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13 December 2005, 10:29 am
Breeze Arrives Late
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Formula Windsurfing World Championship 2005
Melbourne, Australia

The breeze arrived late, but it did finally arrive for the 96 competitors representing 22 nations at Sail Melbourne's Formula Windsurfing Worlds at Elwood Sailing Club in Victoria, Australia today. France's Julien QUENTEL made the best of the wind, to take an early series lead.
All were poised for the opening race, due to get underway at 1200 hours local time, but the weather had other ideas. Sailors spent most of the day ashore, until finally at 1700, the wind kicked in sufficiently for organizers to get racing underway on Port Phillip.

'There wasn't much wind at the start, but then it came,' one boardsailor was heard to say.

The men's event was away first and QUENTEL got away smartly to take out the first race from Devon BOULON (ISV) in a good ten knot plus breeze, backing that up with a second in race two, to lead the series from two-time World Champion Wojtek BRZOZOWSKI (POL), who scored third and fourth places. At 19 though, QUENTEL is a star on the rise - the current Youth World and European Champion is showing the best senior men's windsurfers in the world that age is no barrier.

Despite only having his equipment delivered just after lunch time today, Seth BESSE (USA) went out and finished his day with a fourth and a fifth for third place overall.

Poland dominated the women's event in their only race of the day, in fading breezes and daylight, organizers called off racing for the night - it was a long day for all. Four-time World Champion Dorota STASZEWSKI won the race from Marta HLAVATY with their countrywoman and Youth champion Zofia KLEPACKA fourth.

Not a good start for Australia's main chance, Allison SHREEVE. As she made ready to start, a competitor from the men's, confused about starting times, collided with her, causing her to capsize and lose around two minutes of precious time, putting paid to her chances of taking out the first race. However, she picked up quickly to come home third in winds that had increased to 14 knots, only to drop away towards the end of men's second race.

Whilst most of the ingredients were in place for the Championship early on; sun, blue skies and fairly flat seas, breezes could only wheeze their way to five knots with gusts up to seven and eight at times and were light, patchy and changeable.

Finally, at 1700, enough wind kicked in and the postponement flag came down and the beach was emptied of boards very quickly. Race one got away around 1715.

Competitors were not bored though, catching up with fellow competitors, checking out new sails and boards, ringing home to speak with family and some, like SHREEVE, updated her website and undertook media interviews. 'There's always something to do while you wait for wind,' she said adding, 'it never gets boring.'

For others, like 21 year old American boardsailor, BESSE, the delay was a welcome one. BESSE flew into Australia two days ago, only to find the airline had mislaid all his sailing equipment, including board and sails. He spent the best part of yesterday on the phone trying to track his equipment down, but to no avail. Finally today, following two more phone calls, his package arrived just after midday.

Having not done much racing this year, the San Franciscan was disappointed with his additional problem, 'A friend offered me the loan of a board, so I am lucky for that, but it doesn't feel like my board, you know?'

Racing will continue tomorrow from 1200, with weather forecasters predicting north westerly winds at ten to 15 knots tending south to south westerly at around 15 knots - ideal for boardsailing.

Top Nine Women After Two Races

Pos Nation Skipper R1 Pts
2 POL Marta HLAVATY 2 2
3 AUS Allison SHREEVE 3 3
4 POL Zofia KLEPACKA 4 4
5 GBR Amy CARTER 5 5
6 FIN Sara BECKMAN 6 6
7 AUS Anna DAVIS 10 10
7 GBR Lucy HORWOOD 10 10
7 DEN Bettina HONORE 10 10
Di Pearson (As Amended By ISAF). Image, Action from day one:© David Bell
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