The final day in Korea saw yet more twists and turns, in an event where no-one has been able to dominate. One more elimination was completed on Friday and the tricky Korean water's continued to claim new victims.
As the 2012 PWA Ulsan World Cup concluded, it was Micah Buzianis (JP / MauiSails) and Valerie Arrighetti (Tabou / Gaastra / Mystic) who had stepped up to the plate to reign victorious at Jinha beach.
The first blood of the day quite literally went to Bjorn Dunkerbeck (Starboard / Severne / Mystic / Dunkerbeck Eyewear), who suffered a deep cut to his foot after crashing into his fin due to a plastic bag getting caught around it. We spoke with the most decorated windsurfer in history on his return from the hospital:
"I was going out to the start line to prepare for my heat, when i caught a plastic bag around my fin. I jumped a few times to try and clear it but it didn't work. On the landing from one of the jumps, the nose of the board ploughed into the wave in front and my front foot went underneath the board and slammed into the fin. The next thing I knew, I was lying in the water with a deep cut in my foot. I knew there was no way I could continue. Luckily when I arrived at the hospital I was told there is no tendon damage. After 20 stitches, I should be back on the water in two weeks and fighting fight to resume in Costa Brava."
Antoine Albeau (RRD / NeilPryde) missed out on a place in the winner's final as he finished fifth in the first semi-final. Qualifying from heat thirteen was; Ross Williams (Tabou / Gaastra), Ludovic Jossin (Loft Sails), Sylvain Moussilmani (Tabou / Simmer) and Benoit Moussilmani (Tabou / Simmer). The second semi-final proved to be a pivotal heat for the entire event. The current event leader Antoine Questel (Starboard / Loft Sails), exited the first gybe in first place, and by the time he was at the second mark the Frenchman had opened up a 40m lead. From this point on it looked as though he would cruise into the winner's final, however Questel showed his inexperience as he headed off to the wrong mark, meaning neither he or Josh Angulo (Angulo / Point-7) would be lining up for heat sixteen. Questel will want to quickly erase this moment from his mind, but he must learn from his mistake which ultimately cost him the event title. Micah Buzianis on the other hand, couldn't believe his luck as he jumped from sixth place into that all important fourth spot. Patrick Diethelm (Patrik / Loft Sails) went on to win the heat followed by Pierre Mortefon (Fanatic / North) and Taty Frans (Starboard / MauiSails / Mystic / Maui Ultra Fins).
Antoine Albeau put in a great performance in the loser's final, he lead from start to finish as he secured ninth place in the fifth race. Ben Van Der Steen (Starboard / Loft Sails / Mystic) and Questel had a tight battle for second and third respectively. The Frenchman regained his composure, to limit the damage caused by his semi-final mishap, to finish second and cap an otherwise flawless performance in Korea. Van Der Steen couldn't quite do enough to pass Questel, as the Dutchman placed in third.
Heat 16 required a general recall as Taty Frans false started. When the final was restarted it was Buzianis who crossed the line in first place, but Jossin was soon at the front of the pack. The Spaniard looked a little shaky as he turned past the last mark, but he held his nerve and stepped back on the power to claim victory. Buzianis was chasing him all the way, but with him only needing to finish in the top two, to the win the overall event, he was never going to push too hard and risk catapulting on a piece of debris. Buzianis took second place and with it he was crowned the King of Korea. The American fully deserved his victory after a mightily impressive performance for the duration of the week. Ross Williams deserves a mention as he put in a remarkable display to come from seventh place to finish third. The Brit demonstrated outstanding straight line speed and super smooth gybes in the choppy waters to eat his way through the pack. This topped off a great week for Williams as he cemented his place on the podium. Benoit Moussilmani secured fourth ahead of Patrick Diethelm.
It was not only in the men's division that the current event leader would be missing from the winner's final, as Deja Vu struck when Valerie Arrighetti (Tabou / Gaastra / Mystic) made the same mistake of sailing to the wrong buoy in her heat. The French woman had been leading but she finished in seventh place to miss out on heat four.
Arrighetti picked herself up from the disappointment of missing the winner's final by winning heat three, despite not having the best start. Once she was at the top, there was no way she was letting her lead slip this time and she powered home to victory. Japan's Ayako Suzuki (Starboard / Gaastra / Mystic) enjoyed an excellent race to claim second place, whilst her fellow countryman Mio Anayama (Starboard / NeilPryde) finished third. Fourth went to Lise Vidal (Fanatic / North).
Karin Jaggi (Severne / Patrik) failed to punish her rival, Arrighetti's, mistake as she finished in third place. This wasn't good enough to knock Arrighetti off her throne and the French woman was let off the hook. Credit shouldn't be taken away from either Delphine Cousin (JP / NeilPryde) or Fujiko Onishi though, as Cousin lead from the beginning to the end as she won the fifth elimination, whilst Onishi finished second. Alice Arutkin (Starboard / North) couldn't quite hold off the challenge of Jaggi and she had to settle for fourth.
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