Situated at the foot of the breathtaking Pyrenean mountains, The Bay of Roses welcomed windsurfing’s elite athletes to its shores for the second clash on the Slalom calendar, from the 10th-15th of June.
Celebrating a decade of competition, La Ballena Alegre 2 campsite once again opened its doors to host the Catalunya Costa Brava PWA Slalom World Cup. Famed for its electric atmosphere, the event attracts fans from all over Europe who come to rub shoulders with their idols at the weeklong windsurfing extravaganza.
The first day of competition kicked off with the registration of the women’s slalom fleets. A whopping total of 21 women registered, making one of the biggest slalom fleets to compete in a PWA event in the last eight years.
While conditions on day one stayed too light to compete, most of the sailors took the time out to tweak and tune their gear in preparation for the arrival of the wind, which was forecast for the forthcoming days.
Day two of competition greeted competitors to the beach with clear blue skies and a gentle Mediterranean breeze. An epic forecast for the following day allowed the sailors to briefly soak up the Spanish way of life before the imminent the following day.
Day three’s much talked about forecast didn’t disappoint, offering up daylong slalom perfection for the sailors to lay waste to.
Race 1- The Games Begin
Launching into action on day three, competitors hit the racecourse to do battle in hammering Tramontana winds, gusting in excess of 30 knots.
In the the women’s eliminations, the first shock of the day came when Iballa Moreno (North Sails), who’d been tipped to do big things in this event, was knocked out in the first of the semi finals following some iritic decision making at the gybe marks.
Valarie Ghibaudo (Tabou, The Loft) opened up the throttle to win both her semi final and the final. Hot on her heels, Karin Jaggi (F2, North Sails) showed determination to take second place, ahead of Japan’s Ayako Suzuki (Starboard, Gaastra) in third.
Race 2 - The Tramontana Howls
The second of the women’s eliminations saw Jaggi’s experience reign supreme, as she pieced together a tenacious run to claim first place. Moreno bounced back from her first elimination shocker to take second, and ex-RSX racer Lee Korzitz took third place honours.
Race 3 - The last chance
The day concluded with the third of the women’s eliminations. The ensuing bout saw age old rivals, Jaggi and Ghibaudo advance from their respective heats, paving the way for an exciting final showdown.
However, the final was to take an unpredicted turn, when Jaggi and Ghibaudo both went over the start line early, opening the door for Iballa Moreno to steal her first victory of the contest, with Lee Korzitz coming in second, and France’s Alice Arutkin in third.
Overcast skies meant the remaining two days of competition were spent frustratingly waiting for the wind to arrive, and with the event’s deadline drawing ever closer, the race committee announced the end of the event on the afternoon of day six, writing this awe inspiring chapter into the chronicles of the 2008 season.
1st Karin Jaggi
2nd Iballa Moreno
3rd Lee Korzitz
photo Getty Images
photo Getty Images