With an outstanding performance from Julien Bontemps (FRA-6) he not only proved that he is the unbeatable World Champion 2004 but also readdy to rock for a medal at Athens as he won the french trials with this Gold Medal.
Julien improved his strong wind skills and beat specialists like Pont (POL-126) who ended up in second and his french challenger Nicolas Huguet (FRA-8) who was leading the Worlds until 9 races were completed and who was suffering from a bad collision in the 10th race. Nicolas Coach Mike Gebhard said after the races that he has not seen such a severe collision like this in his whole Mistral career. With a big cut on his forehead and a concussion Nicolas managed to finish both races of the day but could not keep up with Julien and Pont, which cost him eventually the french selection for Athens. Still he was all smiles at the price giving ceremony as this Bronze Medal was definitely the best result in his windsurfing career.
With 5 surfers (Bontemps 1st, Huguet 3rd, A. Guyader 4th, Launay 11st and Hassen 12th ) in the top 12 the french team dominated this Worlds in Cesme in the mens category by far.
The surprise of the Worlds was no-name German Toni Wilhelm (GER-319). With a consistant performance around top ten results he finished 8th overall leaving Olympic Gold Medalist and Vice World Champ 2003 Nikos Kaklamanakis (GRE-1), Bronze Medalist Gal Fridman (ISR-18) from the Worlds 2003 aswell as other sailing greats well behind. Wilhelm qualified the nation and will be presenting Germany at the Games in August.
Subject to ISAF ratification, the following seven nations have also now qualified for the Windsurfer Men event at the 2004 Olympic Games in Athens, Greece. They are, in alphabetical order, Austria, Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Korea, Mexico, Switzerland and Tunisia. This is the first event in the sailing competition that Tunisia have qualified for, leading up to Athens in August.
Result can bee seen at the eventsite: http://www.mistralworlds.com/
See you all soon at Spa, Aline Siepmann