Catalunya PWA World Cup
After the Asian leg of the tour, the world’s best male Foil sailors have raced back across the globe to Costa Brava, Spain, ready to compete at the 2019 Catalunya PWA World Cup, which incidentally, is also first Foil only event on the PWA World Tour and runs between 28th May to 2nd June.
The picturesque town of Sant Pere Pescador is located 150km to the north-east of Barcelona and is blessed with twelve kilometres of stunning white sand beaches and the beautiful blue waters of the Mediterranean Sea. The Gulf-de-Roses have become a world renowned destination due to its clockwork-like sea breezes, which frequently grace Costa Brava with their presence during the summer months. However, whilst offering an astonishing backdrop, the Pyrenees Mountain’s can also transform Costa Brava into a white-knuckled assault course - when the ferocious Tramontana wind whistles down the mountain range in excess of thirty knots - however with this year’s Catalunya PWA World Cup being purely Foiling we will have to cross our fingers that the Tramontana doesn’t arrive.
The wonderful world of foiling, which is still a relatively new discipline continues to be as unpredictable as ever - results-wise at least - with no one particular sailor dominating at the moment. In fact if you look back over the last 5 events there has been 5 different winners’ - reigning world champion Gonzalo Costa Hoevel (Starboard / Severne / Starboard Foil), Mateus Isaac (JP / NeilPryde), Amado Vrieswijk (JP / Severne / Starboard Foil), Matteo Iachino (Starboard / Severne / Shamal Sunglasses / Starboard Foil) and the latest sailor to add their name to the winners’ list - Pierre Mortefon (Fanatic / Duotone / LOKEFOIL) - with the Frenchman winning his first event in Japan earlier this month. Will this weeks winner come from the aforementioned group? Or will there be another new name stood at the top of the podium come the end of the week?
Amado Vrieswijk is the defending event champion having claimed a superb victory here in 2018 and the Bonairean made a solid start in Japan with a 6th place. Vrieswijk reportedly hadn’t been focusing much on racing over the winter, but that doesn’t seem to have affected him so far, and with undoubtedly continue to improve with more races under his belt. Expect to see Vrieswijk give his title defence a good run.
However, there will be plenty of sailors ready to take their shot at the top spot on the podium. Firstly vice-world champion - Sebastian Kördel (Starboard / GA Sails / Starboard Foil) - who finished tied on points with Mortefon in Japan, then there is Alexandre Cousin (Patrik / Phantom Sails / Phantom Foils), who finished 3rd overall in 2018 and has now recorded back-to-back foil podiums - Sylt 2018 & Japan ’19- while world champion Costa Hoevel will be hoping to bounce back from a disappointing 25th place in the opener to get his season up and running.
Elsewhere, Sebastian Kornum (JP / NeilPryde) should be a threat again after finishing 4th in Japan - the Dane’s best result since 2017.
The Goyard Brother’s
Both Thomas Goyard (FMX Racing / Phantom Sails / Phantom Foils) and Nicolas Goyard (Tabou / GA Sails / Phantom Foils) should also be in the mix. Between them, they won all 3 eliminations completed in Japan - 2 for Thomas and 1 for Nicolas - but both made one major error each, which cost them a shot at the event title. If they can rule out such big errors then they should be in contention again.
Olympics / RSX
Double Olympic Champion - Dorian vs Rijsselberghe (Future Fly / Gun Sails) will also be gracing the field with his presence and with his expertise should be an obvious threat, while fellow former Olympian and last year’s world No.6 Julien Bontemps (JP / NeilPryde) is also likely to be in contention, as is Tokyo 2020 Olympic hopeful Kiran Badloe (Starboard / Severne / Starboard Foil), who led the fleet after the opening day in Japan, but like the Goyard Brother’s made one costly error which saw him just miss out on the top 10.
Meanwhile, Antoine Albeau (JP / NeilPryde), who finished 3rd overall for 2018 will be hoping for slightly stronger winds than in Japan as the heavyweight struggled in the extremely light airs. If conditions are on the windier end of the Foiling spectrum expect to see Albeau feature heavily.
Elsewhere, don’t be surprised to see a strong performance from Antoine Questel (I-99 / S2Maui), who won the exhibition Foil series in 2017, while finishing 10th overall last year. The likes of Arnon Dagan (Future Fly / NeilPryde), Maciek Rutkowski (FMX Racing / Challenger Sails), Steven Van Broeckhoven (Starboard / Gun Sails / Shamal Sunglasses / Starboard Foil), Steve Allen (Patrik / Severne), could all feature in the top 10, while Jordy Vonk (Fanatic / Duotone / LOKEFOIL) and Tristan Algret (Starboard / Severne / Starboard Foil) will be hoping to transfer their recent success on the Slalom course in South Korea on to the Foil course in Costa Brava.
The forecast for the opening day currently looks as though the Tramontana could kick in with north to north-northeast winds of 12-18 knots currently on the forecast, while Wednesday morning the wind is expected to remain from the North. However by the afternoon the wind is forecast to return to the south and by Thursday afternoon the wind should be back to its normal southwesterly airflow, which should see the local sea breeze kick in. Don’t miss any of the action by tuning into www.pwaworldtour.com between 28th May to 2nd June.
Day 1 Schedule (All Times GMT+2)
Skippers’ Meeting: 12pm
First Possible Start: 1pm
Current Ranking 2019 PWA World Tour - 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)