Expectations were running high as competition entered its final day in Korea, and all hopes of securing a result from the first leg of the slalom tour boiled down to the day that lay ahead.
The crowds gather on Jinha beach
Temperatures soared in the calm morning conditions, building hopes of a thermal sea breeze bringing the required wind to JinHa beach. By early afternoon, conditions had started to develop, raising hopes of getting the 7-knot minimum to allow racing to go ahead.
At 3.45pm, with the wind still too light for official competition, the race committee settled upon organizing a fun race for both the men’s and women’s fleets. The ensuing race, grouping both men and women together, started with a mass beach start before the entire fleet hit the water for a lap of the slalom course. The beach swelled with ecstatic local fans, as they cheered their hero’s around the course.
The race proved to be a tactical battle of wits, taking place in challenging 4-7 knot winds. Ultimately, Julien Quentel (Starboard, NeilPryde) and Lee Korzitz were rewarded for their efforts, claiming first place in the men’s and women’s fleets respectively.
The race committee’s continued attempts to get racing underway were hampered by gusty winds which, although strong enough at times, eventually proved too inconsistent and at 6.00pm competition was finally called off for the day and the event.
The 2008 Ulsan PWA World Cup concluded without any successfully completed heats, despite numerous attempted efforts, and without official results in both the men’s and women’s fleets.
Despite the week’s contest being plagued by teasing, marginal conditions, this event will be remembered for the warm and vibrant atmosphere created by the hosts, and the exceptional organization witnessed throughout the event. This stop of the slalom tour very obviously remains hugely popular with competitors from all over the world.
There was a mammoth amount of effort put in by the local hosts, from the lavish opening ceremony in the Lotte Hotel, to the energetic closing ceremony on the sands of beautiful Jinha Beach, where the winners of the final day’s fun race were awarded their silverware under a technicolor backdrop of fireworks and rock ‘n’ roll. This event will live long in the memory of all who have taken part, and experienced the beautiful and diverse Korean culture.
The PWA would like to express enormous thanks to the Ulsan Broadcasting Corporation and all the sponsors of this event. We look forward to returning in 2009 and for many seasons to come.
You can read daily reports from the event, view picture galleries and check the results at www.pwaworldtour.com
Or, for more information, please contact the PWA office via firstname.lastname@example.org
© PWA / Andrew Buchanan