Marignane PWA World Cup
The final day of the 2019 Marignane PWA World Cup provided another stern test of the crew and sailors patience, but eventually, their perseverance was rewarded as results were crucially gained in both the men’s and women’s fleets after a long day on the water. In fact with the wind being so inconsistent, it took 6 painstaking hours to complete just 8 heats. The end result will prove hugely popular with the home crowd thought with local heroes Delphine Cousin Questel (Starboard / S2Maui) and Pierre Mortefon (Fanatic / Duotone / Chopper Fins) taking the top spot on the podium in the first event of the year - giving them the early season title race lead heading into Asia.
Reigning world champion - Delphine Cousin Questel - led from start to finish in the winners’ final as she made the perfect start to the season. The 3-time world champion didn’t put a foot wrong during the event and deservedly walks away as the champion, which means she extends her winning run to 5 consecutive events and she could prove a hard woman to stop based on that performance.
Delphine Cousin Questel: “It was super difficult conditions with the wind being so gusty. I was either overpowered or underpowered. It was hard to be on the right gear. Just before the final, I switched equipment to 7.7m from 7.9 and I made a good start by the pin. I led into the first mark and then I just aimed to control it from the front. I’m super happy to win the first event of the season, it’s been a long and stressful week. It’s always hard to compete at an event with just one race, but it is what it is, I think we were extremely unlucky as every time I’ve been here it’s been super windy. I’m happy for the organizer that we managed to get results in the end and thanks to Delphine for making the event happen.”
Marion Mortefon (Fanatic / Duotone) chased home Cousin Questel, but couldn’t land a telling blow, however, the 27-year-old will still be delighted to have equalled her best result since Turkey 2015 - 2nd - and is prominently placed going forwards.
Oda Johanne Brødholt (Starboard / Severne / Maui Ultra Fins) has been tipped as a slightly dark horse for the last couple of seasons and those fruitions came to life today as the Norwegian, who finished 3rd in the Freestyle in Bonaire, claims her first Slalom podium here in Marignane after producing a fantastic performance to hold off both Maëlle Guilbaud (Patrik / Loftsails) and Lena Erdil (Starboard / Point-7 / AL360 / Chopper Fins), who finish 4th and 5th respectively. We’ll take a look at the full results on Wednesday in the event summary.
Stick or Twist
Before the final, the sailors were presented with a gamble to either stick with what they had or gamble on the wind picking up as per the forecast. For those sailors who stuck - Antoine Albeau (JP / NeilPryde), Finian Maynard (FMX Racing) and Julien Quentel (Patrik / Gun Sails) - sticking on their big gear didn’t pay off as they became overpowered during the final with the wind picking up greatly. However, for Pierre Mortefon and Sebastian Kördel (Starboard / GA Sails), their gamble was rewarded with victory and a 3rd place with their greater control proving pivotal in the fight for the finish line.
Mortefon and Albeau (JP / NeilPryde) enjoyed a great fight in the winners’ final, which could finally be completed at the third time of asking. On the first attempt, Malte Reuscher (Tabou / GA Sails) was disqualified for a premature start, while Bruno Martini (I-99 / Challenger Sails) suffered the same fate on the next attempt with the sailors pushing the start knowing that this was the final to decide the overall event rankings.
It was Albeau who led around the first mark - a position from which he is rarely caught. However, with the wind picking up just before the start of the final AA was overpowered on his 8.6m, which presented Mortefon, who changed down just before the start of the final to 7.7m and medium board, with an opportunity to pounce and the two-time vice-world champion did just that as he produced a brilliant second gybe to move into the lead, which is one he wouldn’t relinquish as the 29-year-old powered away over the remainder of the course to make the perfect start to the season.
Pierre Mortefon: "I'm so, so happy. It's been a long week and a long day so it has not been easy to deal with the conditions. The PWA crew have done an amazing job - they made the right decisions at the right times. They pushed and we managed to get the result. It's a perfect start to the season with a victory in France - it can't get much better!”
Albeau played it relatively safe over the rest of the course to make sure he didn’t jeopardise his second place, which is a solid start to the season, particularly after changing board sponsor late in the close season. However, now he knows he is competitive again he will be once again be pumped up for another title challenge as he bids for World title No.25.
The podium here in Marignane is completed by Sebastian Kördel (Starboard / GA Sails) with the German sailing brilliantly in the tricky conditions to earn his best Slalom result since September 2016. Kördel endured a tough season last year and will be delighted to have made such a positive start to the year.
Last year’s World No.4 - Jordy Vonk (Fanatic / Duotone) - starts the season with a solid 4th place here in France, while Finian Maynard (FMX Racing) claims 5th ahead of Julien Quentel (Patrik / Gun Sails) - 6th - Bruno Martini - 7th - and Malte Reuscher - 8th. As with the women’s we’ll take a full look at the results in the event summary on Tuesday.
After a long hard day on the water the winners were then presented in front of the crowd at 6pm during the closing ceremony!
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Result 2019 Marignane PWA World Cup - Women's Slalom
1st Delphine Cousin Questel (FRA - Starboard / S2Maui)
2nd Marion Mortefon (FRA - Fanatic / Duotone)
3rd Oda Brødholt (NOR - Starboard / Severne / Maui Ultra Fins)
4th Maëlle Guilbaud (FRA - Patrik / Loftsails)
5th Lena Erdil (TUR - Starboard / Point-7 / AL360 / Chopper Fins)
6th Esther de Geus (NED - Fanatic / Duotone)
7th Lilou Granier (FRA - Starboard / Phantom Sails)
8th Nimet Tulumen (TUR - Tabou / GA Sails)
Result 2019 Marignane PWA World Cup - Men's Slalom
1st Pierre Mortefon (FRA - Fanatic / Duotone / Chopper Fins)
2nd Antoine Albeau (FRA - JP / NeilPryde)
3rd Sebastian Koerdel (GER - Starboard / GA Sails)
4th Jordy Vonk (NED - Fanatic / Duotone)
5th Finian Maynard (KV - FMX Racing)
6th Quentel Julien (SXM - Patrik / Gun Sails)
7th Bruno Martini (ITA - I-99 / Challenger Sails)
8th Malte Reuscher (GER - Tabou / GA Sails)
9th Mateus Isaac (BRA - JP / NeilPryde)
10th Marco Lang (AUT - Fanatic / Duotone)