Turkey trip 2012

The this years Turkey trip was a great one! We had a lot of wind at Alacati in the end of August, what´s unusual. We travelled to one of my favourite countries despite we have to pay an entry fee each time. I must write now: Alacati is a great place for windsurfing and so fantastic for Slalom racing and testing gear.

A lot of stuff was going on there at Alacati in 2012: At the beginning of our 12 day long stay I sailed in the fifth PWA Slalom competition of the season. I started excellent in the first round, but then was not able to continue like I started into the competition. But still tried to enjoy the great conditions and finished the whole event with an over early in the last elimination. It was the first over early during this season and the worst result in my entire slalom career. The speed was fine, but too often went into the dirty air zone of my opponents, jibed too conservative and did not risk enough at the starts. The first reach was extremely short, around 21 to 25 seconds. At my last start I was pushing really hard as I felt underpowered on my 7,8 and 107 and went over the line too early by more than a second. I started 2 meters next too the boat and it was a very visible over early. Some minutes later  the same round got cancelled and resailed. But I was out already. What a stupid mistake!

Despite the bad result ranked 54th only this event tought me a lot. On the one hand we had 9 full rounds sailed after 5 days, on the other hand I was caddy for Björn again and often sailed on not ideal gear. I sailed up and downwind on too big gear and learnt to get a better handling in overpowered or underpowered conditions. His gear is always tuned in very accurate and easy to control, even when the wind picks up. So it´s possible to keep a 85 cm wide board in control, when the wind picks up to 20+ knots.

Antoine dominated the event and took his first victory in this season. Congrats!

Directly after the PWA Slalom was done, I started to have rides on the just released 2013 iSonics in the sizes from 127 down to 107 and tested new 2014 prototypes. Remi Vila, racing R&D chief of Starboard, travelled with 5 big boardbags all the way from Bangkok to Alacati. Steve Allen, Ben van der Steen, Cyril Moussilmani, Taty Frans, Sean O´Brien, Remi Vila and my self tested the boards. We had all the gear at Salih Rende´s Active Center, which is located a bit further downwind as the competition took place. Some years ago he was running the PWA Slalom at his spot. The conditions are a bit more choppy there and perfect for testing. The run towards the opposite side is a bit longer compared to the runs we had in competition further upwind. I sailed wit Taty or Remi most of the time. Man, Taty is so incredible fast and he can go with his 7,6 m in such a wide windrange. And he only has 76 kg. He as well tested a new freestyle proto with his 4,8 m. Was nice to watch how great Alacati bay works for Freestyle windsurfing!
During the test period Red Bull Turkex organised the Aegean Cross long distance race. Kiters and Windsurfers took part in this event. The plan was to cross the channel in between Cesme peninsula and the Greek island of Chios, round a mark out there and return to Alacati bay. I had a great start, using the 8,6 and a 2013 iSonic 127, but did not find the mark in the channel. I almost had Greek land under my feet and decided to return towards Turkey. A great experience, what cost too much time. Probably a great endurance training, but a really chaotic race indeed. In the end a Turkish kitesurfer won.
At the moment I spent two weeks at home to prepare for Sylt. Wind conditions were excellent in Austria and it was fun to sail at the lake. So far I used all three boardsizes and sails in 6,2/7,0/7,8 and 9,2. As it got really cold – a heavy stormfront went through – I got the chance to test new warm wetsuits for the cold North sea. See you on Sylt from the 28th of September on!!

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