This year’s Downwind Dash saw 237 competitors battle it out on the long distance run from Langebaan all the way down to the port of Saldana. The famous event that takes the attention of South Africa every year is a long distance,[more] where the best windsurfers and kiters compete in long downwind reaches from Langebaan all the way down to the port of Saldana. Roughly 20 km that since the founding of the race in 1984 has seen all kinds of weather conditions.
As usual the wind was there also this year, with a good constant 20+ knots over the course, getting a bit lighter at the finish line. Big contenders at the event were Gaastra team members Alberto Menegatti, Arnon “the flying camel” Dagan plus Italian Wave master Andrea Rosati who were all ready to challenge South Africa’s wind- and kitesurfers.
First out of the line were the 2 Italians Alberto Menegatti and Andrea Rosati, arriving at the first mark full speed, with Dagan on their heels. On leg 2, Menegatti on a new 2012 Vapor 8.6 sail and iSonic 107 had some problems controlling the gusts above 20 knots, leaving the door open to Dagan who jibed right ahead of him, pushing the 3rd leg with his 2012 Vapor 7.9 in very swelly and choppy conditions. Menegatti remained persistent and didn’t let Dagan go, and at the end of the 3rd reach the winds got lighter and the sea calmed down, giving Menegatti an advantage. With the two team mates very close to one another at mark 3, the second last leg turned out to be more downwind and less strong than in the upper part of the course. Alberto managed to turn the situation around with a setup more dialed in to the conditions and managed to overtake Dagan just before the last jibe. Third place was for Andrea Rosati with a good start, but he had to let go a little in the final part of the race because of the conditions, closing the three top spots for windsurfers only. The 4th arrival was a kitesurfer named Heckroodt Colin.
Out of 237 contestants, 195 riders made it over the finish, a very good number that shows the commitment and the interest in this event.
1 Alberto Menegatti in 23.15 min.
2 Arnon Dagan in 23.30 min.
3 Andrea Rosati in 25.18 min.
4 Heckroodt Colin in 26.26 min.
Alberto Menegatti: “A very exciting race, with hard conditions for me cause of the choice of a sail that turned out to be big in most of the course.
I’m very happy anyway with my gear that showed me great performance also in hard conditions. My 8,6 Vapor together with my 107 Isonic and my Z fin is just an amazing combo, that I’m looking very forward to race on in 2012! A very special thanks also to my new trainer Roberto Actis that allowed me to arrive in perfect shape for this event. thanks to all my sponsors: Starboard, Gaastra, Z Fins, Trentino, Selin srl., Quiksilver, Circolo Surf Torbole, Smith, www.prozis.com”