Ben van der Steen gybes his way to the European title…
IFCA European Slalom Championships 2005
Alaçati, June 26th 2005. After four tremendous competition days the IFCA European Slalom Championships 2005 in Alaçatý, Çeþme (Turkey) ended today. The venue has left an excellent impression on the competitors, the class and the Euro-Cup organization. Every day the wind was blowing with at least 15 knots. The maximums reached up to over 30 knots. This enabled the race committee to run not less then 9 slalom eliminations for all of the fleets. Finian Maynard (KV-11, F2, Naish Sails) from the British Virgin Islands presented a superior performance and won the men’s fleet. Allison Shreeve (AUS-911, F2, Neil Pryde) from Australia and the reigning Formula Windsurfing European Master Champion Marco Begalli (ITA-415, Fanatic, Neil Pryde) fully dominated the women and the master fleet and ensured their victory already one day before the end of the regatta. The event was open for all competitors but only Europeans can win the European title. So Ben van der Steen (NED-57, Exocet, Neil Pryde) and Cagla Kubat (TUR-75, Fanatic, Gaastra) are the new IFCA European Slalom Champions 2005.
On the final day two more eliminations were run for each fleet. It was the day of the Dutch Ben van der Steen who scored two bullets. Finian Maynard ensured his event victory in the elimination eight and was able to stay ashore in the last race. Also strong was Sam Ireland (CAN-1, Starboard, Neil Pryde) with a fifth and a second. Dan Ellis (GBR-52, Fanatic, Naish Sails) was pushing hard to pass his Fanatic team mate Arnon Dagan (ISR-1, Fanatic, Neil Pryde) with two thirds, while the Israel Champion scored two fourth places. Finally Marco Begalli was fighting hard but successful to pass Hüseyin Sert (TUR-10, F2, North Sails) with a fifth place in the final race.
After four spectacular competition days with nine slalom eliminations Finian Maynard has won the IFCA European Slalom Championships with four victories and a total of 6,8 points. On the second place follows Ben van der Steen with three victories and 10,1 points. As best European competitor he is the new IFCA European Slalom Champion 2005. With his strong performance on the final day he was able to pass Sam Ireland from Canada who scored one bullet and a total of 10,7 points. Arnon Dagan managed to defend his fourth place with one victory and 18,7 points against Dan Ellis with 20,0 points. With a fifth place in the final race Marco Begalli (35 points) was able to grab the sixth place in the tie break in front of the three best Turkish competitors Hüseyin Sert (35 points), Ali Palamutcu (TUR-3, F2, North Sails, 37 points) and Bora Kozanoglu (TUR-11, Starboard, Maui Sails, 49 points). The top ten are completed by Wolfgang Verlaeckt (BEL-3, Exocet, Neil Pryde, 49 points) from Belgium.
The women’s fleet was dominated by the Formula Windsurfing Vice World Champion Allison Shreeve from Australia. She won all nine races of her fleet. But as she is not from Europe the fight for the IFCA European Slalom title concentrated on two Turkish girls: In the end the Turkish Champion Cagla Kubat (TUR-75, Fanatic, Gaastra) was able to dominate with 13,0 points and is now the IFCA European Slalom Champion 2005. On her heals follows just two points behind Scadi Pekdag (TUR-626, F2, Gaastra, 15,0 points).
The Formula Windsurfing European Master Champion Marco Begalli from Italy was able to add another title to his collection. He dominated his fleet and won with a total of 4,2 points. On the second place follows Leonid Judin (SAM-1, Starboard, Severne) with 9,4 points. After a tight fight the third position goes Aydin Gözen (TUR-53, F2, North Sails, 20,0 points) in front of Ekin Bilem (TUR-199, F2, North Sails, 21,0 points) and Oguz Kagan Ozbenli (TUR-101, Starboard, Gaastra, 23,0 points).
The event was a huge success for the IFCA class. Four different board brands can be found in the top four which shows the close level of competition between the brands. The host country Turkey did an excellent job and can be proud about a women European title and three local competitors in the men’s fleet. After the huge success of the IFCA European Slalom Championships the organizers are looking forward to host again a Windsurfing Euro-Cup in Alacati next year.
The official website of the event with more information is www.surfnsound.org. The IFCA European Slalom Championships 2005 are covered on www.euro-cup.org, and www.internationalwindsurfing.com. Besides the reports and the results you will also find a live ticker on www.euro-cup.org. So check out the internet!
Sponsors and Supporters:
Hosted by: Alaçatı Beach Club with the official support of the Governor of Çeşme, Municipality of Alacati and Municipality of Çeşme
Organized by: Sportworks Group with the approval of the Turkish Sailing Federation
Main Sponsor: JIM BEAM
Sponsors: POWER FM, NTV, QUIKSILVER, OAKLEY, PEPSI, ARÇELIK, ALTINYUNUS HOTEL
Supporters: Alaçati Beach Club, Sole Mare
Finian Maynard (KV-11, F2, Naish Sails): “Whow! I am really happy to win this event. I haven’t done slalom for five years. But it is really great. My equipment is going well! Now I am prepared for the IFCA Slalom Worlds in Fuerte in July.”
Sam Ireland (CAN-1, Starboard, Neil Pryde): “We had a good organization and great conditions. I was a little bit rusted and blew it on the last day. But it was a great event!”
Ben van der Steen (NED-57, Exocet, Neil Pryde) “It was an awesome event! Great conditions and spectacular racing. I had to fight my way through to the podium. But today I finally scored two bullets and passed Sam. It is great to have slalom again!”
Arnon Dagan (ISR-1, Fanatic, Neil Pryde): “After all I am very happy. I was injured for one month and had to start with almost zero preparation. In the end it was one single jibe that destroyed my result. But Slalom in the Euro-Cup is great. I started with Slalom and its great to see this great format return now.”
Allison Shreeve (AUS-911, F2, Neil Pryde): “I’m stoked! I won the women fleet and achieved a solid mid field position among the men. Slalom is great! It is fun, fast, easy and great for the media and the spectators. The races are short and you can do a lot of them. It is great to see the return of this discipline in the Euro-Cup. It will be difficult for me to return on the formula board again.”
Cagla Kubat (TUR-75, Fanatic, Gaastra): “I am very happy about the event and my result. I hope we will have more events like this and more girls competing in the future. I will also come to the IFCA Slalom Worlds in Fuerte in July!”
Marco Begalli (ITA-415, Fanatic, Neil Pryde): “I am very happy! Today so many things went wrong. I broke my mast and my harness. But then I had a great race and was able to pass Hüseyin with who I was fighting already the whole regatta.”