Gusts up to over 30 knots provided perfect conditions for the high wind experts on day three of the IFCA European Slalom Championships 2005 in Alaçatý, Çeþme, Turkey. The race committee ran a downwind slalom with three eliminations for the men's fleet and two for the masters and the women.
Finian MAYNARD (KV-11, F2, Naish Sails) (IVB) stumbled once but fought back bravely. Allison SHREEVE (AUS-911, F2, Neil Pryde) and Marco BEGALLI (ITA-415, Fanatic, Neil Pryde) continue to dominate their fleets.
In the first elimination the current world record holder Finian MAYNARD had a collision on the last metres which caused a spectacular crash. As a result he was disqualified in this final. Ben van der STEEN was able to score his first bullet at this event. On the second position followed Sam Iredland (CAN-1, Starboard, Neil Pryde) from Canada with Arnon DAGAN (ISR-1, Fanatic, Neil Pryde) from Israel on his heals. Dan ELLIS (GBR-52, Fanatic, Naish Sails) from Great Britain followed in fourth position in front of Hüseyin SERT (TUR-10, F2, North).
In the second elimination Finian MAYNARD fought back. He won the race in front of the Canadian Sam Ireland. Ben van der STEEN followed in the third position with Arnon DAGAN and Dan ELLIS on his heals. The top five were completed by Marco BEGALLI.
The men's fleet run even a third elimination and again Finian MAYNARD confirmed his performance with a victory in front of Sam Ireland and Ben van der STEEN. Hüseyin SERT is getting stronger and stronger scoring a fourth place in front of Ali PALAMUCU (TUR-3, F2, North) and Marco BEGALLI.
The Formula Windsurfing World Champion Allison SHREEVE was unbeatable again and ensured her event victory already one day before the finish. But as Allison is not from Europe she cannot win the European title. So this fight is still full on between two Turkish girls: Currently the Turkish Champion Cagla KUBAT (TUR-75, Fanatic, Gaastra) is slightly ahead with 11,0 points in front of Scadi PEKDDAG (TUR-626, F2, Gaastra) with 13,0 points.
Also Marco BEGALLI from Italy slipped once with a second place but then the Formula Windsurfing European Master Champion scored another bullet. With 3,5 points he is already save as winner of the masters division. The second place will go to Leonid JUDIN (SAM-1, Starboard, Severne) with 8,7 points. But the fight for the third position in the masters fleet is full on between Aydin GÖZEN (TUR-53, F2, North Sails), Ekin BILEM (TUR-199, F2, North Sails) and Oguz KAAN OZBENLI (TUR-101, Starboard, Gaastra). All three have 19,0 points and the last day will decide who will be on top.
Before the final day of the IFCA European Slalom Championships Finian MAYNARD is still in the lead with a total of 4,8 points. Sam IRELAND is keeping the pressure on him but has already lost some ground with 8,7 points. On the third place follows Ben van der STEEN with 11,7 points. Arnon DAGAN is still pushing with 15,7 points in front of Dan ELLIS with 20,0 points.
Tomorrow is the final day of the IFCA European Slalom Championships 2005 and again the forecasts predict excellent wind for slalom. So everybody is looking forward to a spectacular final in the bay of Alacati. The Skippers Meeting is set for 11:00 with the first possible start at 12:00 and the last possible start at 16:00. The closing ceremony with prize giving will take at 18:00.