At 14.00 the medal races got started. In the first race of the day the riders, who were placed from 11 to 20 started with a running beach start and had to make it through the beachbreak and sail afterwards through a 3 mark downwind course. The inside mark was placed in the zone of breaking waves. Young talented Maciek Rutkowski could win the first medal race of the day. Hundreds of excited spectators, who came for the start of the Round Texel race, which were held for catamarans only – 400 boats participated in this extreme long distance – watched the windsurfers fighting it out. The wind was strong, blowing side offshore with 20 to 25 knots. Most of the sailors were on 7,8 or 7,0 sails, some went bigger, like Vincent Langer, who went on a 8,3 and his big 85 cm wide Slalom board.
In the second medal race the top 10 sailors fought it out and again it was 42 year old German Bernd Flessner from Norderney, who took the hammer down and the IFCA Slalom Worldtitle. Big congrats to this great performance. In second came Danish Kasper Larsen, followed by French sailor Damien Leguen.
Bernd Flesser (G-16) dominated day 4 at Texel
Today was the fourth day of the Slalom World Championships in Texel, Netherlands and again the spot at Paal 17 delivered windy conditions. Two races with a 4 mark Slalom were on the schedule. The first one, elimination 9, got started at 13.30. The conditions were tough. Full onshore wind and a rough sea made it difficult to sail very fluid on the race course. Unexpected waves, which built up in front of the sailors stopped the boards or shaked up the whole body gear system. German Bernd Flessner was again the man of the day. It looked like he could accelerate at each moment and managed the nasty waves and chops quite nice. Kasper Larsen (Den-11) managed to make it in second position and young Polish talent Maciek Rutkowski (Pol-23) finished in excellent third position in the 9th race!
Race 10, the second and last one of day 4, got started at 15.30. The conditions got even harder. The low tide and a heavy gust forced the riders to switch from their 8,5 uo to 9,3 sails down to 7,0 and 7,8 sails and medium sized boards. The dark clouds went through, heavy rain came down for 10 minutes and afterwards the wind totally dropped. Heat 1, which got started in the meanwhile, had to be abandoned due to the fading wind.
20 minutes later the wind was back, but dropped from 18 – 24 knots down to 11 to 13 knots, what made it quite hard for the sailors to make it even upwind to the starting boat. Heat 1 had to be resailed. A sailing boat, which got fixed at a mark, totally blocked the jibing mark and was the reason for the resail. The beach was massively crowded with sailing boats, spectators, windsurfing gear and tractors driving around carrying gear, boats or catamarans. While the weekend the biggest Catamaran race in the world will take place exactly at the beach, where the Slalom world championships are held.
The sailors, who are placed top 20, will compete in the medal races tomorrow afternoon at 14.00. The rest of the sailors already packed their equipment. Excellent wind from southern direction is predicted. Two final heats will be held. The top 10 and the sailors placed from 11th to 20th position will fight for their final result.
Text: Continentseven 2011