Mercedes-Benz Sylt PWA Super Grand Slam
Competing wasn’t always easy on Day 4 of the 2018 Mercedes-Benz Sylt PWA Super Grand Slam as frequent rain squalls played havoc with the wind during the morning and early afternoon, despite this the opening 3 rounds of the Men’s Freestyle Single Elimination were still completed and 3 out of the current top 4 Freestylers are safely into the top 8.
Meanwhile, during the afternoon the wind eventually settled down, while Sylt’s infamous dredging shore break came to life to provide a gnarly conclusion to the day.
At the close of play only the top 4 men remain standing in the Men’s Wave Single Elimination and as things stand Ricardo Campello (Brunotti Boards / Point-7) leads the race for the 2018 Men’s PWA Wave World Championship after current world tour leader - Victor Fernandez (Fanatic / Duotone / Shamal Sunglasses) - was eliminated in the quarterfinals.
Men's - Single Elimination
Thomas Traversa (Tabou / GA Sails) and Victor Fernandez qualified through the round of 16 with the two highest scores of the day to set up a mouthwatering tie against each other in the quarterfinals. Traversa set the highest points tally of the contest so far against Marc Paré (Simmer / Simmer Sails) in Heat 12a - 21.84 points - as TT, who looked one of the most dangerous sailors on the opening day, continued to excel in the challenging conditions. Meanwhile, Fernandez posted a score of 17.17 points against Camille Juban (Quatro / Simmer Sails) to also progress.
In the top half of the draw both Jaeger Stone (Starboard / Severne / SWOX / Shamal Sunglasses) and Ricardo Campello successfully advanced into the semifinals to keep their title hopes alive, but with fate out of their own hands they would need a favour from Traversa and that’s exactly how things unravelled with TT defeating Fernandez in Heat 14b by 14.63 points to 11.99 points as the 32-year-old continued to take maximum risk by tagging heavy, and sometimes seemingly unmakeable sections, and those risks were deservedly rewarded with victory.
With Fernandez eliminated in joint 5th place in the Single Elimination, as previously stated, that opened up the title race for Stone and Campello and they would battle it out in a massive semifinal with the winner guaranteed to be leading the title race at this stage.
In the quarterfinals, Campello rode his luck slightly - needing a last minute wave to advance past Josep Pons (Simmer / Simmer Sails), but against Stone, the Venezuelan/Brazilian markedly raised his game as he hunts for a maiden wave world crown. In the air, the pair couldn’t be separated, but Campello proved more dangerous on the wave this time around and progresses into the final and with it takes the No.1 spot in the overall rankings.
Meanwhile, Traversa, who is already guaranteed his best result since Gran Canaria last year, took on good friend Alex Mussolini (RRD / RRD Sails), who won the event here in 2016, in the second semifinal. Much like Campello versus Stone, there wasn’t much between them in the air, but Traversa was able to post a wave that almost went into the excellent range - 7.38 points - and that proved decisive with TT advancing into the final. Mussolini will now face Stone in the battle for 3rd and 4th.
Traversa may feel slightly unlucky as an attempt to run the Winners’ Final was made, but the final had to be cancelled due to it being almost pitch black halfway through the final. But even by then the 2014 Wave World Champion had already accrued a points haul of 17.88 points. However, TT should still be delighted with his performance thus far and was deservedly awarded the Mercedes-Benz Sailor of the Day after not just making the final, but also posting the highest single wave score - 9.27 points - for a brilliant frontside 360.
While Ricardo Campello may lead the race for the world title, Victor Fernandez still has fate in his own hands, but things are now a little bit harder than they were as the Spaniard requires a top 2 finish to be guaranteed the title - assuming that he finishes ahead of Philip Köster (Starboard / Severne / Maui Ultra Fins), who has a mountain to climb after being eliminated in the opening round.
Elsewhere, Antony Ruenes (Tabou / GA Sails), who came through the Qualification Round moved into the top 5 after defeating Gollito Estredo (Fanatic / Duotone) in Heat 9b after landing what is becoming his signature move - an air spock - while posting a 6.45 point final wave score which included a taka to progress. Josep Pons, Adam Lewis (Fanatic / Duotone / SWOX) and Alex Mussolini (RRD / RRD Sails) are the other sailors currently tied in joint 5th.
An attempt was made to run the Women’s Wave semifinal featuring - Lina Erpenstein (Severne / Severne Sails), Sarah-Quita Offringa (Starboard / NeilPryde / Maui Ultra Fins), Steffi Wahl (Salloft Hamburg) and newly crowned world champion Iballa Moreno (Starboard / Severne / Maui Ultra Fins), but it had to be abandoned with the wind once again dropping.
Gollito Estredo, who is aiming to win a 9th PWA Freestyle World Title laid down the gauntlet to his rivals today as he recorded the two highest heat scores of the day. Against Taty Frans (Starboard / GA Sails) the Venezuelan posted a score of 121.6 points before bettering that score against Giovanni Passani (Tabou / GA Sails / AL360) by accumulating 127.2 points as he exuded his usual flair and style. Gollito will now face Balz Müller (MB-Board / Severne) in the quarterfinals after the Swiss defeated Francesco Cappuzzo (RRD / RRD Sails / AL360) in Heat 20a.
Gollito looks to be in ominous form, but both Adrien Bosson (Fanatic / Duotone / Maui Ultra Fins) and Amado Vrieswijk (JP / Severne), who are ranked 2nd and 4th coming into Sylt remain the 29-year-olds most obvious threats with both men safely navigating their way into the top 8.
However, with current world No.3 - Yentel Caers (JP / Point-7) - suffering the narrowest of defeats - 0.02 of a point - at the hands of Britain’s Jamie Howard (JP / Severne) it would seem that the Belgian is now more than likely out of the running for this year’s title, meaning Gollito has two main threats… Bosson and Vrieswijk. However, with Bosson and Vrieswijk set to go head-to-head in the next round - the quarterfinals - things are potentially playing perfectly into Gollito’s hands.
Bosson remains Gollito’s biggest threat after finishing 2nd in Fuerteventura, but if Vrieswijk was to win their quarterfinal duel, which he could well do after posting the 3rd highest heat score of the day - 120.8 points - then even if the Bonairean was to win the event then a 3rd place finish or better would guarantee Gollito a 9th world title. Given that Gollito hasn’t finished outside the top 3 of a Freestyle event since Fuerteventura in 2015 - when he was forced to withdraw from the double elimination due to illness - that looks very unlikely, but you never know.
Elsewhere, Loick Spicher (RRD / RRD Sails), Steven Van Broeckhoven (JP / Gun Sails), Sam Esteve (JP / NeilPryde) and Dieter van der Eyken (Severne / Severne Sails) are all also safely into the quarterfinals.
Tuesday looks set to be windier than today, but the morning could prove troublesome again with heavy rainfall expected, however, that is expected to dissipate as the day progresses and with winds up to almost 40 knots, tomorrow could see a day of spectacular action. Skippers’ Meeting Times(All Times (GMT+2) for Day 5 can be found below:
- Wave & Freestyle Skippers' Meeting 8am - first possible start 8:30am
- Slalom Skippers' Meeting - 10am - first possible start 11am
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)