Thieme chills out while waiting for the wind. (Pic: PWA/Souville)
The 2004 Nestea PWA Almanarre Hyeres World Cup – Day 1
A day of waiting has only added to the apprehension amongst the fleet here in France, with the outcome of the men’s and women’s Nestea PWA World Windsurf Racing Tour hanging in the balance. There is everything to play for once competition begins for real and the results of this event will decide the championship for 2004, once and for all.
Dorota Staszewska (Starboard, Gaastra) is hungry for vengeance having only made it to fourth in the women’s rankings after the event in Gran Canaria earlier this year. In order to reclaim her title however, Staszewska will have to get past Britain’s Lucy Horwood (Fanatic, North Sails) – currently lying second – before she can even hope to challenge current race ranking leader Allison Shreeve (F2) and steal back the crown that has sat so firmly on her head in recent years.
The men’s competition is even tighter with Steve Allen (Fanatic, Neil Pryde) and Antoine Albeau (AHD, Neil Pryde) inseparable in joint first. Despite their current dominance there are several sailors in hot pursuit and should Allen and Albeau fall foul of lady luck, then they could well find themselves tumbling not only from glory but off the podium altogether.
Current third place Kevin Pritchard (Starboard, Gaastra) will be looking to secure yet another world title, but he will also have his own battles to fight with 2004 PWA Racing Champion Micah Buzianis (F2, North Sails) who currently lies fourth, and the British bad boy of Racing, Ross Williams (Starboard, Gaastra) chasing hard in fifth.
Whatever the final outcome we are guaranteed to see some real nail-biting racing over the next few days when competition finally gets underway in anger. Forecasts for the coming week are looking good, so stay tuned…