Airwaves Noumea Dream Cup

Event Summary: New Caledonia Provides Thrilling Finale to 2017 PWA World Tour

 

New Caledonia provided a thrilling finale to the 2017 PWA World Tour as the Men’s and Women’s PWA Slalom World Champion were crowned at the end of an epic 6 days of competition at the Airwaves Noumea Dream Cup. New Caledonia is known not only for its incredible beauty and world class marine life but also for its reliable trade winds and they certainly didn’t disappoint with 6 eliminations for the men, 8 eliminations for the women and 9 foil eliminations completed over the duration of the week to provide a fitting end to the season.

Slalom

Women’s

Delphine Cousin Questel (Starboard / S2Maui) signed off the 2017 season in style as the former 2-time world champion claimed a decisive victory, which saw her win 5 out of the 8 races completed, while never finishing outside the top 2 such was her dominance here. The 26-year-old clearly thrives in New Caledonia’s conditions after completing a hat-trick of event wins having won here in 2014, ’15 and now 2017. Her victory here wasn’t enough to deny Sarah-Quita Offringa (Starboard / NeilPryde / Maui Ultra Fins) the world title, but she still finishes the year as the vice-world champion after staging a great comeback after a disappointing opening result in South Korea. 

Sarah-Quita Offringa knew that a top 3 finish or better in New Caledonia would guarantee her a 4th slalom world title - her 3rd in a row - and after a slightly shaky start, in which she finished 5th in the first race, the Aruban was then able to steady the ship to seal a solid second place. On the road to securing the world title, Offringa was able to win 3 races, and even a small wobble in Elimination 6 in which she failed to qualify for the winners’ final couldn’t stop the 26-year-old from collecting world title No.4 to cap another remarkable season.

The battle for the remaining place on the prestigious overall podium saw a dramatic late twist as Marion Mortefon (Fanatic / NorthSails) was able to capitalise on Lena Erdil’s (Starboard / Point-7 / AL360) untimely injury to snatch third place in both the event and overall rankings.

Take nothing away from Mortefon though as she still had to perform in the final two races of the competition to overcome the 4 point advantage that Erdil started the penultimate day and that’s exactly what she managed to do with solid 3rd and 4th place finishes. Mortefon will be absolutely delighted after breaking into the overall top 3 for the first time in her career and it’s fully deserved after finishing on the podium in 3 out of the 4 events.

Erdil will understandably be gutted at missing out on the overall podium for the first time since 2014, but she deserves a great deal of credit for bravely trying to sail through the pain on day 5. The Turk was still able to qualify for both winners’ finals but was clearly too badly impaired to compete at the very top of her game. So, the 2017 season will have ended in a disappointing 4th place for Erdil, but you can expect to see challenging for the podium again next year.

Maëlle Guilbaud (Patrik / LoftSails) had been in contention for the podium for the entire year, but she couldn’t quite hang onto her place in the overall top 3 to finish the season. However, 2017 still marks a breakthrough year for the 21-year-old, who only made her debut last year, after producing a consistent set of displays to break into the top 5, which sees her crowned the 2017 Women’s PWA Youth Slalom World Champion.

Esther de Geus (JP / Point-7) made a flying start to the year, but she couldn’t find her best form over the last 6 days so the 26-year-old ends the season with a slightly disappointing 9th place. However, there’s been plenty of positives over the course of 2017 and she rises one place in the overall rankings to 6th.

Elsewhere, 17-year-old Lilou Granier caught the eye in several races, after almost winning the opening elimination of the week and she looks an exciting prospect for the future. With a little more time and consistency it looks like she could be a serious threat in coming years. 

Men’s

Coming into the last event of the year - Antoine Albeau (RRD / NeilPryde) - knew that a top 8 finish or better would guarantee him an incredible 24th world title, but he certainly didn’t approach the event conservatively and he soon rose to the top of the event rankings. Even a snapped harness bar, in what turned out to be the final race of the event couldn’t prevent Albeau from winning the world title in style as he claimed his 4th event win of the year. AA has been the dominant force this year and deservedly walks away as the world champion.

Matteo Iachino (Starboard / Point-7 / Shamal Sunglasses) made a flying start to the event - winning both the opening eliminations - as the Italian looked to place Albeau under as much pressure as possible, but unfortunately for him, the Frenchman stood strong meaning he finishes 2017 as the vice-world champion. Iachino showed incredible consistency over the last 6 days and was the only sailor to qualify for every winners’ final and he’ll be back challenging for the world title again in 2018.

Pierre Mortefon (Fanatic / NorthSails / Chopper Fins) looked to be back to his deadly best in New Caledonia as the Frenchman closed to within just 1.6 points of the event lead heading into the final day. Unfortunately, the wind didn’t play ball, but Mortefon won’t be too disappointed with that as his excellent 3rd place here sees him pip Ross Williams (Tabou / GA Sails / Mystic / Shamal Sunglasses) to the final place on the overall podium by just 10 points. 

Williams’ will be disappointed to have lost out on 3rd place in the overalls as he will have no doubt had entered the final event of the year with aspirations of overtaking Matteo Iachino for 2nd. However, the Brit looked to be battling all week and in the end, could ‘only’ muster an 8th place finish - 2 places short of the 6th place or better he would have needed to defend his place on the overall podium. While it may have been a disappointing end to the year, Williams has sailed remarkably well in 2017 - securing 3 podiums and never finishing outside the top 10 and you can expect to see him challenging for top honours again in 2018.

Pascal Toselli (99NoveNove / LoftSails / Chopper Fins) ends 2017 with his second-best overall result ever on the world tour - 5th - after recovering well from a disappointing result in Japan. From 29th in Japan, the talented Frenchman then went on to record 4 top finishes out of 5 and finished 11th in the other as he showed why he’s one of the best in the world. 

Julien Quentel (Patrik / Avanti) has blown a bit hot and cold all season and things didn’t quite click for him season finale after signing off with a 15th place. Quentel’s victory in Japan, plus solid showings in Fuerte (5th), Denmark (6th) and Sylt (8th) mean the 30-year-old finishes 6th in the overall rankings - falling 2 places from 2016.

In the opening event of the year - South Korea - Marco Lang (Fanatic / NorthSails) - had looked blisteringly quick, but unfortunately for the Austrian, the winners’ final couldn’t be completed meaning no result was gained. From a potential top 8 finish, Lang then had to settle for a disappointing 41st place finish in Japan. However, from there Lang slowly steadied the ship with 9th, 14th and 16th place finishes in Costa Brava, Fuerte and Denmark, before stealing the windsurfing limelight in Sylt by winning both eliminations completed in emphatic style to win his first event on the world tour. Lang carried that winning form into New Caledonia to claim an excellent 4th place here which deservedly sees him break into the overall top 10 for the first time in his career - 7th - and he looks to be developing into a serious contender after showing glimpses over the past couple of years. 

Arnon Dagan (RRD / NeilPryde) takes home 8th place overall for 2017 after recovering brilliantly after a difficult start in New Caledonia, which saw the Israeli eliminated in the quarterfinals in the first two races. However, the 40-year-old responded well under pressure and won 2 out of the last 3 races completed to climb to 6th in the last event of the year, while also denying Tristan Algret (Starboard / Severne / Mystic / Chopper Fins) a first bullet on the world tour after the former youth world champion produced an extremely ropey last gybe when seemingly having the race sewn up. A moment that will no doubt haunt him for a while longer. 

Antoine Questel (Starboard / S2Maui) has been one of the most consistent sailors on the tour this year - recording top 12 or better finishes in all but one event, which deservedly earns him 9th place in the overall rankings.

Sebastian Kördel (Starboard / GA Sails) is the other sailor to break into the overall top 10 for the first time in his career. The German had made a very solid start to the year before a minor wobble in Denmark and Germany looked as though it may cost him a place in the top 10. However, over the last 6 days, 26-year-old has sailed superbly - qualifying for 4 winners’ finals and never finishing outside of the top 16 - which saw him record his best result of the season 5th, which sees him secure 10th place by the narrowest of margins ahead of Jordy Vonk (Fanatic / NorthSails). Both sailors finished the season tied on 4580 points, but Kördel wins the tiebreak to clinch 10th.

You have to feel sorry for Vonk as you can’t come any closer to breaking into the top 10, but there are certainly a lot more positives than negatives for the 24-year-old to walk away from 2017 with. The one moment that will probably stand out will be his podium finish in Japan and it surely won’t be long until the young flying Dutchman establishes himself in the top 10.

Elsewhere, Cyril Moussilmani (99NoveNove / Severne) and Cedric Bordes (Tabou / GA Sails) finished the season with top 10s - 7th and 10th respectively - which means they finish level on points for the year - 4530 - but 12th place goes to Bordes on countback.

Meanwhile, New Caledonia's very own Basile Jacquin (Starboard / Point-7) finishes 2017 as the Youth PWA Slalom World Champion after earning 22nd place in the world after a top 16 finish in Noumea, which saw the 19-year-old claim 4th place in Elimination 4 to show he has the potential to mix it with the best in the world.

Foiling

Over the last 6 days, we also saw another installment of the foiling exhibition in a range of wind conditions and it was evident that in the stronger winds foiling is transformed into a truly dynamic and exciting spectacle, while the light winds provide a real tactical battle.

Gonzalo Costa Hoevel (Starboard / Severne / Chopper Fins) dominated proceedings here in New Caledonia with the Argentine winning 4 races, while finishing 2nd on a further 3 occasions to finish the event with an 18.2 point lead over his closest rival - Maciek Rutkowski (Tabou / GA Sails).

The pole was understandably delighted to earn his first ever podium on the world tour and he also finished 16th in the overall slalom rankings.

Local boy Thomas Goyard (Fanatic / NorthSails) completes the podium ahead of Alexandre Cousin (Patrik / GA Sails / Chopper Fins), Nicolas Goyard (RRD / Point-7 / Mystic) and Antoine Questel (Starboard / S2Maui) who finishes the year as the top ranked sailor from the foil exhibitions. The Frenchman was tied on 3030 points with Costa Hoevel but takes top spot on countback.

After a one year absence the PWA were absolutely delighted to return to the stunning island of New Caledonia and the PWA would like to extend their thanks to all of the organisers, sponsors and volunteers for their hard work and hospitality over the last 6 days - without you, it wouldn’t be possible and we hope to return in the future for another fantastic edition of the Airwaves Noumea Dream Cup.

You can find a full recap of from everything that happened in New Caledonia — including elimination ladders, entry list, images and live ticker simply click HERE and scroll to the bottom of the page.

The sun may have set for the final time on the 2017 PWA World Tour, but we’ll be back in 2018, bringing you the more class windsurfing action from the best sailors in the world. Congratulations to all the winners’ and see you in 2018.

Result 2017 Airwaves Noumea Dream Cup - Women’s Slalom

1st Delphine Cousin Questel (Starboard / S2Maui)

2nd Sarah-Quita Offringa (Starboard / NeilPryde / Maui Ultra Fins) 

3rd Marion Mortefon (Fanatic / NorthSails)

4th Lena Erdil (Starboard / Point-7 / AL360)

5th Lilou Granier

Overall Ranking 2017 Women’s PWA Slalom World Tour

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

2nd Delphine Cousin Questel (Starboard / S2Maui)

3rd Marion Mortefon (Fanatic / NorthSails)

4th Lena Erdil (Starboard / Point-7 / AL360)

5th Maelle Guilbaud (Patrik / LoftSails)

Result 2017 Airwaves Noumea Dream Cup - Men’s Slalom

1st Antoine Albeau (RRD / NeilPryde)

2nd Matteo Iachino (Starboard / Point-7 / Shamal Sunglasses)

3rd Pierre Mortefon (Fanatic / NorthSails / Chopper Fins)

4th Marco Lang (Fanatic / NorthSails)

5th Sebastian Koerdel (Starboard / GA Sails)

6th Arnon Dagan (RRD / NeilPryde)

7th Cyril Moussilmani (99NoveNove / Severne)

8th Ross Williams (Tabou / GA Sails / Mystic / Shamal Sunglasses)

9th Pascal Toselli (99NoveNove / LoftSails / Chopper Fins)  

10th Cedric Bordes (Tabou / GA Sails)

Overall Ranking 2017 Men’s PWA Slalom World Tour

1st Antoine Albeau (RRD / NeilPryde)

2nd Matteo Iachino (Starboard / Point-7 / Shamal Sunglasses)

3rd Pierre Mortefon (Fanatic / NorthSails / Chopper Fins)

4th Ross Williams (Tabou / GA Sails / Mystic / Shamal Sunglasses)

5th Pascal Toselli (99NoveNove / LoftSails / Chopper Fins)  

6th Julien Quentel (Patrik / Avanti)

7th Marco Lang (Fanatic / NorthSails)

8th Arnon Dagan (RRD / NeilPryde)

9th Antoine Questel (Starboard / S2Maui)

10th Sebastian Koerdel (Starboard / GA Sails)

Result 2017 Airwaves Noumea Dream Cup - Men’s Foil Exhibition

1st Gonzalo Costa Hoevel (Starboard / Severne / Chopper Fins)

2nd Maciek Rutkowski (Tabou / GA Sails)

3rd Thomas Goyard (Fanatic / NorthSails)

4th Alexandre Cousin (Patrik / GA Sails)

5th Nicolas Goyard (RRD / Point-7 / Mystic)

6th Antoine Questel (Starboard / S2Maui) 

7th Benjamin Tillier

8th William Huppert (Fanatic / NorthSails)

9th Amado Vrieswijk (JP / Severne)

10th Julien Quentel (Patrik / Avanti) 

Overall Ranking 2017 Foil Exhibition

1st Antoine Questel (Starboard / S2Maui) 

2nd Gonzalo Costa Hoevel (Starboard / Severne / Chopper Fins)

3rd Sebastian Kornum (JP / NeilPryde)

4th Antoine Albeau (RRD / NeilPryde)

5th Maciek Rutkowski (Tabou / GA Sails)