Hvide Sande PWA World Cup
Day 3 of the 2019 Hvide Sande PWA World Cup more than lived up to its billing of wet, wild and windy Wednesday as winds in excess of 35-40 knots battered Hvide Sande while driving rain made visibility precarious at times to provide a stern test of the sailors' mettle. By the end of the afternoon even the majority of the biggest guys were left reaching for their smallest gear, but unfortunately the ferociousness of the conditions claimed no fewer than 5 victims along the way with Cedric Bordes (Tabou / GA Sails) - suspected broken rib - Tuesday-Lou Judd (I-99 / Phantom Sails) - suspected broken foot - Nimet Tulumen (Tabou / GA Sails) - injured foot - Fulya Ünlü (Starboard / Severne) - broken nose - and Luis Boronat (Loftsails) all ending up on the casualties list after an intense day of racing.
Sarah-Quita Offringa (Starboard / NeilPryde / Maui Ultra Fins) continues to set the pace in Denmark with the Aruban holding a 3.6 point advantage at the top of the event rankings over Delphine Cousin Questel (Starboard / S2Maui) to end day 3. After the completion of Elimination 4 Offringa held a perfect record - 0.7, 0.7, 0.7 - after completing a brilliant hat-trick and then discarded her 6th place from the opening race with a 3rd in the last.
As already mentioned Delphine Cousin Questel is now Offringa’s closest rival with the reigning world champion climbing one place to second after claiming her first bullet of the week in the last race of the day. That victory brings Cousin Questel to within 3.6 points of Offringa with 3 more days to go, so the current world tour leader is well placed to attack the top as she looks to maintain her winning run.
Jenna Gibson (Fanatic / Duotone) climbs one place from the overnight rankings into third, at the expense of Marion Mortefon (Fanatic / Duotone) who drops to fourth, after enjoying an excellent day with a 2nd and a 4th.
Elsewhere, Maëlle Guilbaud (Patrik / Loftsails), Oda Brødholt (Starboard / Severne) and Océane Lescadieu (S2Maui) remain 5th-7th, while Lena Erdil (Starboard / Point-7 / AL360 / Chopper Fins) climbs one place to 8th despite a below-par day, by her standards, after only recording a 6th and an 11th in the extreme conditions.
Pierre Mortefon (Fanatic / Duotone / Chopper Fins) and Matteo Iachino (Starboard / Severne) started the day first and second in the event rankings, but both men would miss out on the winners’ final of Elimination 3. However, with the way the other results went, and with Iachino securing the win in the losers’ final - 9th overall - that was still enough to send the Italian to the top of the event rankings, albeit with not much breathing room, with Ross Williams (Tabou / GA Sails) just 0.3 of a point behind at that stage.
However, after earning his first bullet of the week in Elimination 3 it looked as though - Antoine Albeau (JP / NeilPryde) - was primed to take control of the event having finished second in the first elimination and the discard to come - particularly with the extreme conditions that he excels in on offer. But that’s not how things played out as the reigning world champion suffered a heavy catapult during quarterfinals of the 4th elimination, which leaves him in 9th place at the halfway stage.
In the end, it is Iachino who ends the day as the clear event leader after the 29-year-old secured his second bullet in four races to sign off the day in style, whilst more importantly opening up a 3.3 point advantage at the top of the rankings.
Mortefon, meanwhile, falls one place to second after a 16th and a 5th but is still well within striking distance heading into the second half of the event.
Maciek Rutkowski (FMX Racing / Challenger Sails) enjoyed arguably his best day to date on the world tour with the Pole finishing 3rd and second in the two races completed today. Rutkowski showed this kind of form in Fuerteventura and has picked up exactly where he left off and he deservedly climbs 6 places from 9th to 3rd in the overnight ranking, which keeps him firmly in the hunt for a maiden Slalom podium.
Behind him, Ross Williams remains in 4th place after a 4th in elimination 3, while the Brit discards a 16th from race 4 after just being edged out in the semifinals for a place in the top 8. Williams was the last sailor standing with a perfect record of winners' final appearances this week, which perhaps highlights just how difficult and challenging conditions have been.
Like Rutkowski, Julien Quentel (Patrik / Gun Sails) and Antoine Questel (Starboard / S2Maui) were the two other standout sailors of the day in the hardcore conditions. Quentel recorded a second and a third, and Questel a 4th and a 5th, which sees both of them gain plenty of ground. Questel rises 5 places from 10th to 5th, while Quentel comes from outside the top 10 into 6th after recovering brilliantly from a disappointing day yesterday.
Elsewhere, Ben van der Steen (Goya Windsurfing) still hasn’t finished outside the top 16, but couldn’t quite replicate his two top 7 finishes from day two, so the flying Dutchman loses a few places, falling from 3rd to 7th, while Basile Jacquin (I-99 / Point-7) and Taty Frans (Future Fly / Point-7) both drop out of the current top 10 - 12th and 13th respectively.
As this stage, Sebastian Kornum (JP / NeilPryde) and Enrico Marotti (JP / NeilPryde) complete the top 10, while Tristan Algret (Starboard / Severne / Chopper Fins) is another sailor to have recovered well from a disappointing day of racing yesterday with the 25-year-old qualifying for both winners’ finals today.
Unfortunately for Jordy Vonk (Fanatic / Duotone), his woes continue with the Flying Dutchman, who came into the event ranked second in the world, failing to get past the quarterfinal stage in any of the opening 4 eliminations. That leaves Vonk in a lowly 28th - almost guaranteeing that this event will be his discard barring a miraculous recovery. It seems that Vonk’s illness from before Fuerteventura is still taking its toll as before this event the 26-year-old had not outside the top 11 in the last 9 events, so something certainly seems amiss.
The forecast for Thursday still looks solid with 18-20 knots of wind from the west-south-west currently being predicted, while the weather is also expected to improve, which should hopefully provide another full day of racing. We’ll be back from 9:30am (GMT+2) for the skippers’ meeting with the racing commencing from 10:30am onwards.
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Current Ranking 2019 Hvide Sande PWA World Cup - Women’s Slalom
*After 5 Eliminations
1st Sarah-Quita Offringa (ARU | Starboard / NeilPryde / Maui Ultra Fins)
2nd Delphine Cousin Questel (FRA | Starboard / S2Maui)
3rd Jenna Gibson (GBR | Fanatic / Duotone)
4th Marion Mortefon (FRA | Fanatic / Duotone)
5th Maëlle Guilbaud (FRA | Patrik / Loftsails)
6th Oda Brødholt (NOR | Starboard / Severne)
7th Océane Lescadieu (NC | S2Maui)
8th Lena Erdil (TUR | Starboard / Point-7 / AL360 / Chopper Fins)
9th Fulya Ünlü (TUR | Starboard / Severne) Sarah Jackson (GBR | Tabou / GA Sails)
10th Sarah Jackson (GBR | Tabou / GA Sails)
Current Ranking 2019 Hvide Sande PWA World Cup - Men’s Slalom
*After 4 Eliminations
1st Matteo Iachino (ITA | Starboard / Severne)
2nd Pierre Mortefon (FRA | Fanatic / Duotone / Chopper Fins)
3rd Maciek Rutkowski (POL | FMX Racing / Challenger Sails)
4th Ross Williams (GBR | Tabou / GA Sails)
5th Antoine Questel (FRA | I-99 / S2Maui)
6th Julien Quentel (SXM | Patrik / Gun Sails)
7th Ben van der Steen (NED | Goya Windsurfing)
8th Sebastian Kornum (DEN | JP / NeilPryde)
9th Antoine Albeau (FRA | JP / NeilPryde)
10th Enrico Marotti (CRO | JP / NeilPryde)