The 2008 Pegasus Airlines Alaçati PWA World Cup – Day Four
Antoine Albeau wins two out of the day’s three races as he mounts his attack on event leader, Bjorn Dunkerbeck. In the women’s fleet, Valerie Ghibaudo extends her event lead with two more race wins, taking her tally to six wins out of eight races.
Starting the day with victory in race six, Antoine Albeau (Starboard, NeilPryde) sent event leader, Bjorn Dunkerbeck (T1, North) a clear message of his intentions for the remainder of the event. Dunkerbeck could only reply with second position in the losers final after failing to qualify for the final the previous day.
Grabbing the remaining podium positions in the race six final were Arnon Dagan (Fanatic, Gaastra) in second, and Robby Swift (JP, NeilPryde) in third. Swift commented, ‘That was one of the best races of my life, I kept it together and managed to hold off Finian to take third. I'm really happy with that result!’
In the women’s race six final, Valerie Ghibaudo (Tabou, The Loft) made an uncharacteristic error when she fell gybing, leaving the door wide open for Karin Jaggi (F2, North) to take the victory, accompanied by Verena Fauster (F2, Gaastra) in second and Marta Hlavaty (MauiSails) in third. Ghibaudo had to make do with last, but luckily she can discard the result thanks to an impressively consistent string of top notch results.
Moving on to race seven, Ben Van Der Steen (Exocet, Simmer) didn’t help his cause with a premature start in his quarterfinal heat. He was joined by fellow false starters Julien Quentel (Starboard, NeilPryde) and Alberto Menegatti (Starboard).
In the semi finals, local Bora Kozanoglu (Starboard) gave the crowd something to cheer about when he beat Kevin Pritchard (Starboard, Gaastra, MFC, Dakine) to the finish line to take victory. The pair took their places in the race final alongside the likes of Finian Maynard (RRD, NeilPryde) and Antoine Albeau (Starboard, NeilPryde) who came first and second respectively in the second semi final.
The race final saw Dunkerbeck reply to Albeau’s previous race win with a victory of his own, far ahead of Albeau and Ross Williams (Tabou, Gaastra) who were battling it out for second. Solid racing from Williams saw him hold off the reigning World Champion to be rewarded with second place, leaving Albeau to take third.
The men’s losers final was won by Josh Angulo (MauiSails, Dakine), who had to hold off advances from Gonzalo Costa Hoevel (Exocet, NeilPryde) and Cyril Moussilmani (Fanatic, North) to secure the win.
In the women’s race seven clash, Ghibaudo showed that her mishap in race six was only a flash in the pan when she sailed to a convincing victory ahead of her long time rival Jaggi. Chasing the pair down was local Lena Erdil (The Loft), who sailed her best heat yet to post an impressive third place finish.
In the women’s losers final, Annika Gillgren (Severne) settled into her usual position at the front of the fleet to take eleventh place overall for race seven.
The final race of the day got underway in a gusty 12-18 knot wind. With the sailors tired from the two previous races, and conditions getting evermore testing, race eight was going to be a true test of the sailors tactical knowledge and competition stamina.
Rising to the challenge, local speedster Bora Kozanoglu (Starboard) dialed into the fluky wind to win his first two heats, and then advance from his semi final to bag a spot in the final. Also showing form, Jimmy Diaz (Starboard, North) and Angulo dominated their semi finals to advance into the final.
When crunch time came, Albeau, Dunkerbeck and Williams shot down the first reach. Progressing around mark three, Albeau sank his teeth in, giving him clean air at the front of the pack. Needing no prompting, he motored to his second win of the day, further closing the gap between him and event leader Dunkerbeck. Not far behind, Dunkerbeck capped off another successful day in second, and Williams ended his best day yet in third.
The women’s final race followed a predictable path thanks to Ghibaudo’s outstanding consistency. She claimed her sixth race win, with Jaggi looking hungry, but unable to overtake in second. Sixteen-year-old Alice Arutkin (Starboard, North) claimed the final podium position, adding to her solid run of results.
As it stands, Dunkerbeck clings on to the event lead just 0.7 points ahead of Albeau, and Williams sits in third, 10.2 points behind Albeau.
In the women’s fleet, Ghibaudo stands five points clear of her nearest rival, Jaggi, with Fauster sitting seven points behind Jaggi in third.
Quote of the day
“If you don’t qualify from your heats, you won’t make the final.” (Britain’s Dan Ellis at his philosophical best).
Tomorrow’s proceedings will kick off from 11.00am with the sailors’ skippers meeting, and the racers will be hitting the water from 11.30am for the start of race nine. Be sure to tune into pwaworldtour.com to follow all the action from day five of competition. On the site you’ll be able to:
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