Ulsan PWA World Cup
The forecast for the final day of the 2019 Ulsan PWA World Cup looked the lightest day of the week on paper, but it actually produced the best racing conditions of the week with the thermal wind filling in early and being more stable than on Tuesday and Wednesday and left many of the girls reaching for their 6.3s and the Men 7.7s. In total, a further 3 Women’s and 2 Men’s Slalom were completed, while one Foil Elimination was also completed on an action packed final day as Jinha showed its true potential.
Delphine Cousin Questel (Starboard / S2Maui / Starboard Foil) led from start to the finish in the final Foil elimination of the week to claim a clear cut victory in the second women’s foil event. At the start of the day she had just a one point advantage over Marion Mortefon ( Fanatic / Duotone / LOKEFOIL) and two point lead of Marina Alabau (Starboard / Severne / Starboard Foil), but by winning the 4th elimination that allowed Cousin Questel to discard a 3rd place. Eventually, Cousin Questel won by 4.6 points with 3 victories from 5 races.
Meanwhile, after a disastrous start, Marina Alabau did well to recover into second place and with a little bit more luck the 2012 Olympic Champion could’ve easily been the one to end the week on top of the podium and there is an exciting rivalry developing between herself, Cousin Questel, Mortefon and Blanca Alabau (Starboard / Severne / Starboard Foil) with the 4 continually battling it out between each other.
Mortefon just misses out on second place on count-back having finished tied on 8.7 points, but still completes the podium ahead of Blanca Alabau in 4th. Meanwhile, Helle Oppedal (Fanatic / Duotone) completes the top 5.
The final day of the women’s slalom saw 3 eliminations completed and the event lead changed hands on several occasions. Lena Erdil (Starboard / Point-7 / AL360 / Chopper Fins) began the day with as the event leader, but the last day won’t have gone as the 30-year-old planned as she not only lost the event lead, but also her place on the podium. After a 4th place in the second elimination, Erdil then finished 8th and 10th in the next two races as she dropped a couple of late gybes to crash out of contention and eventually finished 5th.
Marion Mortefon (Fanatic / Duotone) briefly held the event lead after winning her first elimination of the season in the second race after producing a brilliant gybe to overtake Delphine Cousin Questel (Starboard / S2Maui), but her event lead was short-lived as the reigning world champion produced her best performances of the week when it mattered most as the 27-year-old claimed back-to-back bullets to extend her winning streak on the world tour.
Maëlle Guilbaud (Patrik / Loftsails) went slightly under the radar after finishing 9th in the second elimination, but the 22-year-old fought back brilliantly to claim the final place on the podium after recording a 4th and 3rd in the last two races, while denying Lilou Granier (Starboard / Phantom Sails) a place in the top 3.
Jordy Vonk (Fanatic / Duotone) started the day at the top of the event rankings after winning his first ever elimination yesterday. However, Vonk saw his bid for a first event victory dwindle away after being eliminated from the second round in the semifinals. However, a 6th in the third and final race steadied the ship and he still walks away from South Korea with his second ever podium - 2nd.
With Vonk missing out in the winners’ final of Elimination 3 that opened the door for vice-world champion - Matteo Iachino (Starboard / Severne / Shamal Sunglasses) - and the Italian duly obliged as he finished 5th and 4th in the two eliminations completed today to claim his first event victory of the year. The Italian was the only sailors to qualify for every winners’ final and that consistency paid dividends.
Tristan Algret has been close to securing a place on the podium before, but has never quite made it a reality, but today that all changed as he pipped Antoine Albeau (JP / NeilPryde) - who won the third elimination - to the final place on the podium by just 0.2 of a point after Algret finished 7th in Elimination 3.
With the results varying so greatly here in South Korea there were plenty of changes in the overall standings on the final day. 7 of the sailors ranked in the event top 10 at the start of the day remained in the top 10, but with the second elimination being completed several sailors saw their ranking slip away. Taty Frans (Future Fly / Point-7) is the sailor that lost the most as he dropped from second in the overnight rankings to 29th after his disqualification from the second round. Alexandre Cousin (Patrik / Phantom Sails) and Ben van der Steen (Goya Windsurfing / Gun Sails) were the other sailors to lose their place in the top 10.
One man’s misfortune Is another man’s gain and in this case, those men are Mateus Isaac (JP / NeilPryde), who climbs into 5th place, Antoine Albeau, who as previously mentioned finished 4th and Enrico Marotti (JP / NeilPryde), who claims the final place in the top 10.
Elsewhere, Antoine Questel (Starboard / S2Maui) climbs 4 places into 6th after the Frenchman claimed a brilliant second place in the third elimination, while Ross Williams (Tabou / GA Sails / Shamal Sunglasses) dropped out of podium contention after a quarterfinal exit in the third race, which saw the Brit drop from 4th to 7th for the event. Meanwhile, Cedric Bordes (Tabou / GA Sails) falls two places to 8th, while Ethan Westera (Tabou / GA Sails) records his first top 10 finish on the world tour in 9th.
Bruno Martini (I-99 / Challenger Sails) followed in the footsteps of Jordy Vonk as the Italian earned his first ever bullet on the world tour in Elimination 2 with a highly impressive performance, but was then quickly brought back down to earth after being eliminated in the quarterfinals of the next race.
Things may not have gone the way either Pierre Mortefon (Fanatic / Duotone / Chopper Fins) or Maciek Rutkowski (FMX Racing / Challenger Sails) would have wanted in South Korea, but both will be pleased to have signed off in a positive manner in the final elimination. Mortefon suffered two quarterfinals exits but then finished 3rd in Elimination 3, while Rutkowski went on to win the b-final - 9th.
We'll be back on Friday with a full look at what the results mean for the overall PWA World Tour rankings.
You can stay up to date with all the latest developments from South Korea — including the live stream, elimination ladders, entry list, images and live ticker simply click HERE and scroll to the bottom of the page.
Overall Result 2019 Ulsan 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)
Overall Result 2019 Ulsan PWA World Cup - Women's Slalom
1st Delphine Cousin Questel ( FRA - Starboard / S2Maui)
2nd Marion Mortefon (FRA - Fanatic / Duotone)
3rd Maëlle Guilbaud (FRA - Patrik / Loftsails)
4th Lilou Granier (NC - Starboard / Phantom Sails)
5th Lena Erdil (TUR - Starboard / Point-7 / AL360 / Chopper Fins)
Overall Result 2019 Ulsan PWA World Cup - Men's Slalom
1st Matteo Iachino (ITA - Starboard / Severne / Shamal Sunglasses)
2nd Jordy Vonk (NED - Fanatic / Duotone)
3rd Tristan Algret (GPE - Starboard / Severne / Chopper Fins)
4th Antoine Albeau (FRA - JP / NeilPryde)
5th Mateus Isaac (BRA - JP / NeilPryde)
6th Antoine Questel (FRA - I-99 / S2Maui)
7th Ross Williams (GBR - Tabou / GA Sails / Shamal Sunglasses)
8th Cedric Bordes (FRA - Tabou / GA Sails)
9th Ethan Westera (ARU - Tabou / GA Sails)
10th Enrico Marotti (CRO - JP / NeilPryde)