by Chris Yates
At the 2012 PWA Catalunya World Cup, for the fifth day in a row, Costa Brava produced the goods as elimination five was completed. The racing commenced just before three o’clock in 8-15 knot winds. However, today belongs to Julien Quentel, the Frenchmen claimed his first ever victory after another hugely impressive performance, and he currently holds second place overall.
For Elimination Five of the Winners’ Final, heat 16 saw Bjorn Dunkerbeck come screaming across the line to take an early lead and by the first mark he had a clear advantage over Quentel in second. You wouldn’t have been blamed for thinking that Dunkerbeck would now cruise to victory, after the form he showed yesterday, however that’s not how the final unfolded. Quentel still harboured hopes of catching the terminator and by the third mark he managed to do just that, as he stole the lead. Antoine Albeau also managed to squeeze past Dunkerbeck, to move into second place leaving Dunkerbeck in third.
Bjorn nails the start in the final - PWA Catalunya World Cup 2012
Bjorn leads race five final - PWA Catalunya World Cup 2012
As the leading pack headed into the final mark, Cyril Moussilmani gybed down the inside of Dunkerbeck to move into third along with Jimmy Diaz. Dunkerbeck was now stuck in a wind hole and struggling to get onto the plane, to add insult to injury his team mate Steve Allen then collided with him, which resulted in Dunkerbeck finishing sixth. Quentel, however, was clear of all of the commotion behind him and the Frenchmen showed no sign of nerves to claim a memorable maiden victory. Albeau finished second ahead Jimmy Diaz and Cyril Moussilmani, who were the main beneficiaries of Dunkerbeck’s mishap.
Quentel fends off Albeau - PWA Catalunya World Cup 2012
Julien Quentel speaking after winning his first ever elimination: 'I’m feeling super happy. I made a good start in the final and thankfully I managed to overtake Bjorn. Once I was in the lead I was feeling confident rather nervous and as I crossed the line I just felt delighted.'
Matteo Iachino made the best start of the fleet in the losers’ final, but by the first mark his Italian counterpart, Andrea Cucchi had marched into the lead with Ludovic Jossin and Taty Frans in hot pursuit. Despite their best efforts Cucchi continued to extend his lead, and by the third mark he was cruising to victory of heat fifteen. Behind him though there was plenty of action as Patrick Diethelm forced his way into the top four and managed to move all the way up to second, Frans still occupied third place but Iachino was now in fourth. This proved pivotal and the top four remain unchanged as they crossed the finish line.
Elsewhere in race five, Maciek Rutkowski sailed particularly well today and the Pole was rewarded with a place winners’ final after some superb sailing, Rutkowski showed his potential today and he’s definitely a sailor to keep an eye out for in the coming years. Taty Frans was unfortunate in his semi-final, the Bonaire man crossed the line in first place but Quentel clipped the clew of his sail, which saw Frans drop the back of the pack. Frans tried to stage a comeback but he didn’t quite make the final qualifying spot as he finished fifth.
At quarter past four the sixth elimination was started, however only one heat was completed as the wind soon started to deteriorate. In heat one Cedric Bordes nailed his start and the Frenchman held his lead into the first mark with Ross Williams and Gonzalo Costa Hoevel just behind. Surprising Bjorn Dunkerbeck found himself in sixth place, but the terminator kept his composure and battled back to third by the finish line. Bordes lead from start to finish as Williams finished second. Costa Hoevel though was pipped to fourth place by a flying Taty Frans.
Tomorrow’s forecast has the gradient wind in the correct direction, but we’ll be needing the assistance of the thermal top up to see the completion of race six. The skipper’s meeting has been called for ten thirty tomorrow morning, with the first possible start being 11am.
Men’s Slalom Standings After Elimination Five:
1st Bjorn Dunkerbeck (Starboard / Severne / Mystic / Dunkerbeck Eyewear / Chris Benz)
2nd Julien Quentel (RRD / NeilPryde)
3rd Antoine Albeau (RRD / NeilPryde)
4th Steve Allen (Starboard / NeilPryde)
5th Cyril Moussilmani (Starboard / Severne / Mystic)
Quentel leads the fleet in race five final - PWA Catalunya World Cup 2012
Ramon Maltas - PWA Catalunya World Cup 2012
Xavier Torres - PWA Catalunya World Cup 2012
Chris Pressler - PWA Catalunya World Cup 2012
Crash at the mark - PWA Catalunya World Cup 2012
Quentel cruising - PWA Catalunya World Cup 2012
PWA World Tour website