by Chris Yates
Today saw the conclusion of the slalom at the Fuerteventura PWA Grand Slam after five amazing days of racing. After a further one and a half eliminations were completed, Antoine Albeau (RRD / NeilPryde) was crowned the King of Fuerteventura after claiming his third victory of the week in the final race of the week, whilst Cyril Moussilmani (Starboard / Severne) achieved his first bullet of the year, which keeps the Frenchman at the top of the overall rankings after the third slalom event of the season.
Albeau celebrates - 2014 PWA Fuerteventura Grand Slam
Ross Williams (Tabou / GA Sails / Mystic) made the best start to the first winners’ final of the day, but as the sailors approached the first mark it was still too close to call. However, Cyril Moussilmani (Starboard / Severne) executed his gybe perfectly to break into the lead and the Frenchman continued to blitz his way down the remainder of the course to clinch his first victory of 2014. Antoine Albeau safely secured second place with an assured display, whilst Pascal Toselli (Starboard / Point-7) and Cedric Bordes (Tabou / GA Sails) completed an all French top four as they continue to show that the French are the dominant force in slalom right now.
Iachino at the mark - 2014 PWA Fuerteventura Grand Slam
The second semifinal saw a scintillating conclusion between Matteo Iachino (Fanatic / North) and Ross Williams battled it out for the final place in the winners’ final. After the final gybe it was advantage Iachino, after the Italian was able to make a cleaner exit, but Williams turned on the afterburners on the home straight to steal the crucial fourth place from under the Italian’s nose by less than half a metre.
Josh Angulo (Angulo / Gun Sails) was the only man to start by the pin, as everyone else opted to start by the boat, but Angulo’s gamble paid off as he crossed the line in first place. The American couldn’t hold his lead into the opening mark though, as Antoine Albeau stormed down the opening reach to take control of the last race. Teammates Cyril Moussilmani and Bjorn Dunkerbeck looked to be in second and third place, but a brilliant gybe from Angulo saw him leapfrog them into second. From here Albeau only extended his advantage and was soon celebrating not only his third bullet of the week, but also taking the overall event title here in Fuerteventura. Angulo eventually claimed second as Cyril Moussilmani and Cedric Bordes (Tabou / GA Sails) finished third and fourth respectively.
Albeau leads the-way - 2014 PWA Fuerteventura Grand Slam
Antoine Albeau after winning the final elimination and the event: 'Yeah, I just wanted to do my best. I had a good start and the first reach was nice and windy so I was feeling good. It's been a good week with great wind. The start of the week was a bit tough but as the week progressed I found my form and started winning some eliminations. I'm super happy to have won this event!'
Elsewhere, Sebastian Kördel (Starboard / Loft Sails) and Amado Vrieswijk (Starboard / Severne) both looked to be advancing into the quarterfinals from heats three and four respectively, but both sailors dropped their final gybes when in fourth place to miss out on the next round. Meanwhile, Pieter Bijl (Angulo / Gun Sails) and Jimmy Diaz (Starboard / North) gave a gybing masterclass as they combined controlled aggression with tactical brilliance to dive down the inside of their rivals in heats six and twelve to grab the final qualifying places in each of their respective heats.
After a brilliant five days of slalom the freestylers are preparing to take centre stage in Fuerteventura for the next four days. The forecast for the freestyle looks great with the wind and swell increasing as the event heads towards its conclusion.
Unfortunately, reigning PWA Vice-World Champion - Arrianne Aukes (RRD / Simmer / Maui Ultra Fins) - has had to withdraw from the second freestyle contest of the year after injuring her ankle going for a ponch, whilst warming up for the event yesterday. Everybody from the PWA would like to wish Arrianne a swift recovery and we hope to see you back on the water soon. The skippers’ meeting for tomorrow has been called for 10am with the action commencing from 10:30am.
Toselli goes down - 2014 PWA Fuerteventura Grand Slam
Pierre Mortefon - 2014 PWA Fuerteventura Grand Slam
Cederic bordes - 2014 PWA Fuerteventura Grand Slam
Maynard at the mark - 2014 PWA Fuerteventura Grand Slam
Micah Buzianis - 2014 PWA Fuerteventura Grand Slam
Ben Van Der Steen - 2014 PWA Fuerteventura Grand Slam
Van Der Steen body drag - 2014 PWA Fuerteventura Grand Slam
Overall Results Fuerteventura PWA Grand Slam - Slalom:
1st Antoine Albeau
2nd Cyril Moussilmani
3rd Pascal Toselli
4th Pierre Mortefon
5th Ben Van Der Steen
6th Josh Angulo
7th Matteo Iachino
8th Ross Williams
9th Julien Quentel
10th Sylvain Moussilmani
PWA World Tour