by Chris Yates
On day four of the PWA Pegasus Airlines World Cup it was another enthralling day of action on the water as Alacati delivered the perfect slalom conditions for the third day in a row. With the sun shining and the wind blowing, between 15-25 knots, hundreds of spectators were treated to a sight to behold as the elite of the slalom world delivered another outstanding display.
Angulo and Dunkerbeck collide - PWA Pegasus Airlines World Cup 2012
Antoine Albeau (RRD / NeilPryde) was simply untouchable as he took home two bullets, which now means the big Frenchman has won incredible four out of the six eliminations completed thus far. Meanwhile, Valerie Arrighetti (Tabou / Gaastra / Mystic) and Sarah-Quita Offringa (Starboard / Gaastra / Mystic / Maui Ultra Fins / Chris Benz), claimed victory in one elimination each.
Another busy day in Alacati - PWA Pegasus Airlines World Cup 2012
Pascal Toselli (RRD / Point-7) and Antoine Albeau burst across the line ahead of the rest of the fleet. However, as he has done so often this week, Albeau ensured that he was the first man to the opening buoy after flying down the opening leg, at this point Toselli and Ben Van Der Steen (Starboard / Loft / Mystic / Different) were just behind him. However Albeau continued to fly down the straights and plane all the way through his gybes, which made him uncatchable and it wasn’t long before he claimed another bullet. Behind him Toselli held second place as he approached the final mark, but Van Der Steen cranked through a gybe before lighting up the final straight with his blistering place. Amazingly the flying Dutchman managed to overturn the deficit he faced, as he snatched second place from the hands of Toselli. Pierre Mortefon (Fanatic / North) completed the top four.
Bjorn Dunkerbeck (Starboard / Severne / Mystic / Dunkerbeck Eyewear / Chris Benz) was absent from the winners’ final after he and Josh Angulo (Angulo / Point-7) endured an altercation at the opening mark of the second semi-final. As the pair approached the first buoy Dunkerbeck and Angulo collided whilst gybing, which resulted in Dunkerbeck emerging with a broken sail and Angulo in the drink.
This ended both of the two sailors chances as the rest of the fleet avoided the mayhem. Eventually Pierre Mortefon, Gonzalo Costa Hoevel (Fanatic / North), Peter Volwater (Fanatic / Avanti) and Jimmy Diaz (Starboard / North) all advanced into the winners’ final after a dramatic heat. Elsewhere Malte Reuscher (RRD / Point-7 / AL360) sailed well to reach the semi-finals before finishing sixth in the losers’ final.
Epic slalom action - PWA Pegasus Airlines World Cup 2012
The second winners’ final of the day saw Ross Williams (Tabou / Gaastra) and Josh Angulo time their starts to perfection, however it wasn’t long before the man of the moment, Albeau, had positioned himself at the front once more and this is where he stayed for the entirety of the race. Williams stayed within touching distance of Albeau to the second mark, but with Dunkerbeck and Van Der Steen for company, Albeau managed to increase his lead. The terminator stalled on the exit of the third gybe, which presented Van Der Steen with the opportunity to pounce. Unfortunately for the Dutchman he couldn’t take full advantage and Dunkerbeck was able to hold off his rival. In the end it Albeau claimed the victory followed by Williams, Dunkerbeck and Van Der Steen with Angulo not far behind.
Bjorn pips Van Der Steen at the mark - PWA Pegasus Airlines World Cup 2012
It was a case of third time lucky for heat ten, after Bora Kozanoglu (Starboard / Severne) and Patrick Diethelm (Patrik / Loft) were disqualified for false starting, before Sylvain Moussilmani (Tabou / Simmer) also crossed the line early upon the restart. With just five sailors remaining it was Sebastian Kördel (NeilPryde) who seized the initiative as the young German crossed the line in first place. His lead didn’t last long though as the heavy weights were soon upon him, and after such a great start he eventually missed out on a place in the semi-finals as Bjorn Dunkerbeck, Ben Van Der Steen, Jimmy Diaz and Taty Frans (Starboard / MauiSails / Mystic / Maui Ultra Fins) all booked their places in the next round.
The seventh elimination began in the early evening and the first round was completed just like yesterday. The men’s elimination will resume tomorrow from the quarter finals onwards.
The first ladies winners’ final of the day saw Valerie Arrighetti produce a sterling performance as she came from behind to claim her first bullet of the week, after she managed to overcome Lena Erdil (Patrik / Loft / AL360), Greta Benvenuti (Patrik / Point-7) and Marion Mortefon (Starboard / Severne) after they had made a better start. Arrighetti displayed her perfect gybes and amazing speed to take the lead by the third mark. Sarah-Quita Offringa was also on a charge and she managed to force her way into second place just behind Arrighetti. The top four was completed by Mortefon and a battling Lena Erdil, whilst Delphine Cousin (JP / NeilPryde) had to settle for fifth, having led the event two days before hand.
Sarah and Valerie race to the finish - PWA Pegasus Airlines World Cup 2012
Cagla Kubat (Starboard / Loft) stole the limelight ahead of Karin Jaggi (Patrik / Severne) in the losers’ final with an established performance. Meanwhile, Marianne Kaplas (Starboard / Severne) and Dilara Uralp (JP / NeilPryde) sailed magnificently to claim fourth.
The current world champion, Sarah-Quita Offringa, rose to the top of the crop again today in the second winners’ final, despite not crossing the line in first place. In fact Marion Mortefon (JP / NeilPryde) made the first buoy in the lead after Offringa held back on her start. The lady from Aruba then went on to destroy the field with seamless gybes and an untouchable top speed with Arrighetti being her closest challenger in second followed by Mortefon and Karin Jaggi. The Swiss gem experienced a slightly frustrating day in comparison to yesterday, but she will now look to resurrect this tomorrow as she continues her bid for another world title.
Race six victory for Sarah Quita - PWA Pegasus Airlines World Cup 2012
The earlier half of the sixth elimination went according to plan apart from Mariah Andres (Starboard / Gun / Mystic), Dilara Uralp and Deniz Sekercioglu who, surprisingly, all failed to advance into the semi-finals.
Tomorrow offers yet more wind as Alacati continues to live up to it world class reputation. Therefore we are expecting to see the completion of at least one more round if not two. Antoine Albeau currently leads the way for the men, whilst Valerie Arrighetti holds the event lead for the women. The Skippers’ meeting has been called for 10:30am with the first possible start being 11am.
Results After Six Eliminations - Men’s Slalom
1st Antoine Albeau (RRD / NeilPryde)
2nd Ben Van Der Steen (Starboard / Loft / Mystic / Different)
3rd Bjorn Dunkerbeck (Starboard / Severne / Mystic / Dunkerbeck Eyewear / Chris Benz)
4th Peter Volwater (Fanatic / Avanti)
5th Micah Buzianis (JP / MauiSails)
Results After Six Eliminations - Women’s Slalom
1st Valerie Arrighetti (Tabou / Gaastra / Mystic)
2nd Sarah-Quita Offringa (Starboard / Gaastra / Mystic / Maui Ultra Fins / Chris Benz)
3rd Karin Jaggi (Patrik / Severne)
4th Marion Mortefon (Starboard / Severne)
5th Lena Erdil (Patrik / Loft / AL360)
Taty gybes - PWA Pegasus Airlines World Cup 2012
Albeau gybe - PWA Pegasus Airlines World Cup 2012