3 intense days at La Palme

02/05/2024

For the 2nd year running, the Prince of Speed ISWC World Championship took place at La Palme in the south of France at the end of April. The programme included 3 particularly windy days, with victories for Heidi Ulrich and Vincent Valkenaers in fin and Matteo Iachino in foil.

With 58 competitors taking part, the 2nd edition of the Prince of Speed ISWC World Championship was a full house in the south of France, with competition scheduled over a total of 10 days from 21 to 30 April. Hostilities got off to a flying start on 22 April, with Antoine Albeau knocking out the competition by winning the day's 2 races contested under fin. With a lead of almost 3 knots (45.47 knots) over 2nd-placed Matteo Iachino at 42.89 knots, everyone was saying that FRA-192 was going to be very hard to beat again this year. In the women's race, despite being the overwhelming favourite on paper, Switzerland's Heidi Ulrich was pushed aside by England's Jenna Gibson, who dominated twice... In the foil race on this 1st day of competition, which was to be the only one of the week, Matteo Iachino won with 35.71 knots ahead of William Huppert (35.20 knots) and Scotty Stallman (33.97 knots).

With the Tramontane still very much in evidence over the next 2 days, and the conditions more technical, the competition had not yet said its last word, and it was the Belgian Vincent Valkenaers who sounded the charge and impressed the observers with a near-perfect copy. He not only took victory and 2nd place, but also the best time of the week at 46.32 knots. BEL-62 scored a real exploit with the best performance in open seas, almost the same speed achieved 20 years earlier by Finian Maynard (46.84 knots), but on the very specific channel of Les Saintes-Maries-de-la-Mer! A very consistent performer over the 2 days of racing, Dutchman Hans Kreisel also stood out and took 2nd place on the podium.

Antoine Albeau, the reigning world champion, found someone faster than him and took 3rd place. Matteo Iachino, 4th in this finned event, is the latest to join the very select circle of windsurfers doing more than 45 knots at this Prince of Speed ISWC World Championship. On the women's side, Jenna Gibson gave Heidi Ulrich a hard time, but Ulrich won by a hair's breadth, with 3 wins out of 5, even though the Englishwoman put in the best performance of the week (39.59 knots). After a great week, Belgian Cyril Evrard won the Youth category ahead of Luca Pierboni, reigning world champion in the category, and Brendan Lorho. Evrard was followed in the women's category by Germany's Luisa Kolmer. In foiling, based on the one and only race launched on 22 April, Matteo Iachino took the world title ahead of William Huppert and Scotty Stallman.

 

Prince of Speed ISWC World Championship rankings
Women's fin

1/ Heidi Ulrich
2/ Jenna Gibson
3/ Melek Toraman
4/ Luisa Kolmer
5/ Tessa Mallon
6/ Caterina Biagiolini

 

Men's fin
1/ Vincent Valkenaers
2/ Hans Kreisel
3/ Antoine Albeau
4/ Matteo Iachino
5/ Scotty Stallman
6/ Pierre Mortefon
7/ Ben van der Steen
8/ Cédric Bordes
9/ Andy Laufer
10/David Garrel

 

Youth women’s fin
1/ Luisa Kolmer
2/ Tessa Mallon
3/ Caterina Biagiolini

 

Youth men’s fin
1/ Cyril Evrard
2/ Luca Pierboni
3/ Brendan Lorho
4/ Marius Loglisci
5/ Joa van den Berg

 

Men's Foil
1/ Matteo Iachino
2/ William Huppert
3/ Scotty Stallman
4/ Antoine Albeau
5/ Fabien Mayou

 

Source: Prince of Speed ISWC World Championship
Photos: Aurélien Toulan

tags: Prince of Speed ISWC World Championship Le Rouet Heidi Ulrich Vincent Valkenaers Matteo Iachino

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