venerdì 24 novembre 2017

PWA Worlds - Day 2 of Airwaves Noumea Dream Cup

Anse Vata Beach served up another intense dose of racing on day two of the 2017 Airwaves Noumea Dream Cup with the wind blowing 20-30 knots for almost the entire day, which allowed a further three eliminations to be completed in superb slalom conditions.

At the close of play the same man and woman head up the event rankings as overnight - Matteo Iachino and Delphine Cousin Questel - and despite their best efforts they remain powerless to prevent Antoine Albeau and Sarah-Quita Offringa from claiming the 2017 Men's and Women's PWA Slalom World Championships with both Albeau and Offringa reducing the deficit to rise into second place in the event rankings, while solidifying their title credentials.

After a slightly slow start yesterday the current world tour leader - Sarah-Quita Offringa - responded in the perfect fashion by bouncing back superbly and winning the first race of the day. However, it still wasn't all plain sailing as a slow start in Elimination three almost cost her dearly, but she did well to battle back into third place over the remainder of the course.

In the very next race Offringa survived another scare after dropping her second gybe in the semifinals, but she managed to recover before going on to secure her second bullet of the day in Elimination Four - which reduces current event leader Delphine Cousin Questel's (Starboard / S2Maui) lead to just one point, while putting her firmly back in control of the title race as she now holds a comfortable 5.6 point advantage over Lilou Granier in fourth place - when she only requires a top three finish to secure the title.
Delphine Cousin Questel still heads the top of the rankings at the close of play on day two after another excellent performance today which saw the former two-time world champion record two seconds and a first from the three races completed.

Lena Erdil, who came into the event, second in the overall rankings, suffered a disappointing opening day after finishing seventh, but she rediscovered the sort of form we have come to expect from her in recent years by bouncing back with a second and two third places, which sees her rise four spots from the overnight rankings into third place - keeping her on course for the overall podium.

Elsewhere, Lilou Granier, who came so close to winning the opening elimination yesterday suffered a disastrous start to the day as she was disqualified in the semifinals for a premature start.

However, after that, the 17-year-old recovered well with two fourth places, which sees her sitting in fourth place at the close of play - four points ahead of Marion Mortefon (Fanatic / NorthSails) in fifth.

The event lead swung hands on a couple of occasions today in the men's division with reigning world champion Matteo Iachino continuing to go head-to-head with Antoine Albeau.
In the opening race of the day, Iachino struck again to maintain his perfect start to the event, but then a sixth place in Elimination three combined with Albeau winning his first race of the week saw AA move to the top of the event rankings, while also assuming complete control of the title race.

However, Iachino finishes the day with a 1.7 point advantage over Albeau at the top of the rankings with the discard coming in to play.

In terms of the title race though Albeau is in command as he now holds a 16.5 point advantage over Arnon Dagan in eighth place and Albeau only needs to finish eighth or better in order to guarantee himself an incredible 24th world title.

For Dagan, the first two races were a bit of a disaster, but he has since recovered superbly with a fourth place and a bullet to bring himself back into contention to maintain his hopes of finishing the season in the overall top 10.

While the title race may look to be all but over the race for the remaining place on the prestigious overall podium is firmly on with the momentum swinging in Pierre Mortefon's favour.

The Frenchman came into the event in fourth place, but if things were to finish as they currently stand, then Mortefon would overtake Ross Williams in the fight for third place.

Mortefon currently occupies third place in the event rankings after discarding an 11th place from Elimination Two before recording two solid results - second and a fifth - while Williams, by his standards, had a bit of a day to forget.

The Brit started the day with a decent fifth before suffering a quarterfinal exit in Elimination Three soon followed by missing the winners' final in Elimination Four, which leaves him in 9th place in the current event rankings.

Williams hasn't finished lower than ninth all season and came into the final event of the year on the back of three consecutive podiums, so while you certainly wouldn't bet against him recovering from this small blip you also feel that he can't really afford anymore slip-ups with Mortefon applying the pressure.

Elsewhere, Sebastian Kördel rises one place to fourth after another excellent day - apart from a small blemish in Elimination three. However, the German then hit back with his best result to date in a single race - second - and will look to continue to build over the remainder of the event.

Marco Lang, who started the day in second place, falls three places to fifth, but that is not entirely his own fault.

The Austrian finished 13th in the second race before responding in Elimination three with a terrific third and looked to b going well in Elimination four only for a snapped harness bar forcing him to withdraw from the semifinals, which was obviously hugely frustrating and disappointing for the Austrian.

Cyril Moussilmani is one of the biggest movers of the day after a consistent set of performances - third, 10th and a seventh - sees the Frenchman rise eight places to sixth, while fellow countryman Pascal Toselli falls one place to seventh.
The top 10 is currently completed by Malte Reuscher, who has been extremely consistent with two ninth places and a 12th and the German looked to be on course for another top 16 finish in Elimination three until Maciek Rutkowski gybed into him at the final mark - when both sailors were in the qualifying positions - resulting in Reuscher falling.

The 27-year-old lodged an official protest against Rutkowski for dangerous sailing, but those appeals turned out to be in vain. 
Elsewhere, the home crowd were delighted to see Basile Jacquin rubbing shoulders with the best of the world in the winners' final of Elimination four - where the New Caledonian eventually managed to clinch fourth.

To stay up to date with all the latest developments from New Caledonia - including elimination ladders, entry list, images and live ticker simply click HERE and scroll to the bottom of the page.

Current Ranking 2017 Airwaves Noumea Dream Cup - Women's Slalom
*After 4 Eliminations
1st Delphine Cousin Questel (Starboard / S2Maui)
2nd Sarah-Quita Offringa (Starboard / NeilPryde / Maui Ultra Fins)
3rd Lena Erdil (Starboard / Point-7 / AL360)
4th Lilou Granier
5th Marion Mortefon (Fanatic / NorthSails)

Current Ranking 2017 Airwaves Noumea Dream Cup - Men's Slalom
*After 4 Eliminations
1st Matteo Iachino (Starboard / Point-7 / Shamal Sunglasses)
2nd Antoine Albeau (RRD / NeilPryde)
3rd Pierre Mortefon (Fanatic / NorthSails / Chopper Fins)
4th Sebastian Koerdel (Starboard / GA Sails)
5th Marco Lang (Fanatic / NorthSails)
6th Cyril Moussilmani (99NoveNove / Severne)
7th Pascal Toselli (99NoveNove / LoftSails / Chopper Fins)
8th Arnon Dagan (RRD / NeilPryde)
9th Ross Williams (Tabou / GA Sails / Mystic / Shamal Sunglasses)
10th Malte Reuscher (JP / NeilPryde)

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