Day four of the PWA Alacati World Cup proved to be a largely frustrating affair as teasing winds kept the competitors on standby for much of the day. After a very quiet start to the day at 12pm the wind swung 180 degrees and began to rapidly pickup causing a flurry of action on the beach. However the wind remained gusty for much of the afternoon meaning that only a further two heats were completed - one men’s and one women’s semifinal.
In the men’s semifinal - Heat 13 - Pierre Mortefon (Fanatic / North) showed good speed again to win the heat, whilst Ben van der Steen (Starboard / Gaastra / Mystic / Different), Julien Quentel (RRD / NeilPryde) and Alberto Menegatti (Starboard / Point-7) all qualified for their first winners’ final of the week.
The second men’s semifinal was started but gusty winds prevented the conclusion of the heat.
In the women’s semifinal - Heat 5 - Marion Mortefon (Starboard / Severne) made the best start to the heat and safely qualified for the final with a proficient display, whilst Lena Erdil (Patrik / Loft Sails / Mystic / AL360) claimed second place. The remaining qualifying places were clinched by Karin Jaggi (Patrik / Severne) and Ayako Suzuki (Starboard / Gaastra / Mystic) meaning that local hero Cagla Kubat (Starboard / Loft Sails) misses out on a place in the winners’ final.
With a substantial amount of down time today we caught up with Pierre Mortefon who is currently in second place:
PWA: You are the only sailor to have qualified for both winners' finals this week, so far, you must be really pleased with how you are sailing?
PM: 'I’m really happy with my sailing so far because two winners’ finals is perfect for me, because at the moment I’m the only rider who has qualified for both finals (Josh Angulo (Angulo / Gun Sails) is the only other sailor who can qualify for both finals). Hopefully with the forecast for the last couple of days we might be able to complete three or maybe four races maximum, so I will already have good points for a good result. I’m also really happy with my sailing because so far this week I have never been struggling to be in the qualifying positions. My starts have been good and my speed ok too.'
PWA: How long have you been in Alacati?
PM: 'I’m really happy that I made the choice to come here one week before the competition - I arrived on the 11th or 12th of August and this has allowed me to get used to the conditions and I’ve had really good training and preparation with the other French sailors, which has meant that I’ve felt really comfortable on the water with all my equipment.'
PWA: After the completion of elimination two you will be the event leader, is this something you’ve thought about?
PM: 'No, clearly I’m not focusing on that because by the end of the week we can easily do one, two or three more races, so things can change, and I need to stay focused and perform until the end of the event. I will continue to try and sail the way I have been so far this week. I’m also really happy that I was able to win my semifinal today as I was in the lead yesterday before the heat was cancelled, so it was nice to make a good start, good gybes and to show good speed again today. My goal is to try and repeat this level of sailing as I think if I can maintain this level then I can finish the event in a good position.'
PWA: You’ve been looking very quick this week, have you made any changes to your setup?
PM: 'Before I came here I went to a special place in France where we have similar conditions to Alacati. I already had some new ideas and when I arrived here those ideas were confirmed as good ones! It’s some special things with the equipment. (Not giving much away)
PWA: Last season you finished in 18th, what is you aim for the season?
PM: 'This year I don’t know now as Costa Brava didn’t go so well for me, I think I finished 33rd place, so this was a really bad event for me. Here’s going ok, but we need to see what happens in Sylt so we can use the discard, but there is completely different racing to here.'
PWA: Do you prefer flatter water then?
PM: 'Yeah for sure, but in the end we still have to race in all conditions, so let’s see.'
PWA: Thanks Pierre and good luck for the remainder of the event.
The forecast for tomorrow looks much more promising than today, so hopefully, we will see the conclusion of race two at a minimum. The skippers meeting will take place at 10:30am tomorrow morning with the action commencing from 11am.
PWA World Tour
Surf n Sound
by Chris Yates
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7:49 PM Thu 22 Aug 2013GMT
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