Pegasus Airlines World Cup
Event Preview - As the 2009 PWA slalom tour draws to an exciting climax, it’s Alaçati that plays host to the worlds best, once again putting on spectacular shows both on and off the water in what can only be described as a Turkish delight!
Alaçati, on the Cesme peninsula, opposite the Greek island of Chios and on the same latitude as Athens, is a perfect windsurfing spot on Turkey's Aegean shores. Until recently, Alaçati was a sleepy little village populated by fishermen, craftsmen and farmers; now they share it with many enthusiastic windsurfers. The combination of consistent winds and a very safe, 500m by 400m shallow section with completely flat water makes Alaçati an extremely attractive destination for windsurfing beginners, intermediates, speedsters and freestylers.
Alaçati is the penultimate round of the tough and varied PWA slalom tour. Following on from ruthless Canaries leg, Turkey offers contrasting racing conditions, with perfect flat water and gentle winds. Top speeds, starting skills and consistency will prove to be the key ingredients for the 2009 champion.
Antoine Albeau (JP/NeilPryde) has to be the favourite. His consistent performance throughout the year has seen him win 4 out 5 events. However with the world title already in his hands, the real battle is going on right behind him. With only a handful of points separating the top 5, we are in for a treat next week as the elite fight it out for the remaining podium positions.
Leading the charge are Finian Maynard (RRD/NeilPryde) and Ross Williams (Tabou/Gaastra). Ross started the season with an impressive win in Austria, followed by a 2nd place in round three, Costa Brava. Finian meanwhile got off to a slower start but finds himself in a great position after a string of consistent results, topped off with a 2nd place in Fuerteventura. At the moment they have equal points, but Finian is ahead on the tiebreak and will hope to further his advantage in Turkey.
One small step behind are the likes of Kevin Pritchard (Starboard/Gaastra/Dakine), Micah Buzianis (JP/NeilPryde) and Bjorn Dunkerbeck (Starboard/Severne). All highly experienced racers and all within easy reach of the podium spots. Dunkerbeck was last years winner here in Turkey so must be a champion candidate heading into the penultimate contest of the year.
Turkey marks the slalom finale of the women’s PWA competition so it is all to play for next week. Valerie Ghibaudo (Tabou/Loft Sails) has a comfortable lead, winning every event of the year, but never count out multiple world champion Karin Jaggi (F2/North Sails). Karin needs to pull off a miracle to get ahead of Valerie but nothing is impossible.
Sarah Hebert (Starboard/Naish) looks to be in control of the final podium spot, but there is a wealth of talent right behind. Youngster Alice Arutkin (Starboard/North Sails) has shown moments of magic through the season, whilst local talents, Lena Erdil (Starboard/Loft Sails) and Cagla Kubat (Starboard/North Sails) will be keen to impress in front of their home audience.
Whatever happens we are in for a treat on the race course.
It’s not just about windsurfing in Alaçati; The Surf’n Sound sports and music festival hopes to entertain the crowds throughout the week, during both the day and the night. With POWER FM DJ’s on hand to mix it up, the whole week will be fuelled by the events official beer: FOSTERS.
There will be a FOSTERS bikini dancing contest on Friday and Saturday, a FOSTERS Happy hour every day after Thursday, and at your disposal, will be the FOSTERS Surf Shuttle, taking you directly to the heart of the action. Plus FOSTERS will sponsor the best Turkish windsurfers in each women and men’s category in the PWA Finale in Sylt-Germany.
Watersports lovers will be able to follow the world’s legendary windsurfers speed race with SEABOB water sleighs. The ROZI Capoeria Dance Show will deliver Brasilian music and dance rythms to the Alaçatı beaches. The World Champions’ transportation between Alaçatı and İzmir will be provided by BUDGET cars and busses. Additionally, BUDGET will offer special discounts for Pegasus Airlines passengers.
It all kicks off on the 10th August and you can follow the action as always at www.pwaworldtour.com. There will find the usual stunning John Carter photo gallery, the complete entrants listing along with their gear, each elimination ladder, plus the live event ticker giving you constant updates from the front line of the beach. Don’t miss out and join us at www.pwaworldtour.com.