by Chris Yates
The final day of the slalom for the PWA Fuerteventura Grand Slam appeared as though we would see another day of classic Fuerteventura conditions. However after an eleven O’clock start, which allowed three heats to be completed, the wind unexpectedly disappeared. On several occasions the wind did threaten to return but it was never for a prolonged period meaning that the sailors endured a frustrating day on standby with no more heats being completed.
The winning moment for Finian!
Shortly before 4pm the sailors were released for the final time, which means that Finian Maynard (RRD / Avanti) is crowned the King of Fuerteventura after a simply brilliant performance yesterday. Maynard won two eliminations and finished third in the other yesterday to claim his place at the top of the podium ahead of Ben Van Der Steen (Starboard / Loft / Mystic / Different) and Antoine Albeau (RRD / NeilPryde). The event site was still surrounded by a vibrant atmosphere as the crowds poured into the event tent to see the closing ceremony of the men’s slalom, as well as the live music and dancing.
The first heat of the day saw Pierre Mortefon (Fanatic / North) be the first man to book his place in the next round after an accomplished display, which saw the Frenchman take the lead at the first mark ahead of Patrick Diethelm (Patrik / Loft), Pieter Bijl (JP / NeilPryde) and Sean O’Brien (Starboard / Point-7 / Mystic). The top three would remain unchanged for the remainder of the heat but Danny Aeberli (F2 / KA Sail) was able to overtake O’Brien by the third mark to claim the final qualifying spot.
Heat two needed to be restarted after Kai Kaufmann was a little too eager to cross the start line. Upon the restart Andrea Ferin (RRD / Challenger / AL360) made the best start of the pack but he couldn’t hold onto his lead. By the first mark the Italian found himself in fourth place, as Peter Volwater (Fanatic / Avanti) leapt into the lead ahead of Julien Quentel (RRD / NeilPryde) and Tine Slabe (RRD / Challenger / Different). Volwater went on to win the heat in convincing fashion and in the end Quentel, Slabe and Ferin all qualified, whilst Frederic Morin (Starboard / NeilPryde) chose not to complete the course after sailing down the finishing straight in fifth place.
The third heat of the day was dominated by a flying Ludovic Jossin (Patrik / Loft) as he led from start to finish. By the end of the heat the Frenchman had opened up a significant lead over his closest rival Andrea Rosati (RRD / Gaastra) in second. The top four was completed by Benoit Moussilmani (Tabou / Simmer) and Alberto Menegatti (Starboard / Gaastra), with the latter managing to overtake Thibault Bernard (JP / NeilPryde) to claim the final qualifying place.
Unfortunately at this point the wind dropped meaning that neither heat four or the fifth elimination could be completed as the slalom drew to a close for another year in Fuerteventura.
At the end of the day we caught up with yesterday’s winner and the overall event winner, Finian Maynard, to see how his week has been:
PWA: Not only did yesterday represent your first elimination victories of the year, but you’ve now won the whole event. How are you feeling?
Finian Maynard: 'It feels wonderful, especially after having such a tough year up to now, which has been well documented. I’m just ecstatic.'
PWA: How would you try and sum this week up?
Finian Maynard: 'I’d say that this week has been a bit strange. But the racing we had was good, especially yesterday which enabled racing of the highest quality and probably the best racing of the year. I personally wanted to do another three rounds today because I had such a great time yesterday but it is what it is and overall it was a great event. We still managed to run enough eliminations for a discard and now I am really looking forward to Turkey.'
PWA: You own your own sail company, Avanti, do you think your sails gave you an advantage out on the water?
Finian Maynard: 'To be honest yesterday saw some really tricky conditions and it was very choppy, I think that our technology certainly helped. Our sails are very light and stable, and they are extremely easy to handle especially when you are overpowered in the big gusts and they are great in the turn as well. I definitely feel that we have an advantage in those kind of conditions.'
That’s not the end of the action though, as tomorrow the PWA Freestyle competition begins and it will be running for the next five days. The skippers’ meeting will be held at 10am tomorrow morning with the action commencing from 10:30am if the conditions are suitable.
Overall Results of Men’s Slalom - PWA Fuerteventura
1st Finian Maynard (RRD / Avanti)
2nd Ben Van Der Steen (Starboard / Loft / Mystic / Different)
3rd Antoine Albeau (RRD / NeilPryde)
4th Bjorn Dunkerbeck (Starboard / Severne / Mystic / Dunkerbeck Eyewear / Chris Benz)
5th Cyril Moussilmani (Starboard / Severne / Mystic)
Good day for Kurosh - PWA Sotavento Fuerteventura World Cup 2012
Maynard leads race four final - PWA Sotavento Fuerteventura World Cup 2012
Sylvain Moussilmani skips a beat - PWA Sotavento Fuerteventura World Cup 2012
Mortefon chases - PWA Sotavento Fuerteventura World Cup 2012
Maynard reels in Diaz - PWA Sotavento Fuerteventura World Cup 2012
Finian leads the pack - PWA Sotavento Fuerteventura World Cup 2012
Men's winners Fuerteventura slalom 2012 - PWA Sotavento Fuerteventura World Cup 2012
PWA World Tour website