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7 August 2003, 09:36 am
The Heat Is On!
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2003 Windsurfing Era PWA Formula Racing World Cup
Leba

Devon BOULON (F2) of the British Virgin Islands was the surprise winner yesterday in the opening race of the Windsurfing Era, PWA 2003 Formula Racing World Cup.
With light winds gusting between 7 and 10 knots Leba one men's and one women's race were completed before the winds dropped below the levels required for any further official action. Devon who is twenty one years old took the opening race ahead of Polish sailor Aleksander GRYNIS (Starboard) in second and American former PWA World Champion, Kevin PRITCHARD (Gaastra, Starboard) in third.

In the women's opening race Dorota STASZEWSKA took first blood ahead of runner up, Christine JOHNSON (Gaastra, Starboard) of Great Britain and Christine BECKER of Germany in third.

With temperatures hitting the eighties and wall to wall sunshine yesterday's weather attracted tens of thousands of spectators down to the beach to check out the race action. By mid morning the rigging area in front of the beach today became a mass of sails and boards all tuned and ready to race. By 2pm (local time) the breeze started to fill in and the first race kicked off at 2.30pm in front of the huge crowds on the beach.

The women were first to hit the water and their opening race kicked off with a major battle between Dorota STAZESWSKA and Karin JAGGI (F2, Arrows) of Switzerland.

Dorota STASZEWSKA "Karin killed me on the start, I was stuck behind her. She was pointing very high and whenever I tacked, she tacked…she was covering me. She made the top mark no problem. But then something happened to her sail or board or something and I took my chance and passed her. I don't know what went wrong for Karin but then Christine JOHNSON, Christine BECKER and Lucy HORWOOD (Gaastra, Fanatic) also passed her. Up from Mark number three to the finish the wind was super light and it was tough to make the finish. I am really happy I won but I am very tired after the race"

After three general recalls Kevin PRITCHARD stormed ahead off the start line in the first official race and hit the upwind mark clear ahead of the fleet.

Kevin PRITCHARD "I was pretty happy to be ahead in the first race. I was pretty surprised that is for sure. I was first to the upwind mark and first to the bottom mark and then I went to the wrong side of the course. I think Devon and Alek passed me. I am pretty stocked, that was my first race in six months and I came third"

When Kevin made a wrong tactical decision the door was wide open for Devon BOULON and Alek GRYNIS to take advantage.

Devon BOULON "I am stoked, I guess I get to lead for at least one day. At the first upwind mark Kevin was in first and I was in third. On the second upwind, Kevin went on the wrong side of the course. Alek and I went inside and I had good enough board speed to pass over him as well. Kevin did not get so lucky on the other side of the course. I am stoked"

Alek Grynis "I am really happy, I was not really on a big sail. I used an 11m and there was not so much wind so I am double happy. I had a good start and was tired after we had so many over earlies. Finally we had this one race, so it was a good day"

Other activities taking place included aerobics displays, bungee jumping, swimming and sun bathing

Thursday's forecast is looking excellent and it looks like we are going to be in for a similar feast of action; sunshine, wind, chicks on the beach and high level action packed racing!

Results After Day One

Pos Name Sponsor
1 Devon BOULON (F2)
2 Aleksander GRYNIS (Starboard)
3 Kevin PRITCHARD (Gaastra, Starboard)
4 Jesper VESTERSTROM (Starboard, Neil Pryde)
5 Przemek MIARCZYNSKI (Fanatic, Neil Pryde)

Women

Pos Name Sponsor
1 Dorota STASZEWSKA (Gaastra, Starboard)
2 Christine JOHNSON (Gaastra, Starboard)
3 Christine BECKER (Starboard)
4 Lucy HORWOOD (Gaastra, Fanatic)
5 Karin JAGGI (F2, Arrows)
Vivienne Masters (As Amended by ISAF Secretariat)
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