There was a nail biting climax to the men’s racing at the Formula Windsurfing World Championships. It came down to the very last race of the 15 race series to decide who would be World Champion.
Kevin Pritchard (USA) took the crown, just 0.7 points ahead of Antoine Albeau (FRA) and slipping to third position on the final day, having lead all week, was Wojtek Brzozowski (POL).
In the women Dorota Staszewska (POL) was clear ahead, winning thirteen from fifteen races. Finishing in second position was Lucy Horwood (GBR), ahead of Karin Jaggi (SUI).
The Polish Wojtek Brzozowski, leader of the championship so far, couldn't count with much luck in today's final. In fact, he didn't have any luck. In the first race of the day he didn't finish in a good place (26th) and in the second he broke his boom. So, Kevin Pritchard (USA), 25, who was all set for taking the title, achieved his goal. The highest place in podium for him. "I'm really stoked with this title because I was racing against the best sailors of Formula Windsurfing, it was a great racing, great venue", celebrates Pritchard. This years, Kevin has already achieved 2nd place World Wave ranking, and was overall champion of PWA in 2000. He dedicated this victory to his friend, Phil McGain, whom has given him a lot of support.
In the last day of the Worlds, men and women got into the water together with a start difference of 6 min between the fleets, ladies first. The were two races for each, with wind from 10 to 14 knots. The first race of the day began at 11:00. Polish girl Dorota Staszewska (champion since yesterday) jumped in front of other girls and won the race. Brazillian Valéria Matuck had her best result, and finished 2nd. Lucy Horwood (GBR) came right after her, but in the following race she wouldn't allow anyone to get in front of her. Dorota was coming in second, but she lost the last buoy, being disqualified from the race and giving the second place to Margit Germany (AUT). Valéria, this time, had to be satisfied with the third place.
But, with the women's title already decided since yesterday, all the emotion was reserved to the men's races. The first race brought the unexpected, pushing Wojtek all the way back to 26th place, and Ross Williams (GBR-83) to the first with Yannick Renard (F-84) and Michal Polanwski (POL-16) after him. All these sailors were a big surprise to technical committee because, even though they have good ranking, were not favourites at all. "This shows the high level of the competition", says Ivan Santos from Ceará Wind's Race Committee. Even among the Brazilians there were some surprises. Marc Conrad, the best placed Brazilian so far, didn't race. He broke his mast extension, while Wilhelm Shurmann had his best result finishing in 5th.
With the new names arriving first, the champion couldn't be known until the end of the last race. The big final would reveal Ceará Wind FormulaWindsurfing Worlds at last. It was not Wojtek's day for sure, and he had to leave the race with a broken boom. Then, Danish Brian Rogild came up on first, followed by Kevin Pritchard, who had the best accumulated score and took the title. Jamie Lever (GBR) finished 3rd and Antoine Albeau (France) in 4th. With this result he finished in 2nd overall.
Ceará Wind 2001 distributed a total of U$ 30.000,00 in prize money, plus 15 artesian trophies that were being finished on the beach moments before the prize ceremony. It was made using a artesian technique from Ceará of using coloured sand to produce bucolic landscapes, in this case "beachscapes".
Men, 15 Races, 4 discards
1 USA Kevin Pritchard 46.7 pts
2 FRA Antoine Albeau 47.4 pts
3 POL Wojtek Brzozowski 58.8 pts
4 AUS Steve Allen 63.4 pts
5 FRA Patrice Belbeoch 66.7 pts
6 NED Ben Van Der Steen 79.0 pts
7 USA Micah Buzianis 93.0 pts
8 POL Aleksander Grynis 94.0 pts
9 AUS Phil Mc Gain 106.7 pts
10 DEN Brian Rogild 107.7 pts
Women, 15 races, 4 discards
1 POL Dorota Staszewska 8.4 pts
2 GBR Lucy Horwood 24.4 pts
3 SUI Karin Jaggi 31.0 pts
4 BRA Valeria Matuck 51.0 pts
5 AUT Margit Germany 57.0 pts