The local thermal effect kicked in once again on day two of the PWA Catalunya World Cup as the remainder of the opening elimination was completed, under glorious sunny skies and winds ranging from 7-14 knots.
Reigning world champion - Antoine Albeau (RRD / NeilPryde) - sailed a flawless elimination and was duly rewarded with the first bullet of the week, firmly stamping his name at the top of the event rankings, but it was truly a day to forget for Alberto Menegatti.
With the current tour leader - Alberto Menegatti (Starboard / Point-7) - surprisingly missing from the winners' final - due to gybing around the wrong mark in heat twelve - Antoine Albeau was presented with the opportunity to take control of the title race, and the Big Frenchman duly obliged as he seized the early initiative by claiming the first victory of the week. Albeau didn't have it all his own way though as it was Maciek Rutkowski (Patrik / Point-7) who crossed the start line in first place. The young Pole's lead didn't last long, however, as Albeau, Matteo Iachino (F2 / Challenger Sails / AL360), Cyril Moussilmani (Starboard / Severne) and Pieter Bijl (Angulo / NeilPryde) all came surging past him to complete the top four at the first mark. Over the remainder of the course Albeau sailed brilliantly to open up a substantial lead over his closest rival Iachino, and after safely navigating the final mark he was left to enjoy the final reach before crossing the finish line. The top four remained unchanged, meaning that Iachino finished in second followed by Cyril Moussilmani and Bijl in third and fourth respectively.
A Moment of Madness
The incident that everyone has been talking about today involved Britain's Ross Williams (Tabou / Gaastra) and the current tour leader Alberto Menegatti. The duo were both involved in the final quarterfinal and looked as though they were both comfortably going to qualify for the semifinals as they held first and second place respectively. However, as the pair headed down the second reach Williams initiated his gybe much too early and rounded the wrong mark, unfortunately - from Menegatti's perspective at least - the Italian also followed Williams around the same mark to leave everyone on the beach and on the water in disbelief at what they were watching - none more so than the head of Point-7 Andrea Cucchi (Patrik / Point-7), who benefitted from both Williams' and Menegatti's disqualifications to qualify for the next round, even though he probably would've probably preferred to see his main man advance. Also benefitting from the pairs mistake was Jimmy Diaz (Starboard / North) who eventually went on to book his place in the winners' final, whilst Steve Allen (Starboard / Severne) and Pascal Toselli (Tabou / Point-7) qualified for heat fourteen as well.
Menegatti will now be praying for more wind in order to bring a discard into play, however if that doesn't happen then today's trivial mistake could prove to be one of the defining moments of the season - which could ultimately cost the twenty-eight year old a maiden world championship title.
The second elimination began shortly after three o'clock and the opening five heats were completed before the wind started to deteriorate, which eventually drew the day to a close at 17:15.
Pierre Mortefon (Fanatic / North) took full advantage of the re-sail of heat one to book his place in the quarterfinals by winning the heat. Originally the Frenchman had found himself outside of the crucial top four, before the heat was cancelled due to a wind shift. On the second time of asking Mortefon made no mistakes as Julien Quentel (RRD / NeilPryde), Malte Reuscher (RRD / Point-7 / AL360) and Casper Bouman (Angulo / NeilPryde / Mystic) all escaped from the first heat.
Alberto Menegatti showed that his mistake in the first elimination hadn't affected him mentally as the Italian successfully came out on top in heat two ahead of Cyril Moussilmani, Oliver-Tom Schliemann (Starboard / Point-7) and Gonzalo Costa Hoevel (Starboard / Loft Sails). Steve Allen suffered a surprise early exit in race two as he finished sixth in heat three, having found himself in the losers' final of the first race. Croatia's Enrico Marotti (Starboard / Point-7) continued to look dangerous and seriously quick on the course as the twenty-two year old successfully navigated his way through the opening round, to secure another place in the quarterfinals. Despite heat six starting, unfortunately, it could not be completed due to the wind rapidly diminishing. This means that when the action returns tomorrow that heat six will be the first heat to be sailed.
The forecast for Thursday is slightly better than Wednesday, which means we should see more nail biting racing on day three of the PWA Catalunya World Cup. As always you'll be able to follow all the action live by tuning into www.pwaworldtour.com
Results After Elimination One
1st Antoine Albeau (RRD / NeilPryde)
2nd Matteo Iachino (F2 / Challenger Sails / AL360)
3rd Cyril Moussilmani (Starboard / Severne)
4th Pieter Bijl (Angulo / NeilPryde)
5th Micah Buzianis (JP / MauiSails)
Scope The Action
For information on all the entrants, and to keep up to date with every piece of the action, navigate to www.pwaworldtour.com