Fly! ANA Yokosuka PWA World Cup
The 2019 Fly! ANA Yokosuka PWA World Cup saw 3 eliminations of Foiling for the Men and 7 eliminations for the women completed in 3-11 knots of wind, which meant that well-timed starts and solid race tactics were needed to succeed, while any mistakes were severely punished. Ultimately, Delphine Cousin Questel (Starboard / S2Maui / Starboard Foil) and Pierre Mortefon (Fanatic / Duotone / LOKEFOIL) maintain their perfect starts to the season after following up their respective victories in France by securing the top spots on the podium in Japan - meaning they both lead the Men’s & Women’s Foil & Slalom PWA World Tours.
Delphine Cousin Questel (Starboard / S2Maui / Starboard Foil) ends the week with a perfect score of 3.5 points to emphatically claim the first ever women’s foil event victory. The 3-time Slalom PWA World Champion recorded 5 victories from the 7 eliminations completed while finishing second in the other two races as she barely put a foot wrong over the course of the 6 days.
Delphine Cousin Questel after winning the first ever Women’s Foil PWA World Cup: “I’m super happy to win the first event. Before coming to Japan I wasn’t 100% sure about the level of all the other girls, so even though I’d already sailed with Marina [Alabau] and Blanca [Alabau] and knew that they had a good level it’s always hard to know where everyone is at after the winter.
Overall I’m very happy about my sailing this week and it’s been very exciting racing for me with a lot of close battles. I like this new discipline - foiling - and now I hope for good racing conditions in South Korea too.”
There was plenty of interest coming into the first ever women’s foil event - particularly with foil specialists - Marina Alabau (Starboard / Severne / Starboard Foil) and Blanca Alabau (Starboard / Severne / Starboard Foil) lining up against the rest of the PWA fleet. However, after a very even first day, which saw Marina Alabau tied on points with Cousin Questel, the 2012 Olympic Champion couldn’t land another telling blow and walks away with second place here.
Marion Mortefon (Fanatic / Duotone / LOKEFOIL) sailed extremely consistently throughout to deservedly earn the final place on the podium. Over the 7 eliminations completed Mortefon recorded results of:
Meanwhile, Blanca Alabau finishes 4th ahead of 17-year-old Helle Oppedal (Fanatic / Duotone).
Coming into the new season - Pierre Mortefon’s (Fanatic / Duotone / LOKEFOIL) - best result in foiling was 6th, however, after a winter of hard work and development the Frenchman records his first victory in this relatively new discipline - meaning that there have now been 5 different winners from the last 5 foil events. Mortefon’s start to the season couldn’t have been any better and he walks away from Japan leading both the Slalom and Foil PWA World Tours heading into South Korea has won the opening Slalom event of the year in Marignane last month.
Pierre Mortefon, who has now won the last 3 racing events on the PWA World Tour - Slalom Sylt 2018, Slalom Marignane, Foiling Japan: “It’s pretty insane to have won the last 3 events - it’s pretty amazing. I wasn’t expecting this - especially in the Foil, but I worked a lot this winter with all my partners on the board, sail and foil and I think we have managed to develop a super good combo that is working well together.
For the whole week, I’ve just been trying to sail without making things too complicated by not taking too much risk on the start and the reaches etc. Overall I think that paid off and I’m really happy about this. Now leading in Slalom and Foil is going to make things tricky in the next events, but I’m super happy about this!”
Like Mortefon, Sebastian Kördel (Starboard / GA Sails / Starboard Foil), has also made a flying start to the season as the German follows up a podium in Marignane with a podium here in Japan with a second place as the current vice-world champion looks to go one better this time around.
Alexandre Cousin (Patrik / Phantom Sails / Phantom Foils) finished last year ranked 4th overall and the Frenchman makes an excellent start to the season here with a 3rd place, which means he has now earned back-to-back podiums in the Foil having finished 3rd last year in Sylt also.
Cousin is one of the sailors who could’ve majorly benefitted from the completion of the 4th elimination, but unfortunately the wind on the final day didn’t quite play ball. The sailor that will be most disappointed about not gaining the discard though is Thomas Goyard (FMX Racing / Phantom Sails / Phantom Foils), who won elimination 2 and 3, but was counting a 32nd from the first race after a premature start. The Frenchman looked in the kind of form needed to also win Elimination 4 having won the semifinal, even after falling at one of the gybes, but pays the ultimate price for that mistake in the opening race and has to settle for 10th place.
Fellow RSX man Kiran Badloe (Starboard / Severne / Starboard Foil) will also be left to rue his false start in Elimination 3, which saw him lose the event lead and drop to 12th place.
Denmark’s Sebastian Kornum starts the season with his best result since September 2017 - 4th - while the top ten is completed by Nicolas Goyard (Tabou / GA Sails / Phantom Foils), who won one elimination - 5th - Amado Vrieswijk (JP / Severne) - 6th - Matteo Iachino (Starboard / Severne / Shamal Sunglasses / Starboard Foil) - 7th - Mateus Isaac (JP / NeilPryde) - 8th - and Nicolas Prien (JP / NeilPryde) in 9th.
Four of last year’s overall top 10 miss out on a place in the top 10 at the event of the season - most notably reigning world champion - Gonzalo Costa Hoevel (Starboard / Severne / Starboard Foil), who finishes in a lowly 17th, while last year’s world No.3 - Antoine Albeau (JP / NeilPryde) - also misses out as do Julian Bontemps (JP / NeilPryde) and Antoine Questel (I-99 / S2Maui / Starboard Foil).
Unfortunately, this time around it was not possible to gain a result in either the Men’s or Women’s Slalom.
The PWA would like to extend their thanks to the organisers, local staff, volunteers and all the locals for all of their hard work and amazing hospitality - we look forward to returning in 2020.
For a recap of all the developments from Japan — 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?
In just a few days time we’ll be coming to you live from South Korea for the 2019 Ulsan PWA World Cup which runs between 18th-23rd May and will see the next installment of the Men’s and Women’s Slalom as well as the second stage of the Women’s Foil.
Result 2019 Fly! ANA Yokosuka PWA World Cup - Women’s Foil
1st Delphine Cousin Questel (FRA - Starboard / S2Maui / Starboard Foil)
2nd Marina Alabau (ESP - Starboard / Severne / Starboard Foil)
3rd Marion Mortefon (FRA - Fanatic / Duotone / LOKEFOIL)
4th Blanca Alabau (ESP - Starboard / Severne / Starboard Foil)
5th Helle Oppedal (NOR - Fanatic / Duotone)
Result 2019 Fly! ANA Yokosuka PWA World Cup - Men’s Foil
1st Pierre Mortefon (FRA - Fanatic / Duotone / LOKEFOIL)
2nd Sebastian Kördel (GER - Starboard / GA Sails / Starboard Foil)
3rd Alexandre Cousin (FRA - Patrik / Phantom Sails / Phantom Foils)
4th Sebastian Kornum (DEN - JP / NeilPryde)
5th Nicolas Goyard (FRA - Tabou / GA Sails / Phantom Foils)
6th Amado Vrieswijk (NB - JP / Severne)
7th Matteo Iachino (ITA - Starboard / Severne / Shamal Sunglasses / Starboard Foil)
8th Mateus Isaac (BRA - JP / NeilPryde)
9th Nicolas Prien (GER - JP / NeilPryde)
10th Thomas Goyard (FRA - FMX Racing / Phantom Sails / Phantom Foils)