Tiberias PWA World Cup
After just over 18 months, the PWA World Tour finally made its long awaited return to your screens as the best Men and Women racers in the world battled it out in Israel over 5 days. The Tiberias PWA World Cup proved to be a huge success with a 100 percent wind record, whilst producing plenty of highly entertaining racing, despite the gustiness of the wind sometimes playing havoc. Overall it was a great return to racing featuring the world’s fastest sailors.
Sarah-Quita Offringa (Starboard / NeilPryde / Maui Ultra Fins) made a winning return to the Slalom PWA World Tour with a commanding victory in Israel. The Aruban finished the week with a perfect counting score of 3.5 points, but it wasn’t as straight forward as the figures would make out. After a strong start - which saw the 29-year-old win both of the opening races - Offringa then suffered a mid event dip, which saw her lose the event lead after recording a 6th and a last place. However, the 4-time Slalom World Champion fought back on the final day by reeling off an impressive hat-trick of bullets.
Marion Mortefon (Fanatic / Duotone) sailed consistently all week - finishing outside of the top 3 twice in 7 eliminations. However, after jumping the gun in the last elimination that effectively ended any hope she had of pipping Offringa to the event title.
Reigning World Champion - Delphine Cousin Questel (FMX Racing / S2Maui) - starts the year with a third place. The 30-year-old sailed amazingly consistent all week - finishing outside of the top 3 once, but she couldn’t quite find the right formula to unlock those crucial bullets to bring herself into contention for the title this time around.
Sarah Jackson (Fanatic / Duotone) begins the year with her best result to date on the world tour - 4th. The Brit enjoyed an excellent week - claiming her first bullet in Elimination 3 - and she will be able to take away plenty of positives from Israel, whilst showing she has the potential to challenge the best women in the world for the podium.
Sara Wennekes completes the top 5 just ahead of Tuesday-Lou Judd (Patrik / Phantom Sails), who walks away with 6th place in her first event back since breaking her foot in Denmark in September 2019.
In the Foiling, Marion Mortefon (Fanatic / Duotone / LOKEFOIL), walks away with the top prize after an extremely strong showing, which saw her finish the event with counting results of a first and two, thirds. The 29-year-old showed excellent pace over the last 5 days and was always in contention. Having won her first event on the world tour in New Caledonia, 2019, Mortefon will be delighted with her start to the season as she wins her first Foil event.
Helle Oppedal (Fanatic / Duotone) looked set to give Mortefon a serious challenge for the title heading into the final day after the young Norwegian put herself firmly in contention by winning Eliminations 2 and 3. However, it wasn’t to be this time around with the 19-year-old failing to qualify for the Winners’ Final of Elimination 4 - which effectively handed the title to Mortefon. You can be sure to hear a lot more of her name though and she still finishes the week with her best result to date on the world tour with a superb second place.
Blanca Alabau (Starboard / Severne Sails / Starboard Foil) sailed consistently all week, which earns her a place on the podium for the first time.
Elsewhere, Sarah-Quita Offringa finishes 4th in her first Foil event on the world tour. The Aruban’s result were a bit up and down in the Foil, but she signed off the week in style by winning her first Foil elimination as she denied Alice Read (Fanatic / Duotone) her first victory on the line in a thrilling finish.
All eyes were on the Men’s Slalom with this being the first event in which fin and foil were combined into one discipline. Prior the event it there has been plenty of debate about Fin versus Foil, but I’m not sure anyone was expecting to see what we witnessed over the last 5 days as Nicolas Goyard (Phantom / Phantom Sails / Phantom Foils) destroyed the fleet on his Foil - even in winds gusting over 25 knots. The 2019 Foil PWA World Champion was in a league of his own as he won the opening 5 Eliminations to secure the event title with a day to spare. Now everyone else will be going away from Israel and trying to work out how they can decrease the deficit to Goyard. This will go down as a historic victory with Goyard winning on the Foil against the Fins for the first time, the question now is can the Foil continue to hold its own or can the Fin fight back?
Reigning Slalom PWA World Champion - Pierre Mortefon (Fanatic / Duotone / Chopper Fins / LOKEFOIL) - almost went under the radar in the first half of the event. The Frenchman only failed to qualify for one Winners’ Final, but without ever really threatening to attack for a bullet. However, with Goyard disqualified in the semifinals of Elimination 6, Mortefon seized his opportunity to strike on the fin and claim his first bullet of the season, which he then followed up on the final day by securing another victory - this time on the foil - which earned the 31-year-old a solid second place on which to build upon.
Apart from Goyard, William Huppert (Fanatic / Duotone / LOKEFOIL), was the only other sailor to sail the entire event on a foil, which paid off handsomely for the Frenchman as the 26-year-old earns best result, and first podium, on the world tour to cap a brilliant week in which he never finished outside the top 16.
Maciek Rutkowski (FMX Racing / Challenger Sails) produced the most consistent sailing of his life over the last 5 days, and the Pole can boast the record of being the only sailor to qualify for every Winners’ Final. However, that wasn’t quite good enough to earn the 29-year-old a place on the podium as he just misses out by 2 points. It will probably feel like a slightly missed opportunity for Rutkowski right now, but there are plenty of positives to take away from Israel and 4th place still represents an excellent start to the season.
Like Rutkowski, Enrico Marotti (JP / NeilPryde), may feel that he missed an opportunity for the podium here in Israel. The Croat only failed to qualify for the Winners’ Final twice, and on the two occasions he did the Croat won the b-final to finish 9th. However, whilst there are plenty of positives to take away, Marotti will need to assess why he made a couple of totally unforced errors, which ultimately cost him a shot at the podium.
One name that you probably didn’t hear about as much as you are used to is 25-time World Champion - Antoine Albeau (JP / NeilPryde) - who was given a DND (Discard Non Deductible) in Elimination 2 - which meant he was carrying a last place. However, the was rescinded on the morning of the final day and after finishing with his best result of the event in Elimination 7 - a superb second place - the big Frenchman jumped from 13th to 5th.
Vice-World Champion - Matteo Iachino (Starboard / Severne Sails / Starboard Foil) - starts the event with a slightly disappointing - by his standards - 7th place. The Italian was prominently placed in second place on Day 3, but then the wheels slowly fell off through some errors and some incidents totally out of his hands, such as hitting a piece of bamboo in Elimination 5, which resulted in a quarterfinal exit. Iachino showed more than enough at this event and will be back on the podium before too long.
Basile Jacquin (FMX Racing / Point-7) is the youngest sailor to earn a place in the top 10 with the 22-year-old earning an excellent 8th place, which is the young Frenchman’s third top 10 finish at an event. Jacquin looks to improved again over the last 18 months and looks set for a very bright racing future.
The top 10 is completed by Foil Vice-World Champion - Alexandre Cousin (Patrik / Phantom Sails / Chopper Fins / Phantom Foils) and Jordy Vonk (Fanatic / Duotone / LOKEFOIL), who just pips Nico Prien (Starboard / NeilPryde) to the final place on the prestigious podium.
That concludes our coverage of the 2021 Tiberias PWA World Cup - we hope you’ve enjoyed being able to indulge in watching windsurfing of the highest quality once again after such a long, enforced break. A huge thanks to all of the organisers, who managed to make the event happen despite the trying times of COVID still existing. We hope to see you again next year.
Where’s Next on the PWA World Tour?
The next event is just around the corner with the Zoo Station Bol PWA World Cup (1 Star) taking place between 2nd-7th July. However, the next 5 star event is currently planned for September with the Ulsan PWA World Cup scheduled to take place between 3rd-8th September - COVID depending.
Result 2021 Tiberias PWA World Cup - Women’s Slalom
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
Result 2021 Tiberias PWA World Cup - Women’s Foil
1st Marion Mortefon (FRA | Fanatic / Duotone / LOKEFOIL)
2nd Helle Oppedal (NOR | Fanatic / Duotone)
3rd Blanca Alabau (ESP | Starboard / Severne Sails / Starboard Foil)
4th Sarah-Quita Offringa (ARU | Starboard / NeilPryde / Maui Ultra Fins)
5th Sara Wennekes (NED)
Result 2021 Tiberias PWA World Cup - Men’s Slalom
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 Maciek Rutkowski (POL | FMX Racing / Challenger Sails)
5th Antoine Albeau (FRA | JP / NeilPryde)
6th Enrico Marotti (CRO | JP / NeilPryde)
7th Matteo Iachino (ITA | Starboard / Severne Sails / Starboard Foil)
8th Basile Jacquin (FRA | FMX Racing / Point-7)
9th Alexandre Cousin (FRA | Patrik / Phantom Sails / Chopper Fins / Phantom Foils)
10th Jordy Vonk (NED | Fanatic / Duotone / LOKEFOIL)