Hvide Sande PWA World Cup
After a calm opening day to the 2019 Hvide Sande PWA World Cup, there was a full day of racing on offer for day two with two men’s and three women’s eliminations being completed in 10 to 20 knots of wind. There was plenty of drama with several of the top seeds suffering less than ideal starts, while some sailors made a resurgence to leave the event excitingly poised heading into day three, which promises to be a cracker.
Sarah-Quita Offringa (Starboard / NeilPryde / Maui Ultra Fins) may be competing in her first Slalom event since Portugal last year, but that hasn’t stopped the Aruban from hitting the water running. A catapult on the opening reach in the first winners’ final effectively cost Offringa a chance of winning Elimination 1 - eventually having to settle for 6th - but the 28-year-old was then untouchable as she claimed back-to-back bullets to lead the event rankings at the end of the first day.
Marion Mortefon (Fanatic / Duotone) is currently Offringa’s closest challenger in second place after enjoying a very consistent day. The current world No.2 started the day with two fourth places before signing off with a second after managing to avoid the carnage at the first mark.
Reigning world champion and current world tour leader - Delphine Cousin Questel (Starboard / S2Maui) - hasn’t had things all her own way on the first day of racing and finds ranked 3rd at the close of play. The 28-year-old started solidly with a 3rd and then a second, but then got caught up in the melee at the first mark in Elimination 3 and with the wind on the light side of the spectrum had to settle for 6th. Cousin Questel can, of course, look to discard that result in the next race, but will be wary of the fact that she’ll need to register a bullet sooner rather than later as to not allow Offringa to steal too much of a march on her.
The day started brilliantly for Jenna Gibson (Fanatic / Duotone) with the Brit claiming her second bullet on the world tour after showing tremendous pace to leave her rivals in her wake. However, the wheels then slightly fell off with an 8th and a 5th, but the 22-year-old remains very much in the hunt for the podium!
Meanwhile, Maëlle Guilbaud (Patrik / Loftsails) bounced back brilliantly from a disappointing 10th place in the opener by steadying the ship with an excellent 3rd and 4th, which sees the current world No.3 recover into 5th place ahead of Oda Brødholt (Starboard / Severne), Océane Lescadieu (S2Maui) and Fulya Ünlü.
Lena Erdil (Starboard / Point-7 / AL360 / Chopper Fins) currently finds herself in 9th place after seeing a bright start - second in the opening race - derailed by a 9th and a 12th after being caught up at the first mark in both Elimination 3 and 4. The Turk was prominently placed on both occasions and was less than happy, but will now have to regroup and try to fight her way back up the rankings.
Much has been made of the importance of this event in terms of the title race with the discard coming into play and you could see just how much claiming the opening bullet meant to Pierre Mortefon (Fanatic / Duotone / Chopper Fins) as he began the event in perfect fashion with an impressive victory, before finishing 4th in the second elimination.
The Frenchman heads up the event rankings at the end of the first day of racing, but only has a slender one point advantage over fellow world title hopeful - Matteo Iachino (Starboard / Severne) - who secured a crucial bullet in the second race to keep himself firmly in contention heading into day three having finished 5th in the opener.
While two out of the big 3 are tussling it out at the top of the rankings the remaining member - world tour leader Antoine Albeau (JP / NeilPryde) - finds himself sat just outside the overall top 10 at the close of play after a rare quarterfinal exit in Elimination 2. AA found himself squeezed out on the approach into the first mark and then got covered on the exit, which left him with too much of a deficit to recover from. AA had started the day with a solid second place, but will now need to not put a foot wrong over the next couple of races in order to be able to discard that 22.5.
Ben van der Steen (Goya Windsurfing) rekindled his racing flame today as the Flying Dutchman enjoyed his best day in quite some time on the world tour. Van der Steen won every qualifying heat he sailed today to deservedly book his place in both winners’ finals and is currently ranked third after a 4th and 7th place.
The current top 4, which is completed by Ross Williams (Tabou / GA Sails) are the only sailors to have a 100% winners’ final record remaining after the first two races. The Brit did well to pip teammate - Ethan Westera (Tabou / GA Sails) - to the final place into the semifinals of Elimination 2 before going on to finish 5th - one place better than his result in the first.
Two-time youth world champion - Basile Jacquin (I-99 / Point-7) - has made a bright start to proceedings and the 21-year-old currently finds himself in 5th place after qualifying for one losers’ final and a winners’ final. Jacquin is currently level on 18 points with Taty Frans (Future Fly / Point-7), who also qualified for one losers’ final and a winners’ final.
Local boy Sebastian Kornum (JP / NeilPryde) continues to break the stereotypical slalom model by holding his own with the world’s best on home waters. The Dane is currently ranked 7th after a 7th and 12th.
Meanwhile, the top 10 is currently completed by Enrico Marotti (JP / NeilPryde), who bounced back brilliantly from a quarterfinal exit by recording a superb 3rd place in Elimination 2, which sees the Croat rise to 8th. Then we have Maciek Rutkowski (FMX / Challenger Sails) - 9th - and Antoine Questel (I-99 / S2Maui) - 10th.
It’s also back to the drawing board for current world No.2 - Jordy Vonk (Fanatic / Duotone) - who suffered a disastrous start to the event. Things went from bad to worse for Vonk, who after being eliminated in the quarterfinals of Elimination 1 was then eliminated in round 2 of the next. Whether Vonk is still recovering from the illness that affected him prior to Fuerteventura, only he will know, but he will still want to try to bounce back strongly over the coming days - starting from tomorrow.
21-year-old Damien Arnoux (Simmer / Simmer Sails) also deserves a mention after the young Frenchman booked his place in the top 16 of an elimination not just once, but twice, for the first time. He is currently ranked 15th. Arnoux had looked extremely quick in Fuerte, but was found wanting in the gybes, but here with the flatter water, he looks much more adept.
Elsewhere, Arnon Dagan (Future Fly / NeilPryde) and Alexandre Cousin (Patrik / Phantom Sails) mixed the good with the bad with each sailor suffering a disappointing quarterfinal exit, but also recording an excellent second (Dagan) and third (Cousin) respectively.
The forecast looks like we are in store for a wet, wild, and most importantly windy Wednesday with WindGuru currently predicting winds in excess of 30 knots. The sailors will meet again at 9:30am (GMT+2) for the skippers’ meeting with the action commencing from 10:30am onwards.
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Current Ranking 2019 Hvide Sande PWA World Cup - Women’s Slalom
*After 3 Eliminations
1st Sarah-Quita Offringa (ARU | Starboard / NeilPryde / Maui Ultra Fins)
2nd Marion Mortefon (FRA | Fanatic / Duotone)
3rd Delphine Cousin Questel (FRA | Starboard / S2Maui)
4th Jenna Gibson (GBR | Fanatic / Duotone)
5th Maëlle Guilbaud (FRA | Patrik / Loftsails)
6th Oda Brødholt (NOR | Starboard / Severne)
7th Océane Lescadieu (NC | S2Maui)
8th Fulya Ünlü (TUR | Starboard / Severne) Sarah Jackson (GBR | Tabou / GA Sails)
9th Lena Erdil (TUR | Starboard / Point-7 / AL360 / Chopper Fins)
10th Marianne Rautelin (FIN | Patrik / Loftsails)
Current Ranking 2019 Hvide Sande PWA World Cup - Men’s Slalom
*After 2 Eliminations
1st Pierre Mortefon (FRA | Fanatic / Duotone / Chopper Fins)
2nd Matteo Iachino (ITA | Starboard / Severne)
3rd Ben van der Steen (NED | Goya Windsurfing)
4th Ross Williams (GBR | Tabou / GA Sails)
5th Basile Jacquin (FRA | I-99 / Point-7)
6th Taty Frans (NB | Future Fly / Point-7)
7th Sebastian Kornum (DEN | JP / NeilPryde)
8th Enrico Marotti (CRO | JP / NeilPryde)
9th Maciek Rutkowski (POL | FMX Racing / Challenger Sails)
10th Antoine Questel (FRA | I-99 / S2Maui)