Tiberias PWA World Cup
The penultimate day of the Tiberias PWA World Cup turned out to be the windiest and busiest yet with 3 Women’s Slalom Eliminations, 1 Foil & 2 Men’s Slalom being completed in winds gusting over 30 knots, which saw some savage wipeouts as huge gusts claimed many unsuspecting victims. To put into context just how windy it was today the men finished the day on 6.6m’s - fully lit on their fins - whilst many described the conditions as extremely tricky, which says a lot coming from the best sailors in the world.
Sarah-Quita Offringa (Starboard / NeilPryde / Maui Ultra Fins) bounced back from a disappointing start to the day, which saw the Aruban disqualified for a premature start in the Winners’ Final of Elimination 4, to regain the event lead heading into the final day. Offringa could’ve been forgiven for letting her head drop after the disappointment of Elimination 4, but as a Lady who already has 17-world titles to her name that was never going to happen. In true champion fashion, the 29-year-old immediately hit back with two quick-fire bullets in Elimination 5 and 6 to head into the final day with a slender 1.9 point advantage over Marion Mortefon (Fanatic / Duotone), whilst Delphine Cousin Questel (FMX Racing / S2Maui) is just 0.3 of a point further back. Offringa has now won 4 of the 6 races completed and could take a giant step towards the event title when the second discard comes into play in Elimination 7 (looking to discard an 11th and 6th).
Marion Mortefon took full advantage of Offringa’s premature start in Elimination by claiming her first bullet of the season, which at that point saw the vice-world champion open up a 2.3 point lead at the top of the rankings. However, she was powerless to stop Offringa from reclaiming the top spot after a disappointing 6th, which she discards, and a solid third. The 29-year-old still enters the final day of the event firmly in contention, but she will need everything to fall perfectly into place to win.
Delphine Cousin Questel (FMX Racing / S2Maui) is just 0.3 of a point further back, so also enters the final day with a slim shot at the title, however, in order to do so, she will need to start scoring some bullets. The reigning world champion has shown amazing consistency and remains the only sailor to have not finished outside of the top 3, but with no victories thus far, it will be a big ask for her to pip Offringa and Mortefon to the title. Stranger things have happened though, so you never know.
Sarah Jackson (Fanatic / Duotone) couldn’t quite rekindle the magic of yesterday as she went over the line early with Offringa in Elimination 4, but the Brit bounced back with a solid 3rd and a 5th to cement her place in 4th, whilst having an outside shot at the podium.
Elsewhere, Sara Wennekes, enjoyed a decent day, which sees the 25-year-old climb two spots to 5th at the expense of Blanca Alabau (Starboard / Severne Sails).
Having claimed her first bullet on the world tour on Day 3 - Helle Oppedal (Fanatic / Duotone) - struck again in Elimination 3 to secure back-to-back bullets with another confident display, which sees the 19-year-old move into second place with a day to go. As things stand, Oppedal trails Marion Mortefon (Fanatic / Duotone / LOKEFOIL) by just 0.7 of a point, so there is still all to play for heading into the final day - especially with the discard to come after the completion of Elimination 4.
Thus far Mortefon has recorded a first and two, thirds, but she will be aware of the fact that she really needs to secure a first or second in the opening race tomorrow, as another 3rd or worse would leave Oppedal needing ‘just’ a 5th or better to move into the lead as she currently holds two bullets (0.7, 0.7) and a 6th.
Blanca Alabau (Starboard / Severne Sails / Starboard Foil) remains in 3rd place, but will still need to sail well on the final day to keep Linoy Geva at bay.
Elsewhere, Alice Read (Fanatic / Duotone), deserves a special mention after recording her best result on the world tour to date, after recording a super second place. The Brit was leading Elimination 3 for a while, but couldn’t hold off the challenge of Oppedal.
All the talk thus far has been about one man… Nicolas Goyard (Phantom Boards / Phantom Sails / Phantom Foils), and rightly so. The 2019 Foil PWA World Champion has been in a league of his own, so much so that the 25-year-old has earned a tremendous event victory with a day to spare, such has been his level of dominance here. With just the one Men’s Slalom scheduled for tomorrow, that means that Goyard is guaranteed to finish the event with a perfect score of 3.5 points from 5 counting races, which is quite incredible. The Frenchman will have a small blemish on his scorecard after going over early in the semifinals of Elimination 6, but he may have already done the maths, and at that point, many of the men were on 6.6s and fins, whilst he was trying to hang on to a 6.0 and foil, which still shows that the fin still has it’s importance once the wind starts getting to 30 knots and above. It has been an absolute masterclass by Goyard and one that you just have to admire, whether you are a pure slalom traditionalist or not. Goyard ends the day a massive 17.2 points ahead of his closest rival.
Up until today, Pierre Mortefon (Fanatic / Duotone / Chopper Fins / LOKEFOIL) had been steadily going about his business without really ever standing out, which is a strange thing to say about a reigning world champion. However, with the wind beginning to crank, the 31-year-old seized his moment to strike by winning the last elimination of the day, and with it, he leapfrogs fellow countryman - William Huppert (Fanatic / Duotone / LOKEFOIL) - into second place with a day to go.
Huppert will be bitterly disappointed as the 26-year-old could’ve almost had second place wrapped up heading into the final day. The Frenchman had just overtaken - Jordy Vonk (Fanatic / Duotone / LOKEFOIL) - in the Winners’ Final of Elimination 5 and looked like securing another second place, but disaster then struck as a savage gust wiped him flat meaning he went from second to 7th. Huppert then failed to qualify for the Winners’ Final for just the second time this week as the wind began to howl and the fins started to regain the upper hand. However, to take away the positives, if you had told Huppert at the start of the week he would be competing for a place on the podium I’m sure he’d have bitten your hand off, so there’s still all to play for on Friday.
Enrico Marotti (JP / NeilPryde) is another sailor who could’ve been firmly in the top 3 at this point - and he is still just one point outside - but the Croat has made a couple of costly errors when in the qualifying places for the Winners’ Final. In Elimination 5 today, Marotti looked as though he was cruising into the top 8 before being flattened by another huge gust. The 30-year-old bounced back brilliantly to sign off the day with his best result of the week - second - and has a great shot at the podium tomorrow.
Maciek Rutkowski (FMX Racing / Challenger Sails) has shown incredible consistency this week and the Pole is the only man who can still boast a 100% qualifying record for the Winners’ Final, however, the 29-year-old must be wondering what could’ve been if a couple of other little pieces of luck had have gone his way. In the Elimination 6 Winners’ Final, he was challenging Mortefon all the way to the first mark, but was then taken down by Antoine Questel (FMX Racing / S2Maui) after going for a tight gybe to challenge Mortefon, which meant he ultimately finished 7th. He too will enter the final day as a podium contender, as like Marotti, he currently stands on 28 points, just 1 point behind Huppert and 7.3 behind Mortefon.
Matteo Iachino’s (Starboard / Severne Sails / Starboard Foil) day started brilliantly with the vice-world champion recording his best result of the event - second - in Elimination 4. However, things then went downhill, firstly after hitting a piece of bamboo after an excellent start in Heat 3 of Elimination 5 - resulting in a quarterfinal exit - and then being caught up in the carnage at the first mark of the Winners’ Final in Elimination 6, which all but ended his chances in that one. That results in Iachino dropping from 2nd at the start of the day to 6th, however, he too remains in contention for the podium on 29 points - setting up what should be a thrilling final day.
The top 10 is currently completed by Basile Jacquin (FMX Racing / Point-7), who signed off the day with his best result of the event - 3rd - Alexandre Cousin (Patrik / Phantom Sails / Chopper Fins / Phantom Foils), who drops one place to 8th, Antoine Questel (FMX Racing / S2Maui) - 9th - who rises into the top 10 off of the back of three consecutive top 10 places today, and Jordy Vonk (Fanatic / Duotone / LOKEFOIL), who also breaks into the top 10 after gaining 4 places today. The World No.4 from 2018 and ‘19 qualified for his first two Winners’ Finals of the week today - taking home an excellent 3rd in Elimination 5 on the fin, whilst being a little unlucky that the wind dropped at the final mark as he had been second the whole way round.
Elsewhere, there were a couple of standout performances as two sailors achieved their best individual results to date on the world tour. Firstly, Nico Prien (Starboard / NeilPryde) claimed a brilliant second place in Elimination 5, whilst Rytis Jasiunas (Future Fly / Point-7), not only qualified for his first Winners’ Final in Elimination 6 but went on to secure 4th, just missing out on third to Jacquin.
The final day of the Tiberias PWA World Cup is geared up for an enthralling finish with plenty still on the line across all disciplines and you’ll be able to watch it all unravel live via the live stream. The sailors will meet again at 1pm for the skippers’ meeting with the action commencing from 2pm (GMT+3) onwards.
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Current Ranking 2021 Tiberias PWA World Cup - Women’s Slalom
*After 6 Eliminations
1st Sarah-Quita Offringa (ARU | Starboard / NeilPryde / Maui Ultra Fins)
2nd Marion Mortefon (FRA | Fanatic / Duotone)
3rd Delphine Cousin Questel (FRA | FMX Racing / S2Maui)
4th Sarah Jackson (GBR | Fanatic / Duotone)
5th Sara Wennekes
Current Ranking 2021 Tiberias PWA World Cup - Women’s Foil
*After 3 Eliminations
1st Marion Mortefon (FRA | Fanatic / Duotone / LOKEFOIL)
2nd Helle Oppedal (NOR | Fanatic / Duotone)
3rd Blanca Alabau (ESP | Starboard / Severne Sails / Starboard Foil)
4th Linoy Geva (ISR)
5th Sara Wennekes (NED)
Current Ranking 2021 Tiberias PWA World Cup - Men’s Slalom
*After 6 Eliminations
1st Nicolas Goyard (FRA | Phantom Boards / Phantom Sails / Phantom Foils)
2nd Pierre Mortefon (FRA | Fanatic / Duotone / Chopper Fins / LOKEFOIL)
3rd William Huppert (FRA | Fanatic / Duotone / LOKEFOIL)
4th Enrico Marotti (CRO | JP / NeilPryde)
5th Maciek Rutkowski (POL | FMX Racing / Challenger Sails)
6th Matteo Iachino (ITA | Starboard / Severne Sails / Starboard Foil)
7th Basile Jacquin (FRA | FMX Racing / Point-7)
8th Alexandre Cousin (FRA | Patrik / Phantom Sails / Chopper Fins / Phantom Foils)
9th Antoine Questel (FRA | FMX Racing / S2Maui)
10th Jordy Vonk (NED | Fanatic / Duotone / LOKEFOIL)