbeck, Ross Williams and Steve Allen. This 2nd for Bjorn was easily enough for him to win the event and just sneak ahead of Antoine Albeau in the 2012 PWA Rankings for Slalom with Antoine finishing 3rd at this event and Julien Quentel 2nd overall.

It was an extremely difficult week of racing here with winds very up and down each day of the event making sail-size critical and the starts even more so which can be seen by the amount of different final winner’s and BIG names well down the results list like Maynard (32nd), Questel (29th), Volwater (28th) and Gonzalo in 25th overall.

At least the temperatures were nice and we were blessed to be able to sail in boardshorts all week after a horrifically cold event in South Korea last month. We now have a full month’s break before the first of the Canary Island events kick off with Pozo (waves) and Fuerteventura (slalom) being the highlights. I’ll be on my way back to Lake Garda with the Italian team for a month of relaxing, training and work before we tune up the 5.5m’s and small boards for the typical 50 knots we usually race in on the Spanish islands.

A big congrats to Bjorn for winning another event and to Quentel who really dominated yesterday to finish 2nd overall. It’s still early days in the season with 3 more slalom events to go so we’ll see whether Bjorn can take the title again this year or Albeau will be back and hungry as he’s typically the fastest guy in nuking conditions and won the Fuerteventura World Cup last year by a streak!

Check out all the week’s reports by clicking the numbers below…

  1. mark

    Sean, how did you get on with the Severne wide tail boom?

    1. Sean O'Brien

      I think it’s the most amazing development in slalom right now. I can’t go back! I’m using a 210-260cm Severne boom which has the same shape as the 240-290cm boom in width (has the kinked back back part of the boom). You get a really different stance on the board which is really nice and comfortable and it actually makes gybing much easier… I put a MauiSails front end on the boom though as the Severne front end was rubbish… I’m only using it on my biggest sail (8.6m), i don’t know how it would be on smaller sails…

      Steve, Bjorn, Bora, Wojtek and a few other guys were using these wide booms on their big slalom kit at the contest also.

      1. mark

        Thanks Sean:)

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Andy King

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