Mercedes-Benz Sylt PWA Super Grand Slam
The action packed start to the 2018 Mercedes-Benz Sylt PWA Super Grand Slam continued on Day 2 with a full day of racing, which saw two races a piece completed in both the Foil and Slalom in challenging conditions with a mixture of chop and swell testing the world’s best racers. During the slalom most sailors were on 7.8-8.6m and their medium boards to cope with the tricky water conditions.
Current world tour leader - Gonzalo Costa Hoevel (Starboard / Severne / Chopper Fins) - finds himself in 14th place after the first day, but fortunately for the Argentine fellow world title hopeful Amado Vrieswijk (JP / Severne) was also off the pace in the first race - 13th - and thus Costa Hoevel remains at the top of the overall rankings. With less than 4 races completed Vrieswijk is the only other sailor who could deny Costa Hoevel, but in order to do so the Bonairean would have to win the event, which is now almost mathematically impossible after Matteo Iachino (Starboard / Severne / Shamal Sunglasses) won both of the foil eliminations completed today - which was the first time the Italian has won a foil race and he sits pretty at the top of the overnight rankings.
However, while Costa Hoevel, may well be safe in the event that only one more race were to be completed, his situation becomes much more precarious in the event that at least 4 races are finished - particularly with Antoine Albeau (RRD / NeilPryde) currently in a solid second position. If Albeau was to finish 2nd after 4 or more races the Frenchman would receive 10,200 points, which would mean Costa Hoevel would need to climb to at least 4th place to become the first man to win the Foil World title. Meanwhile, Vrieswijk would remain firmly in the hunt. The 22-year-old is ranked 6th after the opening races and if Albeau were to remain second and Costa Hoevel outside the top 4 then a top 3 finish would be good enough to see him claim the first official Foil World title, so there is still all to play for.
Before the start of the Slalom, Matteo Iachino’s day couldn’t have been going much better after recording his first bullets on the Foil World Tour in impressive fashion. However, Iachino’s priority is undoubtedly aimed at earning his second Slalom World title, but the 28-year-old has lost the initiative in that pursuit, for now at least, after a semifinal exit in Elimination 1 - when he was pipped to the last place in the Winners’ Final by Basile Jacquin (RRD / Point-7) when rounding the final mark.
Victory in the next race for Iachino was imperative to give himself any kind of chance to rekindle his title hopes and that’s exactly what the Italian managed to do and he clearly knew the importance of that victory as he celebrated crossing the line. Overall, Iachino was certainly the standout sailor of the day with 3 victories across two disciplines in the 4 races completed, but he now has to pray for more slalom conditions.
As things stand Antoine Albeau (RRD / NeilPryde) has seized control of the title race after an assured display, which saw the 24-time world champion secure two solid 3rd places, which leaves him in a clearcut 2nd place in the current event rankings. Albeau currently holds a commanding 5.7 point advantage over Iachino and in order to be denied Iachino must find a way to overtake him. *Assuming Albeau doesn’t drop out of the top 8.
Pierre Mortefon (Fanatic / Duotone / Chopper Fins) heads the current event rankings at the end of the first day of Slalom after doing everything in his power to force his way deeper into the title race, but unfortunately for him he would need Albeau to drop to at least 8th and Iachino at least 9th with under 4 races completed. The Frenchman can still be happy knowing that he can’t have done anything more today and walks away with a 1st and a 4th for his efforts. Mortefon’s title hopes are out of his own hands and while his chances are slim he is not totally out of the picture yet.
Less than 2 points separate 3rd-6th place at the moment, so the battle for the final podium of the season is also excitingly poised. France’s Antoine Questel (Starboard / S2Maui) currently leads that race in 3rd place, but he has fellow countryman Cyril Moussilmani (RRD / Severne), Britain’s Ross Williams (Tabou / GA Sails / Shamal Sunglasses) and Matteo Iachino all within striking distance, while Julien Quentel (Patrik / Avanti) is then only 3 points further back in 7th.
Basile Jacquin may have potentially put a spanner in the works of Iachino’s title dreams, but the 20-year-old raced brilliantly today in the tricky conditions to qualify for both Winners’ Finals and the young Frenchman is currently ranked 8th as he searches for his first top 10 finish at an event. Meanwhile, Fellow Frenchman Nicolas Warembourg also enjoyed a fine day and Is just a place further back in 9th meaning that 7 out of the current top 10 are French as they continue to dominate the Slalom scene.
Andrea Ferin (RRD / Challenger Sails / AL360) described today as one of the best days of racing that he’s ever had and his performance today earns him the final place in the current top 10. The Italian did brilliantly on a couple of occasions to fight his way back into the qualifying places and walks away from today with two top 12 results as he too chases a first top 10 finish.
Elsewhere, Pascal Toselli (JP / Loftsails / Chopper Fins), Jordy Vonk (Fanatic / Duotone) and Julien Quentel are all fighting for a place in the end of year top 4 and after today’s results - Toselli (15th), Vonk (11th) and Quentel (7th), the latter would be on course to leapfrog both Toselli and Vonk into 4th place. As things stand Vonk and Quentel would be tied on 48,200 points, but Quentel would take 4th on the tiebreak.
The forecast for tomorrow offers the potential of more wind and waves, so with this in mind the Wave fleet will meet again at 8am tomorrow morning with the action commencing from 8:30am (GMT+2) onwards. Skippers’ meeting times for Freestyle and Slalom below: (All Times GMT+2)
-Slalom & Foil - 9:30am - first possible 10:30am
-Freestyle - 12pm - first possible 12:30pm
To stay up to date with all the latest developments from Germany — including the live stream, elimination ladders, entry list, images and live ticker simply click HERE and scroll to the bottom of the page.
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Current Ranking 2018 Mercedes-Benz Sylt PWA Super Grand Slam - Men’s Slalom
*After Two Eliminations
1st Pierre Mortefon (FRA - Fanatic / Duotone / Chopper Fins)
2nd Antoine Albeau (FRA - RRD / NeilPryde)
3rd Antoine Questel (FRA - Starboard / S2Maui)
4th Ross Williams (GBR - Tabou / GA Sails / Shamal Sunglasses)
4th Cyril Moussilmani (FRA - RRD / Severne)
6th Matteo Iachino (ITA - Starboard / Severne / Shamal Sunglasses)
7th Julien Quentel (SXM - Patrik / Avanti)
8th Basile Jacquin (FRA - RRD / Point-7)
9th Nicolas Warembourg (FRA - JP / NeilPryde)
10th Andrea Ferin (ITA - RRD / Challenger Sails / AL360)
Current Ranking 2018 Mercedes-Benz Sylt PWA Super Grand Slam - Men’s Foil
*After Two Eliminations
1st Matteo Iachino (ITA - Starboard / Severne / Shamal Sunglasses)
2nd Antoine Albeau (FRA - RRD / NeilPryde)
3rd Nicolas Goyard (FRA - Tabou / GA Sails)
4th Alexandre Cousin (FRA - Patrik / GA Sails / Chopper Fins)
5th Julien Bontemps (FRA - JP / NeilPryde)
6th Amado Vrieswijk (NB - JP / Severne)
7th Antoine Questel (FRA- Starboard / S2Maui)
8th Mateus Isaac (BRA - JP / NeilPryde)
9th Arnon Dagan (ISR - RRD / NeilPryde)
10th Steve Allen (AUS - Patrik / Severne)