DAY 2: Kozanoglu wins the first race of the PWA Ulsan World Cup
The second day of the competition started in much the same fashion as the opening day, with winds coming from almost every direction as the wind failed to establish itself. However at 2pm the wind swung cross shore and picked up to 15 to 18 knots, ensuring an action packed afternoon, which saw both the men and women’s first elimination’s completed. The men’s second elimination was started, but after three heats the wind faded, bringing the conclusion to an exciting day of racing.
Single Elimination - Heat 4 opened up the day’s proceedings, and it was Australian Steve Allen (Starboard / Severne) that was first to book his place in the second round. Also joining him was Ross Williams (Tabou / Gaastra), Damien Le Guen (Exocet) and Gonzalo Costa Hoevel (Fanatic / North). The main casualty of the first round was Finian Maynard (RRD / Avanti), who suffered a broken fin just metres after crossing the start line, putting an end to his hopes of progressing in the first elimination.
The semi-finals included the majority of the top seeds, as the top sailors managed to survive the opening rounds unscathed. The first semi-final saw Antoine Albeau (RRD / NeilPryde) cross the start line in the lead, and the Frenchman looked in confident mood as he made the most of the gusty conditions to win heat 13, and secure his place in the winner’s final. Alberto Menegatti (Starboard / Gaastra) wasn’t far behind Albeau, as the Italian maintained his excellent form to progress. Steven Allen finished in third place, whilst Antoine Questel (Starboard / Loft Sails) pipped Micah Buzianis (JP / MauiSails) to the remaining place in the winner’s final. The second semi-final was cancelled as the wind was deemed too fluky for the heat to be completed. This was unfortunate for Peter Volwater (Fanatic / Avanti) as he got off to a brilliant start and had built a healthy lead. When the heat was restarted the Dutchman had to settle for a place in the loser’s final as he finished sixth. First over the line in the rerun was Pascal Toselli (RRD / Point-7), followed by Bora Kozanoglu (Starboard / Severne). As the race progressed it was Kozanoglu who asserted his dominance to win the heat followed by Toselli and Jimmy Diaz (Starboard / North). The final place up for grabs resulted in a photo finish as either one out of; Cyril Moussilmani (Starboard / Severne / Mystic), Peter Volwater and Josh Angulo (Angulo / Point-7) could’ve claimed fourth place. After a tense wait it emerged that Angulo had snatched the last spot. Meanwhile Bjorn Dunkerbeck (Starboard / Severne / Mystic / Dunkerbeck Eyewear) endured his worst heat for several events as he finished in seventh place. For once the terminator would be missing from the winner’s final.
Ben Van Der Steen (Starboard / Loft Sails / Mystic) sailed a terrific race, coming from behind to win the heat and finish ninth overall in the first elimination. Buzianis got off to the best start, but he dropped his gybe on the third mark, opening the door for the rest of the chasing pack. As the race headed into the final reach, the top three of Van Der Steen, Dunkerbeck and Williams remained unchanged. Buzianis on the other hand was battling to move into fourth place but Sylvain Moussilmani (Tabou / Simmer) fought off the challenge, meaning the American had to settle for fifth.
The winner’s final had to be restarted due to both Josh Angulo and Alberto Menegatti jumping the gun. In the end the showpiece of the day didn’t disappoint as it provided one of the most exciting finishes of the day. From the outset, Bora Kozanoglu burst to the front with a perfect start and he made the most of the clean wind to open up a commanding lead over his closest rival Antoine Albeau. As the Turk rounded the final gybe mark it looked as though he was going to cruise to victory, however Albeau looked like a man on a mission as he gave chase, eating into Kozanoglu’s lead at an alarming rate of knots. By the finish line there was only a few metres in it, but to the relief of Kozanoglu he had held on to claim the victory in the first race. It was later revealed that the Turk had caught some sea grass around his fin, explaining why Albeau was able to catch him at such an astonishing rate. Third and fourth place went to Questel and Jimmy Diaz (Starboard / North) respectively.
The men’s double elimination was started but the wind dropped shortly afterwards, meaning that only three heats were completed. In the first heat, Ross Williams, Pascal Toselli, Patrik Diethelm (Patrik / Loft Sails) and Andrea Rosati (RRD / Gaastra) all qualified for the second round. Going through from heat two was; Antoine Questel, Kurosh Kiani (Fanatic / Simmer), Ludovic Jossin (Patrik / Loft Sails) and Matteo Iachino (F2 / Challenger / Mystic / AL360). The third heat saw competitors well spread out as Menegatti won the heat with ease, followed by Maciek Rutkowski (Patrik / Loft Sails / Maui Ultra Fins), Costa Hoevel and finally Dunkerbeck. When the action begins tomorrow, heat 4 will be the first heat to be sailed.
The first semi-final of the day saw second seed Valerie Arrighetti (Tabou / Gaastra / Mystic) safely navigate her way to the winner’s final, behind Delphine Cousin (JP / NeilPryde) who put in a very confident display. Joining the two other women would be; Fanny Aubet (JP / NeilPryde) and Japan’s Ayako Suzuki (Starboard / Gaastra / Mystic). The major story of the day though was that the current world number one, Karin Jaggi (Patrik / Severne), made an uncharacteristic mistake as she false started, meaning that for the first time in a long time the Swiss gem would be missing from the winner’s final. Lise Vidal (Fanatic / North) rose to the forefront putting in a flawless performance to secure first place. In second was Cagla Kubat (Starboard / Loft Sails) followed by Greta Benvenuti (Patrik / Point-7 / Al 360) and Melek Toraman (Starboard / Loft Sails).
Lena Erdil (Patrik / The Loft / AL360) put the disappointment of missing out on the winner’s final behind her as she cruised to victory in the loser’s final. Meanwhile Marion Mortefon (Starboard / Severne) was able to keep her cool and hold off Alice Arutkin (Starboard / North) to finish second with Arutkin in third. An out of sorts Karin Jaggi finished in fourth place, with a performance well below her normal standards.
With Jaggi absent from the final, Arrighetti seized the moment to win the opening race of Korea. The win means she has now won back to back races, proving that she is a real contender for the overall title this year. Cagla Kubat performed brilliantly today and she was rewarded with second place after gybing beautifully to separate herself from the rest of the group. After a tight battle between Arutkin and Benvenuti, it was the French woman who came out on top as she claimed third leaving the Italian in fourth.
The forecast for tomorrow predicts lighter winds than today, but with the wind in the correct direction, we are expecting the thermal wind to kick in to allow more racing in the afternoon. The skippers meeting will be at 10:30am tomorrow morning, with the first possible start at 11am.
Results After Elimination One : Men’s Slalom
1st Bora Kozanoglu (Starboard / Severne)
2nd Antoine Albeau (RRD / NeilPryde)
3rd Antoine Questel (Starboard / Loft Sails)
4th Jimmy Diaz (Starboard / North)
5th Steve Allen (Starboard / Severne)
Results After Elimination One : Women’s Slalom
1st Valerie Arrighetti (Tabou / Gaastra / Mystic)
2nd Cagla Kubat (Starboard / Loft Sails)
3rd Fanny Aubet (JP / NeilPryde)
4th Greta Benvenuti (Patrik / Point-7 / Al 360)
5th Ayako Suzuki (Starboard / Gaastra / Mystic
DAY 1 : KOREA BEGINS WITH A BANG
The first day of the PWA Ulsan World Cup Korea saw registration take place between 10am and 12pm. Weather conditions remained changeable throughout the morning and early afternoon with cyclonic winds also occurring. At around 15:00, Korea showed its true unpredictability as the wind swung cross shore and picked up in an instant. Cue a whole host of sailors head out onto the water to check out the conditions. After a further forty five minutes, the wind stabilized sufficiently, and the first heats of the event were underway.
Heat one had to be immediately restarted as Taty Frans (Starboard / MauiSails / Mystic / Maui Ultra Fins) was a little too eager to cross the start line and was thus disqualified. When the race was restarted it was Alberto Menegatti (Starboard / Gaastra) who crossed the line in first place. The Italian sailed a commanding heat as he led from start to finish, showing both a great top speed and fluid gybes. Jesper Orth (F2 / KA) was second going into the third gybe mark, but he couldn’t hold off Pierre Mortefon (Fanatic / North) as the Frenchman burst clear of Orth and Chris Pressler (Starboard / Severne) to claim second place. In the end Orth and Pressler secured their place in the second round, finishing third and fourth respectively.
Into heat two, and a general recall was required again. This time it was Thomas Malina (Fanatic / Simmer) who jumped the gun. Antoine Albeau (RRD / NeilPryde), who is the third seed coming into Korea, was the first man across the start line and he put in a dominating performance as he cruised to victory, building a sizable lead in the process. The race for second and third place was a much more interesting battle, Matteo Iachino (F2 / Challenger / Mystic / Al 360) led Arnon Dagan (Tabou / Gaastra) going into the final reach, but Dagan came storming out of the final gybe mark to appear right on the tail of Iachino. Dagan didn’t quite have enough in tank to steal second place but it was certainly the most exciting finish of the day. The final place in the next round went to Japan’s Kouichiro Kaku (Starboard / Gaastra).
Heat three was the final heat of the day to be completed, and the wind slowly deteriorated throughout its duration. After a tight start it was Julien Quentel (RRD / NeilPryde) who rose to the top of the pack to book his place in the second round. Accompanying him would be Antoine Questel (Starboard / Loft Sails), Kurosh Kiani (Fanatic / Simmer) and Micah Buzianis (JP / MauiSails), who had to pump almost all the way from the third gybe mark to the finish line due to the fading wind.
Earlier today we had a quick chat with the reigning world champion Bjorn Dunkerbeck (Starboard / Severne / Mystic / Dunkerbeck Eyewear):
PWA: You won the event here last year, how are you feeling about retaining the event title?
Bjorn Dunkerbeck: “After Italy and all the practice I’ve been getting in the last month combined with my new equipment, both my iSonics are going really well and my Severne Reflex III are working even better than last year, the acceleration has improved especially as has the rotation of the sail. Both are aspects that I think are very important for the competition here on Jinha beach because the wind is quite gusty. “
PWA: Who do you think your biggest rivals are for the coming year?
Bjorn Dunkerbeck:: “I’m sure Antoine Albeau and Ben Van Der Steen will be the two toughest ones because they have showed already in the last few years that they are good in a variety of conditions. But in different wind conditions I think there will be different people posing a threat.”
PWA: You are still at the top of your game, do you have any timeframe in mind for how long you want to continue to compete?
Bjorn Dunkerbeck: “As long as I’m still enjoying doing it and as long as my body permits. My switch to Starboard and Severne has really paid off, it’s been a big challenge but also a big motivation for me. I’m still windsurfing a lot and when I’m not I’m usually stand up paddling, surfing or mountain biking, so I’m still very active. The competition side of things is important to me because it keeps me focused and in line, so as long as I stay successful at it and I’m having fun doing it I will continue. Even if I stop slalom I could do the speed sailing or it would give me time to compete in the long distance races.”
PWA: Are there any stops in particular that you look forward to?
Bjorn Dunkerbeck: “I enjoy the Canary Islands, because we compete everyday. Turkey is also a good place for the wind and Jinha beach has been having good years as well. The variation of conditions is what keeps it interesting for me.”
The forecast for tomorrow looks as though it should deliver an exciting day, full of intense racing. You’ll be able to see it all unfold live via the live stream on the PWA website. The skippers' meeting has been called for 10am tomorrow morning with racing commencing from 10:30. Make sure you tune in.
Official Opening Race
At 5pm Mayor of Ulsan started the “Official Opening Race”. This saw all the contestants going to head-to-head for a share of the $5000 prize money. The race started when the wind had began to drop already, but it was quite a sight to see the top windsurfers in the world racing straight off the beach. Sadly the wind dropped to almost nothing so the majority of the race was non-planing. The race saw the top ten men and top five women receiving a share of the prize money, which was split $3500 to men and $1500 to women. After a long drawn out race it was eventually Pieter Bijl (JP / NeilPryde) who claimed the victory in the men’s division, followed by Korea’s very own Hyung-Kwon Kim in second. whilst the first woman to finish the race was Japan’s Fujiko Onishi.
Results From The Opening Race (Not Counting Towards PWA)
1st Pieter Bijl (JP / NeilPryde)
2nd Hyung-Kwon Kim
3rd Ross Williams (Tabou / Gaastra)
4th Peter Volwater (Fanatic / Avanti)
5th Gonzalo Costa Hoevel (Fanatic / North)
6th Cedric Bordes (Tabou / Gaastra / Mystic)
7th Julien Quentel (JP / NeilPryde)
8th Jimmy Diaz (Starboard / North)
9th Antoine Albeau (RRD / NeilPryde)
10th Steve Allen (Starboard / Severne)
1st Fujiko Onishi
2nd Lise Vidal (Fanatic / North)
3rd Mio Anayama (Starboard / NeilPryde)
4th Ayako Suzuki (Starboard / Gaastra / Mystic)
5th Greta Benvenuti (Patrik / Point-7 / Al 360)
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