The third day of the Pegasus Airlines PWA World Cup saw a further two eliminations completed, once the wind had settled in, after a somewhat frustrating morning. However, the wind soon swung more cross-shore which resulted in an afternoon of spectacular slalom, with high, lows and non-stop drama. By the end of the day we saw four different winners crowned as the unpredictability of the week in Alacati continued.
Winning the men's races today were Antoine Albeau (RRD / NeilPryde) and Peter Volwater (Fanatic / Avanti), whilst the winners of the women's division were Karin Jaggi (Patrik / Severne) and Sarah-Quita Offringa (Starboard / Gaastra / Mystic / Maui Ultra Fins / Chris Benz).
Antoine Albeau laid down the gauntlet at the beginning of the day by winning his second successive elimination, after winning race two yesterday. The big Frenchmen wasted little time in picking up where he left off and despite Ben Van Der Steen (Starboard / Loft / Mystic / Different) making the best start of the fleet, Albeau had risen to the front of the pack as they approached the first mark. Over the remainder of the course Albeau cranked his way through effortless gybes as he opened up a substantial lead by the finish line. Behind him there was a battle between Van Der Steen, Alberto Menegatti (Starboard / Gaastra), Ludovic Jossin (Patrik / Loft) and Micah Buzianis (JP / MauiSails). The big hitters continued to battle it out but in the end it was Van Der Steen who claimed second followed by Menegatti and Buzianis.
The other major news of race three was the fact that Bjorn Dunkerbeck (Starboard / Severne / Mystic / Dunkerbeck Eyewear / Chris Benz) missed out on a place in the winners' final after finishing sixth in heat fourteen. The terminator was then only beaten by a flying Julien Quentel (RRD / NeilPryde) in the losers' final as he had to settle for tenth overall. Whilst Taty Frans (Starboard / MauiSails / Mystic / Maui Ultra Fins) managed to edge his way past Patrick Diethelm (Patrik / Loft) on the final straight to finish third and fourth respectively in heat fifteen.
The second winners' final of the day witnessed two flying Dutchmen at the front of the fleet, but it was Peter Volwater who timed his start to perfection to lead from the outset, just ahead of Britain's Ross Williams (Tabou / Gaastra). Volwater handled the pressure with consummate ease as he held off his rivals to claim his first bullet of the year, after an outstanding display of sailing. His fellow countryman Ben Van Der Steen was a man on a mission and he surpassed Williams to claim second place overall. The Brit meanwhile had to settle for third, whilst Cyril Moussilmani (Starboard / Severne / Mystic) and Dunkerbeck had their own private battle for fourth and fifth. Eventually Moussilmani managed to overtake his teammate after an exciting finale.
The fourth elimination proved to be an intriguing affair throughout as the intensity and furiousness of the heats continued to increase, which resulted in some major upsets such as, Steve Allen (Starboard / Severne), Micah Buzianis and Sylvain Moussilmani (Tabou / Simmer) all being knocked out in the opening round. However, the biggest shock of them all arrived in the final heat of the first round, involving Antoine Albeau, who had won two out of the three eliminations completed thus far. However on this occasion the big Frenchman failed to progress into the quarter finals after battling it out against Pierre Mortefon (Fanatic / North) for the final qualifying spot, however as Albeau cranked around the final mark he fell ending all hopes of him advancing. Going through to the quarterfinals from heat eight were Cyril Moussilmani, Benoit Moussilmani (Tabou / Simmer), Pascal Toselli (RRD / Point-7) and Mortefon.
The fifth elimination is underway and the first round was completed by the end of the day, which means the quarter finals will be the first heats to be sailed when the action resumes tomorrow.
The first women's winners' final of the day required a restart after the current reigning world champion, Sarah-Quita Offringa, jumped the gun. When the seven remaining sailors were underway again it was Karin Jaggi and Marion Mortefon (Starboard / Severne) who leapt out of the blocks. As the women approached the opening gybe it was Jaggi that had taken command of the heat as she rounded the buoy in pole position with Valerie Arrighetti (Tabou / Gaastra / Mystic) and Mortefon trying to keep her company. The Swiss Gem looked back to her brilliant best today and despite Arrighetti fighting back, she didn't quite have enough in the tank to overcome her fierce rival and stop Jaggi claiming the victory. With the top two confirmed it was now all about the intense battle for third and fourth, which involved Mortefon and Lena Erdil (Patrik / Loft / AL360). By the final mark Erdil had managed to maneuver her way past her French counterpart and the Turk made no mistakes on the final leg to claim third overall.
Delphine Cousin (JP / NeilPryde) came into the third elimination tied as the current event leader, after a brilliant display on Tuesday. However today the young French woman made a catastrophic tactical error in the opening round of the day. Cousin was disqualified from heat two for a false start and with it she was handed an unwanted early exit. Elsewhere Arrianne Aukes (RRD / Simmer / AL360 / Maui Ultra Fins), who is well known for her freestyling abilities, is competing in her first slalom competition ever and the Dutch woman progressed into the semi-finals for the first time today. The freestyler finished fourth in heat three behind Sarah-Quita Offringa, Valerie Arrighetti and Annika Valkna.
Sarah-Quita Offringa marked her return to the slalom competition scene with a victory in the fourth race after overcoming competition from Lena Erdil, Karin Jaggi and Delphine Cousin. Erdil crossed the line in first place but it didn't take long for Offringa to step on the gas and take the lead. From this position she was never going to give it away and she deservedly claimed first place. Meanwhile, Jaggi finished just behind her in second with Erdil and Cousin claiming third and fourth respectively.
In the losers' final the victory went to Greece's Leta Margoni, who is making her debut on the PWA World Tour, as she finished ahead of the Turkish contingent consisting of Dilara Uralp (JP / NeilPryde) and Fulya Unlu (Starboard / Severne).
After another day of fantastic racing, tomorrow promises to be action packed once more with plenty of wind on offer. Crucially too the forecast is predicting a more favorable wind direction so hopefully the local thermal will kick in too. Either way we are preparing ourselves for more enthralling slalom and you'll be able to see it all live by tuning into www.pwaworldtour.com. The skippers' meeting has been called for 10am tomorrow morning with the action commencing from 10:30.
Results After Four Elimination - Men's Slalom
1. Antoine Albeau (RRD / NeilPryde)
2. Ben Van Der Steen (Starboard / Loft / Mystic / Different)
3. Micah Buzianis (JP / MauiSails)
4. Bjorn Dunkerbeck (Starboard / Severne / Mystic / Dunkerbeck Eyewear / Chris Benz)
5. Peter Volwater (Fanatic / Avanti)
Results After Four Elimination - Women's Slalom
1. Karin Jaggi (Patrik / Severne)
2. Valerie Arrighetti (Tabou / Gaastra / Mystic)
3. Delphine Cousin (JP / NeilPryde)
4. Sarah-Quita Offringa (Starboard / Gaastra / Mystic / Maui Ultra Fins / Chris Benz)
5. Lena Erdil (Patrik / Loft / AL360)
Scope the action
For more information on all the entrants, and to keep up to date with every piece of the action, click on www.pwaworldtour.com