Hvide Sande PWA World Cup
With the conditions being a stark contrast to yesterday with lighter winds - 10-18 knots - and extremely flat water that meant that the sailors were really pushing the starts on - Day 4 of the 2019 Hvide Sande PWA World Cup - with the start being so critical in these conditions. However, that led to a lot of disqualifications with an exceptionally fine line between success and failure when looking for a perfectly timed start - which resulted in just over quarter of the men’s field being disqualified through premature starts - 14/53 - 26.41% - in Elimination 5. Another fine day of racing in Denmark saw day four conclude with a further two eliminations in both the men’s and women’s fleets.
After winning the first race today (Elimination 6) - Delphine Cousin Questel (Starboard / S2Maui) - closed to within just 1.3 points of event leader - Sarah-Quita Offringa (Starboard / NeilPryde / Maui Ultra Fins). However, by the end of the day, it is Offringa who has extended her event lead to 3.6 points after winning her 4th race in 7 eliminations. Cousin Questel did well to fight back into 3rd place after a poor start in Elimination 7, but now has plenty of work to do heading into the final two days of the event.
Realistically speaking it looks as though the event title race is now a straight fight between Offringa and Cousin Questel with the two rivals winning every race, except the first, between them. (4x Offringa, 2x Cousin Questel).
Jenna Gibson (Fanatic / Duotone) is still in the race to earn her first podium on the world tour after another consistent day, which saw the Brit finish 4th and 5th, but she will still have a real battle on her hands with Marion Mortefon (Fanatic / Duotone) just 0.3 points behind her. A shot at the top two is probably beyond her at this stage as she trails Cousin Questel by 6.3 points.
Having endured a couple of tough days on the racecourse - Lena Erdil (Starboard / Point-7 / AL360 / Chopper Fins) - will be happier with how things went today. The Turk finished second in Elimination 6 before finishing 5th in Elimination 7, which sees Erdil gain 3 places from the overnight rankings - 8th to 5th after discarding an 11th place.
Elsewhere, Oda Brødholt (Starboard / Severne) remains in 6th place, but the Norwegian will be very happy to have signed off the day with her best result in a sole elimination - having finished second behind Offringa in Elimination 7.
Pierre Mortefon (Fanatic / Duotone / Chopper Fins) enjoyed a perfect day on day four with the Frenchman winning both races completed today to regain the event lead having relinquished it to Matteo Iachino (Starboard / Severne) yesterday. Mortefon was untouchable today and now holds a narrow 2.3 point advantage at the top of the rankings and tomorrow’s opening race - Elimination 7 - could play a significant role in deciding not only the event title, but also the new world tour leader with the second discard at this event to come, while with this being the fourth Slalom event of the year the sailors will be able to drop their worst result thus far. Mortefon will be looking to discard a 16th, while Iachino is looking to discard a 9th place here.
Iachino enjoyed another solid day with a third and a fourth, but will now be looking to land a blow against Mortefon heading into tomorrow as the two heavyweights battle for the event title.
With Antoine Albeau (JP / NeilPryde) experiencing a rare day to forget, which saw the reigning world champion eliminated at the quarterfinal stage of both races completed today it looks as though whoever wins the event out of Mortefon and Iachino will take the world tour lead. It may seem too early to suggest that the event will come down to a straight fight between just Mortefon and Iachino, but barring a disaster it should be with Iachino 28.6 points of the next closest challenger Ross Williams (Tabou / GA Sails) in third, while between them, Mortefon and Iachino have won 83.33% of the races so far - Mortefon x3 and Iachino x2, while the only other sailor to have won a race is Albeau, who is out of the event title picture.
For Albeau, it looks as though Denmark will be his discard with AA plummeting to from 9th to 18th in the current event rankings. The 24-time world champion has now suffered a quarterfinal exit in 4 out of the 6 races completed, which is almost unheard of, but he will remain firmly in the hunt for this year’s world title as he already has a 1st, a second and a fourth from the opening three events, so the aim now for Albeau will be to fight his way back as high as possible, so that he has a strong discard heading Into the final event of the year in New Caledonia.
While Ross Williams returns to third in the current event rankings, after climbing one place today, there are a whole host of sailors waiting in the wings to take their shot at the podium with just 5.5 points covering 3rd-8th. Of course the second discard tomorrow will make a massive difference to that battle too, but as things stand Ben van der Steen (Goya Windsurfing / GUNSAILS), Julien Quentel (Patrik / GUNSAILS), Maciek Rutkowski (FMX Racing / Challenger Sails), Antoine Questel (I-99 / S2Maui) and Marco Lang (Fanatic / Duotone / Chopper Fins) are all currently in with a shout.
However, after experiencing a great day yesterday, Rutkowski will need to bounce back from a disappointing day today with the Pole being eliminated in both quarterfinals.
Meanwhile, Lang, enjoyed arguably his best day on the world tour since returning from a mystery virus which affected him so badly last year - eventually forcing him to retire from the season early. The Austrian finished second and 5th today which sees the Austrian rise from 16th to 8th in the current event rankings and he is now firmly on track to record his best result since winning in Sylt 2017 and finishing 4th in New Caledonia in the same year.
Besides Mortefon, Gunnar Asmussen (Starboard / Severne) was the other sailor of the day with the German just eclipsing Lang’s performance with a quite brilliant second and third, which sees Asmussen jump into the top 16 - 13th.
Elsewhere, Tristan Algret (Starboard / Severne / Chopper Fins) continues to recover from a fairly disastrous first day with 25-year-old breaking into the top 10 for the first time this event - 9th - while Birthday Boy Ingmar Daldorf (Tabou / GA Sails) also breaks into the top 10 - 10th - after qualifying for one winners’ final and the losers’ final today.
Ethan Westera (Tabou / GA Sails) also enjoyed a fine day with the Aruban qualifying for both winners’ finals as he too continues his comeback. Westera is now ranked 14th after qualifying for the last three winners’ finals in a row - having previously been eliminated in the quarterfinals in each of the opening 3 races.
On day two, Damien Arnoux (Simmer / Simmer Sails) broke into the top 16 in a sole elimination for the first time, but today the 21-year-old far surpassed that as he won both losers’ finals to record his first top 10 results on the world tour. The talented young Frenchman’s fine performance today sees him rise to 12th in the overnight rankings.
The next generation really made their mark against their more experienced peers today and 20-year-old Martin Møller Hovda (Starboard / Severne) was one of the emerging talents to also reach a significant milestone in his short career as the young Norwegian qualified for his first winners’ final in Elimination 5 before claiming 12th in the next race to cap an excellent day.
The forecast looks as though the wind will continue with 20-25 knots from the northwest currently being predicted on the latest model run, which should ensure more brilliant racing as Hvide Sande continues to deliver the goods with a real mix of conditions to prove a solid test for the world’s best racers. The sailors will meet once again at 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 7 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 Lena Erdil (TUR | Starboard / Point-7 / AL360 / Chopper Fins)
6th Oda Brødholt (NOR | Starboard / Severne)
7th Maëlle Guilbaud (FRA | Patrik / Loftsails)
8th Océane Lescadieu (NC | S2Maui)
9th Fulya Ünlü (TUR | Starboard / Severne) Sarah Jackson (GBR | Tabou / GA Sails)
10th Marianne Rautelin (FIN | Patrik / Loftsails)
Current Ranking 2019 Hvide Sande PWA World Cup - Men’s Slalom
*After 6 Eliminations
1st Pierre Mortefon (FRA | Fanatic / Duotone / Chopper Fins)
2nd Matteo Iachino (ITA | Starboard / Severne)
3rd Ross Williams (GBR | Tabou / GA Sails)
4th Ben van der Steen (NED | Goya Windsurfing / GUNSAILS)
5th Julien Quentel (SXM | Patrik / GUNSAILS)
6th Maciek Rutkowski (POL | FMX Racing / Challenger Sails)
7th Antoine Questel (FRA | I-99 / S2Maui)
8th Marco Lang (AUT | Fanatic / Duotone / Chopper Fins)
9th Tristan Algret (GPE | Starboard / Severne / Chopper Fins)
10th Ingmar Daldorf (NED | Tabou / GA Sails)