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PWA Awaza World Cup - Down to the wire in Turkmenistan

by Chris Yates on 6 Jul 2014
The pack chases - 2014 PWA Awaza World Cup Carter/
The waiting game continued on the penultimate day of the PWA Awaza World Cup. After a glassy and windless start, the wind slowly built in the late afternoon and shortly after five o’clock it looked as though we would see the conclusion of the men’s opening elimination. However, after a short period of planing wind, which saw Ross Williams (Tabou / GA Sails) hit the water first, the breeze soon dropped back as it continued to swing from onshore to offshore. Despite remaining on hold until 8pm the wind never returned meaning the competition will go down to the wire tomorrow.

With a promising local forecast tomorrow morning predicting winds ranging from 13-24 knots, the skippers’ meeting has been called for 5:30am to maximise the potential for racing on the final day. This means that the action will commence from 5:40am, if conditions allow.

First up tomorrow will be the winners’ final of the men’s opening elimination. After the completion of race one there is a possibility of running the following eliminations as half fleet slalom, which could potentially make for an interesting change, whilst ultimately enabling more rounds to be finished. With a longer course for racing there would be more time and opportunity for sailors to stage comebacks, whilst also making gybing even more challenging and important in order to avoid collisions with other sailors. However, this idea will only be entertained if there is strong wind tomorrow.

Bjorn Dunkerbeck (Starboard / Severne / Chris Benz / Dunkerbeck Eyewear) and Antoine Albeau (RRD / NeilPryde) will both be praying that there is sufficient time and wind to be able to complete four eliminations, so that they are able to discard there first round exits, which would currently cause a huge change to the overall rankings.

Meanwhile, Pascal Toselli (Starboard / Point-7) will be hoping for a carbon copy of his start two days ago, but with a different outcome and the end as he goes in search of his first ever elimination victory. However, eleven other sailors - Pierre Mortefon (Fanatic / North), Ludovic Jossin (Patrik / Loft Sails), Ross Williams, Jimmy Diaz (Starboard / North), Cyril Moussilmani (Starboard / Severne), Gonzalo Costa Hoevel (Starboard / Loft Sails), Taty Frans (Starboard / MauiSails / Mystic / MFC), Arnon Dagan (RRD / NeilPryde), Matteo Iachino (Fanatic / North), Alexandre Cousin (Patrik / Loft Sails / Mystic) and Steve Allen (Starboard / Severne) - will all be doing everything in their power to also claim victory.

Similarly in the women’s division Valerie Ghibaudo (Tabou / GA Sails / Mystic) will also be hoping for a further two races to be completed as she looks to discard a sixth place in the opening race. The 2012 PWA World Champion currently sits just behind her fellow compatriot, and reigning PWA World Champion Delphine Cousin (Starboard / Loft Sails), who will be eager to make no mistakes tomorrow. If Cousin is able to do that then the twenty-three year old will make the perfect start to her title defence, whilst also claiming a memorable first event victory.

Mio Anayama cruising - 2014 PWA Awaza World Cup, Day 5 ©  Carter/
Mio Anayama cruising - 2014 PWA Awaza World Cup, Day 5 © Carter/
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