Pegasus Airlines World Cup
Event Preview - Crystal clear waters, and constant trade winds – It must mean the World Tour is heading back to Turkey for more adrenalin pumping slalom action at the sixth Pegasus Airlines Surf ‘n’ Sound sports and music festival in Alacati.
The PWA’s most proficient slalom sailors will battle it out on the beautiful azure waters of Alacati from the 9th through to the 14th August. And this year, the Turkish leg of the World Tour marks the penultimate event in the calendar for both the men’s and women’s slalom fleets ensuring an exciting week of world-class racing.
Located on the Cesme peninsula, just 90km from Izmir, Alacati is the so called ‘St Tropez of Turkey’ with a historic town featuring plenty of chic boutiques, restaurants, and cafes all within a stones throw of the stunning turquoise waters. The once sleepy town now shares its shores with an abundance of windsurfers who travel to the windsurfing Mecca year after year, including the PWA’s stars.
From mid May through to mid September, the northerly wind known as the ‘Meltemi’ blows consistently above 15 knots, creating perfect conditions for windsurfing. The moderate winds increase throughout the morning, peaking in the afternoon, and often reach speeds of over 20 knots.
After a week of breakneck speeds in Fuerteventura, the men’s slalom fleet returns to Alacati for more grueling competition before the season comes to a close in Sylt at the end of September.
If the reigning world champion and current tour leader, Antoine Albeau (JP, NeilPryde) takes glory here, he has the ability to seal the deal for his fifth slalom world title with an event to spare. However, if his main rival and many times world champion, Bjorn Dunkerbeck (Starboard, Severne) were to claim victory then the overall title would go right to the wire in Sylt. Both sailors have won events this year, and at the last event in Fuerteventura the racing was extremely close, which will ensure an exciting spectacle in Alacati.
Behind these two slalom giants, the points are even tighter with Micah Buzianis (JP, NeilPryde), Finian Maynard (RRD, Gaastra), and Cyril Moussilmani (Starboard, North) having all proved they’ve got what it takes to win races. They’ll all be pushing hard to claim the final spot on the podium this year, and Alacati could be that make or break event. Both Maynard and Moussilmani have been close to winning events, so perhaps we could even see a new champion standing tall at the top of the podium…
Other sailors to watch include former overall world champion, Kevin Pritchard (Starboard, Gaastra) who is undoubtedly one of the most consistent racers on tour, British boy racer, Ross Williams (Tabou, Gaastra), the PWA’s president, Jimmy Diaz (Starboard, North), and Australian feather weight, Steve Allen (Starboard, Severne). Plus, the local hot shots of Enes Yilmazer (JP, NeilPryde) and Ertugrul Icingir (Starboard, NeilPryde) who also have the ability to cause an upset.
Turkey sees the return of the women’s slalom fleet to the world tour following their previous two rounds of competition in Korea and Costa Brava. Things are tight at the top, and with the announcement of an extra event in Almanarre those out in front at the moment will be looking to strengthen their lead before the end of year finale!
Former slalom world champion, Karin Jaggi (Patrik, Severne) has dominated the women’s racecourse this season, and her two victories put her in a strong position going into this event. However, her arch rival, and 2009 slalom world champion, Valerie Arrighetti (Tabou, Loft, Mystic) was piling on the pressure in Costa Brava. If Arrighetti does well here she still has the ability to steal the show from Jaggi due to the addition of Almanarre, which creates a discard for the women’s fleet.
Fighting for the remaining podium positions are the three times freestyle world champion, Sarah-Quita Offringa (Starboard, Vandal) who has led many races this season, and the French youth champion, Alice Arutkin (Starboard, North) who led the first event of the year in its initial stages. Offringa has been the more consistent sailor overall with a 2nd and 3rd, but Arutkin is only just behind with a 3rd and a 4th. Turkey will most definitely be the place for these young women to make their mark.
Local sailors to watch out for include Cagla Kubat (Starboard, North) who is currently lying 5th in the overall rankings, and Lena Erdil (Mistral, Loft, Mystic) who is just two places behind in 7th. A good result in home waters could see either of them climbing up the ladder.
In it to win it
With a €55,000 prize purse up for grabs, expect high-octane action whilst the very best sailors in the world push their boards to the limits around the fast and furious downwind slalom course.
Beach Time Beats
On Friday and Saturday the spectators are invited to listen to POWER FM’s DJ, Funky C, and dance to a Latino rhythm in the Zumba Fitness Party. And, lets not forget the Foster’s Bikini Dance Contest which is bound to cheer up the crowds and the competitors during Happy Hour!
Keep in the groove
For more information on all the entrants, and to keep up to date with every piece of the action, click on www.pwaworldtour.com
Here you can use our:
• Live ticker service for heat-by-heat bulletins
• Check live elimination ladders
• View results
• Read daily news summaries
• Browse awesome action photo galleries
There’s also a dedicated event website which can be found at www.surfnsound.org
Or for more information, please contact the PWA office via firstname.lastname@example.org