Over 300 entries were recorded for the 2009 Resolution Downwind Dash. The world's biggest kite and windsurf race kicked off on Saturday 17th January from main beach, Langebaan, nr Capetown, South Africa. The favorably strong wind, as forecast, ensured a close battle between the kiters and windsurfers but windsurfer Ross Williams (GBR 83) was the winner.
Included in the entrants were fastest lady and man outright sailors, and defenders of the 2008 "Dash" trophies, Alex Caizerguerus and Sjoukje Bredenkamp. This year, the Resolution Downwind Dash had been sanctioned by both the IKA and IWA and provided a unique adventure where youngsters and families race alongside top international competitors.
Representing the windsurfing fraternity were some top European racers who had recently attended the IFCA Slalom Worlds in Capetown, including newly crowned champion Ben Van Der Steen and vice champion Ross Williams. A new amendment to the course made the total distance 20km and race director, Malcolm Mc Gregor, cautioned competitors that "there was likely to be a big swell and a lot of chop with a 25 knot wind. This is not a race for the faint hearted".
Click here for a copy of the new course.
It turned out to be even tougher than expected - but at the finish it was to be a victory for windsurfer over kiters! Ross Williams (GBR 83) took first place ahead of Benoit Moussilmani (FRA 72); with 2 kiters separating fifth placed Klaas Voget (GER 4) from the top 2. Ben Van Der Steen finished 16th after a bad foot cramp forced him to stop; but unluckiest of all was Alberto Menegatti (ITA 456) forced to retire after breaking his boom.
Full results go to : http://www.gustmagazine.com/