Fuerteventura PWA Grand Slam
The beginning and end of Day 7 saw a bit of a funky weather pattern with plenty of cloud and even a bit of drizzle affecting the wind. However, during the middle of the day Fuerteventura was on song again with winds gusting up to 40 knots, but one man was even more on song… Antoine Albeau (RRD / NeilPryde), who ends the second day of racing with a perfect record after winning all 4 races so far.
Antoine Albeau’s record speaks for itself in Fuerteventura, but even so his start to this year’s event has been nothing short of remarkable with AA winning each of the 4 eliminations completed, so far, to blow the rest of the fleet out of the water. And on current form it’s almost impossible to see him not winning the event.
However, there are still 3 days to go in the Slalom and current world tour leader - Matteo Iachino (Starboard / Severne / Shamal Sunglasses) - is now Albeau’s closest rival after the Italian bounced back from a slightly disappointing day yesterday by securing two solid second places. Iachino’s consistency has been incredible so far this season, and although he trails Albeau by 5.9 points at the close of play, AA will know that he still can’t afford any slip-ups with Iachino waiting in the wings.
In the event that things were to finish as they were right now, then Iachino would still lead the overall rankings on count-back with both he and Albeau tied on 40,400 points with one event to go in Sylt.
Pierre Mortefon (Fanatic / Duotone / Chopper Fins) falls one place to 3rd after another excellent day which saw the 29-year-old record two 4th places - meaning he hasn’t finished outside the top 4 in the opening 4 races, while the Big Top 3 complete the current top 3, just as they have at 3 out of the 4 events completed this season.
Jordy Vonk (Fanatic / Duotone) is the man to slip out of the current top 3 as he lost valuable ground in the hunt for the podium, but still remains on course to smash his best performance in Fuerteventura. The flying Dutchman didn’t perform badly today with a 10th and then an 8th place finish, but a bit of bad luck cost him his chance in the second Winners’ Final.
After a quarterfinal exit in the first race - Ross Williams (Tabou / GA Sails / Shamal Sunglasses) - has improved his result in every race since - 11th in the second race yesterday - while qualifying for both Winners’ Finals today and taking home a 5th and a 3rd to fly up the rankings with the discard coming into play. The Brit was outside the overall top 10 this time yesterday but is now ranked 5th - tied on 19 points with Julien Quentel (Patrik / Avanti) - with both men just 1 point behind Vonk in 4th - but 10 points behind Mortefon.
Arnon Dagan (RRD / NeilPryde) will be a little bit disappointed with how the day panned out with the Israeli slipping one place to 8th. Dagan was second in the opening Winners’ Final of the day as they rounded the second buoy, but then couldn’t get away from the mark with the wind becoming lighter and eventually finished 8th. The 41-year-old discards his result from the 4th Elimination after jumping the gun in the quarterfinals.
Cyril Moussilmani (RRD / Severne) remains in 8th place after recovering from a quarterfinal exit in Elimination 3 with a 6th in the next.
The top 10 is completed by Antoine Questel (Starboard / S2Maui) and Finian Maynard (I-99) - with the latter breaking into the top 10 for the first time this event after being able to discard his opening result here.
Alexandre Cousin (Patrik / GA Sails / Chopper Fins) made it back-to-back Winners’ Finals in Elimination 3, but then suffered a quarterfinal exit to finish the day in 11th, while Mateus Isaac (JP / NeilPryde) earned a 3rd place in Elimination 3, but was then eliminated in Heat 7 alongside Sebastian Kördel (Starboard / GA Sails) and Bruno Martini (RRD / Point-7) after all of them jumped the gun.
Elsewhere, Taty Frans (Starboard / GA Sails / Shamal Sunglasses) earned his place in a first Winners’ Final since returning from injury in the last race of the day as the Bonairean continues his comeback. Frans’ 5th place finish sees him finish the day ranked 18th.
The forecast for tomorrow looks as though the wind will be lighter, but it will depend about the clouds again. The skippers’ meeting has been called for 10am with the action commencing from 11am (GMT+1).
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Current Rankings 2018 Fuerteventura PWA Grand Slam - Men’s Slalom
*After Four Eliminations
1st Antoine Albeau (FRA - RRD / NeilPryde)
2nd Matteo Iachino (ITA - Starboard / Severne / Shamal Sunglasses)
3rd Pierre Mortefon (FRA - Fanatic / Duotone / Chopper Fins)
4th Jordy Vonk (NED - Fanatic / Duotone)
5th Ross Williams (GBR - Tabou / GA Sails / Shamal Sunglasses)
6th Julien Quentel (SXM - Patrik / Avanti)
7th Arnon Dagan (ISR - RRD / NeilPryde)
8th Cyril Moussilmani (FRA - RRD / Severne)
9th Antoine Questel (FRA - Starboard / S2Maui)
10th Finian Maynard (KV - I-99)