On the 5th and final day of the IFCA Slalom Junior, Youth & Masters World Championships in Rosas in Spain, the tension was palpable with a slalom # 3 started the day before, still in progress, and the final result set to have a significant impact on the general classification.
Everyone knew the chances of running 5 rounds to get the second discard were nil and everything depended on the completion of this round. The last possible start was 17:00h, the minutes ticked away relentlessly, some doubted the wind would appear but at 14:30, the heat of the Bay of Roses finally drew in 10 to 17 knots.
All to play for and great spectator action: super fast board speeds, massive spin outs, and crashes at the marks.
In the Masters Gold Fleet final the battle between the top three was immense, a nail-biting finish! Andrea Rasati (ITA-0), better at jibes, was victorious whilst Gunnar Asmussen (GER-88) settled the speed battle and just made it into second place in front of Bora Kozanoglu (TUR-11) - Awesome!
Nicolas Goyard was fully in control of the Youths Gold Fleet final, clear of all the clashes and crashes in his wake. Jean Patrick Van der Wolde (CUR-191) was looking good in second, beating Benjamin Auge (FRA-21) into third place.
At the end of the day the Prizegiving Ceremony and final Party at the Hotel Monterey rounded off a great championship.
The results in the Masters Fleet couldn't have been closer, Andrea Rosati and Bora Kozanoglu ending the championship with exactly the same points and exactly the same results - but in a different order. This is where Windsurfing Competition Rule A8.3 comes into play: "If a tie still remains between two or more boards, they shall be ranked in order of their scores in the last race" and thus Andrea Rosati (ITA-0) claims the title "2014 IFCA Masters Slalom World Champion", Bora Kozanoglu (TUR-11) had to settle for silver position on the podium with Gunnar Asmussen (GER-88) in third.
Andrea Rosati: "Still can't believe I won for the 3rd year in a row the master slalom worlds . . . has been a great and super competitive fight from the first day! Esta noche mucha fiesta!!!!"
Almost half of the masters fleet was made up of Grandmasters. 49 year old Robert Hofmann (ITA-11) was first Grandmaster, 6th overall.
Final results Masters
With three straight wins, Nicolas Goyard (FRA-465) is the "2014 IFCA Youth Slalom World Champion". Poyraz Akay (TUR-1011) takes second place just one point ahead of Jan Kosmina (SLO-9) in third. Caribbean Nik Van den Eerenbeemt, who had had his foot on the last podium place after the second elimination, finished with the same net points as Jan but, as he didn't make it into the Gold Fleet in the third elimination, the tie break using the discard went against him - gutted!
A very special mention for Ann-Christin Schliemann (GER 1003) who collected the Youth Girls Prize - the only girl competing against 43 boys!
Marc Pare Rico (ESP-334) is the 2014 IFCA Junior Slalom Champion with a very creditable 6th overall.
Final results Youth
Despite the vagaries of the wind, this has been a great championship and thanks go to GEN Roses, who have been excellent hosts, together with everyone involved in the organisation, both on and off the water.