Bureau Vallée Dream Cup

Event Summary: New Caledonia Provides Thrilling Finale To The 2019 PWA World Tour As Pierre Mortefon & Delphine Cousin Questel Walk Away As Slalom World Champions

After a slow opening couple of days to start the 2019 Bureau Vallée Dream Cup the trade winds returned to New Caledonia to produce four world class days of racing with winds between 10-30 knots and a water state varying from choppy to extremely choppy providing a complete test for the world’s best racers.


Coming into the final event of the year Marion Mortefon (Fanatic / Duotone) was the only woman who could deny Delphine Cousin Questel (Starboard / S2Maui) a 4th world title and the 27-year-old couldn’t have done any more in her quest to do just that. To stand any chance of winning the title Mortefon knew that nothing other than a victory would suffice.

An incredible run on day 3 and 4 would setup Mortefon’s first event victory on the world tour after rattling off 4 bullets in a row to move well clear of the rest of the field and such was her dominance in the early to mid part of the event that Mortefon had secured the event victory with a day to spare. 

At that point, all Mortefon could do was cross her fingers and see where Cousin Questel would finish the event - as Mortefon’s title hopes would rest on Cousin Questel finishing outside the top 3. The 28-year-old started the day just 1.9 points ahead of 4th placed - Maëlle Guilbaud (Patrik / Loftsails) - and knew that any more mistakes would surely cost her the world title. However, after struggling for form for much of the event, Cousin Questel produced her best performance of the week, right when it mattered most, on the final day, which saw her win two out of the three eliminations completed, whilst finishing second in the other to be crowned the 2019 Women’s PWA Slalom World Champion. Despite not being at her absolute best over the last 6 days, Cousin Questel still finished the event with an impressive 5 victories out of the 11 races completed. Cousin Questel’s final day heroics mean that Mortefon finishes the season as the vice-world champion - which is a personal best.

Elsewhere, Lena Erdil (Starboard / Point-7 / AL360 / Chopper Fins), finished 2019 on a high after earning her first podium finish since returning from a foot injury, which continues to cause her problems. The Turk won the last elimination of the event to finish just 0.2 of a point behind Cousin Questel, who finished second, and those fine margins are what decided the final place on the prestigious overall podium. In the end, Maëlle Guilbaud just holds on to finish in the overall top 3 for the first time in her career after finish 4th here. Guilbaud and Erdil finish the season tied on 29,900, but Guilbaud finishes ahead on countback.

Erdil just misses out and finishes the 2019 season ranked fourth overall, but there are plenty of signs to suggest that she can come back and challenge for the title next year.

Local girl - Lilou Granier (Starboard / Phantom Sails) - finishes 5th both for the event and in the overalls, which sees the 19-year-old crowned the Youth World Champion.


Pierre Mortefon’s (Fanatic / Duotone / Chopper Fins) bid to win his first world title couldn’t have gotten off to a worse start in New Caledonia with the Frenchman being disqualified from the entire opening round for dangerous sailing after t-boning Ross Williams (Tabou / GA Sails) at the final mark in the semifinal. Mortefon then bounced back immediately with a bullet in the second elimination to haul himself back into contention.

The race for the men’s world title would take several dramatic twists and turns over the remainder of the event, but at the end of day 4 it looked as though the title may be heading to Italy after Matteo Iachino (Starboard / Severne) completed a superb hat-trick to open up a 3.6 point advantage with two days to go.

However, after barely putting a foot wrong on day 4, things quickly started to unravel for Iachino with the Italian failing to qualify for the next two winners’ finals, which opened to door for Mortefon to seize control of the title race. However, Mortefon was unable to fully capitalise with three solid, but unspectacular 5th places leaving him trailing by 2.7 points heading into the final day.

What happened in the opening race on finals day simply could not be scripted with Iachino being eliminated in the semifinals after hitting a sea snake on the first race to rule him out. This time Mortefon made no mistake in punishing Iachino as he notched up his second bullet of the week to take the title race lead for the first time in the event.

Just when it seemed that the momentum had twisted in Mortefon’s favour, it almost immediately switched back with the 30-year-old being eliminated in the semifinal of Elimination 10 and with Iachino finishing second the title race would go down to the wire with the final race - Elimination 11 - deciding the 2019 world champion. Iachino would need to finish at least 3 places ahead of Mortefon to snatch his second world title, but in the end, it was Mortefon who held his nerve to finally get his hands on the sports biggest prize after so many years of consistently challenging for the title. Mortefon was understandably overcome with emotion upon returning to the beach after finally accomplishing one of his lifetime goals.

Iachino finishes the season as the vice-world champion - meaning that he has not finished outside the top 2 since 2016, and the top 3 since 2015, and you can expect to see another strong challenge from the Italian in 2020.

Antoine Albeau (JP / NeilPryde) completes the event and overall podium to cap another excellent year on tour. The 25-time world champion had qualified for every winners’ final up until the final day, which left him contention for the event title, but things weren’t meant to be this time around with Albeau missing out on the top 8 in the final two races.

Elsewhere, with Jordy Vonk (Fanatic / Duotone) out performing Julien Quentel (Patrik / GUNSAILS) - 6th compared to 9th - that means the flying Dutchman leapfrogs Quentel to finish 4th overall for the second consecutive year, while Quentel slips to 5th.

Ross Williams (Tabou / GA Sails) enjoyed a fantastic final day, which including winning his first race of the season in Elimination 10, to regain his place in the event top 10 - 8th - which sees the Brit ranked 6th overall for 2019.

After a mediocre start to the season - Maciek Rutkowski (FMX Racing / Challenger Sails) - finished the year with a flourish at the final 3 events to earn his place in the overall top 10 for the first time in his career - 6th. The Pole steadily improved throughout the year and looks as though he’s becoming the real deal and could be one to watch in 2020.

Just behind Rutkowski, is Tristan Algret (Starboard / Severne), who finishes 8th overall, while Enrico Marotti (JP / NeilPryde) jumps into 9th place after a brilliant end to the year. The Croat won his first elimination on the world tour in Denmark and won another two races here to earn his best event finish today on the world tour - 4th. Since winning that race in Denmark Marotti looks a different prospect and if he can use the end of this season as a springboard moving into 2020 he too could be a major threat!

Having been plagued with a mystery virus which forced him to retire early last season, Marco Lang (Fanatic / Duotone) is officially back after qualifying for the winners’ final on numerous occasions over the last 6 days, which sees him ranked 10th overall. 

Antoine Questel (I-99 / S2Maui), Mateus Isaac (JP / NeilPryde) and Ethan Westera (Tabou / GA Sails) all just miss out on the overall top 10. However, this event will stay in the memory of Westera for the rest of his life after the Aruban won his first race on the world tour, which is an even bigger achievement after the 22-year-old suffered a potentially career-threatening injury just over two years ago. For a long time, people have spoken about Westera’s potential and after overcoming that hurdle it now looks as though he may start to fulfill that potential.

The overall top 16 is completed by Basile Jacquin (I-99 / Point-7), Sebastian Kördel (Starboard / GA Sails) and Pascal Toselli (JP / Loftsails / Chopper Fins). While after finishing 10 at his home event - Jacquin - finishes the season as the Youth World Champion for the second consecutive year.

That concludes the 2019 PWA World Tour after another year packed with some unbelievable action. Congratulations to all the winners. The PWA would also like to extend their thanks to Stef and her team for all of their hard work. We’ll be back in 2020 - bring you more world class windsurfing from across the globe.

For a full recap of all the developments from New Caledonia — including the live stream, elimination ladders, entry list, images and live ticker simply click HERE and scroll to the bottom of the page.

Overall Ranking 2019 PWA World Tour - Women’s Slalom

1st Delphine Cousin Questel (FRA | Starboard / S2Maui)
2nd Marion Mortefon (FRA | Fanatic / Duotone)
3rd Maëlle Guilbaud (FRA | Patrik / Loftsails)
4th Lena Erdil (TUR | Starboard / Point-7 / AL360 / Chopper Fins)
5th Lilou Granier (NC | Starboard / Phantom Sails)

Result 2019 Bureau Vallée Dream Cup - Women’s Slalom

1st Marion Mortefon (FRA | Fanatic / Duotone)
2nd Delphine Cousin Questel (FRA | Starboard / S2Maui)
3rd Lena Erdil (TUR | Starboard / Point-7 / AL360 / Chopper Fins)
4th Maëlle Guilbaud (FRA | Patrik / Loftsails)
5th Lilou Granier (NC | Starboard / Phantom Sails)

Overall Ranking 2019 PWA World Tour - Men’s Slalom

1st Pierre Mortefon (FRA | Fanatic / Duotone / Chopper Fins)
2nd Matteo Iachino (ITA | Starboard / Severne)
3rd Antoine Albeau (FRA | JP / NeilPryde)
4th Jordy Vonk (NED | Fanatic / Duotone)
5th Julien Quentel (SXM | Patrik / GUNSAILS)
6th Ross Williams (GBR | Tabou / GA Sails)
7th Maciek Rutkowski (POL | FMX Racing / Challenger Sails)
8th Tristan Algret (GPE | Starboard / Severne / Chopper Fins)
9th Enrico Marotti (CRO | JP / NeilPryde)
10th Marco Lang (AUT | Fanatic / Duotone)

Result 2019 Bureau Vallée Dream Cup - Men’s Slalom

1st Pierre Mortefon (FRA | Fanatic / Duotone / Chopper Fins)
2nd Matteo Iachino (ITA | Starboard / Severne)
3rd Antoine Albeau (FRA | JP / NeilPryde)
4th Enrico Marotti (CRO | JP / NeilPryde)
5th Maciek Rutkowski (POL | FMX Racing / Challenger Sails)
6th Jordy Vonk (NED | Fanatic / Duotone)
7th Ethan Westera (ARU | Tabou / GA Sails)
8th Ross Williams (GBR | Tabou / GA Sails)
9th Julien Quentel (SXM | Patrik / GUNSAILS) 
10th Basile Jacquin (FRA | I-99 / Point-7)

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