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Steve Allen Triumphs at Formula Europeans, Leipaja
Posted On:  15/08/2016 18:25:57

30 competitors from 8 countries competed for the 2016 European Championships titles at Monument Beach, Liepaja including former world champions Steve Allen (AUS) and Wojtek Brzozowski (POL).

Tuesday - tough conditions today Wind WSW 19-25knots.  Skippers meeting for day one was scheduled for 10.00, with first possible warning signal at 11.00.  However, with the wind blowing at 34 knots and wavey conditions on Monument Beach, the organiser decided to move the racing to nearby Karosta Harbour with the first possible warning signal at 13:00.

At the end of the day Steve Allen AUS-0 with two bullets led by just one point ahead of Michal Polanowski POL-16 who took the win in race two.  Edwy Zoonekynd FRA-1642 had a consistent performance with 4th place in all three races.  Local Janis Preiss LAT-23 followed his DNF in the first race with two seconds so definitely someone to watch once discards kicked in.

Good morning Wednesday
! The first possible warning signal for Formula was at 1230hrs at Karosta harbour with 4 races planned for the day.  After two races AP was raised on the beach as it started raining and the wind direction changed.  After 40 minutes or so, at 5 mins to the start of race 6, the wind averaged 11 knots but then AP was raised once again as it dropped to below 7 knots.  However, it was quickly back to 10 knts average and race 6 was away, then looking good with 16 knots for race 7 . . . but then a change of wind direction dropping below 6 knots meant end of racing for the day.

Steve Allen conceded the first race of the day to Janis Preiss but then added two more bullets to his bag to lead by 6 points.  Michal Polanowski was now on 12 points along with Janis Preiss who shot up the leaderboard having discarded his DNF of the day before.

Tristen Erik Kivi EST-347 maintained his position as first youth, 9th overall but 1st Grand Master Aleksandrs Leontjevs dropped from 10th to 13th overall.

Thursday saw action on Leipaja Beach with wind 16 knots average max to 20 and race 7 was away, then race 8 in 14-19 knots.  After a break for lunch, still averaging 14 knots race 9 was away but, sadly, it was to be the last race of the day as the wind dropped down below 9 knots after the finish.

Michael Polanowski POL-16 was on fire today, taking all three bullets, and took his place at the top of the leaderboard.  Steve Allen unable to manage better than 5th in all three races finished the day three points behind in second place. Janis Preiss with 3,2,3 maintained his third position just one point behind. Three competitors saw their personal best championship performance today: Alexandre Cousin and Maciek Rutkowski with a second each and John Kaju with a third.

Friday, just the one race, 10, was possible in light wind conditions of 8-10 knots, Janis Preiss LAT-23 led this race from start to finish, ahead of Steve Allen and thus shared equal points overnight behind Michael Polanowski.

Saturday, the last day of competition, started with 15-18 knots gusting 21 allowing for four good races to round off the Championship.  There was a battle for the podium positions with the top three taking 1st, 2nd and 3rd in all four races.  At the end of it all, Steve Allen was able to discard Thursday's three races, taking the Championship Title with 17 points, three ahead of Michal Polanowski in second place then Janis Preiss just two points behind in third place.

Estonian Tristen Erik Kivi was first Youth and Latvian Aleksandrs Leontjevs first Grand Master.

The team at Windsurfing Club Rietumkrasts are to be congratulated for their efforts in staging yet another successful Championship, adapting well to the challenging conditions in Liepaja - the City where Wind is Born.

The Liepaja Festival Techno and Techno Plus Cup was run in parallel with the Formula Windsurfing Championships, and they raced a total of 8 races.  16 year old Namejs Dreimanis finished the event with a perfect score, discarding the first race which was won by 15 year old Annija Punte.  Annija sailed well to score some good results but not competing in the last two races cost her a podium position.  Second place went to 14 year old Kristaps Dzirnieks and in third place was Egija Smeile, aged 15, 1st girl.
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