The 2007 Pegasus Airlines PWA World Cup, Alaçati - Event Preview
Pegasus airlines, and the town of Alaçatı, in Turkey's İzmir Province will welcome the PWA World Tour between August 13th and 18th for a scintillating Slalom racing spectacular.
As a key part of Turkey’s famous Surf ‘n Sound Festival, the PWA World Cup will draw crowds and media focus world over as the men’s and women’s world title races intensify.
The Cesme district is located at the center of a wind ‘corridor’ where the ‘Poyraz’, the dominant thermal effect, allows Alaçatı to breathe under bright sunshine and blue skies next to the turquoise water of the Aegean Sea.
Boasting wind statistics of up to 330 days per year, sandy beaches and scenic landscapes of Olive groves and vineyards, Alacati was a simple choice for the PWA to choose during this outstanding season of competition.
All the top ranked riders and more have pre-entered for this the 6th and penultimate event of the season.
The 2007 Top 5 Men to date:
· Antoine Albeau (Starboard / NeilPryde) – He’s already sown-up the 2007 title but this ultra-competitive Frenchman will never ever ease off the gas.
· Kevin Pritchard (Starboard / MauiSails) – As solid and steady as a rock. In strong wind or light Kevin will be keeping the error count low and the push for glory to the max. In fact, he’s probably at his most dangerous now there are only two spots left on the year-end podium.
· Micah Buzianis (JP / NeilPryde) – The 2006 runner-up seems to start the season slowly and build form late. His gear and approach are likely to work wonders in Turkey too, and he’ll also be itching for an event win and a big bite of the cash.
· Bjorn Dunkerbeck (T1 / North) – If you take away the chop and swell, Dunkerbeck is simply lethal.
· Finian Maynard (F2 / NeilPryde) – The world’s fastest man won here in 2006, and with a previous PWA wins in Turkey it’s his lucky country too. Maynard’s big and heavy but he likes it nice and light as well.
Bora Kozamoglu (Starboard / NeilPryde), the highest ranked Turkish rider on the PWA tour is also set to enter along with a strong list of his compatriots. No one will be as foolish as to write-off the advantage of local knowledge and the Turkish fleet will certainly be shown respect at the start line.
Albeau, Pritchard and Dunkerbeck are the form players after the recent Canary Islands leg, but they’ll be pushed hard by some lighter wind specialists who’ll love the Alacati conditions.
Cyril Moussilmani (Fanatic / North) will threaten over any long courses or light air, as will Britain’s Ross Williams (Tabou / Gaastra) who’s advancing at speed through the rankings. Formula master Steve Allen (Tabou / Gaastra) of Australia can also hustle hard away from heavy wind, but at Alacati the fleet should be prepared for a wide range of conditions.
There’s one more wildcard who could cause trouble too. Germany’s Bernd Flessner (F2 / NeilPryde), fresh off the back of a 12th National racing title, is set to show up and try his luck. Years of experience could well pay dividends for this race-smart player.
Top ranked Women Racers attending Alacati:
· Karin Jaggi (F2 / North) – Swiss precision has led Jaggi to an amazing amount of world titles. She’s already secured the 2007 title and her status as a true legend in the sport is unparalleled.
· Valerie Ghibaudo (Tabou) has pushed Jaggi hard this season and the racing has been all the more exciting because of that. France is a hotbed of windsurfing talent and Ghibaudo will no doubt pressure Jaggi hard for an event title that she wants so much.
· Ayako Suzuki (Starboard / Gaastra) – A stunning podium debut in Korea from Suzuki earned her immediate respect. Much missed during the Canary Islands leg she’ll fancy her chances in Turkey with conditions pretty similar to Ulsan.
· Verena Fauster (F2 /Gaastra) – As Italy’s female racing hope Fauster will be hoping to push for a top position. Unusually off-form in Fuerteventura she’ll be likely to bounce back and make for some exciting race action.
· Gul Tercan - As the top ranked Turkish women’s rider, Tercan will feel confident in home waters. After recovering from injury, she’ll hopefully be fit and rested whilst the others arrived tired from the previous event.
There will also be more Turkish ladies jostling for position, amongst them being experienced racer Cagla Kubat (Starboard / North) who placed 6th in Alacati 2006, and Sedef Koktenturk (Fanatic / NeilPryde) who recently debuted at Sotavento.
Registration starts on Monday 13th August and the actions kicks off on Tuesday with a first possible start of 10.30
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© PWA / Brian McDowell