Fuerteventura PWA World Cup
The sailors had to play the waiting game for much of day two at the 2019 Fuerteventura PWA World Cup - sponsored by René Egli - with a slight calima suppressing the wind during the morning and early afternoon. However, once the temperature began to drop slightly, the wind did eventually fill in to allow the third elimination 3 to be completed with most of the fleet on 6.2s and their small boards to cope with the treacherous water conditions.
Overnight event leader - Matteo Iachino (Starboard / Severne / Shamal Sunglasses) - came out on top of a scintillating battle with Antoine Albeau (JP / NeilPryde) in the Winners’ Final of Elimination 3 to extend his lead from 0.3 of a point to 1.6 points at the end of play today. Both men came absolutely hammering down the first reach, but it was the Italian who was able to gain the advantage after rounding the first mark and he sailed faultlessly over the remainder of the course to claim back-to-back bullets.
Albeau pushed Iachino all the way on the first reach but couldn’t land a blow on the Italian this time around. AA was pushing so hard that he gybed the first mark with both feet in the straps. Albeau may not have claimed a bullet yet, but the 25-time world champion is still perfectly placed to attack the top spot over the next 3 days and you wouldn’t bet against him eventually coming out on top. Especially given the the fact that he was won here every year since 2006, apart from 2012 when Finian Maynard (FMX Racing) won and 2013 when there was no Slalom. Albeau will be eager to stop Iachino in the next race though, as if the vice-world champion was to win Elimination 4, he would then hold a perfect record with the discard coming into play and from that point it could be a long way back.
Pierre Mortefon (Fanatic / Duotone / Chopper Fins) wasn’t far behind in 3rd place and is only 2.6 points behind Iachino and 1 point behind Albeau after the completion of the latest race. The big top 3 are threatening to dominate the event with there now being a 7 point gap to the next nearest challenger - Cedric Bordes (Tabou / GA Sails) - who maintained his excellent start to the event by securing his best result yet - 4th.
Ross Williams (Tabou / GA Sails) is the most significant mover of the day within the top 16 after the Brit managed to recover from a quarterfinal elimination in Elimination 2 with his second 5th place finish of the week today, which sees Williams gain 7 places from 12th to 5th and he still remains very much in the picture for a potential podium finish.
Like Williams, Julien Quentel (Patrik / Gun Sails) also rises into the overall top 10 - 6th - after recovering from his piece of bad luck in the second race yesterday by qualifying for the winners’ final today to finish 7th, which sees him climb from 11th to 6th.
Maciek Rutkowski (FMX Racing / Challenger Sails) was unlucky to not make at least one winners’ final on the opening day and the Pole continued to look quick and confident today, which led to him booking his place in the top 8. Rutkowski rises a few places from 10th to 7th after Elimination 3.
Jordy Vonk (Fanatic / Duotone) and Sebastian Kornum (JP / NeilPryde) finished 10th and 12th respectively in today’s race and remain in 8th and 9th place, while Finian Maynard falls 5 places from 5th to 10th as does Antoine Questel (I-99 / S2Maui) who drops from 6th to 11th, while Cyril Moussilmani (RRD / RRD Sails), who started the day in 7th place finishes day two ranked 14th with all 3 men facing quarterfinal exits today.
Mover of the Day
Ethan Westera (Tabou / GA Sails) suffered a bit of a day to forget yesterday, but he successfully pushed the reset button today to produce somewhere close to his best form. The 21-year-old found himself in the very first round of Elimination 3, but won his opening two heats before going on to qualify for the winners’ final and eventually finishing in an excellent 6th place. That result sees Westera rise 12 places from 32nd to 20th and the young Aruban could potentially gain plenty of ground yet with the discard tom come as he is currently holding a 42.5 point result from Elimination 2.
The top 16 is currently completed by Taty Frans (Future Fly / Point-7) - 12th - Enrico Marotti (JP / NeilPryde) - 13th - Gabriel Browne (S2Maui) - 15th - and Alexandre Cousin (Patrik / Phantom Sails / Chopper Fins) - 16th.
Heading into the weekend there is another windy forecast to come for Saturday and with a slight drop in temperature expected hopefully the wind patten returns to normal and kicks in earlier than today to allow for a full day of racing to be completed. The sailors will meet again at 10am tomorrow morning with the action commencing from 11am (GMT+1) onwards.
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Current Ranking 2019 Fuerteventura PWA Grand Slam - Men’s Slalom
*After Three Eliminations
1st Matteo Iachino (ITA - Starboard / Severne / Shamal Sunglasses)
2nd Antoine Albeau (FRA - JP / NeilPryde)
3rd Pierre Mortefon (FRA - Fanatic / Duotone / Chopper Fins)
4th Cedric Bordes (FRA - Tabou / GA Sails)
5th Ross Williams (GBR - Tabou / GA Sails / Shamal Sunglasses)
6th Julien Quentel (SXM - Patrik / Gun Sails)
7th Maciek Rutkowski (POL - FMX Racing / Challenger Sails)
8th Jordy Vonk (NED - Fanatic / Duotone)
9th Sebastian Kornum (DEN - JP / NeilPryde)
10th Finian Maynard (KV - FMX Racing)