Hvide Sande PWA World Cup
Day 5 of the 2019 Hvide Sande PWA World Cup provided some of the most exciting racing of the week thus far as winds of 20-30 knots and slightly choppy waters creating a great racing playground. Most of the women reached for their 6.0-6.4s and the men 7.0’s and small boards. Throughout the day there were several thrilling comebacks with the broad course giving plenty of opportunity for overtaking by the end of the day another two races for the men, and 3 for the women were completed.
Sarah-Quita Offringa (Starboard / NeilPryde / Maui Ultra Fins) all but has the event title wrapped up with a day to spare after producing a truly dominant performance today, which saw the Aruban not only complete her second hat-trick of the week, but also go on to claim a four-timer after winning all three eliminations today.
Elimination 9 was perhaps Offringa’s most impressive victory with the 28-year-old pulling off an outstanding comeback after recovering from an early coming together with Cousin Questel as they approached the first buoy. Offringa rounded the second mark in fourth place and then continued to eat up the water in front of her to deny Lena Erdil (Starboard / Point-7 / AL360 / Chopper Fins) a first bullet of the week.
Having not competed on the racecourse for over a year there may have been a few question marks about how Offringa would cope returning to the competitive scene during the middle of the season, but she has destroyed the field here thus far, winning 70% of the races completed up to now (7 out of 10), which gives Offringa an almost unassailable 9.5 point lead heading into the final day.
Delphine Cousin Questel (Starboard / S2Maui) cemented her second place after a second and two third places, but the reigning world champion and current world tour leader may be slightly disappointed not to have landed a blow against Offringa today having closed to within just 1.3 points at one stage yesterday. In terms of the world title race, Cousin Questel remains firmly in the driving seat with her closest rival Marion Mortefon (Fanatic / Duotone) currently ranked 4th here.
While the event title is seemingly already decided, there is still an intriguing battle between Jenna Gibson (Fanatic / Duotone) and Mortefon for the final place on the podium. Before the completion of Elimination 10 there was just 0.3 of a point separating the two women, but Gibson ends the day with a 3.3 point cushion after securing a brilliant second place - her best result since Elimination 4 - and that looks to be the battle to watch tomorrow.
Elsewhere, Lena Erdil remains in 5th place, but enjoyed a decent day on the water with a second, a 6th and a 4th. In fact, there were no changes to the top 7 positions in the women’s fleet after today’s racing.
Pierre Mortefon (Fanatic / Duotone / Chopper Fins) started the penultimate day of racing with a 2.3 point advantage over Matteo Iachino (Starboard / Severne) after winning both races yesterday, but at the close of play today the Frenchman has seen that lead erode and turn into a 4 point deficit after only managing a 10th and a 7th place.
With Mortefon missing out on the opening winners’ final, Iachino then rubbed salt into the wound by winning Elimination 7 - the Italian’s third bullet of the week - and the 29-year-old is now in a dominant position heading into the final day, not only in terms of the event title race, but also the world title race too, as whoever wins this event will take the overall lead with an event to go.
After a disappointing day yesterday - Maciek Rutkowski (FMX Racing / Challenger Sails) - bounced back well today as the Pole qualified for both winners’ finals and with the way the other results unfolded that sees Rutkowski move back into the podium positions - 3rd - having been ranked 6th at the start of the day.
However, Rutkowski’s quest for a maiden podium on the world tour is not done quite yet with Julien Quentel (Patrik / GUNSAILS) and Ross Williams (Tabou / GA Sails) still firmly in the hunt for third place - both men currently trail Rutkowski by just 3 points, so there is still all to play for heading into the final day.
Elsewhere, Gunnar Asmussen (Starboard / Severne) climbs a further 3 places to 6th in the current event rankings after qualifying for both winners’ finals again today. The German has now qualified for the top 8 in each of the last 4 races. Without jumping the gun in Elimination 7 Asmussen could realistically have been in with a shot at the podium, but that now seems out of his reach.
Marco Lang (Fanatic / Duotone) remains 7th after two top 16 finishes, while after a poor day yesterday Antoine Albeau (JP / NeilPryde) bounced back with a second and a 6th to rise from 18th to 8th, which could yet prove important in the world title race if it were to come down to discards as his two main rivals - Mortefon and Iachino hold a 12th and 25th as their discards.
The top 10 is currently completed by Antoine Questel (I-99 / S2Maui), who falls 3 places to 9th, and Damien Arnoux (Simmer / Simmer Sails), who continues to go from strength-to-strength this week. The young Frenchman qualified for his first losers’ finals at the start of the week and today he booked his place in his first winners’ final - eventually finishing 5th.
After such a bright start to the week, Ben van der Steen (Goya Windsurfing / GUNSAILS) drops outside of the top 10 for the first time - 11th - after a second round and quarterfinal exit today, while Tristan Algret (Starboard / Severne / Chopper Fins) and Ingmar Daldorf (Tabou / GA Sails) also lose their place in the top 10 - dropping to 12th and 15th respectively.
Up to now, Enrico Marotti (JP / NeilPryde) has had a very inconsistent week, but today in Elimination 8 everything clicked into place as the Croat clinched his first bullet on the world tour with a commanding display. That victory sees Marotti climb to 16th in the overall rankings, while in the same elimination Amado Vrieswijk (JP / Severne) earned his best finish in a slalom elimination - second!
The forecast for the final day of the 2019 Hvide Sande PWA World Cup looks lighter than the previous four days with 13-15 knots during the morning, but it is expected to increase during the afternoon which should hopefully allow for at least one more elimination in the men’s and women’s fleets to be completed. The skippers’ meeting has been called for 10am (GMT+2) tomorrow morning with the racing commencing from 11am onwards.
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Current Ranking 2019 Hvide Sande PWA World Cup - Women’s Slalom
*After 10 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 Fulya Ünlü (TUR | Starboard / Severne)
9th Océane Lescadieu (NC | S2Maui)
10th Marianne Rautelin (FIN | Patrik / Loftsails)
Current Ranking 2019 Hvide Sande PWA World Cup - Men’s Slalom
*After 8 Eliminations
1st Matteo Iachino (ITA | Starboard / Severne)
2nd Pierre Mortefon (FRA | Fanatic / Duotone / Chopper Fins)
3rd Maciek Rutkowski (POL | FMX Racing / Challenger Sails)
4th Julien Quentel (SXM | Patrik / GUNSAILS)
5th Ross Williams (GBR | Tabou / GA Sails)
6th Gunnar Asmussen (GER | Starboard / Severne)
7th Marco Lang (AUT | Fanatic / Duotone / Chopper Fins)
8th Antoine Albeau (FRA | JP / NeilPryde)
9th Antoine Questel (FRA | I-99 / S2Maui)
10th Damien Arnoux (FRA | Simmer / Simmer Sails)