15th of August 2006, Switzerland, Formula International and Euro Cup

Racing and Slalom Champions come to the Euro-Cup Silvaplana

Tomorrow the Windsurfing Euro-Cup will kick off at the STIMOROL ENGADINWIND.COM mega event in Silvaplana. From last weekend until today the worlds best freestyle windsurfers have already presented their potential on the Lake Silvaplana at the tour stop of the EFPT. Now the spectators can enjoy the spectacular Racing and Slalom competitions of the Windsurfing Euro-Cup. Over 50 competitors are pre-registered for the event. Among them are several Champions and other top riders of the racing and slalom disciplines.

The list of the favourites is lead by the brand new IFCA Slalom World Champion Finian Maynard (KV-11, F2, Neil Pryde) from the British Virgin Islands. He has just won the World Championships in Alacati, Turkey. Additionally he is the current Speed World Record holder and therefore fastest windsurfer on the planet. So he will be a tough challenge for his opponents. But there are quite a few who hope to cross the plans of Finian Maynard. One of them is Steve Allen (AUS-0, Tabou, Gaastra) from Australia, the Formula Windsurfing World Champion from 2003. Last weekend he has won the Windsurfing Euro-Cup in Leba (Poland) and is known as one of the strongest Formula Windsurfing racers at the moment. Especially in light winds there are very few who are able to match up with him. This may be a significant advantage in the thin air of Switzerland 1.800 metre above the sea level. Another serious threat is the current Formula Windsurfing European Champion Ross Williams (GBR-83, Tabou, Gaastra) from Great Britain. He has proven already in the past that he is able to beat all the other top racer and is ready to do so again if the chances are there.

Among the favourites is also Arnon Dagan (ISR-1, Fanatic, Neil Pryde) from Israel. He showed an exceptional performance at the Euro-Cup in Leba (Poland) last weekend and ended up on even points with Steve Allen. Only the tie break rules left him with the second place and granted the triumph for the Australian. Now Arnon is hungry for revenge. The Argentinian Gonzalo Costa Hoevel (ARG-3, F2, Neil Pryde) also made his way to Silvaplana to fight for the triumph and a share of the prize money. Italy is represented by the Italian Master Champion Marco Begalli (ITA-415, Exocet, North Sails) and the young but already strong hotshot Alberto Menegatti (ITA-456, F2,
North Sails).

But the list of potential podium candidates is much longer and it is difficult to make a forecast who will win the event as the level of the top racers is very close this year. Especially the Swiss national heroes hope take advantage of their knowledge of the specific conditions here on the Lake Silvaplana. Their team is lead by Karin Jaggi (SUI-14, F2, North Sails) and Daniel Äberli (SUI- , F2, North Sails).

The Euro-Cup at the ENGADINWIND.COM festival features the both disciplines of Racing (Formula Windsurfing) and Slalom (IFCA). For Racing the competitors are allowed to register one board and three sails. Competitons can be run from not less then 7 knots as the racers use sails up to 12,5 m2 and boards with a maximum width of 100 cm. The whole fleet will start together so that we can expect some spectacular situations on the course. In the Slalom the fleet is devided into groups (heats) which fight among each other for the entry into the next round until the winner is finally fought out in the final. In the Slalom the maximum sail size is limited to 10,0 m2 with a maximum board width of 85 cm. The total prize money of the event is EUR 20.000,00.

Many racers used the spectacular conditions on the registration day to prepare themselves and their gear for the upcoming challenge. Tomorrow the skippers meeting is scheduled for 11:00 with the first possible start at 12:00. The local experts expect bad weather with clouds, rain and cold temperatures but strong wind. So the Euro-Cup Silvaplana may very well kick off with a spectacular slalom elimination. The ENGADINWIND.COM will last until Saturday, August 19th.

The official website of the event is <http://www.engadinwind.com> . The official website of the Windsurfing
Euro-Cup series with more information is <http://www.euro-cup.org/> . Besides the reports and the results you will
also find a live ticker on <http://www.euro-cup.org>. So check out the internet!