PWA CATALUNYA WORLD CUP
The forecasted Tramontana wind for this morning never materialised and so the bright and early 7am skippers’ meeting was held in vain. With the wind still blowing in the direction of the Tramontana it did try to pick up from 11am onwards. However, despite several sailors being tempted out onto the water to check the conditions, it wasn't possible to complete any racing today due to the gusty nature of the wind.
With plenty of downtime today we caught up with several sailors who featured in the first winners’ final of year.
Alberto Menegatti (Starboard / Point-7) talks about his victory in the opening race of the season:
AM: “I had an amazing start at the pin, I wasn’t sure that it was the best place to start but I hit the mark at zero and I tried to go a bit below to pick up speed. By the time I checked where everyone else was I was already ahead and with good speed I made it to the first mark in the lead. From there I just tried to carry on and maintain my speed and make no mistakes. In the end it turned out good and I’m pretty happy with the result. I had a hard winter - not being able to train for most of it - so to start with a first place is a really positive thing. In the final I was on I was on my 9.7m and 130l with 48cm Z-Fin. I just closed the sail and went and I felt like I had a solid lead, so that was an amazing feeling and it also gave me more confidence for the starts as well.”
PWA: How about the injury front?
AM: “As well as the tendinitis I had some other issues, but it is all connected. It’s calming down but it’s not finished, so basically I was only able to start training from March onwards. That meant I didn't have too much time before the first event, but I’m still working on it. I want to say thanks to my trainer, who is also here, Giuseppe, he helps me to get ready and actually gets me on the water, and be physically fit.”
Taty Frans (Starboard / MauiSails / Mystic / MFC), who was delighted with his fourth place yesterday:
TF: “I’m really happy with yesterday. I didn’t expect to be in this position. Over the winter I’ve been going to the gym a lot over the last 5 months and I feel like that has really helped me. I gained 3 kilos from the gym, but only muscle no fat haha. I haven’t actually sailed that much on this years setup because I only received the sails 2 weeks ago. For now I’m just really, really happy about the result.”
PWA: You are back on the full slalom tour this year?
TF: “Yep, I’m going to do all the events this year except New Caledonia because it’s too expensive for me, but for the rest I’ll do everything including the whole of the freestyle tour.”
PWA: Aim for the year?
TF: “My aim for slalom is to finish in the overall top 20, but I think after this fourth place I can probably try and aim for the top ten. For freestyle I want to get back into the overall top 5.”
After finishing just behind Menegatti, Cyril Moussilmani (Starboard / Severne) discusses the first elimination:
CM: “The first day of competition was a little bit tricky for me because I had a tough heat together with Bjorn [Dunkerbeck (Starboard / Severne / Chris Benz / Dunkerbeck Eyewear)]. At the first gybe I had a big fight with Bjorn, but I managed to pass. I had a bad start which made it tough. On the second day I focussed a little bit more on the start and I managed to advance again. In the final I had a bit of a battle with my brother at the boat to get the perfect start, but I didn’t make quite as good of a start as in the semifinal. But I still managed to arrive fourth at the first mark and then I managed to pass Micah [Buzianis] and Taty [Frans] on the exit and then I just managed to secure second place. Sometimes it felt like I was gaining on Alberto [Menegatti], but sometimes he’d get the gust before me and pull away again. It was a bit like a yoyo really. I was racing yesterday on my biggest gear so my iSonic 130l, Severne Reflex 5 9.5m and 48cm fin. I hope I can make it onto the podium this year and also fight for the title.”
Words from Micah Buzianis (JP / MauiSails), who completed the top three:
MB: “I felt pretty good leading up to the final. I had some okay speed and some good starts. It’s been a while since we last raced, so it’s kind of hard to know exactly how things are going to go. In the final I felt like I made a really decent start and down the first reach I had okay board speed. It was pretty light in that race, so it was important to get to the first mark in a competitive position - thankfully I managed to do that, but after making a safe gybe I just bobbled my pumping on the exit, which opened the door up for Cyril [Moussilmani], who did an amazing gybe which I saw again on the video later and it was a really sweet gybe, but overall I was happy to come out of there in third. I knew from that point onwards it was just going to be follow the leader pretty much because the wind was so light. I’m happy to have started the year that way and there’s plenty of racing to be done. My weapons of choice yesterday was my bigger stuff so my 9.3m and 80cm wide slalom board.”
Jordy Vonk (F2 / Point-7), who produced a magnificent comeback to secure his place as the youngest sailor in the winners’ final:
PWA: Talk us through that comeback in the semifinal…?
JV: “Going back in again on port tack I’m fast. It’s definitely my preferred tack from what I’m feeling. And I managed to make two awesome gybes. My third and fourth gybes were absolutely perfect. I managed to go below Steve [Allen] (Starboard / Severne) and then I managed to dive down the inside of Alexandre Cousin (Patrik / Loft Sails / Mystic).”
PWA: After making the winners’ final, how did that go for you?
JV: “It sucked. [Julien] Quentel (RRD / NeilPryde) was pushing me upwind, Moussilmani was going downwind so I couldn’t accelerate. From the start on I was in last place I think. In the end I was able to catch Sylvain Moussilmani (Simmer), but anyway I was already really happy to have made it to the final.”
“I’d now like to push on from here and start to get some top 20 results at individual events, just so I can reach the prize money.”
With rain clouds looming over Costa Brava and barely a breath of wind the sailors were released at 4:30pm. They will meet again at 9am tomorrow morning with the action commencing from 09:30 if conditions allow. Follow all of the action as it happens by tuning into the live ticker @ www.pwaworldtour.com.
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