After Friday’s ‘off-day’, the Raceboard World Championships finished with three races on Saturday in Balatonföldvár. Patrik Pollak of Slovakia won 9 of the 12 races to take the world title ahead of Czech Petr Kucera. The best Hungarian, Bence Sánta, finished in eighth place.
After the night storm, Saturday of the Raceboard Worlds started with rain but no wind. After they had some rest on Friday, the riders were looking at the water impatiently, they were eager to get on the board again. Their prayers were answered, at around 11am the horn sounded, and they were off to the water.
Three races were held on the final day, two of which were won again by Patrik Pollak of Slovakia, who became World Champion by a huge margin.
“Today started very badly, I had a good start at the first race, but then I made a series of bad decisions, it seemed that everything worked against me and I finished fifth. I was very angry with myself. But then I got myself together and won both races,” said Pollak. “I’m delighted to have won the world title, although the nine wins suggests an easy victory, the truth is that I really had to fight hard in every single race. Most of all, I’m happy that the other Slovak guys did well, too, they continuously pushed me to keep improving.”
Second place in the overall went to the Czech Petr Kucera, who finished the World Championship with another race win: “I won the first race, but I only finished fifth in the second, I had a very bad start. I had to pump a lot in the last race, but I finished second. I’m very satisfied, I can’t believe I finished second in the World Championships. Patrik didn’t give us much of a chance in this event, he’s a great rider, experienced, competed on a new board, he’s been in three Olympics, so it’s really hard to beat him.”
The best Hungarian, Bence Sánta, finished fourth in the last race and eighth overall. “I’m very happy to finish the World Championships like this, it gives me a lot of confidence, I hope it will be even better. It wasn’t easy for me because I couldn’t train in this class, I came directly from the iQFoil European Championships and even had problems with the equipment, but I would like to do some raceboard races again. Overall, I’m happy to have competed at home water, and I hope we can host another international competition of this quality again soon.”
Jana Slívová of Czech Republic, who was leading all the way, triumphed the women’s race: “It was a difficult day because we had to pump a lot due to the relatively light wind, but I really enjoyed all the races. And I am happy that I could keep up with the men, and I could finish in the top 15 overall.”
Luca Gádorfalvi was the best Hungarian woman: “It was an eventful week in terms of weather and races. The organisation was great, the races went well. I didn’t make any big mistakes in today’s three races, my starts were great, I finished where I was supposed to do, so I am absolutely satisfied.”
In U23, Bálint Morvai finished could step on the third place of the podium. “It feels really good to finish the World Championships with a bronze medal. We had a hard week, we surfed in all conditions, and the last day was important for me mentally, because I could improve a lot. It should be added, that overall leaders are competing with a bigger sail, so it was hard to keep up with them, especially, as it was my first time on a board like this.”
Lóránd Utassy, captain of the Hungarian national team, summed up the week with satisfaction. “I am absolutely satisfied and I think, everyone can be, there were no complaints from the competitors at all. During the week Lake Balaton showed all its faces, we had sunshine, 30 degrees, 15 degrees, rain, so it was great. It was difficult for the Hungarian competitors, because some of them had arrived from another race or were not yet in top shape. We expected a medal from Bálint Morvai, and he got it, and could have even finished second, despite he didn’t have much chance to train with this equipment. Bence Sánta came from the European Championships of another class, he had one day to adjust with zero rest day, obviously it had its consequences, for example in his decision-making. But he fought well, and proved in the last races that he could finish in the top three or four.”
On Saturday afternoon, the Raceboard World Championships came to an end with the prize-giving ceremony in Balatonföldvár, and we can say that all participants will leave the event with pleasant memories.