On day five of the PWA Reggio Calabria World Cup, it truly looked like no action would be possible. The day started with overcast skies and hardly a breath of wind, however at 16:00 the wind suddenly kicked in out of nowhere. This enabled the first elimination of the women’s slalom to be completed, whilst 13 heats of the men’s slalom were finished. The world’s best sailors were finally allowed to showcase their skills in what had been a frustrating event up to now.
As the men finally got their racing season underway it looked like they meant business from the start. In fact the opening round saw nine out of the top ten seeds all qualify for the quarter finals with the shock elimination of fourth seed Cyril Moussilmani (Starboard Severne / Mystic) who narrowly missed out on a place in the second round.
In heat 8 Bjorn Dunkerbeck (Starboard / Severne / Mystic/ DunkerbeckEyewear) did extremely well to qualify as he crossed the start line in last place. Dunkerbeck stepped on the gas and somehow managed to mastermind his way into second place. Pascal Toselli (RRD / Point-7) demonstrated his potential, leading from the front to win the heat.
The first quarter final, heat 9, saw Micah Buzianis (JP / MauiSails) crash out of the race on the first reach. Buzianis was massively unlucky as he hit an unknown object in the water, effectively killing his chances of making the semi-finals. Ben Van Der Steen (Starboard / Loft / Mystic) looked in impressive form as he opened his 2012 season by winning both his opening heat and the quarter final.
The remainder of the round passed without major upset, except for the premature departure of Finian Maynard (RRD, Avanti) who failed to advance, with all eight of the remaining top ten seeds, safely navigating their way into the semi-finals.
Heat 13,which was the first semi-final, got off to a dramatic start as both Steve Allen(Starboard / Severne) and Bora Kozanoglu (Starboard/ Severne) false started, resulting in a general recall of the six remaining sailors.
The restart of heat 13 was no less dramatic. Van Der Steen catapulted over the start line, which caused utter chaos amongst the other sailors. It was Antoine Albeau (RRD / NeilPryde)who managed to get away cleanly though, and after leading from the start Albeau never looked back, as he safely booked his place in the winners final and in doing so demonstrated that he has had no problems adapting to his new RRDboards.
The other sailors advancing along with Albeau were; Alberto Menegatti(Starboard / Gaastra), Jimmy Diaz (Starboard / North) and Peter Volwater(Fanatic / Avanti). The other semi-final saw Taty Frans (Starboard / MauiSails/ Mystic) disqualified as he went over the start line early.
In heat 14, Arnon Dagan (Tabou / Gaastra) crossed the line in first place, however by this point the wind was beginning to drop and becoming increasingly gusty. This resulted in the second semi-final being cancelled and, with the wind failing tore-establish itself, the heat remained unfinished.
Should the situation remain as is then all of the 16 semifinalists will share joint1st at the event, but the forecast for more thermal winds tomorrow promises to provide an exciting climax to the first race.
The women were first onto the water when the wind arrived and the second semi-final opened proceedings where they left off two days ago. Karin Jaggi (Patrik /Severne), who is the women's top seed at Reggio Calabria, commanded her way into the winners final by claiming victory in her opening heat of the season. Fanny Aubet (JP / NeilPryde), got off to the best start, but she couldn't hold on as Jaggi used all of her experience to fight her way into first place. Joining her in the final were: - Marianne Kaplas (Starboard / Severne), Fanny Aubet (JP /NeilPryde) and Lena Erdil (Patrik / The Loft).
After missing out on a place in the winner’s final, second seed Valerie Arrighetti (Tabou / Gaastra / Mystic) made no mistake in the losers final. Arrighetti put her disappointment behind her, and she was rewarded with victory as she put in flawless performance from start to finish. Finishing in second and third place respectively were Greta Benvenuti (Patrik / Point-7 / AL360) and Maria Andres(Starboard / Gun Sails / Mystic).
Jaggi was untouchable in the final. After a great start, Switzerland's finest went from strength-to-strength as she built a sizeable lead over the chasing pack, the distance was too big for any of the sailors to close and she got her season off to the best possible start by winning the first race.
Laura Linares (Challenger Sails) couldn't repeat the success of her debut race as she finished in eighth place. Erdil and Alice Arutkin (Starboard / North Sails)battled it out for second and third position, but ultimately Erdil proved too strong for Arutkin and finished ahead of the young French woman, who had to settle for third.
After a favorable change in the latest forecast, it looks as though the final day of the PWA Reggio Calabria World Cup should offer plenty of racing, and thus end with a bang. The skippers meeting will be held at 10am, with racing commencing from 10:30.
Results After The Elimination One
1st Karin Jaggi (Patrik/ Severne)
2nd Lena Erdil (Patrik/ The Loft)
3rd Alice Arutkin (Starboard/ North)
4th Cagla Kubat (Starboard/ North)
5th Fanny Aubet (JP/ NeilPryde)
PWA World Tour website
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8:59 PM Mon 23 Apr 2012GMT
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2012 PWA World Tour
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