PWA World Cup Turkmenistan - Day 3

Day 3: A short, sharp, late visit from the wind sees Valerie Ghibaudo hit back

The waiting game continued on day three of the Awaza PWA World Cup as the sailors endured another long day on the beach. Just like yesterday, the wind arrived in the early evening allowing the second elimination of the women’s slalom to be completed, in similar tricky conditions to yesterday, whilst the men have been whittled down to the top twenty-four, meaning only the winners’ and losers’ finals are to be sailed. In the end, Valerie Ghibaudo managed to claim her first bullet of the year, before the wind disappeared, bringing an end to proceedings.


In the first semifinal, Pierre Mortefon showed fantastic speed in the light winds to comfortably book his place in the first winners’ final. Also qualifying with the Frenchman is Ludovic Jossin, Ross Williams, Pascal Toselli, Jimmy Diaz and Cyril Moussilmani, who was able to hold off Jordy Vonk to clinch the final qualifying position.

Gonzalo Costa Hoevel was the first man to qualify for the winners’ final from Heat 6 as he claimed victory ahead of Taty Frans, Arnon Dagan, Matteo Iachino, Alexandre Cousin and Steve Allen.

The men's winners' final was started, but the heat had to be canceled due to a lack of wind as Pascal Toselli saw his lead disappear before him. The Frenchman will be hoping for better luck next time around.

Women’s Elimination 2

Valerie Ghibaudo led from start to finish as the 2012 PWA World Champion produced a faultless display in the light winds to claim her first victory of the year and put her right back in contention for the overall event title. Delphine Cousin backed up her opening win with a solid second place today and the reigning PWA World Champion currently sits proudly at the top of the rankings. Behind her fellow compatriot Marion Mortefon clinched third to complete an all French top three, whilst Fulya Unlu edged out Lena Erdil to finish in fourth and fifth place respectively. Unfortunately Mio Anayama and Ayako Suzuki were disqualified from the first attempt to run the final after both Japanese women jumped the gun.

Earlier in the day we were able to catch up with Josh Angulo, who has unfortunately had to withdraw from the remainder of the competition due to the foot injury he sustained yesterday.

PWA: Hey Josh, what happened in your heat yesterday?
“Basically, as almost everybody knows by now the wind has been very light, shifty and gusty... I believe this was the 4th time starting Heat 2. I got to the first buoy in 3rd or 4th I think... Because it was so light we were all doing pretty slow motion jibes and just hugging the mark. I got so close that the nose of my board hit the buoy and unfortunately swung to the upwind side of the mark. I tried to kind of "snap jibe" it back the other way over the buoy, but to no avail at which point I jumped back in the water... In trying to get around this big fat buoy in 5 knots of wind. I kicked the front of my board to try and kick it around the buoy, unfortunately I kicked it back into my other foot and felt the fin hit.... Didn’t seem to hit hard and at the time I was pretty jacked on racing adrenaline so I didn’t know how bad it was…”

PWA: So what happened when you saw the cut to your foot?
“At that point, the heat was canceled due to lack of wind and I popped up to see my buddy Pieter Bijl right there. I asked him to go get some super glue, while I sailed back to the start boat for the restart. I jumped on the boat, super glued my wound shut and went on to sail a heat that I was in great position, but just stopped planing straight away (like I said: light shifty and gusty).

So when I got back to the beach the local doctors came to have an initial look. That wasn't going the way I wanted and it was a bit unnerving. Finally the King of the Beach, Rado, showed up and rescued me and got me to Arkin and their private hotel doctor who took great care of me…"

PWA: What was the extent of the injury in the end?
“The doctor cleaned me up and then I had 6 stitches put in.”

PWA: Is everything okay now?
“The doctor wasn’t too impressed with all the super glue I put in there but after some numbing injections, he got it all scraped out...!”

PWA: Ouch… What’s the score? Can you still compete?
“Initially, I figured I could still compete, but as reality set in, I did understand that it was a pretty deep cut and continuing to push would risk the recovery process. Although we have been so well received and taken care of. The reality is we weren’t having much conditions, so I decided the best thing is to get back to the USA, have my doctors double check it and work towards a speedy recovery for Fuerteventura.”

“I would like to send a great thanks to Polimeks, Arkin and Yulia, Rado and everybody else that made this event happen. I also wish all my windsurf colleagues a good event and until .... Fuerte!”

PWA: Thanks Josh, we wish you a speedy recovery.

The skippers’ meeting for tomorrow has been called for 8 AM with the action commencing from 8:30 AM if conditions allow. Don’t miss any of the action by tuning into PWA World where you’ll be able to follow the racing as it happens via the PWA live stream and live ticker.

Results After Elimination 2 - Slalom

1st Delphine Cousin
Valerie Ghibaudo
3rd Lena Erdil
4th Marion Mortefon
Maria Andres
6th Marianne Kaplas

Day 2: A long and largely frustrating day as first blood goes to Delphine Cousin

The second day of the Awaza PWA World Cup proved to be a long and largely frustrating affair, spanning twelve and a half hours, as light and gusty winds played havoc for much of the day. Early this morning Delphine Cousin made the perfect start to her title defense as she claimed the first victory of the year in the women’s fleet, however only one heat of the men’s was completed before the wind became too light. After an eleven hour long break the wind finally returned - swinging from east to northwest - allowing a further three heats to be completed in winds ranging from 8 to 13 knots.


Although only four men’s heats were completed today, there was plenty of drama as several big names fell in the light and tricky winds. In the first heat Bjorn Dunkerbeck failed to make the start line in the light winds, meaning for the second event in a row he suffered a first round exit in the first elimination. Julien Quentel became the first man to qualify for the semifinals ahead of Pierre Mortefon, Ross Williams, Malte Reuscher, Andrea Rosati and Sean O’Brien - who did well to out pump Sylvain Moussilmani to claim the final qualifying place.

When Heat 2 was finally completed Cyril Moussilmani booked his places in the next round alongside Pascal Toselli, Jordy Vonk, Ludovic Jossin, Benoit Moussilmani and finally Jimmy Diaz. However, there was no place in the next round for Josh Angulo, who suffered a cut heel after colliding with his own fin.

In the penultimate heat of the day, Gonzalo Costa Hoevel came out on top, whilst Micah Buzianis, Steve Allen, Taty Frans, Ben Van Der Steen and Arnon Dagan all successfully navigated their way into the semifinal.

The final heat of the day saw the reigning PWA World Champion and current world tour leader - Antoine Albeau - make a catastrophic mistake as he crossed the line early, along with Gunnar Asmussen, to be disqualified from Heat 4. The big Frenchman will now be praying that at least four eliminations are completed in order for him to discard this result. Upon the restart Antoine Questel managed to finish in first place ahead of Finian Maynard, Alexandre Cousin, Alberto Menegatti, Matteo Iachino and Enes Yilmazer.


With each women’s heat being run as a final this week there is added pressure on the women, knowing that a perfect start is even more crucial. Reigning PWA World Champion - Delphine Cousin - showed no signs of cracking under the pressure as the French woman claimed the first bullet of the season with an assured display of sailing. Behind her Lena Erdil battled her way into second place, ahead of Mio Anayama who eventually finished in third place, ahead of Marion Mortefon, Maria Andres and 2012 PWA World Champion Valerie Ghibaudo, who had to settle for sixth place in Elimination 1.

The skippers’ meeting has once again been called for 6 AM with the action commencing from 6:30 AM, if conditions allow. Don’t miss any of the action by tuning into PWA World Tour where you’ll be able to follow the racing as it happens via the PWA live stream and live ticker.

Results After Women’s Elimination 1 - Slalom

1st Delphine Cousin
Lena Erdil
3rd Mio Anayama
4th Marion Mortefon
Maria Andres

Day 1: A slow start as anticipation builds ahead of tomorrow

The inaugural day of the Awaza PWA World Cup saw the opening ceremony take place at 11 AM as the President of Turkmenistan Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedow arrived to mark the official beginning of the event, who was introduced to the PWA Chairman Jimmy Diaz, reigning world champions Antoine Albeau and Delphine Cousin as well as the extremely talented Taty Frans. Unusually today also saw cloudy weather accompanied by rain and thunder and lightning, but thankfully the forecast for the next few days predicts a return to the usual clear and sunny skies.

With light winds prevailing for the whole afternoon the sailors were eventually released at 5:30 PM, before then we caught up with a few sailors. First up, Delphine Cousin!

PWA: What have you been up to during the long winter break?
“Yes, it’s been a very long time since we last raced. During the off-season, I changed sponsors to Starboard and Loft Sails, so I’ve been using the winter months to practice on my new gear so I am 100% comfortable with it. I was obviously disappointed about the cancellation of Korea, but now we are here and I feel like I am ready.”

PWA: When did you arrive in Turkmenistan?
“I arrived on Saturday morning, so a few days before the start of the competition. I’ve been on the water once since I’ve been here and the wind seemed good. I was on my 7.8m² and my biggest board the iSonic 117. Sometimes it was a bit much, 7.0m² would have been better. I’ve brought all my kit with me except my 5.9m² because we don’t know the spot, but we’ll soon see.”

PWA: Feeling confident about the start of your title defense?
‘Yeah, I feel ready! But of course all the other girls will have been training a lot too so we’ll just have to wait and see.”

PWA: Thanks Delphine and good luck for the competition

The skippers’ meeting tomorrow will be held bright and early at 6 AM with the promise of wind right from the word go. This means that the action will commence from 6:30 AM as long as conditions are suitable. You’ll be able to follow all of the great racing as it happens by tuning into the PWA live stream and live ticker.

- Text and pictures are courtesy of John Carter / PWA World Tour -