Fly! ANA Yokosuka PWA World Cup

Day 5: Interview with Lena Erdil and Premiere of her new Movie ‘Windsurfing Game’ - Questel Flies into Foil Lead

Unfortunately the forecast for the penultimate day of the 2017 Fly! ANA Yokosuka PWA World Cup proved to be inaccurate again with the wind never rising above 10 knots - meaning the men’s and women’s slalom fleets stayed on hold for the day. 

Instead the sailors involved in the foiling exhibition took centre stage once again as a further 4 races were completed in light winds - generally between 4-9 knots. After a rousing performance yesterday - Antoine Albeau (RRD / NeilPryde), who was leading the foil rankings overnight- surprisingly failed to win a race today as he recorded two, 3rd places and a 4th, which has seen him fall to 3rd overall with the two discards after 7 races.

Fellow countryman - Antoine Questel (Starboard / S2Maui) - now heads the rankings after another extremely consistent day which saw the 32-year-old record one victory,  two, seconds and a third. Questel’s level of performance has been so high that out of the 7 races completed, he has only finished out of the top 3 once. 

Meanwhile, Sebastian Kornum (JP / NeilPryde) enjoyed a fine day as the Dane won the opening two races, before finishing second and fifth in the remaining races. Kornum discards the latter 5th place and currently sits in second overall just 1 point behind Questel.

Gonzalo Costa Hoevel (Starboard / Severne / Chopper Fins) is also still in the hunt after winning the final race of the day, but things could’ve been even better for the Argentine if he hadn't have dropped his gybe, in the opening race, at the last mark  when clear of the rest of the pack. After hitting something in the water in the first race yesterday, which resulted in a damaged fin box and a 9th place, Costa Hoevel has recovered nicely by not finishing outside the top 4 in the last 6 races.

After another day of waiting for the wind we took the opportunity to catch up with Turkish beauty - Lena Erdil (Starboard / Point-7 / AL360) - who is the women’s slalom vice-world champion and currently sits second in this year’s rankings after Korea. Heading into the final day in Japan, Erdil currently occupies the final place on the podium in 3rd place. You can read our interview with Lena below and also view her brilliant new movie ‘Windsurfing Game’ by visiting @ https://vimeo.com/216535073.

What makes Cape Town such a special place for you that you keep going back?

I think Cape Town just has it all city life, nature, wind, waves and sunshine. I think especially during the European winter it is one of the most consistently windy and wavy places in the world. 

During the winter you often go away and leave the slalom equipment behind for a month or two - do you think that helps you refresh with regard to your slalom training?

Yes, actually I think it’s good for me to have a break from slalom sailing, especially as when I get back I still have 3 months to restart from scratch with all the new equipment. Wave sailing is more dynamic than slalom sailing and I also do a lot of SUP-ing, so I think my winter training is actually pretty solid the way it is. I’ve been doing it this way for a few winters now and I think what’s also particularly good is that by the time I start slalom training again I am usually super amped to get back into it. 

What is it that you love about slalom sailing?

The thing I love most is the actual racing with the girls! We have a great level on the tour and it’s just so fun to properly fight it out with the best women in the world! Of course, preparation is a big part of that and I also enjoy the training a lot - here I would say that tuning is my least favourite and that the race simulation again is the best :D

And then in comparison what is it that you love about wave sailing?

Wave sailing allows me to really push myself out of my comfort zone in pretty much every single session! I love feeling the power of the waves and I love getting humbled by the forces of nature. It’s a rush of adrenaline that is totally different to slalom sailing for me. 

You started the year off with an excellent second place in Korea - are you feeling happy with your speed and setup?

Yes, the two races I got to sail I felt really happy with my speed and super comfortable on my Starboard’s and Point7’s. Of course, it is hard to say more after just two races, but yeah I am happy and excited for more racing! 

I think in general at the moment all the sailors here are so hungry for racing, after a long winter of preparation, that its quite a strange atmosphere now, excitement mixed with frustration about the waiting… But like in the movie I can only say that that's windsurfing for you, conditions are never in our hands and all we can ever do is try and adapt as well as we possibly can to whatever the conditions through at us…

Coming back to the event here - this is the first event in Japan for 24 years - have you ever been to Japan before and what do you think of it so far?

I love Japan!!! I’m excited to have the World Cup here. We received such a warm welcome by the organisers and sailors, and the Japanese people, in general, are so polite and always trying to help, it feels good to be here. 

On the beach people are asking for autographs and pictures - it really looks like the windsurfing community in Japan is doing super well. The beach set up looks great and the only thing missing to make this a truly epic event is the wind! 

I’ve been to Japan once before for 3 days in Tokyo, while on the way to New Caledonia, already then I was fascinated by the culture and especially the way in which high-technology is so effortlessly integrated into people’s everyday life.  

After the conclusion of the event here you’ll then have a break until September - how will you be spending the summer months? 

I’m going to be in Turkey for the summer at Lena Erdil Windsurf Centre in Bodrum, I am planning to run a few advanced windsurf clinics there and generally take this chance of not having many races this summer to be more involved at the centre. I think it’s possible that I’ll add some more last minute trips to my agenda, but for now nothing is sure, to stay up to date you can follow my social media pages ;)

Instagram: @lenaerdil 

Facebook: @lenaerdilwindsurf 

Twitter: @LenaErdil 

Thanks, Lena - Good luck for the final day tomorrow :)

If you missed the earlier link to Lena’s new movie ‘Windsurfing Game’ here it is again @ https://vimeo.com/216535073

The forecast for tomorrow looks very light on paper, but so far this week nothing has gone to forecast so anything could still happen heading into the final day. The skippers’ meeting has been called for 8:30am with the racing commencing from 9am (GMT+9) - if conditions allow.

To stay up to date with all the latest developments from Japan — including the live stream, elimination ladders, entry list, images and live ticker simply click HERE and scroll to the bottom of the page.

Current Event Ranking 2017 Fly! ANA Yokosuka PWA World Cup - Women’s Slalom 

*After One Elimination 

1st Sarah-Quita Offringa (Starboard / NeilPryde / Maui Ultra Fins)

2nd Delphine Cousin (Starboard / S2Maui)

3rd Lena Erdil (Starboard / Point-7 / AL360)

4th Maëlle Guilbaud (Patrik / LoftSails)

5th Esther de Geus (JP / Point-7)

6th Fulya Ünlü (Starboard / Point-7 / Mystic)

7th Çağla Kubat (Starboard / Point-7)

8th Ayako Suzuki (Tabou / GA Sails / Mystic)

9th Fujiko Onishi (99NoveNove / Point-7)

10th Mio Anayama (Starboard / MauiSails) 

Current Event Ranking 2017 Fly! ANA Yokosuka PWA World Cup - Men’s Slalom

 *After One Elimination 

1st Julien Quentel (Patrik / Avanti)

2nd Jordy Vonk (Fanatic / NorthSails)

3rd Antoine Albeau (RRD / NeilPryde)

4th Finian Maynard (99NoveNove / Gun Sails)

5th Andrea Rosati (RRD / LoftSails)

6th Matteo Iachino (Starboard / Point-7 / Shamal Windsurfing Sunglasses)

7th Pierre Mortefon (Fanatic / NorthSails / Chopper Fins)

8th Gonzalo Costa Hoevel ARG3 (Starboard / Severne / Chopper Fins)

9th Ross Williams (Tabou / GA Sails / Mystic / Shamal Windsurfing Glasses)

10th Sebastian Kördel (Starboard / GA Sails)

Current Rankings Fly! ANA Yokosuka PWA World Cup - Foil Exhibition

*After 7 Races

1st Antoine Questel (Starboard / S2Maui)

2nd Sebastian Kornum (JP / NeilPryde)

3rd Antoine Albeau (RRD / NeilPryde)

4th Gonzalo Costa Hoevel (Starboard / Severne / Chopper Fins)

5th Mateus Isaac (JP / NeilPryde)

6th Malte Reuscher (JP / NeilPryde)

7th William Huppert (Fanatic / NorthSails)

8th Maciek Rutkowski (Tabou / GA Sails)

9th Nicolas Warembourg (JP / Warembourg)

10th Amado Vrieswijk (JP / Severne)