ALACATI PWA WORLD CUP
With exactly one week to go before the ninth edition of the Pegasus Airlines PWA World Cup in Alacati, Turkey, anticipation and excitement surrounding the event is starting to build. The event will see the fastest men in the world returning to action for the fourth time this season, whilst the women are preparing for battle round two.
Currently Leading the Race?
In the men’s division, Frenchmen Cyril Moussilmani (Starboard / Severne) currently leads the 2014 PWA Slalom World Championship race after a joint first in Turkmenistan and two excellent second places in Costa Brava and Fuerteventura respectively. However, fellow countryman Pierre Mortefon (Fanatic / North) is right on his heels and usually excels in Alacati’s mirror flat water. Behind him teammate Matteo Iachino (Fanatic / North) occupies third followed by Pascal Toselli (Starboard / Point-7) and Ross Williams (Tabou / GA Sails).
Meanwhile, reigning world champion - Delphine Cousin (Starboard / Loft Sails) - currently sits at the top of the rankings in the women’s division after her first ever event victory in Turkmenistan. The twenty-three year old holds fond memories of Alacati, after she claimed her maiden world title here in 2013, whilst finishing the event in second place overall. The French beauty will be hoping to continue her fine form as she looks to stay in control of her race for back-to-back world crowns.
Changes at the top on the horizon?
However, all of that could change very quickly due to Alacati being the fourth event of the year for the men - meaning a discard will come into play, which is likely to shake up the rankings.
The main person to benefit from this would seemingly be the reigning world champion - Antoine Albeau (RRD / NeilPryde) - who currently counts a last place from Turkmenistan. Aside from this blip, the big Frenchman has been in irresistible form this season with two emphatic victories in Costa Brava and Fuerteventura. Another victory here would obviously see him rise back to the top of the rankings and he is a sure fire bet to be a dominant force in Alacati again - having claimed victory here for the last two years in a row. Albeau could very well find himself back in the driving seat for the world crown after a week of high octane racing in Turkey. In fact the reigning world champion would return to the number one spot even if Cyril Moussilmani was to win the event by finishing in second place. This would leave Moussilmani on 6234 points, whilst Albeau would edge into the lead with 6267 points. If Moussilmani fails to win the event then a fourth place or better would see Albeau assume top spot, no matter what. Do you think Albeau will return to the top of the rankings?
Top Contenders - Women
Just behind Delphine Cousin is the 2012 PWA Slalom World Champion - Valerie Ghibaudo (Tabou / GA Sails / Mystic), who started the season with a second place. Ghibaudo will be eager to show her excellent board speed and textbook gybes to manoeuvre herself to the top of the rankings.
Lena Erdil completes the current top three and she will be eager to put in a good performance on her home Turkish waters, as will fellow compatriots Cagla Kubat (Starboard / Loft Sails) - who will be making her first appearance after becoming a mother for the first time - Fulya Unlu (Starboard / Severne) and Ceren Yaman (Starboard / NeilPryde).
Alacati will also see the 2011 PWA Slalom World Champion and freestyle queen - Sarah-Quita Offringa (Starboard / Mystic / Chris Benz / Maui Ultra Fins) - competing on the racing seen for the first time in 2014. Offringa will be going in search of a famous hat-trick of event titles in Turkey and she will be an ominous figure for the rest of her rivals.
Later in the week we’ll take a full look at the main title contenders for the 2014 Pegasus Airlines Alacati PWA World Cup, which kicks off on the 26th August and runs until the 31st. You’ll be able to follow all of the amazing racing live by tuning into www.pwaworldtour.com, where you’ll be able watch live via the PWA live stream.