Fuerteventura PWA Grand Slam – Day 7

Altri tre slalom con il ventone a Fuerte e l’impressione è che per la corsa al podio, la situazione vada un po’ complicandosi per il nostro Matteo, che nonostante lo scarto, rientra nei top 10, ma rimane per ora distante dai primi tre.


Podio virtuale che al momento è nelle mani dei due suoi più accreditati avversari dello scorso anno, con l’aggiunta di Ross Williams a fare da “cuscinetto” tra un suntuoso Albeau e un arrembante Mortefon.


Pierre che nel terzo slalom, mentre Matteo e Antoine si contendevano il 5° e 6° posto della finale perdenti, andava piazzare un 2° posto in quella vincenti, dietro all’altro francese Toselli, motorizzato dall’italica accoppiata 99/Challenger Sails, che lo proiettava in alto in classifica.


Quarto slalom da dimenticare per Matteo e gli atri scappano… 1° Antoine, 2° Williams, 5° Mortefon.
I punti in classifica cominciano a farsi pesanti, anche se nel quinto slalom Matteo centra la finale vincenti e arriva ad un soffio da Mortefon e Albeau che resiste sino all’ultimo in testa alla gara.
Oggi è previsto di nuovo vento… per ora il vecchio leone Albeau ha in mano le redini dei giochi con il vento così forte come nei primi due giorni… vediamo con gli altri possibili scarti, come andrà a finire la disfida.


Detto di Matteo attualmente al 10° posto di tappa, gli altri nostri “conterranei” fanno dei passetti indietro: quello che limita di più i danni è il veterano di tante battaglie Andrea Cucchi che staziona in un’onorevole 20ª posizione anche se dopo l’exploit della tappa di Catalunya ci aveva abituato molto, molto meglio. Un altro che è un po’ che lotta nel PWA, Andrea Rosati è 27°, il tedesco Malte (ma lo dobbiamo “conteggiare” tra gli Italiani o i Tedeschi?!) è scivolato in 29° posizione, Ferin è 32°, Martini 42°, Scagliola 51° e a chiudere la classifica con un 62° posto troviamo l’amico Max Brunetti, al quale mi sa che il vento così forte non fa tanto bene!

Current Ranking Men’s Slalom — Fuerteventura PWA Grand Slam
1st Antoine Albeau (RRD / NeilPryde)
2nd Ross Williams (Tabou / GA Sails / Mystic / Shamal Sunglasses)
3rd Pierre Mortefon (Fanatic / NorthSails)
4th Cedric Bordes (Tabou / GA Sails)
5th Pascal Toselli (99NoveNove / Challenger Sails)
6th Cyril Moussilmani (Starboard / Severne)
7th Julien Quentel (Patrik / Avanti)
8th Taty Frans (Starboard / GA Sails / Mystic)
9th Finian Maynard (99NoveNove / Gun Sails)
10th Matteo Iachino (Starboard / Point-7)

Photos © PWA/carter
Report Fuerteventura PWA Grand Slam – Day 7

A true test of tactical awareness and adaptation
A further 3 eliminations were completed on the second day of slalom as the wind continued to howl, which saw the elite of the slalom world reaching for their smallest equipment with most sailors on 5.6-6.2m sails. Today was a true test of skill with each elimination seeing a different course being set to really test the sailors tactical awareness and by the end of the day it is Antoine Albeau (RRD / NeilPryde), who has extended his lead at the top of the event rankings after another brilliant day, which saw the reigning world champion record a further two victories, while discarding a 9th place finish in elimination three.

FV16_sl_Epic_slalom_in_FuerteventuaMore warp speed slalom

Elimination Three – Winners’ Final
Taty Frans (Starboard / GA Sails / Mystic) made the best start of the fleet in the opening winners’ final of the day, but it was Cyril Moussilmani (Starboard / Severne) who assumed the lead as they rounded the opening buoy. However, with the ferocious winds and extremely choppy water, Moussilmani, took a tumble at the second mark allowing Pascal Toselli (99NoveNove / Challenger Sails) to pick up the lead. Over the remainder of the course there was a fantastic battle between Toselli, Frans and Pierre Mortefon (Fanatic / NorthSails), but it was Toselli who eventually came out on top with Mortefon taking 2nd ahead of Frans and Ben Van der Steen (Tabou / GA Sails), who recorded his best result of the event so far — 4th.
FV16_sl_Toselli_takes_race_threePascal Toselli holds off Pierre Mortefon

Elimination Four
The fourth elimination saw a completely different course, which saw some sailors up in arms about the course they had been set, but it produced the most exciting race of the day with positions constantly changing with sailors falling left, right and centre with the short and broad legs catching many out. This meant that sailors going in the drink at the opening couple of buoys were still frequently qualifying with the opportunity to come back a real possibility and from a spectators perspective it was fantastic.

FV16_sl_Man_downMen down – carnage ensued

Winners’ Final
Having missed out on the winners’ final in the third elimination, Antoine Albeau (RRD / NeilPryde), immediately struck back as he made a flying start by the pin to take a narrow lead into the first over Pascal Toselli, who was looking to win back-to-back eliminations, and Ross Williams (Tabou / GA Sails / Mystic / Shamal Sunglasses). With the bit firmly between his teeth Albeau was soon securing bullet number two of the week and he celebrated by launching into a massive jump as he crossed the finish line. Meanwhile, with Williams applying the pressure the Brit secured himself an excellent 2nd place as Toselli went down when under pressure, while Ben Van der Steen went one place better than the previous race to finish 3rd ahead of Cedric Bordes (Tabou / GA Sails) and Pierre Mortefon (Fanatic / NorthSails).

FV16_sl_Albeau_heads_outAntoine Albeau

Elsewhere, Diony Guadagnino (AHD / Loft Sails), qualified for his first winners’ final since returning to the PWA Slalom World Tour this year and the Venezuelan showed excellent pace and secure gybes to earn a 6th place finish.

FV16_sl_Diony_at_the_first_markDiony battles back

Elimination Five
After a short and dynamic course in the third race, the final elimination of the day was a battle consisting of out and out speed with just two successful gybes being needed to round the course. However, the speed runs saw many sailors tail walking as they fought to survive the extreme conditions snd some suffered some brutal wipeouts — including Marco Lang (Fanatic / North Sails) who broke his boom such was the ferocity of one of his catapults.

Winners’ Final
 The fifth elimination saw another scintillating finish involving Antoine Albeau, Pierre Mortefon and Matteo Iachino (Starboard / Point-7). Jordy Vonk (Fanatic / NorthSails) made an excellent start, but by the first it was Albeau and Iachino going all out and it looked as though it would be AA who would hold the lead as they entered the opening gybe, however, Iachino dived down the inside to snatch pole position only for Albeau to find another gear to blitz past Iachino on the second reach to take first place. Mortefon then came flying down the home reach to make it a three way battle for the finish line, but Albeau would not be denied as he opens up an extensive lead at the top. Mortefon, meanwhile, rises to 3rd overall after beating Iachino to 2nd place, while Ross Williams continues to enjoy a fine start to the event and he occupies 4th place in the currently event rankings after another top 4 finish.

A mix of emotions as Antoine Albeau holds on

Jordy Vonk qualified for his opening winners’ final of the week after a disappointing performance yesterday and the young Dutchman was clearly delighted as he fist pumped across the finish line, only to be brought firmly back to earth with a catapult. However, Vonk, didn’t let the crash affect his mindset as he continued to celebrate once being back on the beach.

Jordy Vonk books place in the final

Cedric Bordes (Tabou / GA Sails) missed out on a place in the winners’ final for the first time this week, but he limited the damage by claiming victory in the losers’ final to finish 9th overall and holds 4th place in the event rankings.
FV16_sl_Cederic_BordesCedric Bordes on the fly

Antoine Albeau now holds a commanding lead at the top of the rankings and he’ll be looking to continue his domination of the event tomorrow with the forecast predicting another windy day tomorrow. The sailors will meet again at 10:30am — with the racing commencing from 11am (GMT+1) onwards. Make sure you tune into www.pwaworldtour.com to follow the racing live.