Final day at Formula Championships
22 May 2006
(Press release from www.overpower.net)
After 6 days of local action, which kept organizers, sailors and audience, in a constant nervous wreck the wind, finally, allowed us to end what had been started in the first day of the competition.
A European Championship doesn't settle with a result from a single regatta. To find the finalists you must have at least three regattas for each of the Classes. If we add this to the fact that is necessary to split the Fleets in two divisions, since over 100 Sailors were registered, nine Regattas were needed to find the Formula Windsurfing European Champions 2006.
Today, the 13th, was the final opportunity to end the Event. The Schedule was the same as the day before and, at 6.00 am, all the competitors were at the beach to see the sun rise, since the weather forecast foresaw winds coming from the "Levante do Estreito de Gibraltar" for the morning's early hours.
After the Skipper's Meeting, Bruno de Wannemaeker - the Principal Race Officer, sent the Sailors to the water. A lot of people weren't quite woken up yet!!!
The Regatta Course had been set before the sunrise, but we assure that, despite the little light of the early hour, this excellent team, lead by Portuguese Ricardo Trabulo, set up a perfect up-wind course.
Once again, we were betrayed!!! After 2 attempts to complete the Regatta, the wind slowly faded away and the President of the Regatta Committee sent all the sailors to land.
Golf, volleyball and other radical sports were, once again, adopted by the sailors, jury and staff since, besides a great day at the Beach and some refreshing dives in the sea, little else was there to be done.
The day went by and people were getting more nervous, but PortimÃ£o always has a card on its sleeve and presented us, at 3.30 pm, with a wind that suddenly switched to northwest, with the classical "Nortada" settling in PortimÃ£o's coast line, to the satisfaction of all the interveners in the Formula Windsurfing European Championships 2006.
The AP, postponing flag, was taken down and the competitors followed again to the Regatta Course, were the wind awaited them. The regattas begun only minutes before the scheduled time of the last possible start!
After two exciting regattas, one of the Blue Fleet and one of the Yellow Fleet, the Championship showed a valid result, and the winners were crowned. Ross Williams GBR 83 [Gaastra, Tabou, O'Neill] was crowned Formula Windsurfing European Champion 2006, his first big title, Wojtek Brzozowski POL 10 [Starboard, Neil Pryde, Toyota, LOT, Starboard, Deboichet, Cottonfield] settled with 2nd place and Jesper Vesterstrom DEN 111 [Cottonfield, Ford Credit, Certina, Starboard, Neilpryde] was the last on the podium.
On the Women's side, Allison Shreeve AUS 911 [Neil Pryde, F2, Deboichet, Balance Water] was the big winner of the competition. However, since the Australian girl is out of the competition for the European title, Sarah Hebert FRA 61 [Starboard, Naish], from France, was crowned Formula Windsurfing European Champion 2006.
The Portuguese did a great job, especially Miguel Marques POR 31 [Starboard, Neil Pryde], who got an amazing 15th floor, among the over 100 competitors present at the event and Bruno BÃ©rtolo POR 78 [Alhandra Sporting Club] who took 3rd place in the lightweight division (< 75 kgs).
In annex, we send the Final Classification.
In the end, with the presence of Isabel Guerreiro - the Tourism Councilwoman of PortimÃ£o City Hall, LuÃs Monteiro - representing ExpoArade and LuÃs Bicker - President of the Administration of PAE Arade, were crowned the European Kings of Formula 2006 and the crowd followed back to the beach, now for a relaxed closing barbecue.
After signing the Honour Book of the Championships, Sailors, Judges, Journalists, all very excited promised to come back to PortimÃ£o for the next event that will take place here.
Ceri Williams, the President of the Class present at this event, which was the most important continental event of the Class, was very pleased with the action and promises, for the next years, great plans to Portugal.
The 2006 Formula Windsurfing European Championships were organized by Overpower Club and were supported by PortimÃ£o City Hall, ExpoArade, PAE - Arade and PortimÃ£o's Marina and AHETA - Association of Hotels and Touristy Undertakings of the Algarve.
In what concerns the national media partners, besides Correio da ManhÃ£, Record and Antena 3, the Portuguese Radio Television made an exhaustive coverage in its first three channels - RTP 1, Canal 2 and RTP N.
We have available, for all media, press releases, packages of video with images with broadcasting quality and high resolution pictures, at www.overpower.net.