Viana PWA World Cup
Over the last 8 days Cabedelo Beach, Viana do Castelo, has enhanced its reputation as one of the best windsurfing locations in Europe - combining stunning scenery and a rich local history with world class conditions for both slalom and freestyle, while the potential for wave sailing was also equally apparent.
Many of the world’s top sailors considered the 2018 Viana PWA World Cup to be some of the best conditions they have ever competed in, which is the highest testament you can pay to Viana do Castelo. At the end of an enthralling event, 7 eliminations were completed in the Men’s and Women’s Slalom, while two double eliminations were completed in the Women’s Freestyle in winds of 25-45 knots.
Delphine Cousin (Starboard / S2Maui) regains her slalom world title for the first time since 2014 after completing a clean sweep of event victories for 2018 as she once again proved too good in Portugal to claim a hugely deserved victory. The 26-year-old barely put a foot wrong this year and finished the final event of the year with 4 bullets from 7, while she finished out the top two just twice in that time.
Delphine Cousin Questel on winning her 3rd Slalom World Title: “I’m super happy because my last world title was in 2014, so I’ve been trying to reach this goal since 4 years now. I’m also really happy because we had really nice conditions, not just here but also in Japan and South Korea, so even though there are only 3 events they were great events. I didn’t make many mistakes this season and I managed to win every event so I’m really happy about that.”
Sarah-Quita Offringa (Starboard / NeilPryde / Maui Ultra Fins) improved in each of her first 3 races in Portugal with results reading 3rd, 2nd and a 1st, before having a minor mid-event blip with a 5th and an 8th. However, the 4-time Slalom World Champion ended the event in style with a further bullet and a 2nd to finish in second place for the 2018 Viana PWA World Cup.
Meanwhile, Lena Erdil (Starboard / Point-7 / AL360 / Chopper Fins) returns to the prestigious overall podium - having narrowly missed out last year when suffering an injury in the final event of 2017 - to end 2018 as the vice-world champion after earning 3rd place in Portugal. The 29-year-old showed glimpses that she could seriously challenge for the title, but a few errors resulted in her title challenge fading and Erdil promises to back even stronger in 2019.
Marion Mortefon (Fanatic / NorthSails) did excellently to recover from a sluggish start, which saw her fail to qualify for the opening Winners’ Final, while only mustering 7th and 5th places in the next two races, which threatened to put her place on the overall podium at risk. However, Mortefon responded brilliantly with a bullet, two 3rds and a 5th to steady the ship and deny Maëlle Guilbadud (Patrik / Loftsails) a place on the overall podium as she completes the podium for the second season in a row.
However, Guilbaud will still end the season on a high as she continues to improve - finishing 4th overall compared to 5th in 2017.
Esther de Geus (Fanatic / NorthSails) also climbs the overall rankings by one place from 2017 as the 26-year-old breaks into the top 5 for the first time.
Meanwhile, Lilou Granier (Starboard / Severne) threatened to challenge for the podium in Portugal after hitting a purple patch of form during the middle of the event, which saw her finish 2nd in races 5 and 6 but then surprisingly missed out on the Winners’ Final in the next race to end her chances this time around - finishing 6th - but she certainly looks like one to keep an eye on in the coming seasons.
Matteo Iachino (Starboard / Severne / Shamal Sunglasses) maintains his lead at the top of the overall rankings after producing an exceptional performance in Portugal, which saw the Italian qualify for every Winners’ Final - the only man to do so. On his way to back-to-back victories the 28-year-old recorded two bullets, while only finishing outside of the top 3 twice and if he maintains that level of consistency he will prove a hard man to catch. At the end of the event Iachino said: “This has been the best World Cup event I have ever competed in and to it is just amazing.”
The Power of the Bullet
At the end of Day 4 Matteo Iachino held an 8.7 point advantage over Antoine Albeau (RRD / NeilPryde) in second place, but by the end of Day 5 Albeau had reduced that gap to just 0.4 of a point after the Frenchman claimed back-to-back bullets. Albeau made some uncharacteristic mistakes at times - including in Heat 12 of Elimination 5 when AA dropped an almost unheard of 3 out of 4 gybes. However, it is Albeau’s ruthless streak, which has seen him win 24 world titles, and his ability to win races - 4 from 7 here - almost saw him overturn Iachino’s lead as he demonstrated the power a race victory holds. Albeau trails Iachino by just 100 points after 4 events and they look set for an epic battle to decide this year’s world crown.
Pierre Mortefon (Fanatic / NorthSails / Chopper Fins) walks away from Portugal by earning his 3rd podium from 4 events this season as the Big Top 3 once again established themselves in the top 3 positions. Mortefon missed out on the opening Winners’ Final by bouncing back with a solid 2nd place only to then be eliminated in the quarterfinals of Elimination 3 to put the 28-year-old under a bit of pressure. However, Mortefon responded brilliantly under that pressure as he went on a run that saw him not finish out the top 5 in the remaining 4 races, which cements his 3rd place in the overall rankings as well.
Julien Quentel (Patrik / Avanti) continues to improve with each event this season and after a slow start here the man from Saint Maarten fought back to earn 4th place, which sees him rise one place in the overalls to 5th.
Ben van der Steen (I-99 / Gun Sails) earns his best finish since 2015 as the Dutchman claims 5th place here after qualifying for 3 Winners’ Finals - almost winning the first elimination - while backing those top 8 finishes up with a 9th and 11th.
Cedric Bordes (Tabou / GA Sails) led the event after the opening day of racing after recording his first bullet of the season and a 5th place, but couldn’t quite keep up with the pace up top - eventually finishing 6th which is the Frenchman’s best result of the season and sees him break into the overall top 10 - 9th.
Pascal Toselli (JP / Loftsails) discards his 7th place here and remains in a clear 4th place, while losing a bit of ground on the top 3. The Frenchman tweaked his shoulder the day before the contest, which could be part of the reason he ‘only’ qualified for 2 out of 7 Winners’ Finals this time around.
Meanwhile, Antoine Questel (Starboard / S2Maui) looked exceptionally quick in the extreme conditions which transcribed into the 33-year-old recording his first top 10 finish of the season - 8th - while Jordy Vonk (Fanatic / NorthSails) earned his 4th top 10 finish in as many events - 9th - to cement his place in 6th in the overalls.
Ross Williams (Tabou / GA Sails / Shamal Sunglasses) completes the top 10 in Portugal after showing a lot of grit and determination, which saw the Brit fail to get past the quarterfinals stage in any of the opening 3 eliminations. The Brit then qualified for 3 Winners’ Finals and a b-final to bounce back. Williams is 7th after 4 events.
Elsewhere, Tristan Algret (Starboard / Severne / Chopper Fins) remains in the overall top 10 - 8th - but walks away from Portugal with his worst result of the season - 20th - after a bright start, while Mateus Isaac (JP / NeilPryde) breaks into the overall top 10.
Bruno Martini (RRD / Point-7) was finally able to link together the glimpses of potential he has shown over the last couple of seasons and just misses out on a top 10 finish in 11th, while the top 16 was completed by Finian Maynard (I-99), Cyril Moussilmani (RRD / Severne), Diony Guadagnino (AHD Loftsails), Maciek Rutkowski (I-99 / Challenger Sails) and Malte Reuscher (Fanatic / NorthSails).
The Women showed off the highest level of Women’s Freestyle ever seen on PWA World Tour as the top female sailors on the globe took full advantage of the idyllic conditions to deliver a powerful and dynamic display - consisting of an impressive repertoire of jumps, sliding manoeuvres and the latest power moves as the women truly showed what they are capable of…
But there was still a familiar name at the top of the podium as Sarah-Quita Offringa made the perfect start in her quest to win an incredible 11th PWA Freestyle World Championship - which would be her 15th overall - as she won every heat during the two double eliminations to show that she is still the undisputed Queen of Freestyle.
Maaike Huvermann (Starboard / Severne / Maui Ultra Fins) takes home second place here after beating Oda Johanne (Starboard / Severne / Maui Ultra Fins) in a sail off. The 20-year-old definitely improved her performance as the competition progressed and seemingly tends to perform better under pressure.
Oda Johanne completes the podium and maybe slightly aggrieved to miss out on 2nd place by way of a sail off after beating Huvermann more times during the two double eliminations, However, they can all be proud of how they sailed and there should be more close battles ahead when they meet again in Fuerteventura.
Meanwhile, Arrianne Aukes (Fanatic / NorthSails / Maui Ultra Fins) starts the season with a solid 4th place, but blew a bit hot and cold this time around.
Johanna Rümenapp (I-99 / Gun Sails / Maui Ultra Fins) walks away from her opening event on the world tour with an excellent 5th place after fighting back through the double elimination.
The PWA would like to extend their thanks to Feel Viana for their hospitality and to all the organisers and locals of Viana do Castelo for making this event possible. It’s certainly an event that will live long in the memory and we hope to return next year.
You can review all the action from Portugal — including the live stream, elimination ladders, entry list, images and live ticker simply click HERE and scroll to the bottom of the page.
Where’s Next on the PWA World Tour?
After a busy start to the season, there is now a few weeks break before the wave fleet will take centre stage for the first time this year for the Gran Canaria Wind & Waves Festival (15th-21st July).
Overall Ranking 2018 Women’s PWA Slalom World Tour
1st Delphine Cousin Questel (FRA - Starboard / S2Maui)
2nd Lena Erdil (TUR - Starboard / Point-7 / AL360 / Chopper Fins)
3rd Marion Mortefon (FRA - Fanatic / NorthSails)
4th Maëlle Guilbaud (FRA - Patrik / Loftsails)
5th Esther de Geus (Fanatic / NorthSails)
Ranking 2018 Viana PWA World Cup - Women’s Slalom
1st Delphine Cousin Questel (FRA - Starboard / S2Maui)
2nd Sarah-Quita Offringa (ARU - Starboard / NeilPryde / Maui Ultra Fins)
3rd Lena Erdil (TUR - Starboard / Point-7 / AL360 / Chopper Fins)
4th Marion Mortefon (FRA - Fanatic / NorthSails)
5th Maëlle Guilbaud (FRA - Patrik / Loftsails)
Ranking 2018 Viana PWA World Cup - Men’s Slalom
1st Matteo Iachino (ITA - Starboard / Severne / Shamal Sunglasses)
2nd Antoine Albeau (FRA - RRD / NeilPryde)
3rd Pierre Mortefon (FRA - Fanatic / NorthSails / Chopper Fins)
4th Julien Quentel (SXM - Patrik / Avanti)
5th Ben van der Steen (NED - I-99 / Gun Sails)
6th Cedric Bordes (FRA - Tabou / GA Sails)
7th Pascal Toselli (FRA - JP / Loftsails / Chopper Fins)
8th Antoine Questel (FRA - Starboard / S2Maui)
9th Jordy Vonk (NED - Fanatic / NorthSails)
10th Ross Williams (GBR - Tabou / GA Sails / Shamal Sunglasses)
Ranking 2018 Viana PWA World Cup - Women’s Freestyle
1st Sarah-Quita Offringa (ARU - Starboard / NeilPryde / Maui Ultra Fins)
2nd Maaike Huvermann (NED - Starboard / Severne / Maui Ultra Fins)
3rd Oda Johanne (NOR - Starboard / Severne / Maui Ultra Fins)
4th Arrianne Aukes (NED - Fanatic / NorthSails / Maui Ultra Fins)
5th Johanna Rümenapp (GER - I-99 / GunSails / Maui Ultra Fins)