Catalunya PWA World Cup
After howling through the night, the Tramontana continued to blow at full force throughout the second day of the 2019 Catalunya PWA World Cup, meaning there were only two very brief periods when it was possible to safely race on Foils. Just to try and put into perspective how windy it truly was, the maximum recorded gust today was 59.9 knots as the Tramontana showed its face for the first time since the 2011 edition.
In the end, it was only possible to complete one Foil elimination, and for the majority of that time it really was a survival mission with many of the eventual finalists still qualifying after falling multiple times.
The final itself proved to be an exciting affair with the lead changing hands several on several occasions. Current world tour leader - Pierre Mortefon (Fanatic / Duotone / LOKEFOIL) - led the race to the upwind mark, but Nicolas Goyard (Tabou / GA Sails / Phantom Foils) soon picked up pole position, only to be hunted down by Antoine Albeau (JP / NeilPryde), who showed incredible speed on the downwind leg. However, Albeau then ran super wide when gybing, which he blamed on the media boat interfering, which allowed Goyard to retake the lead and open up a decent advantage. However, the Frenchman then fell on the gybe meaning Tristan Algret (Starboard / Severne / Starboard Foil) would come through and collect the lead, but the man from Guadeloupe was hard pressed by Albeau, who flew down the donwwind leg again, which led to a photo-finish.
The decision went in the favour of Algret, who managed to just hold on was absolutely delighted upon returning to the beach after winning his first ever elimination on the world tour, building upon claiming his first ever podium last week in South Korea. Albeau came to complain about the press boat incident, but his pleas fell on deaf ears this time around.
Upon completion of the second race, Julien Bontemps (JP / NeilPryde) has extended his lead at the top of event rankings to 5.3 points after a solid 6th place - adding to the bullet he claimed yesterday.
Bontemps closest rival at this stage is fellow countryman - Alexandre Cousin (Patrik / Phantom Sails / Phantom Foils) - who continues his fine start to the season. Cousin is the day’s biggest mover within the top 10 - improving from 8th in the overnight standings to second place after finishing 4th in today’s race.
Mateus Isaac (JP / NeilPryde) climbs into the top 3 having finished 9th in Elimination 2, while Gonzalo Costa Hoevel (Starboard / Severne / Starboard Foil) rises to 4th in the overnight rankings ahead of William Huppert (Fanatic / Duotone / LOKEFOIL), who moves into 5th place after another 7th place today and Nicolas Goyard, who falls to 6th from 3rd after crashing that gybe - meaning he eventually finished 13th today.
Pierre Mortefon breaks into the overall top 10 - 7th - after a 5th place - while Sebastian Kornum (JP / NeilPryde) sits in 8th. The Dane could only manage a 20th place finish today having been stung by a weaver fish earlier in the day.
Thomas Goyard (FMX Racing / Phantom Sails / Phantom Foils) looked set to remain in second place in the current event rankings after finishing 10th in the second elimination, but was later disqualified for a right of way infringement with Maciek Rutkowski (FMX Racing / Challenger Sails), which means the Frenchman drops to equal 9th with Antoine Albeau, who along with Mortefon was the only other sailor to break into the top 10.
Losing their place in the top 10 are Sebastian Kördel (Starboard / GA Sails / Starboard Foil), who was forced to retire after the opening lap of the final due to the German thinking he had suffered a suspected slipped disc, and defending event champion - Amado Vrieswijk (JP / Severne / Starboard Foil) - who drops to 15th.
Elsewhere, Matteo Iachino (Starboard / Severne / Starboard Foil), who was one of the sailors pushing to race, finished 3rd in Elimination 2 to climb into 12th place and is now just 2.5 points outside the top 10.
At the time of writing the Tramontana is still howling and the forecast predicts for It to continue tomorrow morning, so we will just have to wait and see what conditions await. The sailors will meet again at 9am on Thursday for the skippers’ meeting with a first possible start at 10am (GMT+2).
You can stay up to date with all the latest developments from Costa Brava — including elimination ladders, entry list, images and live ticker simply click HERE and scroll to the bottom of the page.
Current Ranking 2019 Catalunya PWA World Cup - Men’s Foil
*After 2 Elimination
1st Julien Bontemps (FRA - JP / NeilPryde)
2nd Alexandre Cousin (FRA - Patrik / Phantom Sails / Phantom Foils)
3rd Mateus Isaac (BRA - JP / NeilPryde)
4th Gonzalo Costa Hoevel (ARG - Starboard / Severne / Starboard Foil)
5th William Huppert (FRA - Fanatic / Duotone / LOKEFOIL)
6th Nicolas Goyard (FRA - Tabou / GA Sails / Phantom Foils)
7th Pierre Mortefon (FRA - Fanatic / Duotone / LOKEFOIL)
8th Sebastian Kornum (DEN - JP / NeilPryde)
9th Thomas Goyard (FRA - FMX Racing / Phantom Sails / Phantom Foils)
9th Antoine Albeau (FRA - JP / NeilPryde)