The PWA Alacati World Cup proved to be a tricky affair this year with light winds creating hugely challenging racing. By the end of the week five eliminations were completed on the beautiful turquoise waters of Alacati in winds ranging from 7-18 knots - meaning that the majority of the sailors were on their biggest equipment for much of the week.
Come the end of an intense week Antoine Albeau (RRD / NeilPryde) managed to edge one step closer to an incredible 21st world title, by claiming his second victory of the year. Meanwhile, Sarah-Quita Offringa (Starboard / Gaastra / Mystic / Chris Benz / Maui Ultra Fins), returned with an emphatic event victory, but all eyes were on Delphine Cousin (JP / NeilPryde) after the French lady secured her maiden PWA Slalom world title.
Antoine Albeau (RRD / NeilPryde) made the perfect start to the week in Alacati as he claimed the opening bullet with a proficient display of sailing. After such a good start the big Frenchman then had to do things the hard way having jumped the gun on two occasions. However, as the reigning world champion so often does, Albeau dug deep and regained his composure to finish the week with a win in race four - narrowly ahead of Alberto Menegatti (Starboard / Point-7), before finishing second in the final elimination of the week to secure his second event victory of the season.
Words from the winner Antoine Albeau:
'The racing was really tough today because almost every heat I was involved in required at least one restart. But I’d like to thank Kutlu, all the PWA staff, Jimmy [Diaz] and lets not forget Pegasus Airlines who give massive support to this event, I hope they continue to support us next year. I look forward to returning to this wonderful place next year and thanks again to my sponsors, my family and everyone!'
Alberto Menegatti recovered from a slow start to the week - exiting the first elimination at the quarter final stage - to eventually claim his place on the prestigious podium in second place. The Italian ended the week in the best possible fashion as he stormed to victory in race five after showing a blistering top speed.
Julien Quentel (RRD / NeilPryde) completed the heralded podium after an accomplished display of sailing over the duration of the week. The Frenchman reaffirmed his credentials for a place in the overall top three come the end of the season, as he once again showed a phenomenal top speed and fluid gybes, meaning that even when Quentel didn’t make the best start he was able to recover and consistently blitz his way into the top four. The twenty-seven year olds best finish of the week came in race two as he finished in second place, behind Italian Andrea Cucchi (Starboard / Point-7), who claimed his first ever elimination victory on the PWA World Tour.
Argentine Gonzalo Costa Hoevel (Starboard / Loft Sails) continued his fine season as he secured his best finish of 2013 thus far, fourth place. Costa Hoevel finished the week on equal points with Julien Quentel, but unfortunately missed out on a place on the podium due to his weaker discard - he’ll now be hoping to make a strong finish to the season in Sylt - at the end of September - as he goes in search of his first top ten ranking since 2009.
Elsewhere Pierre Mortefon (Fanatic / North) proved to be one of the fastest sailors throughout the week, and he found himself leading the event after round two. However, the Frenchman couldn’t quite maintain his form as he missed out on the winners’ final in the remaining three eliminations, but he still claimed his highest place finish of 2013 - sixth. Fellow Frenchman - Cyril Moussilmani (Starboard / Severne) claimed fifth place, whilst compatriot Antoine Questel finished in seventh place - including a victory in race three. The top ten was completed by Micah Buzianis (JP / MauiSails) - who discovered some of the form which saw him finish third overall in 2012 - Ben van der Steen (Starboard / Gaastra / Mystic / Different) and Ross Williams (Tabou / Gaastra) completed the top ten.
Sarah-Quita Offringa made an emphatic return to the slalom scene as she dominated with four victories out of the five eliminations completed to seal a superb event victory.
Words from the winner of the PWA Pegasus World Cup:
'Thanks to everyone for being here, this week was amazing, I’m really happy with the races we got it. I want to thank the organizers, the PWA crew, thank you so much. It’s been a tough week but it worked out well in the end. Thank you to everyone to all their support.'
However, Offringa’s brilliant performance couldn’t keep the limelight away from Delphine Cousin, who claimed her maiden PWA world championship at the age of just twenty-two years old, with a very consistent display to see off the challenge of the 2012 world champion Valerie Ghibaudo (Tabou / Gaastra / Mystic) and Swiss gem Karin Jaggi (Patrik / Severne), who both seemed slightly off the pace for much of the week. But both women still finished the season in second and third place overall, respectively.
The new world champion - Delphine Cousin shares a few words:
'I’m super happy, I don’t think I quite realize what’s going on for the moment but we made some great racing this week, I’m just so happy!'
Local hero Cagla Kubat (Starboard / Loft Sails) completed the event podium with an accomplished display, which included two second places - in eliminations two and three - respectively - whilst also achieving her best overall ranking to date, fourth.
Fellow compatriot Lena Erdil (Patrik / Loft Sails / Mystic / AL360) couldn’t quite replicate the form that she showed last year and eventually finished 2013 in seventh place overall. Japan’s Ayako Suzuki (Starboard / Gaastra / Mystic) completed the top five, whilst seventeen year old Dilara Uralp (JP / NeilPryde) clinched sixth place - proving that she is a talent that will need to watched carefully over the coming years.
Overall Rankings at the PWA Pegasus Airlines World Cup - Men’s Slalom
1st Antoine Albeau (RRD / NeilPryde) 2nd Alberto Menegatti (Starboard / Point-7) 3rd Julien Quentel (RRD / NeilPryde) 4th Gonzalo Costa Hoevel (Starboard / Costa Hoevel) 5th Cyril Moussilmani (Starboard / Severne) 6th Pierre Mortefon (Fanatic / North) 7th Antoine Questel (Starboard / Loft Sails) 8th Micah Buzianis (JP / MauiSails) 9th Ben van der Steen (Starboard / Gaastra / Mystic / Different) 10th Ross Williams (Tabou / Gaastra)
Overall Rankings at the PWA Pegasus Airlines World Cup - Women’s Slalom