Polish sailors, Wojtek Brzozowski (Starboard, Neil Pryde) and Dorata Staszewska (Starboard, Neil Pryde) have taken the lead here on the opening day of racing at the ERA PWA Formula racing World Cup.
In the men¹s racing Brzozowski finished 2nd 1st and 3rd after three races to take pole position ahead of Antoine Albeau (Neil Pryde, AHD) of France in Second and Kevin Pritchard (Gaastra, Bic) who took third. Dorata Staszewska dominated the women¹s races with three straight victories. Lucy Horwood (Gaastra, AHD) of the UK finished in second overall after finishing in 2nd, 2nd and 3rd whilst Italian sailor Verena Fauster took third slot (3rd, 3rd, and 2nd).
Racing kicked off this morning in perfect conditions 10-16 knot winds and sunny skies. During a compelling day of race action the men¹s competition, which featured a ninety-man fleet, saw three separate winners. Sailors spent most of the day holding down 11m or 12m sails despite some gusts bordering on 20 knots.
Sam Ireland (North, Starboard) of Canada took the opening race after leading from start to finish despite having the Polish Champion, Brzozowski hot on his heels all the way around the course. Ireland returned to the beach after his victory and was immediately surrounded by hundreds of Polish spectators. A victory in the bag, girls on the beach, Ireland was on top of the world with a grin stretching form ear to ear!
SAM IRELAND (Starboard/North Sails) The first race was fun! It was perfect for Formula racing today 10-16 knots. The wind was very shifty so it was hard to pick what side of the course to go to. I am having fun thoughŠapart from a few mistakes, I am having a great time!
In the second race Wojtek started to take control and stormed off the start line towards the upwind mark leaving the remainder of the fleet following his smoldering wake. The chasing pack, consisting of Micah Buzianis (North, Mistral) Jamie Lever and Ben Van Der Steen (Fanatic, Neil Pryde) tried desperately to close the gap but Brzozowski was making no mistakes in front of his home Polish crowds. This time it was Brzozowski¹s turn to be mobbed by the crowds.
WOJTEK BRZOZOWSKI (Starboard/Neil Pryde) It was great conditions out there today. The wind was strong and stable although it dropped off towards the end of the day. For sure I am enjoying it out there!
After a brief interval for lunch, racing continued with a new course, which featured a finish line extremely close to the beach. French sailor Antoine Albeau stamped his authority on proceedings using his trademark 12.5m sail. On the second lap Albeau helped consolidate his lead by using his up haul to help him point higher upwind. Ross Williams (Gaastra, AHD) sailed an excellent race to take second ahead of Brzozowski who completed the day with another top three placing.
ANTOINE ALBEAU (AHD/Neil Pryde) I did not start so well but I won the third race so I was happy with that. I have not done any Formula races since Rhodes so I am a little out of tune. I am glad the PWA are involved here in Poland, we will have a race champion at the end of the yearŠI think it is good!
Kevin Pritchard (Gaastra, Bic) of America finished the day in third overall despite failing to finish in the top three in any of the races. Pritchard¹s consistency (9th, 5th, and 7th today) can often be the key factor in his victories and he is certainly not to be discounted as a possible winner here in Poland.
KEVIN PRITCHARD (Bic/Gaastra) It was good fun out there but I hate losing! So far it is not really going as planned but we'll get there. It was perfect conditions today. Wojtek is really in tune with the conditions here. I don¹t think my tactics have been that good so far so hopefully that will improve. It definitely helps if you are on the racecourse full time. I have been in the Canaries competing in waves and it is hard to get back in tune!
Women's world champion Dorota Staszewska completed a typical day at the office today with her three straight victories. Dorota who has been sponsored by ERA the event sponsors for the past year, looks like she is going to be tough to beat here in front of her home crowds.
The stakes are high here in Poland! The prize fund of 450 thousand zlotys (47,000 Euro.) is the biggest in Polish windsurfing history. With twelve possible races and three full days remaining there is still all to play for.
1 POL-10 Brzozowski Wojtek 5,7 pts 2,0 0,7 3,0
2 F-192 Albeau Antoine 19,7 pts 12,0 7,0 0,7
3 US-3 Pritchard Kevin 21,0 pts 9,0 5,0 7,0
4 KC-1 Ireland Sam 24,7 pts 0,7 14,0 10,0
5 ISR-1 Dagan Arnon 25,0 pts 3,0 8,0 14,0
6 US-34 Buzianis Micah 26,0 pts 19,0 2,0 5,0
7 POL-127 Miarczynski Jarek 27,0 pts 4,0 15,0 8,0
8 GBR-5 Lever Jamie 27,0 pts 5,0 3,0 19,0
9 ITA-1 Cucchi Andrea 29,0 pts 8,0 9,0 12,0
10 GBR-83 Williams Ross 29,0 pts 10,0 17,0 2,0
1 POL-1 Staszewska Dorota 2,1 pts 0,7 0,7 0,7
2 GBR-95 Horwood Lucy 7,0 pts 2,0 2,0 3,0
3 ITA-31 Fauster Verena 8,0 pts 3,0 3,0 2,0
4 AUT-88 Germany Margit 15,0 pts 6,0 5,0 4,0
5 RUS-8 Malysheva Olga 15,0 pts 4,0 6,0 5,0
6 POL-12 Hlavaty Marta 17,0 pts 7,0 4,0 6,0
7 NC-6 Hebert Sarah 22,0 pts 5,0 9,0 8,0
8 POL-1381 Rudzinska Jozefina 27,0 pts DNF 7,0 7,0
9 POL-2047 Wegrzynek Anna 31,0 pts DNF 8,0 10,0
10 POL-214 Majkowska Anita 32,0 pts DNF 10,0 9,0