The racing wasn’t always the easiest over the last six days with light and gusty winds making the competition extremely challenging, but Alacati provided conditions again - as it usually does - to allow four eliminations to be completed and bringing one discard into play, which proved pivotal in the women’s fleet. This week will live in the mind of Pierre Mortefon (Fanatic / North) forever after the Frenchman deservedly captured his first title on the PWA Slalom World Tour with a superb display of sailing, whilst Sarah-Quita Offringa (Starboard / NeilPryde / Mystic / Maui Ultra Fins) continued her love affair with Alacati to claim another victory on the beautiful turquoise waters.
Women’s Sarah-Quita Offringa recovered from a slow start in the opening elimination, which saw the Aruban gem finish in a disappointing sixteenth place. With the cobwebs blown away and her mind fully focused Offringa found the form, which has made her untouchable here over the past three years to claim a fourth successive victory after winning the final three eliminations. Victory in Alacati sees Offringa cement her place at the top of the rankings and she will be in the driving seat when the women meet again in their final event of the year in New Caledonia.
Marion Mortefon (Patrik / Gun Sails) held the event lead heading into the final day, but was powerless to stop Offringa from stealing the event title from her grasp. The Frenchwoman sailed brilliantly throughout the week though - showing the consistency that is needed to compete at the top of the sport with two, second places and a third and can be delighted with her second place overall, which sees her rise to sixth in the overall rankings.
The prestigious podium was completed by local hero Cagla Kubat (Starboard / Severne), who made a great start to the event with a second and third place finish. However, disaster struck for Kubat in the third race as she unexpectedly suffered a first round exit leaving her desperate for a fourth race. Luck shone on her side with the wind just about arriving on the final day and she grasped her chance with both hands to secure fourth place in the final race to clinch the final place in the top three - which also sees her rise to third overall.
The week couldn’t have started any better for Fulya Ünlü (Starboard / Severne) with the nineteen year old claiming the first bullet of the week. Unfortunately though she wasn’t quite able to maintain that incredibly high level and eventually finished in fifth place, just behind reigning world champion - Delphine Cousin (Starboard / Gun Sails) - who had to settle for fourth place for the second time this season.
Meanwhile, Lena Erdil (Patrik / Point-7 / Mystic / Point-7) will be disappointed to have eventually finished sixth in Alacati, having entered the final day in second place. The twenty-six year old paid the ultimate penalty for a premature start in the last winners’ final, but on the flip-side still occupies second place in the overall rankings with one event to go. Erdil also picked up the award of being crowned the fastest female sailor in the GPS Speed Challenge with a top speed of 61km/h.
Men’s Pierre Mortefon was almost unstoppable over the past week and he was deservedly rewarded with the taste of victory for the first time. The twenty-six year old has been threatening to win on several occasions over the past couple of years and everything fell into place for him in Alacati as he won three out of the four races completed - such was his dominance - whilst discarding his third place finish from race three. A maiden victory sees Mortefon rise to third in the overall rankings.
Malte Reuscher (JP / NeilPryde) enjoyed his best event to date on the PWA World Tour as he secured a place on the podium for the first time in his career. The Italian eventually finished in second place, but his result was hanging in the balance after a quarterfinal exit in race two. However, Reuscher, responded brilliantly to record a second, third and fourth place - proving that he is one the most exciting young talents on the tour.
Matteo Iachino’s (Fanatic / North) fine season continued in Alacati with the Italian claiming a podium finish for the third successive event. Third place here sees Iachino rise into second place in the overall rankings after discarding his seventh place finish from Korea and is prominently poised to challenge Antoine Albeau (RRD / NeilPryde) all the way with two events to go.
Another man to enjoy his best event thus far on the PWA World Tour was - Tristan Algret (Starboard / Severne / Mystic). The two-time PWA Youth Slalom World Champion showed the potential he has in Alacati with two, third place finishes in the opening two races, before adding a tenth place finish to secure fourth place overall. The twenty-one year old is continuing to refine his skills and definitely looks to be a serious talent to look out for over the coming years.
Steve Allen (Starboard / Severne) enjoyed his best event since 2013 as he finished fifth in Alacati. The Australian qualified for all but one winners’ final as he recaptured his best form and rises to eighth in the overall rankings.
Ross Williams (Tabou / GA Sails / Mystic) earned himself sixth place in Alacati, which is his best result in Turkey since 2012. The Brit is continuing to enjoy a fine year, and like Allen, qualified for three out of four winners’ finals. However, sixth place sees Williams slip out of the overall top three for the first time this year into fourth, but still has a great chance of an overall podium finish.
Antoine Albeau still holds the overall lead in this year’s title race, but wasn’t quite at his ruthless best for a change this week. AA suffered two quarterfinal exits after a couple of costly mistakes and despite two, second places had to settle for seventh place in Turkey, which he instantly discards to maintain his lead at the top of the rankings.
Flying Dutchman - Ben Van der Steen (Tabou / GA Sails) - reinforced his reputation as one of the quickest men on the tour after clocking up 69kmh to the win the GPS Speed Challenge, whilst finishing the event in eighth place. Van der Steen rises all the way into fifth place overall after being able to discard his 21st place from Korea. Teammate Cedric Bordes (Tabou / GA Sail) also flies up to sixth in the overall rankings after discarding a 42nd place finish in Korea and finishing eleventh in Turkey.
Casper Bouman (Starboard / NeilPryde) recorded not only his best result of the year, but also his best ever result on the PWA Slalom World Tour as he claimed ninth place, which is the first time he has broken into the top ten.
Local boy Bora Kozanoglu (RRD / Point-7) showed he still has the skills to mix it with the best in the business to complete the top ten, whilst Maciek Rutkowski (Patrik / Point-7) earned his best ever finish in Alacati - 12th - which is also his best result of the year thus far.
The wind wasn’t always on our side over the last week, but Alacati still managed to deliver some enthralling slalom, which has left the title races beautifully poised for the remaining racing events. However, attention will now turn back to the men’s 2015 PWA Wave World Tour as the world’s most radical sailors prepare to return to action in Cold Hawaii, Klitmøller, Denmark from the 14th-20th September. We hope you’ll join us again for what promises to be a great event @ www.pwaworldtour.com .
Overall Result Pegasus Airlines Alacati PWA World Cup - Men’s Slalom: 1st Pierre Mortefon (Fanatic / North) 2nd Malte Reuscher (JP / NeilPryde) 3rd Matteo Iachino (Fanatic / North) 4th Tristan Algret (Starboard / Severne / Mystic) 5th Steve Allen (Starboard / Severne) 6th Ross Williams (Tabou / GA Sails / Mystic) 7th Antoine Albeau (RRD / NeilPryde) 8th Ben Van der Steen (Tabou / GA Sails) 9th Casper Bouman (Starboard /NeilPryde) 10th Bora Kozanoglu (RRD / Point-7) Overall Result Pegasus Airlines Alacati PWA World Cup - Women’s Slalom: 1st Sarah-Quita Offringa (Starboard / NeilPryde / Mystic / Maui Ultra Fins) 2nd Marion Mortefon (Patrik / Gun Sails) 3rd Cagla Kubat (Starboard / Severne) 4th Delphine Cousin (Starboard / Gun Sails) 5th Fulya Ünlü (Starboard / Severne) 6th Lena Erdil (Patrik / Point-7 / Mystic / AL360)