Fuerteventura PWA Grand Slam

Day 3: Johan claims Soe’nly bullet of the day to seize the event lead heading into final two days of racing

The Fuerteventura wind machine cranked again on day three of the 2023 Fuerteventura PWA Grand Slam, however, it was only for a relatively short window, which meant only one elimination for the men’s was completed before a layer of cloud played havoc with the wind. The completion of that one elimination was enough to cause a shakeup in the event rankings though as 20-year-old - Johan Soe (FMX Racing / Point-7) - hits the front of the pack after winning Elimination 6, but that doesn’t quite tell the whole story…



With just 0.9 of a point separating overnight leader - Nicolas Goyard (Phantom / Phantom Sails / Phantom Foils) - and Johan Soe (FMX Racing / Point-7) in second place, Elimination 6 was always going to be a high pressured race for the two front runners. Both sailors successfully qualified for the Winners’ Final and soon hit the front of the fleet. As they rounded the last it looked as though Goyard was going to complete a memorable four timer to take a stranglehold of the event as he held a reasonable lead, but the Frenchman made an uncharacteristic mistake. The former world champion completed his gybe, but hit a piece of swell, which caused his back wing to lose grip, which sent him over the handlebars. Soe, meanwhile, was waiting in the wings for any mistake and the 20-year-old duly obliged by coming round the last to pick up the lead to secure his first bullet of the event, and more importantly, the event lead. 

Victory in today’s only elimination sees Soe open up a 4.4 point advantage at the top of the event rankings, which places more pressure on Goyard ahead of the seventh elimination - when the second discard comes into play. As things currently stand, if Soe were to win the next race then he would have a total of 9.4 points after the second discard, whilst if Goyard were to claim another bullet then he would have 8.8 points, so things remain incredibly tight at the top… potentially at least, so the second discard may prove pivotal in deciding the outcome of the event. Goyard was frustrated to have made such a mistake, but ultimately the 27-year-old still has things in his own hands, however, his margin for error has now been greatly reduced. The event title race lead is delicately poised, which from a spectators point of view should make for fascinating viewing over the next two days.

Amado Vrieswijk (Future Fly / Severne Sails) remains in third place, but the 27-year-old now only has a two point cushion over Matteo Iachino (Starboard / Severne Sails) in fourth, whilst Pierre Mortefon (Fanatic / Duotone / Chopper Fins / Phantom Foils) is just two points further back as the battle for the podium tightens up. Vrieswijk qualified for the Winners’ Final, but fell at the opening mark under pressure from Soe when rounding in second place, which saw him eventually finish seventh and lose valuable ground on the top two. 

Iachino and Mortefon both record their best results of the event thus far - fourth and second respectively - which sees the Italian climb into 4th place, whilst Mortefon climbs two places into 5th.

Maciek Rutkowski (FMX Racing / Challenger Sails) started the day in fourth, but the current world tour slides to 6th at the close of play - 8.7 points off of third place. The Pole was squeezed out just before the start in the semifinals and then crashed at the final buoy in the b-final when in second place - which would’ve been 10th place for the elimination - but eventually finished 14th instead. There’s no real cause for any alarm yet, but this is the first time this season that the reigning world champion has faltered, so he will quickly want to stamp out those errors. 

The top 10 is currently completed by Michele Becker (Patrik / Patrik Sails / Patrik Foils), Bruno Martini (JP / NeilPryde), Daniele Benedetti (FMX Racing / Challenger Sails), who climbs into the top 10 in only his second event after finishing in an excellent third place today - 9th - and William Huppert (Phantom / Phantom Sails / Phantom Boards).

Elsewhere, Scotty Stallman (Tabou / GA Sails) remains in 15th in the overalls, but will be delighted today as the Brit recorded his best result to date - 10th in Elimination 6. 

After today’s short flurry of wind, the forecast for Sunday looks solid again with 20-25 knots currently predicted, which should hopefully be even windier once the local effect is taken into account. The sailors will meet again at 11am (GMT+1) tomorrow for the skippers’ meeting with the racing commencing from 11:30am onwards. 

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Current Ranking 2023 Fuerteventura PWA Grand Slam - Women's Slalom
*After 9 Eliminations

1st Sarah-Quita Offringa (ARU | Starboard / NeilPryde / Maui Ultra Fins)
2nd Marion Mortefon (FRA | Fanatic / Duotone)
3rd Justine Lemeteyer (FRA | FMX Racing / S2Maui / LOKEFOIL)
4th Blanca Alabau (ESP | Starboard / Severne Sails)
5th Jenna Gibson (UK | Fanatic / Duotone)

Current Ranking 2023 Fuerteventura PWA Grand Slam - Men's Slalom
*After 6 Eliminations

1st Johan Soe (DEN | FMX Racing / Point-7)
2nd Nicolas Goyard (FRA | Phantom / Phantom Sails / Phantom Boards)
3rd Amado Vrieswijk (NB | Future Fly | Severne Sails)
4th Matteo Iachino (ITA | Starboard / Severne Sails)
5th Pierre Mortefon (FRA | Fanatic / Duotone / Phantom Foils)
6th Maciek Rutkowski (POL | FMX Racing / Challenger Sails)
7th Michele Becker (GER | Patrik / Patrik Sails / Patrik Foils)
8th Bruno Martini (ITA | JP / NeilPryde)
9th Daniele Benedetti (ITA | FMX Racing / Challenger Sails)
10th William Huppert (FRA | Phantom / Phantom Sails / Phantom Boards)

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