The final day in Reggio Calabria, Italy delivered wind late in the day, as it had the previous evening. It wasn't until 17:30 that the north wind kicked in to allow the conclusion of the men's first elimination, and the completion of the women's second elimination. It was a great way to end the event with dramatic finishes for both divisions.
The second semi-final was the first heat of the day to be sailed. Josh Angulo (Angulo / Point-7) got away to the best start but he couldn't hold onto the lead for the duration of the course. In the end it was Bjorn Dunkerbeck (Starboard / Severne / Dunkerbeck Eyewear, Mystic) who came out on top, followed by Gonzalo Costa Hoevel (Fanatic / North), Antoine Questel (Starboard / The Loft) and Angulo, all qualifying for the first final of 2012.
The losers final instantly lost two sailors as both Ben Van Der Steen (Starboard / The Loft, Mystic) and Steve Allen (Starboard / Severne) were a little too enthusiastic and were disqualified for crossing the line early. On the restart it was Taty Frans (Starboard / MauiSails / Mystic / Maui Ultra Fins) who burst into the lead after a perfect start. Frans was chased by Pascal Toselli (RRD / Point-7) and Julien Quentel (RRD / NeilPryde) as the race quickly became a three way battle. As they rounded the third gybe mark it was Toselli who managed to break into the lead after a superior turn. Toselli then wasted no time in stepping back on the power to storm home to victory. Frans eventually finished in third place, with Quentel finishing just ahead of him.
Rewardingly the winners' final would prove to be the best heat of the day, in what was an extremely close fought encounter. From the start line, it was Jimmy Diaz (Starboard / North), Costa Hoevel and Antoine Albeau ( RRD / NeilPryde) who led from the rest of the pack. Even though Dunkerbeck didn't get off to the best start he was quickly in hot pursuit of the top three sailors, as he once again demonstrated his blistering top speed and faultless gybes, to put himself right in contention. The final saw history repeat itself, just as in Vietnam last year, the race for the finish line would involve Dunkerbeck and Costa Hoevel. In Vietnam Dunkerbeck beat Costa Hoevel by a matter of inches to claim the event win in the final race, and the same happened again today. The super calm Dunkerbeck kept his cool under severe pressure and in doing so created a strong start to the defense of his title. Costa Hoevel led from start to within feet of the finish until Dunkerbeck just edged ahead to leave him in second. Meanwhile the big Frenchman Antoine Albeau had to settle for third place not managing to take any real distance from the two front runners.
Women's Second Elimination
The first semi-final was interesting to say the least. As the heat began, four out of the seven sailors involved crossed the line early. This gave Maria Andres (Starboard / Gun Sails / Mystic) and Lena Erdil (Patrik / The Loft / AL360) a bypass into the winners final. The second semi-final saw the top two seeds of the competition sailing against each other, but there was no drama as both Karin Jaggi (Patrik / Severne) and Valeria Arrighetti (Tabou / Gaastra / Mystic) comfortably secured their places in the winners final. The remaining two places went to Delphine Cousin (JP / NeilPryde) and Laura Linares (Challenger Sails).
Two women in particular got off to a flyer; Fanny Aubet (JP / NeilPryde) and Dilara Uralp (JP / NeilPryde), but as the heat progressed they slowly fell down the pecking order. In the end it was Cagla Kubat (Starboard / North) who came storming through the pack to lead from the first mark and claim victory and sixth place overall for the event. She was closely followed by Alice Arutkin (Starboard / North), Greta Benvenuti (Patrik / Point-7 / AL360) and Uralp.
After dominating yesterday proceedings Jaggi was in confident mood, especially after winning her semi-final today as well. But Jaggi was up against a super motivated Arrighetti who was keen to make a mends after previously missing out on the winners final. Jaggi and Arrighetti were very close in the last heat, and the final proved no different as they both got off to fantastic starts. Arrighetti was sailing flawlessly, both in a straight line and through the corners. On this occasion Arrighetti proved too much for Jaggi, and the evidently delighted French woman came out on top. Linares sailed a much stronger final this time around managing a third place finish in her inaugural PWA event on home soil, whilst fourth went to Cousin.
The 2012 PWA Reggio Calabria Overall Standings: Men's Slalom
1. Bjorn Dunkerbeck
2. Gonzalo Costa Hoevel
3. Antoine Albeau
4. Peter Volwater
5. Jimmy Diaz
The 2012 PWA Reggio Calabria Overall Standings: Women's Slalom
1. Karin Jaggi
2. Lena Erdil
3. Valeria Arrighetti
4. Alice Arutkin
5. Laura Linares