There was all to play for on the final day of the 2014 Pegasus Airlines Alacati PWA World Cup as Julien Quentel (RRD / NeilPryde) looked to defend his overnight lead against good friend Antoine Albeau (RRD / NeilPryde), who was hoping to rain on his parade. However, the man from Saint Maarten held his nerve to be crowned champion for the first time in his PWA career. With just the one race completed today, Arnon Dagan (RRD / NeilPryde) claimed the final bullet of the week to cap a fine performance. Meanwhile, Sarah-Quita Offringa (Starboard / Mystic) added another first place to her scoresheet to secure an emphatic overall event victory.
Malte Reuscher (RRD / Challenger / AL360) made another perfect start to the winners’ final, but it was Arnon Dagan who entered the opening mark in pole position, after continuing to look extremely quick in the light winds, ahead of Ben Van Der Steen (Tabou / GA Sails / Mystic), Ross Williams (Tabou / GA Sails / Mystic) and Reuscher. Over the remainder of the course Dagan opened up a substantial lead as the Israeli went onto claim his first victory of the week, which sees him finish fourth overall in Alacati. Meanwhile, the top four remained unchanged with Van Der Steen, second, Williams, third, and Reuscher fourth for the third consecutive race in a row.
All eyes were on Antoine Albeau and Julien Quentel during the final elimination of the week. The question was, could Quentel hold his nerve to clinch his maiden title? The twenty-eight year old dealt with the opening hurdle perfectly, safely qualifying for the quarterfinals by finishing second in heat two. However, Quentel failed to advance from heat nine with a poor start costing him dearly. This swung the title race on its head with Albeau now needing to finish fourth or better in the winners’ final to steal the crown from under Quentel’s nose. Unfortunately for the reigning world champion, or fortunately for Quentel depending on how you look at it, he suffered the same fate as the current event leader - also surprisingly falling short in heat twelve to miss out on the semifinals. The man from Saint Maarten could barely watch, but his worries soon disappeared as Micah Buzianis (JP / MauiSails) did him a huge favour by keeping Albeau shut out in fifth. With no more races to come Quentel was soon celebrating a hugely deserved maiden victory - which saw him qualify for all but one winners’ final, consisting of two bullets and four, third places as well.
Julien Quentel earns his first win on the PWA World Tour: 'I’m really happy. I couldn’t watch the heat with Antoine because I was just like is he or isn’t he going to make the top four. But, thankfully it worked out for me. I’d like to thank the sponsors and everyone for joining us on the beach. Today is a great day for me, after a week of brilliant racing here in Alacati.'
After narrowly missing out on the event title, the main thing for Albeau is that he returns to the top of the overall world rankings, after another fantastic display of sailing, which now makes him very hard to beat.
The final winners’ final of the week saw another flawless performance from Sarah-Quita Offringa, although it was Fujiko Onishi (Starboard / Loft) who made the best start, there was nothing the rest of the fleet could do to stop Offringa marching into first place by the opening gybe. As has happened so often this week, SQO proved uncatchable yet again as she took her seventh victory out of a possible nine ahead of Delphine Cousin (Starboard / Loft Sails) - who secured second place overall - Cagla Kubat (Starboard / Loft Sails), Fulya Unlu (Starboard / Severne) and Esther De Geus (99 NoveNove / Point-7).
Sarah-Quita Offringa claims an emphatic victory: 'Everything worked out this week. I don’t know what the secret was, the sails that I borrowed from Jordy (Vonk), a massive thanks to him, are really fast and I also had nothing to lose at this event. If I can keep the sails then I’m planning on competing in France and New Caledonia, and hopefully with the discard I’ll have a shot at the title. Thanks to everyone who turned up to watch and of course the sponsors. We had an amazing week in Alacati. Congratulations to Delphine and Lena for their podium finishes.'
Another amazing week of racing in Alacati was concluded today, as the windsurfing Mecca of Turkey produced the goods once more, reiterating its status as one of the world class destinations in the world. Overall Results Men's Slalom Pegasus Airlines Alacati PWA World Cup:
1st Julien Quentel (RRD / NeilPryde)
2nd Antoine Albeau (RRD / NeilPryde)
3rd Pascal Toselli (Starboard / Point-7)
4th Arnon Dagan (RRD / NeilPryde)
5th Ben Van Der Steen (Tabou / GA Sails / Mystic)
6th Pierre Mortefon (Fanatic / North)
7th Josh Angulo (Angulo / Gun Sails)
8th Tristan Algret (Patrik / Loft Sails / Mystic)
9th Matteo Iachino (Fanatic / North)
10th Cyril Moussilmani (Starboard / Severne) Overall Results Women's Slalom Pegasus Airlines Alacati PWA World Cup:
1st Sarah-Quita Offringa (Starboard / Mystic)
2nd Delphine Cousin (Starboard / Loft Sails)
3rd Lena Erdil (Patrik / Loft Sails / Mystic / AL360)
4th Valerie Ghibaudo (Tabou / GA Sails / Mystic)
5th Fulya Ünlü (Starboard / Severne) PWA World Tour