The PWA Pegasus Airlines World Cup has now entered its third day of racing in Alacati, Turkey. Outstanding slalom conditions have continued to be served allowing Finian Maynard and Delphine Cousin to claim their first victories on the testing waters.
Another day in paradise for the world’s fastest sailors, crystal clear water, glorious sunshine and winds blowing fifteen knots over the four mark downwind course provided the perfect conditions to complete elimination four and the opening round of the men’s fifth elimination.
After a relaxed morning spent tuning their equipment the sailors took to the water at two o’clock for the fourth action packed elimination.
Men's Elimination 4: From the world go elimination four was full of surprises, premature starts from five sailors in the first round saw their early exit from the race, including big name Josh Angulo (Angulo / Gun /Dakine).
The first round also witnessed the current event leader, Bjorn Dunkerbeck (Starboard / Severne / Mystic /DunkerbeckEyewear) lose out on a qualifying position. Ross Williams (Tabou /Gaastra) sailed an exceptional heat to fend off the master. Dunkerbeck tried all of his tricks to take fourth place, but Williams was quick to defend his position and faster down the final leg.
Dunkerbeck explains all: 'I have had a great start to the competition and I have been sailing really fast on my largest board and 9.2m and 9.7m sails. This morning the wind picked up just as the heat started and my equipment was too large for the conditions. The other guys had swapped down to their medium boards and I couldn't catch them, so it shows that you have to be really on it in Alacati as anything can happen. I have won three races and a today I had pretty bad race, but I am confident for the week. The wind is forecast to pick up tomorrow so we will see what happens.'
After a successful day yesterday Cyril Moussilmani (Starboard / North) suffered in the quarter-finals as he failed to complete his race due to an equipment failure resulting in his overall score being knocked down into tenth place.
Gonzalo Costa Hoevel (Fanatic / North) was performing exceptionally well in all of his heats, claiming two first places, however his luck ran out in the semi-finals when he pushed the start too hard and went over early.
The many times world champion Antoine Albeau (JP / NeilPryde), made it to his first winners’ final in Alacati where he claimed a fourth place finish, raising him into ninth place.
We caught up with Albeau after the days racing to find out about his week: 'The conditions here are completely different to the other events as the winds very light here; even in Korea we had more wind. I had some bad luck in the first three eliminations, I am sailing fast and I made the final today, it will be hard to fight for first place now, but it will depend on how many races we complete.'
Winners 'final: Finian Maynard (RRD) was the man on fire in Alacati today, Maynard sailed the perfect elimination, scoring first places althea way through the race and finishing the heat with an incredible display of speed.
Maynard timed his start to perfection hitting the line at full speed right on the buzzer, however big guns Micah Buzianis (JP/ NeilPryde), Ben Van Der Steen (Starboard / Loft / Mystic) and Albeau were charging hard behind him. Two slick gybes from Maynard saw him gain a significant lead putting him well ahead of the rest of the pack. The real battle came from Buzianis and Van Der Steen as they were fighting for second place.
We caught up with Maynard to find out how he was feeling after an excellent start to the week: 'I love Alacati, and I really enjoy the flat water. I feel like I’m on really great form after a tough start to the year, my boards feel fantastic and I am just trying to have a lot of fun on the water. I am looking forward to the next few days of racing.'
Women's elimination 4: The women’s elimination kicked off with an over early from Fanny Aubet (JP / NeilPryde), and she was quickly placed in the losers final. Once the race was underway, Valerie Arrighetti (Tabou / Gaastra /Mystic) stole the show; she nailed the start and took the early advantage. Alice Arutkin (Starboard / North) and Marion Mortefon (AL360) tried to catch her but Arrighetti sailed the perfect race.
After a tough day on the water yesterday, Sarah-Quita Offringa (Starboard / Gaastra / Mystic) was back on form and flying down the straights as she claimed first place in the second heat. Lise Vidal (Exocet / North), Delphine Cousin (JP / NeilPryde), Karin Jaggi (Patrik / Severne) and Marianne Kaplas (Starboard / Severne) brought in the remaining qualifying positions.
Aubet made up for her premature start in the losers final. She dominated on the start-line and held the lead the whole way around the course, fending off the likes of Dilara Uralp and Greta Benvenuti(Patrik / Point-7 / AL360).
Winners' final: Jaggi flew over the start-line to take the lead in the women’s winners’ final; however by the first mark Cousin was leading the fleet. The pair held the top positions followed by Arrighetti and Offringa for the following two gybes. Jaggi made her move at the third mark and cut inside of Cousin, but Cousin was quick to get back to full speed. The pair dueled the whole way down the final leg but Cousin hit the finish line first claiming her first race in Alacati.
The PWA caught up with current event leader Jaggi to find out about her week: 'I had a successful day yesterday as I won two races which I am really pleased with, and today I finished in second with my main competitors behind me so I am really happy. We have had light wind for the last two days so everything could change tomorrow if the strong wind arrives.'
Men's elimination 5: As the afternoon progressed the wind began to drop off, however the race crew were eager to press ahead. They advised the sailors to go out on their largest equipment for the first round of men's elimination five.
The opening heats saw superb racing from Arnon Dagan (Tabou / Gaastra), Julien Quentel (RRD / NeilPryde), Costa Hoevel, Alberto Menegatti (Starboard / Gaastra), Jimmy Diaz (Starboard / North), Albeau and Dunkerbeck as each sailor dominated in their heats and claimed an easy pass into the next round.
Unfortunately for Pierre Mortefon (Fanatic /North) he snapped a mast at the first gybe mark, rendering him unable to complete the race. The bad luck also rubbed off on Cyril Moussilmani as he failed to qualify for the next around as well consistent sailors Kurosh Kiani(Angulo / Simmer), Peter Volwater (Fanatic / MauiSails) and Chris Pressler(Starboard / Severne).
Heat eight was started and Maynard led the charge, however a wind hole at the second mark ensured the race was abandoned. With the conditions deteriorating the sailors were released for the day at 6pm. There is an extremely promising forecast lined up for the fourth day of competition so skippers meeting will kick off at 9:30 with the first possible start to racing at 10am.
Men’s results (after four eliminations)
Mathew Belcher and Malcolm Page in race nine of the 470 fleet in Weymouth - Weymouth and Portland International Regatta 2011 Thom Touw?nid=87105
1st Bjorn Dunkerbeck (Starboard / Severne / Mystic /DunkerbeckEyewear)
2nd Finian Maynard (RRD)
3rd Ben Van Der Steen (Starboard / Loft / Mystic)
4th Micah Buzianis (JP / NeilPryde)
5th Steve Allen (Starboard / Severne)
6th Antoine Questel (Loft)
7th Gonzalo Costa Hoevel (Fanatic / North)
8th Jimmy Diaz (Starboard / North)
9th Antoine Albeau (JP / NeilPryde)
10th Cyril Moussilmani (Starboard / North) Women’sresults (after four eliminations)
1st Karin Jaggi(Patrik / Severne)
2nd Sarah-Quita Offringa (Starboard / Gaastra / Mystic)
3rd Lena Erdil (Patrik / Loft / AL360)
4th Valerie Arrighetti (Tabou / Gaastra / Mystic)
5th Delphine Cousin (JP / NeilPryde)
6th Lise Vidal (Exocet / North)
7th Cagla Kubat (Starboard / North)
8th Alice Arutkin (Starboard / North)
9th Marion Mortefon (AL360)
10th Marianne Kaplas (Starboard / Severne)
PWA World Tour website