Ross Williams blasting (pic: PWA / Carter)
Nestea PWA Almanarre Hyeres World Cup â€“ Registration Day
All eyes are homing in on Lâ€™Almanarre, Hyeres in the South of France today as competitors prepare for the final round of the 2004 Nestea PWA World Windsurf Racing Tour. The menâ€™s rankings currently see French Superstar Antoine Albeau (AHD, Neil Pryde) and Aussie tour veteran Steve Allen (Fanatic, Neil Pryde) sitting cheek to cheek in the number one spot, tied for the lead after the first 3 stops on the tour.
Kevin Pritchard (Starboard, Gaastra) heads up the chasing pack in third, ahead of Micah Buzianis (F2, North Sails) and Ross Williams (Starboard, Gaastra) in fourth and fifth respectively. The top 5 men are separated by only 300 tour ranking points and with a total of 2100 up for grabs for the winner here in France, competition will be every tight indeed.
Leading the dance in the ladies fleet is another Aussie, Alison Shreeve (F2) ahead of Lucy Horwood (F2, North Sails) and Karin Jaggi (F2, Arrows) but with Jaggi unable to compete in Almanarre, current fourth place Dorota Staszewska (Starboard, Gaastra) will have a real fighting chance to get back to her familiar place in the number one slot.
For the first time in years, Slalom will also be making a return to the PWA Tour in the form of a â‚¬5,000 Slalom Exhibition to take place here in Almanarre. Running parallel to the Formula Racing, the Slalom event will give a fantastic demonstration of a competitors tactical upwind ability compared to the sheer power and adrenaline of the downwind course.
Burning blue skies combined with solid 25 knot Westerly winds have made for a perfect day of testing, training and preparation in prelude to what is guaranteed to be a week of intense action and down to the wire racing.