Event Preview: The grand finale of 2014 PWA World Tour takes place in beautiful New Caledonia with the fascinating conclusion of the slalom

The men’s title race hangs in the balance between Cyril Moussilmani (Starboard / Severne), Antoine Albeau (RRD / NeilPryde) and Pierre Mortefon - who still has an outside chance of winning the title, whilst Delphine Cousin (Starboard / Loft Sails) holds a commanding lead in her bid for back-to-back world crowns in the women’s division. Over the next 6 days the stunning turquoise waters of Noumea, New Caledonia, will see the title race unfold as the fastest sailors in the world battle it out for one final time this year - during the Airwaves Noumea Dream Cup - which runs between the 18th to the 23rd November.

Noumea, New Caledonia, is part of the French Polynesia, located deep in the southwest Pacific Ocean - 750 miles east of Australia. New Caledonia boats the biggest lagoon in the world and has been listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 2008, making New Caledonia a magnet for recreational boaters and ocean lovers alike, as well as providing the perfect slalom conditions thanks to its trade winds, which usually blow between 10-20 knots. The lagoon spans an impressive 44,000km - with crystal clear waters dotted with islets, which has seen Noumea becoming renowned for its outstanding marine biodiversity. Anse Vata beach will provide the perfect, pristine, stage for the conclusion of the 2014 PWA World Tour. Now the only question remaining to be answered is - who will come out on top?


Cyril Moussilmani leads the world rankings heading into the final event 2014, but with just 17 points between him and his closest rival - Antoine Albeau - there is still everything to play for, with plenty to win and lose. The stakes couldn’t be higher for Moussilmani, who is chasing a maiden world title, but whilst the overall outcome may not be simple - the math is. If Moussilmani finishes in the top five and finishes ahead of Albeau, then he is guaranteed the title. The thirty-four year old has been extremely consistent this year with three, second places, but can he hold his nerve at the business end of the season?

The math for Antoine Albeau is also simple - and destiny remains in his own hands such is the slenderness of Moussilmani’s lead. If the big Frenchman, who is hoping to secure a historic hat-trick of world titles, beats Moussilmani by one place and finishes fifth or better then he will pip Moussilmani to the 2014 PWA Slalom World Championship. Albeau has two event victories - Costa Brava and Fuerteventura - to his name this season and you can’t bet against him winning in Noumea again. 

The third man in the running - Pierre Mortefon - needs Moussilmani and Albeau to finish outside the top five to have any shot at winning the title, but anything can happen, so you never know. If Albeau and Moussilmani were to both finish 6th or worse then Mortefon would need to win the event to come out on top. If Mortefon was to finish 3rd, he would need Albeau and Moussilmani to finish 7th or worse. And if Mortefon was to finish 4th, Albeau and Moussilmani would need to finish 8th or worse etc. However, whatever happens, Mortefon, has already guaranteed himself at least 3rd place this year, which is the twenty-four year olds best season to date, so he has nothing to lose and everything to gain.

Arnon Dagan (RRD / NeilPryde) currently sits fourth in the world after rocketing up the overalls thanks to his maiden event victory in Sylt, which came off the back of an excellent fourth place in Turkey. The Israeli is sailing full of confidence at the moment, and will be looking to finish the season on a high and you can expect to see Dagan challenging for the top again here. 

Another Frenchman flying high in the rankings is Pascal Toselli (Starboard / Point-7), who currently occupies fifth place in the overall world rankings. Toselli is enjoying a fine season, which saw him earn his first finish on the prestigious podium in Fuerteventura, before backing it up with third place in Turkey. Toselli will now be hoping to make a strong finish to the season.

Matteo Iachino (Fanatic / North) is one of the most promising young talents on the tour and the Italian will be looking to end the season with a flourish. The twenty-four year old, who finished last season in tenth place overall, will be hoping he can maintain his current sixth place to cap his best performance to date. 

Julien Quentel (RRD / NeilPryde) looks to have re-found the form which saw him finish third overall in 2013. The man from Saint Martin had been slightly off the pace earlier this year, but back-to-back podiums, including a maiden victory in Turkey, have seen him rise up the rankings into seventh. Quentel will now be hoping he can continue his rise up the rankings with a strong showing in Noumea.

Meanwhile, competition remains rife for the remaining places in the top and at the moment Josh Angulo (Angulo / Gun Sails), Ben Van Der Steen (Tabou / GA Sails / Mystic) and Ross Williams (Tabou / GA Sails / Mystic) complete the top ten, but the likes of Taty Frans (Starboard / MauiSails / Mystic / MFC), Cedric Bordes (Tabou / GA Sails) and Micah Buzianis (JP / MauiSails) remain in contention.

The other question is whether Bjorn Dunkerbeck (Starboard / Severne / Chris Benz / Dunkerbeck Eyewear) can end his PWA career with a bang - in what is his final event. 


Delphine Cousin (Starboard / Loft Sails) holds a commanding position heading into the final event with one event victory and a 2nd place to her name. The reigning world champion requires fourth place or better to guarantee her the title, as even if Lena Erdil (Patrik / Loft Sails / Mystic) or Valerie Ghibaudo (Tabou / GA Sails) were to win the event - and Cousin finish 4th - Cousin would take the title on a tiebreak.

Erdil and Ghibaudo are currently tied on points so the duo face an intriguing battle outside of the title race too - who ever comes out on top at the Airwaves Noumea Dream Cup would claim second place overall, barring disaster, so there’s all still to play for even if the title proves to be out of reach.

Despite there being no discard on offer - Sarah-Quita Offringa (Starboard / Mystic / Maui Ultra Fins) - has still opted to attend the event and will no doubt be right in the thick of the action, after dominating in her first slalom event of the season in Turkey - where the Aruban gem won seven out of nine elimination victories. 

Also in contention will be the Japanese contingent of Mio Anayama (Starboard / NeilPryde) and Ayako Suzuki (Tabou / GA Sails / Mystic). Plus there will be a whole host of local sailors who will be looking to use their local advantage to full affect. 

The wait is almost over with the Airwaves Noumea Dream Cup kicking off tomorrow. The next six days promise to be enthralling with high octane racing across the pristine, crystal clear waters of Noumea. Don’t miss any of the action by tuning into Here you’ll be able to follow the event as it happens via the PWA live stream and live ticker.  

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