18th of August 2006, Switzerland, Formula International and Euro Cup

Day 3. Slalom and Racing action at the Euro-Cup Silvaplana
Ross Williams takes the lead also in Slalom but Arnon Dagan attacks in Racing

by Matthias Regber Choppy Water
The third day of the Windsurfing Euro-Cup Silvaplana was one of the best in the history of the series. After two days of dark weather with clouds and rain the sun returned to the Engadin and brought the famous Maloja wind. In wind speeds up to over 20 knots the race committee was able to run a full slalom elimination and not less then three more races. Ross Williams (GBR-83, Tabou, Gaastra) showed that he is not only an excellent racer but also capable to win slaloms But the man of the day was Arnon Dagan (ISR-1, Fanatic, Neil Pryde) from Israel who dominated all three races.

As the wind was already very good in the morning the race committee decided that after two days of racing now the second discipline slalom should take precedence. A full elimination was run in wind speeds between 14 and 23 knots. The first round and the semi finals didn’t bring any bigger surprises so that most of the favourites found their way into the final. There everthing seemed to be an easy game for Finian Maynard (KV-11, F2, Neil Pryde), the brand new IFCA Slalom World Champion from the British Virgin Islands. He had a perfect start and didn’t make any mistakes. But at the last mark he go stuck for a moment in the lighter breeze. This was the chance for which Ross Williams waited the full heat. Since the start he was on Finians heals raising the pressure to provoke mistakes. Now he sneaked on the inside and pumped away a little bit faster than the Speed World Record holder at his over 100kg. accelerating towards the finish line Ross covered Finian which opened the door also for Arnon Dagan and Adriaan van Rijselberge (NED-2, JP, Neil Pryde) to pass the slalom giant. Finian only finished as fourth with the Swiss local Richard Staufacher (SUI-31, Starboard, Neil Pryde) on his heals.

After this elimination and a break for the competitors the discipline was changed to Racing. Three more races were run. In the first race of the day (race 5) Arnon Dagan was able to score his first bullet in the event. But the current leader Ross Williams confirmed his strong performance with a second place as well as Gonzalo Costa Hoevel with his third. Hubert Mokrzycki (POL-25, Tabou, Gaastra) is getting stronger and stronger and managed to defeat the Italian hotshop Alberto Menegatti (ITA-456, F2, North Sails).

In race 6 Arnon Dagan continued his domination. But the Argentinian Gonzalo Costa Hoevel also got stronger. So this time Ross Williams was forced to let him pass. At the same time Alberto Menegatti was able to turn the game winning the fourth place in front of his hardest opponent Hubert Mokrzycki.

In the final race of the day (race 7) Arnon Dagan was able to complete his triple triumph. Again he had a British rider on his heals. But this time it was not the leader Ross Williams but last years Silvaplana winner Keith Atkinson who scored a second place. The Italian Master Champion Marco Begalli (ITA-415, Exocet, North Sails) surprised the experts with an excellent race which ended on the third place. Markus Bouman (NED-6, Starboard, Neil Pryde), the Formula Windsurfing Youth World Champion of 2003 scored his best result in the competition so far with a fourth place in front of Kuba Guzdek (POL-13, Naish Sails) from Poland.

After the third day and seven races done the competitors the competitors have two discards, so that each of them they can throw out his two worst results. Ross Williams showed some weakness today but is still in the top with 7.00 points. After his dominating performance today Arnon Dagan has moved within striking distance with 8.00 points. Just 1.00 points behind the leader he has the chance to jump on the top position tomorrow. Gonzala Costa Hoevel took advantage of his solid performance today and moved up to the third place with 15.00 points. By doing so he passed Kuba Guzdeck who is currently fourth but has to be careful to keep the distance to Alberto Menegatti and Keith Atkinson (GBR-56, Starboard, Neil Pryde) who both wait only inches in the back and hope for a chance to catch the strong Polish rider.

Tomorrow will be the final day of the Windsurfing Euro-Cup Silvaplana. The forecasts predict more sunshine and wind for the weekend. The skippers meeting is scheduled for 11:00 with the first possible start at 11:30. The first race tomorrow will be the famous marathon race. This is one of the oldest most famous windsurfing competitions. The race will count as one race for the Windsurfing Euro-Cup. Instead of two laps the competitors have to do five of them to achieve the full marathon distance. Afterwards we expect some more windsurfing action. Slalom has clear preference but if the wind is not strong enough we might very well get even more racings done. The prize giving will take place at the famous party on the Corvatsch Gletscher.

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