Its party time, Turkey style, as the Pegasus Airlines World Cup draws to an exciting climax. Antoine Albeau and Valerie Ghibaudo predictably take the titles.
It was a long and hot day in Alaçati, as the competitors sweated it out on the beach, nervously waiting as the wind hovered around the minimum. With 5-15kts on the course, light wind patches were making life exceptionally difficult for race director Juan Antonio. Eventually at 16.30 he was forced to admit defeat and the show was finally over.
However on the beach, a huge crowd had gathered, the carnival atmosphere aided by the free flowing supply of Fosters beer. The obviously decision for the organization was to run a fun event, so the top 8 men were called forth once again for an encore.
The format was simple. A beach start in front of the growing audience, up to the first outside gybe mark, before continuing around the 4-buoy slalom course to finish back on the beach.
Allen proved he continues to be a powerful force in the lighter airs by dominating from start to finish. Behind Buzianis (JP/NeilPryde) and Albeau (JP/NeilPryde) scrapped for second, but for a change it was Albeau that came out the loser, taking third place.
With the crowd still bubbling with enthusiasm, ROZI put up another generous cash pot for the second ROZI CUP. This time the inclusion of one male competitor spiced things up, as the three teams battled for supremacy.
Team Turkey lead from the start, but a valiant comeback from Team France saw them arrive at the final leg in complete control of the race. However despite a massive gap to close down, it was the World Team that once again crossed the line in first place.
That signaled the end to this exciting event. Eight completed rounds in excellent slalom conditions saw a double win for France, after excellent performances from Antoine Albeau and Valerie Ghibaudo (Tabou/The Loft).
Albeau “It was a really great event, with three days of good wind and I think it was really fair racing. I am super happy to be consistent; I was the only one to make all the finals. And that’s it!”
Ghibaudo not only took the event title but with her immaculate performance all year, she also claims the PWA slalom title, counting three perfect first places!
Ghibaudo “It’s very nice for me and I have been waiting for this moment for a long time. It’s really great for me and for my sponsors. Monty (The Loft) is here and is really ‘appy….. I am very, very ‘appy.”
After a delightful display in front of the fans, Sarah-Quita Offringa (Starboard/NeilPryde) stands proud on the event podium. As the only racer capable of beating the invincible Ghibaudo, it is likely she will be putting in more hours on her slalom gear next year.
Offringa “I came here positive, aiming for top 3, but still I am really surprised. Next year I think I will still spend more time on my freestyle board, but we will see about slalom.”
Taking the second podium spot in the men’s discipline was a very content looking Maynard (RRD/NeilPryde). With this impeccable performance he cements his position in the overall and moves into the finals in Sylt with a healthy lead for second.
Maynard “I am really happy. I trained hard this year and everything has come together. I now realize I can really challenge Antoine and next year my goal is definitely World Champion.”
The final spots on the stage at the end of the day were taking by Sarah Hebert (Starboard/Naish) and the legendary Bjorn Dunkerbeck (Starboard/Severne).
Dunkerbeck “We had a great week with really good wind and eight great rounds of slalom. Windsurfing is so strong in Turkey, more beginners than I have ever seen. Its really refreshing to see!”
Sarah Hebert once again showed her winning focus.
Herbert “I should be really happy with third, but when its just one point away from second it is difficult. It was so close, but yes I am happy.”
That wraps up another fantastic event in Turkey. Together with the electrifying racing and the unbelievable party vibe, this surely goes down as one of the best events ever!
Check the website to read the daily event ticker, view the results and browse the photo gallery.
Men’s Results after 8 Races.
1 Antoine Albeau NeilPryde, JP
2 Finian Maynard RRD, NeilPryde
3 Björn Dunkerbeck Starboard, Severne Sails
4 Micah Buzianis NeilPryde, JP
5 Kevin Pritchard Starboard, Gaastra, Dakine
6 Josh Angulo Dakine, Angulo, MauiSails
7 Steve Allen
8 Cyril Moussilmani Starboard, North Sails
9 Peter Volwater F2, MauiSails
10 Ben Van Der Steen Simmer Style, Exocet
Women’s Results after 8 Races.
1 Valérie Ghibaudo Loft Sails, Tabou Boards
2 Sarah-Quita Offringa Starboard, NeilPryde
3 Sarah Hebert Starboard, Naish Sails
4 Karin Jaggi F2, Severne Sails
5 Alice Arutkin Starboard, North Sails
SOURCE: PWA World Tour