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Sean O'Brien Reports from PWA Costa Brava

11:10 18th June 2012 by Amy Carter
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Sean O’Brien reports from the racing yesterday in Costa Brava, where even in the light but stormy weather a winner was crowned for the first round.

A very quiet start to Day 2 of the Costa Brava PWA World Cup. The forecast was grim and our only chance was for the land to heat up and get some thermic in the afternoon. This did eventually happen however it wasn’t until 2.30pm that any of us were even tempted to rig!

Stormy skies. Image credit PWA/JC.

Stormy skies. Image credit PWA/JC.

The wind was still dead onshore which always makes it look windier than it really is but when the first sailors hit the water it was clear that we were going to be on our BIG GEAR. 7 heats were able to be run as the wind teetered around 9-12 knots for the afternoon, but with even lighter patches making the starting very difficult as we later discovered with no less than 8 over-early sailors in the 7 heats that were run!

Bora Kozanoglu and Ross Williams were the first to get DSQ’d in heat 11 (the first to start today) followed by Ben Van Der Steen, Finian Maynard and myself in heat 12. In the semi finals it was Taty’s turn to go early, and backed it up again by going early in the loser’s final with Josh Angulo!

Sean O'Brien

Sean O'Brien

I think the problem (certainly for me) was coming to the line and having the wind go light and you would foot off to try and keep the speed and take the risk to hit the line so close, if you were to back off and time it better you could fall off the plane and be LAST. A risky business is racing in light winds!

The winner’s final was probably the lightest race of the day! Antoine had a great start with Bjorn but Dunkerbeck’s straight line speed got him easily in to the first gybe ahead and he never looked like he could be beaten the rest of the race. Alberto Menegatti, who is blisteringly fast on his 9.5m and 127L iSonic was 3rd to the first mark but made a horrible gybe and was completely SANDWICHED by Arnon Dagan and Sylvain Moussilmani and fell off the plane to finish LAST!

Close gybing at the mark. Image credit PWA/JC.

Close gybing at the mark. Image credit PWA/JC.

There were a lot of tussles at the marks in the very light air and by the end Steve Allen and Peter Bijl were able to pass Antoine to take 2nd and 3rd with Antoine in 4th and Sylvain in 5th. Almost as Alberto crossed the line to finish this final the wind began to drop but somehow we squeezed the loser’s final in with Benout Moussilmani claiming the victory ahead of Micah Buzianis and Ludovic Jossin. Once the finals were run the wind completely died and the racing was very promptly called off leaving us with only 1 Round finished after 2 days of racing here in Costa Brava.

Dunkerbeck celebrates the first victory. Image credit PWA/JC.

Dunkerbeck celebrates the first victory. Image credit PWA/JC.

In the evening we were bus’d to another campsite along the coast for an Event Party at the Marokkon Surf Bar (which also coincided with the NEDvGER football game and with quite a few Dutchies on the tour, it was always going to be a good game to watch!). Knowing the thermic won’t really take effect until the afternoon, most of us succumbed to the free beer and great Spanish food but it will be all action stations tomorrow morning as the forecast looks like we’ll get a decent blow tomorrow and hopefully knock a few rounds over.

Head to the next page for a run down of the first day…

  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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