The 2008 Pegasus Airlines Alaçati PWA World Cup – Day Five
The fifth day of competition sees Antoine Albeau claw 0.3 of a point back from Bjorn Dunkerbeck’s grip on the event lead. In the women’s fleet, Valerie Ghibaudo further reinforces her event lead with another race win on the penultimate day of competition.
As the ninth race of competition got underway on the event’s penultimate day, it looked like there might be early upset in the ranks when event leader Bjorn Dunkerbeck (T1, North) collided with Marco Begalli (Starboard) in their heat 10 quarter final clash.
Languishing at the back of the fleet, Dunkerbeck had the tall order of reclaiming an entire reach, and overtaking three people to make it into the semi final. Hell bent on qualification and seemingly unstoppable, the multiple World Champion switched into ‘Terminator mode’ and summoned a miraculous comeback to claim fifth place in the heat, enough to qualify and give him a huge psychological boost.
In the first of the race 9 semi finals, Kevin Pritchard (Starboard, Gaastra, Dakine, MFC) did little to help his team mate Ross Williams (Tabou, Gaastra), when he gybed into him, causing the Brit to crash and subsequently miss out on a spot in the race final.
During the intense final heat of the race, Dunkerbeck looked out of the equation when he approached the first mark in ninth position. To his credit, his main rival Albeau fell as he rounded the outside mark, leaving Dunkerbeck free to pass and take sixth position in the race. Albeau was left to contemplate his error in ninth.
Taking the reigns, Cyril Moussilmani (Fanatic, North) seized the opportunity to post his first race win of the event, with Ben Van Der Steen (Exocet, Simmer) claiming second and Finian Maynard (RRD, NeilPryde) claimed his equal best result in third.
In the women’s ninth race, premature starts killed the hopes of Çagla Kubat (Starboard, North) and Morane Demont (Starboard, Severne), leaving Valerie Ghibaudo (Tabou, The Loft) free to take her familiar spot at the front of the fleet, and bag her seventh race win. Unsurprisingly, Karin Jaggi (F2, North) occupied the number two spot, a testament to her outstanding consistency while Verena Fauster (F2, Gaastra) was next over the line, reinforcing her overall third position.
In the tenth race, heat two in the men’s elimination didn’t even have to hit the race course, after four of the nine competitors premature started. Falling to a similar fate, Van Der Steen killed his hopes of climbing up the elimination when he went over early in the following round.
The semi finals saw the fall of Pieter Bijl (Fanatic, NeilPryde), when he failed to make the top five in his heat, resulting in him having to fight for positions 11 to 20 in the losers final.
Rolling onto the race final, Albeau returned to the dominant form he’s been enjoying for the best part of the 2008 season. A first place finish bolstered his attack on the event leader, Dunkerbeck, who crossed the finish line in fourth. Continuing his day of form, Moussilmani finished up in second, ahead of Peter Volwater (F2, North) in third.
In the tenth women’s race, Ghibaudo posted a conservative fourth place finish, while rival Jaggi took the opportunity to claim the race win, her third of the event so far. Keeping the Turkish flag flying high, local Lena Erdil (The Loft) crossed the line in second to claim her best result of the event so far, with fellow compatriot, Kubat taking third.
With the final day of competition looming, it’s going to come down to the wire as Dunkerbeck and Albeau battle it out for the event lead on the decisive final day of competition. In the women’s fleet, Ghibaudo has done enough to take the event title as hers, likewise Jaggi in second, leaving the battle for third place open for the chasing pack.
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 the much anticipated eleventh race. Be sure to tune into pwaworldtour.com to follow all the action from the final of competition. On the site you’ll be able to:
* Use our live ticker service
* Check elimination ladders
* View results
* Watch amazing video action clips
* Read the daily news summaries
* Browse awesome action photo galleries
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