PWA Fuerteventura, day three

Two race eliminations, and two full fleet races were completed in the men’s and women’s fleets. Winning the men’s eliminations were Finian Maynard (RRD, NeilPryde) and Bjorn Dunkerbeck (T1, North).

The men’s full fleet races were won by Antoine Albeau (Starboard, NeilPryde) and Micah Buzianis (JP, NeilPryde, MFC).

In the women’s fleet, Valerie Ghibaudo (Tabou, The Loft) continued to dominate, winning both race eliminations and one full fleet race. Karin Jaggi claimed victory in the remaining full fleet race.
Men’s Fleet

Race 5: Kick starting the day’s proceedings in a fresh 15-30 knot wind, the first round of heats followed a relatively predictable path to the semi finals. Moving into the race final, all the big names stood poised to do battle.

Accelerating off the start line, Maynard showed why he’s one of the fastest men in windsurfing, “I had a real good start, the water was nice and flat and the wind wasn’t gusting too much. My 7.8m seemed to be the right choice, and after taking the lead on the first reach, I held onto it right to the finish line”.

This marked Maynard’s first victory of the event so far. Behind him, Kevin Pritchard (Starboard, Gaastra, MFC, Dakine) finished in second, and Benoit Moussilmani (F2, Simmer) in third. Surprisingly, Albeau never threatened the podium positions, and ended up taking an uncharacteristic sixth place.

Race 6: Jossin (F2, The Loft), Ten Hoeve (Fanatic) and Benoit Moussilmani didn’t help their causes by false starting in the opening round of heat. Hawkins (Exocet, NeilPryde) also fell victim to his own over enthusiasm, false starting in the subsequent semi final.

Moving into the final, Albeau tightened his grip, but not enough to stop Dunkerbeck from passing him, and sailing to his first race win. Albeau had to settle for second place, having never threatened Dunkerbeck, and Allen (Tabou, Gaastra) found his form to bag a solid third position finish.

Full Fleet Action - Race 7: Fifty-one racers jostled for position before a mammoth rabbit start to christen the first full fleet race. The spectacular format tests competitors’ physical endurance, as well as tactical know how. In this case, the man with both qualities was seasoned victor, Albeau.

Breaking away and aided by clean wind, Albeau consolidated his lead as the race progressed, and ultimately won in style by a whopping margin. Fighting their own battle, Buzianis, Pritchard and Dunkerbeck were never far apart.

Eventually separating them, the final race section of tighter gybes rewarded Pritchard with second place, Dunkerbeck third, and Buzianis fourth.

Race 8: The second full fleet race turned things on their head. Poor starts by many of the big names saw Albeau finish in 21st, Pritchard, 16th, Dunkerbeck 17th, and Maynard failed to complete the race after sustaining an injury from a catapult on the start line.

Ever consistent, Buzianis remained deadly focused, and was rewarded with first position, with opportunists Volwater (F2, North) and Cyril Moussilmani (Fanatic, North Sails) padding out the podium in second and third respectively.

As it stands in the overall results so far Albeau maintains his grip on the event lead but after today’s racing Buzianis has closed the gap and the pressure is now on the world champion to make no more errors.

Women’s Fleet

Races 6 & 7: Ghibaudo was untouchable in her familiar first position, claiming two more back-to-back victories in races 6 and 7. Offringa (Starboard, NeilPryde) and Jaggi also dialed into the conditions. Jaggi’s experience rewarded her with a third and a second, and a similarly impressive performance handed Offringa a commendable second and fourth.

Ex RSX racer, Korzitz also continued her run of solid results, finishing third in race seven.

Full Fleet Races 8 & 9: Jaggi returned to dominate the first of the 15 strong, full fleet races, weaving her way around the gybes to emerge the conclusive victor. Joining her on the podium, Moreno (North) dug deep to hold off Ghibaudo and take second. Ghibaudo made do with a respectable third place.

The final race of the day was lead by Jaggi, who looked set to dominate proceedings until she fell gybing around the penultimate mark. Seizing the opportunity, Ghibaudo slipped past to claim her seventh race win. Moreno mimicked her previous race with another second, with Nagoshi (Simmer, Dakine) close behind in third. Jaggi paid a hefty price for her fall, eventually finishing in fourth.

Source: PWA World Tour

PWA Fuerteventura

In the men’s fleet, Antoine Albeau (Starboard, NeilPryde) further cemented his event lead by winning two out of the three men’s races. Hot on his heels, Kevin Pritchard (Starboard, Gaastra, MFC, Dakine) snapped up his first victory of the event in the remaining race.

In the women’s fleet, Valerie Ghibaudo (Tabou, The Loft) stamped her authority on the day’s proceedings, by winning two out of the three women’s races. Marking a return to form, Karin Jaggi (F2, North Sails) emerged victorious in race four but remains seventh overall following her early disastrous results.

Men’s Fleet

Race 2: Premature starts for Taty Frans (Starboard, North Sails) and Ludovic Jossin (F2, The Loft) signalled the end of their progress in the first of the day’s eliminations. Also slipping up, Ross Williams (Tabou, Gaastra) and Gonzalo Costa Hoevel (NeilPryde) uncharacteristically failed to qualify for the semi finals.

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PWA Fuerteventura

Challenging conditions and an ample dose of surprises marked the start of competition in Fuerteventura, and set the scene for the forthcoming four days of race action.

First to christen the race course was the men’s fleet. The opening rounds tested the nerves of all involved, with the wind gusting from the minimum required 7 knots, all the way up to over 20 knots.

Returning to the Professional circuit after an 8-year break, Jamie Hawkins (Exocet, NeilPryde) was one of the day’s first casualties. He false started in the very first heat of the competition. Kurosh Kiani (Starboard) made the same mistake, meaning the pair failed to qualify for the semi final.

There was more upset in the opening round, when the fiercely competitive Josh Angulo (MauiSails, Dakine) struggled to dial into the fluky conditions, and ended up finishing last in heat two. Adding to the surprises, seasoned racers Ross Williams (Tabou, Gaastra) and Arnon Dagan (Fanatic, Gaastra) slipped up when they false started in heat four, denying them a chance to compete in the next round.

Moving on to the semi finals, Finian Maynard (RRD, NeilPryde) was robbed of a position in the race final after an unfortunate collision.

“At the first mark I was coming in second behind Steve (Allen), doing a nice tight gybe, when Micah (Buzianis) came in from the side and T-boned me. I got fully taken out, and my sail went turtle as well, so I had no chance of catching the guys up. But what can I say, that’s racing you know”. Micah Buzianis (JP, NeilPryde, MFC) went on to take second place, behind Stave Allen (Tabou, Gaastra) in first.

In the second semi final, Ben Van Der Steen (Exocet, Simmer) failed to tune into the conditions, finishing uncharacteristically in last place.

Antoine Albeau (Starboard, NeilPryde) didn’t need much prompting to take the lead, and won by almost an entire reach, leaving Patrik Diethelm (F2, North Sails) to front up the chasing pack and ultimately claim second place.

The final was dominated by Albeau, who needed little more than the first reach before he sat untouched at the front of the fleet. In second place, Gonzalo Costa Hoevel (NeilPryde) pieced together a solid heat to fend off Micah Buzianis who was hot on his heels round marks three and four.

A blistering final blast to the finish rewarded him with second, close behind, Buzianis took third. Padding out the top spots, Allen had a good start to the event to take fourth, and Albeau’s protégée Julien Quentel (Starboard, NeilPryde) crossed the line in fifth.

In the losers final, Bjorn Dunkerbeck (T1, North Sails) made amends for a blunder in the semi finals, and took a convincing victory. Similarly, Van Der Steen also got to grips with conditions to recover with a second place finish, ahead of Ludovic Jossin (F2, The Loft) in third.

The women’s fleet completed two races over the course of the afternoon, which witnessed a return to form for Valerie Ghibaudo (Tabou, The Loft). The legendary French racer looked like she may have dropped off the pace, following a disappointing 7th place overall at the last women’s slalom event in the Costa Brava.

Not one to be underestimated, Ghibaudo dominated both races to claim back-to-back first place finishes. In a similar style, Lee Korzitz, racing in her second ever PWA slalom event, managed to muscle her way to finish second in both races. The feat puts rest to any rumors that her podium finish in the Costa Brava was a one off lucky result.

Sarah Hébert (Starboard, Naish) started well to take third position in her first race, but dropped down to seventh in the following bout. Conversely, Alice Arutkin (Starboard, North Sails) had a slow start, finishing in seventh, but picked up her game in race two to come home with a solid fourth place finish.

Freestylers Sarah-Quita Offringa (Starboard, NeilPryde) and Junko Nagoshi (Simmer, Dakine) made sure they left their mark on the day. Offringa nailed an impressive fourth place finish in her first race, and Nagoshi put the hammer down in race two, to walk away with third place.

A surprise result was Karin Jaggi (F2, North Sails), who kicked off the event with a shocking last place in the first race, and fifth in the second. The World Champion now sits in ninth place overall, and has work to do to climb back to her familiar ranks on the podium.

Sailor of the day

Taking the prestigious title of ‘sailor of the day’ is Kevin Mevissen (RRD, MFC). New to slalom prior to this event, and a total underdog, the Dutch freestyler claimed an impressive fourth place finish in his first ever slalom heat. He may well be one to watch as he gains experience in the discipline.

Johan De Goede has taken out the 2018 Digicape Tand Invitational. The legendary event got underway in pumping eight-to-ten-foot waves in Cape Town, South Africa.

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