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The 2007 Fuerteventura PWA Grand Slam - Day 1
Women’s Race 1
With a fleet full of new faces and some tough competition from established competitors, Karin Jaggi (F2 / North) had her work cut out in the women’s fleet.
Straight away her French rival Valerie Ghibaudo (T1) came out fighting in bold statement of intent after Jaggi’s domination here last season. Ghibaudo, last year’s runner-up here in Sotavento took the win in difficult conditions. ‘I was first at mark-one with good speed but I really felt pressure from Karin behind me’ said the Frenchwomen. ‘My first gybe was OK but it was tricky after that. I hurt my arm later in the afternoon but I really hope I can win another tomorrow’
Jaggi, who finished second, rued her choice of sail I the first race. ‘I took a 6.3 and we all got good starts. I was quite tight with Valerie at the first mark but she got away – I should’ve tried to go inside her!’
Women’s Race 2
This time it was easier for Jaggi who won the start line challenge and was simply un-catch-able from there to the finish. ‘I was underpowered this time’ said the Swiss all-round windsurfing star. ‘I chose a 5.8 and it was also closer than the first race as no-one fell at the first mark so it was harder to get away sooner but on the second reach I pulled away and built a good lead’
Women’s Race 3
The wind had whipped-up to well over 20 knots for final two women’s races. Jaggi built momentum by taking another well-crafted race win to pressure the rest of the fleet hard on this the first day of competition. ‘We’ve never had it so choppy here’ she explained. ‘It was awful with waves against wind. I wanted to have control on my side to edge an advantage so I took my smallest board, sail and fin and still we were all close at the start line. I wanted to go wide at the first mark so I could be set-up nicely for the second reach heading out to sea but I couldn’t risk the maneuver so Valerie and I were super-close at the second mark. But luckily she fell although she did well trying to catch-up after I was playing it safe to the finish’
Women’s Race 4
The final race was held in even harder conditions than anything the men had raced in all day. This environment called for experience and a level head and only one person had the total windsurfing skills to sensibly and skillfully handle this scenario. Jaggi’s third successive race win sent out a terrifying message to her opponents for what the rest of this contest will hold for them if they want to topple her from her pedestal. ‘I was a little to far upwind on the start but it was survival conditions out there’ described Jaggi. ‘I was so high upwind by the first mark that I had to gybe super-wide around all the other girls. I didn’t get to press a lead until later when Valerie fell where I think she hurt herself. I got better with each race today as until now we’ve not had any practice in high-wind so I got more and more comfortable with the conditions’
Iballa Moreno (North) showed her heavy-wind experience by finishing in second place ahead of Sarah Hebert (Starboard / Naish) in third.
The first possible start tomorrow is set at 10.30 from when you’re welcome to join us at www.pwaworldtour.com <http://www.pwaworldtour.com/> to follow the action with our live event ticker, daily news summaries, video footage, awesome photo galleries, online elimination ladders and more!
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© PWA / Brian McDowell