Pegasus Airlines World Cup
Day one: Alacati provides stand-out slalom conditions for the opening day of competition allowing Bjorn Dunkerbeck and Sarah-Quita Offringa to take charge.
Fifteen knots of wind and blazing sun provided the perfect conditions for the opening day of competition in Alacati. The enormous sixty-three man and nineteen women slalom fleet spent the morning registering and preparing their equipment for an action packed week on the water.
Once the formalities were complete, the race crew wasted no time in sending the sailors out onto the turquoise sea to battle through the first elimination and opening round of the men’s second elimination.
The current tour leaders Bjorn Dunkerbeck (Starboard / Severne / Mystic / DunkerbeckEyewear) and Sarah-Quita Offringa (Starboard / Gaastra / Mystic) were on fine form, charging their way through their heats to secure first place in the winners’ final and an early advantage over their opponents.
Men’s Elimination 1
A smooth set of heats saw the big names of the series quickly advance into the second round, alongside super-charged Emirhan Kolburan (JP / NeilPryde), Fred Morin (Starboard / NeilPryde) and local legend Bora Kozanoglu (JP / NeilPryde). Kozanoglu sailed an incredible set of heats and continued with his winning streak all the way through the elimination to earn him a position in the winners’ final.
Superb racing from Ben Van Der Steen (Starboard / Loft / Mystic), Josh Angulo (Angulo / Gun / Dakine), Finian Maynard (RRD) and Dunkerbeck allowed them to claim first places in the second round and continue with their paths through the elimination.
The semi-finals brought with it a dramatic twist, Angulo was first to lose out on a place in the winners’ final as he went over early. Antoine Albeau (JP / NeilPryde) was next to follow, Albeau was caught by a hole in the wind at mark three, causing him to drop off the plane allowing the rest of the fleet to fly past. Desperate to rectify the situation Albeau quickly picked up speed and tried to undercut the pack, however he was unable to control the corner and he went down rendering him unable to complete the race.
The upsets continued into the second semi-finals when Cyril Moussilmani (Starboard / North) failed to qualify for the winners’ final as did speedster Ludovic Jossin (Loft). After a tough start Dunkerbeck wowed the crowd with an incredible display of speed as he unleashed everything down the third leg seeing him move from sixth into third position.
With a number of the major contenders out of the way Dunkerbeck was free to speed his way through the winners’ final without any attacks from the rest of the fleet. Dunkerbeck took control from the start-line enabling him to build up a whole legs lead on the rest of the pack by the time he hit the finish-line. The real battles came further down the pack; Finian Maynard and Jimmy Diaz (Starboard / North) managed to fend off rapid racer, Van Der Steen and super-consistent Micah Buzianis (JP / NeilPryde) to claim their places on the podium.
Men’s Elimination 2
With the Meltemi wind still blowing and the crowds on the Alacati hillside hungry for more action, race director Juan Antonio Aragon decided competition would continue until the opening round of the men’s second elimination was completed.
A super set of starts from Kurosh Kiani (Angulo / Simmer) and Jesper Orth (RRD) allowed them to blitz their way past the rest of the fleet securing, third and first place respectively and their places in round two.
The big upsets from the first round arose from heat three. A premature start from Matteo Iachino (JP / Gaastra / Mystic / AL360), guaranteed his early exit from the elimination, and a tough heat for Ludovic Jossin (Loft) put him in fifth place and out of the race.
Obviously enjoying the conditions, Dunkerbeck closed the days racing with another spectacular race, guaranteeing his pass into the second round.
Women’s Elimination 1
The women’s opening heat kicked off to a dramatic start, with three sailors going over early. Fanny Aubet (JP / NeilPryde), Great Benvenuti (Patrik / Point-7 / AL-360) and Alice Arutkin (Starboard / North) were all too eager to make an appearance in Alacati, putting them straight in the losers’ final.
Once heat one was underway, Karin Jaggi (Patrik / Severne) and Valerie Arrighetti (Tabou / Gaastra / Mystic) stole the show. The pair swapped first and second place the whole way around the course until a smooth gybe from Jaggi at mark four allowed her to push ahead and take first place.
A smoother start to heat number two saw, Lena Erdil (Patrik / Loft / AL360) cross the starting line first, followed by Offringa and Cagla Kubat (Starboard / North). By the first mark Offringa had taken the lead and she held onto it the whole way around the course, alerting the rest of the fleet she meant business.
Arutkin made her come back in the losers’ final, hitting the start-line ahead of the rest of the fleet and charging down the first leg. Arutkin flew around her gybes without fault to secure her win.
Offringa hit the start-line as the starting horn was sounding, providing her with the best possible chance of winning the first elimination. Erdil and Kubat weren’t far behind by the first gybe; however a small mistake from Kubat sent her flying, causing a small pile-up at the mark. Unaffected by the rest of the fleet Offringa made her get away and she secured a huge lead on the rest of the pack allowing her to cruise over the line and claim the first elimination of the event. A clean set of gybes from Erdil ensured the rest of the fleet were unable to catch her and she was able to secure second place.
After a fantastic opening afternoon of racing the sailors were released for the day at 5:30pm. The action will continue tomorrow morning kicking off with the skippers’ meeting at 11am with a first possible start to racing at 11:30am.
Men’s Fleet (after 1 elimination)
1st Bjorn Dunkerbeck (Starboard / Severne / Mystic / DunkerbeckEyewear)
2nd Finian Maynard (RRD)
3rd Jimmy Diaz (Starboard / North)
4th Ben Van Der Steen (Starboard / Loft /Mystic)
5th Micah Buzianis (JP / NeilPryde)
6th Gonzalo Costa Hoevel (Fanatic / North)
7th Bora Kozanoglu (JP / NeilPryde)
8th Pierre Mortefon (North / Fanatic)
9th Antoine Albeau (JP / NeilPryde)
10th Ludovic Jossin (Loft)
Women’s Fleet (after 1 elimination)
1st Sarah-Quita Offringa (Starboard / Gaastra / Mystic)
2nd Lena Erdil (Patrik / Loft / AL360)
3rd Lise Vidal (Exocet / North)
4th Karin Jaggi (Patrik / Severne)
5th Marion Mortefon (AL360)
6th Cagla Kubat (Starboard / North)
7th Marianne Kaplas (Starboard / Severne)
8th Jo Wright
9th Fulya Unlu (Starboard / North)
10th Alice Arutkin (Starboard / North)
Scope the action
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