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8 May 2007, 03:46 pm
VOLWATER Leads In Korea
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Ulsan PWA World Cup 2007
Ulsan, Korea

Peter VOLWATER (NED) earned the victory in race 2 and took the lead in the Ulsan PWA World Cup as the entire fleet bar the Dutchman flew over the start line early. American Kevin PRITCHARD (USA) lies in second place while 2006 Champ Antoine ALBEAU (FRA) sits in third.
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Karin JAGGI (SUI) continues her domination of the women's fleet despite a fierce battle for second place between Sarah HEBERT (ARM) and Ayuko SUZUKI (JPN).

An unpromising forecast had the racers waiting on tenterhooks this morning as a light breeze cleared the early morning fog before finally building into a suitable thermal wind for racing. First on the agenda was the completion of men's race 2.

All the top seeds passed through the qualifying heats and into some tough semi-final match-ups.

DIAZ Off To A Flier

Jimmy DIAZ (ISV) started his day of fine starting performance to fly into the lead of the first semi ahead of ALBEAU. ALBEAU's blistering speed hauled him back in front, but DIAZ fought hard at the third mark to sneak inside ALBEAU and to steal clean air from the Frenchman to re-take the initiative. However, ALBEAU once more showed exceptional pace to edge his way back on top, and crossed the line first to book his place in the final.

Micah BUZIANIS (USA) comfortably took the second semi-final win ahead of Finian MAYNARD (IVB), PRITCHARD, and new face in Slalom 42, Robby SWIFT (GBR), who is showing great potential at this elite level.

Pieter BIJL (NED), who narrowly missed qualification from the first semi, won the loser's final ahead of Ben VAN DER STEEN (NED) who was disqualified from the second semi, and Arnon DAGAN (ISR), who had sat in third place overnight.

As the crucial last seconds ticked by in the countdown of the race 2 final's starting sequence, one man realized he had timed it right and watched all seven of his rivals cross the line prematurely. VOLWATER, a seasoned and wily competitor, cunningly eased off the throttle to let the fleet cross early, and so earned his victory before the race-proper had even started.

JAGGI On Form

In the ladies fleet JAGGI showed much improved starting skill from Sunday, and ruthlessly used this advantage to protect her lead. In women's race 3 she put considerable distance between herself and HEBERT, and SUZUKI who had a fantastic struggle for the runners up slot. On this occasion HEBERT succeeded after accelerating away on the fourth leg to score second as SUZUKI settled for third.

In race 4 JAGGI once more sped off the line and put a considerable margin between herself and the rest of the fleet. This time however SUZUKI put the hammer down and kept HEBERT at bay to claim second over Armenia's sole representative.

Men's race 3 started immediately afterwards and the qualifying heats were run in lighter winds than earlier in the day.

DIAZ continued his exhibition of precision starting skill to lead both his first heat and the first semi-final, and held his advantage long enough to qualify for the final ahead of PRITCHARD. ALBEAU, who although below par performed well to register third, especially considering such light winds are hardly the heavyweight's preference.

BUZIANIS, the 2006 runner up who has performed consistently so far, won the second semi whilst Patrik DIETHELM (ITA), F2's shaper/racer, showed an improved performance to claim second ahead of VOLWATER, and the impressive SWIFT.

The loser's final was attempted, and once more a bunch of disqualifications were handed out when Julien QUENTEL (FRA), Cedric BORDES (FRA), Cyril MOUSSILMANI (FRA), and Jesper ORTH (AUS) jumped the gun. Sadly the wind faded and a re-run was off the cards and racing cancelled for the day.

VOLWATER and JAGGI stay in pole position overnight and will look forward to consolidating their leads, although the outlook for Tuesday is, according to forecasts, not promising.

About The PWA World Tour

Professional Windsurfers Association (PWA) Events are designated as ISAF Special Events. There are five main disciplines that are held on the PWA World Tour: Wave, Freestyle, Race (Slalom 42), Super X and Indoor. Competitors at each World Tour event score points towards the PWA Annual Ranking list. At the end of the season, the sailor with the highest total score in each discipline is the PWA World Champion for that year. For more information on the PWA, the events and the sailors visit the PWA website - www.pwaworldtour.com.

For all the new from the PWA World Tour CLICK HERE.

Brian McDowell (As Amended By ISAF). Image, Ayuko SUZUKI and Karin JAGGI battle:© PWA/Alex Williams
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