Ben reports from the Podium in Alaçati

Gear used by Ben:
Starboard iSonic 107 with a loftsails racingblade 8.6 and a 40 Z fin
Starboard iSonic 107 with a loftsails racingblade 7.8 and a 40/39 Z fin
Starboard iSonic 107 with a loftsails racingblade 7.0 and a 38 Z fin
Starboard iSonic 127 with a loftsails racingblade 8.6 and a 48 Z fin

The 2012 edition of the PWA worldcup in Alacati was a great success and very well organized event . With 9 races in the pocket it was the most successful event this year. With winds between 12 up 30+ knots the racing was very interesting and very good fun.

day 1
Registration day as well as the 1st racing day . The wind started off a little gusty and was not suitable for racing but with a great forecast for the rest of the week nobody was to fussed and enjoyed the day preparing the equipment and getting ready for the days to come.

day 2
The winds came in and the racing was on the way . We managed to do 2 full rounds off slalom and the 1st round of the 3rd slalom elimination. In the 1st elimination I managed to get to the final racing on my 7.8 Loftsails and my starboard 107 with a 39 Z fin. I got a full speed start at the pin end and managed to get the lead at the first mark and finished the race in first . The the Second round of the day disaster struck as I had a great start at the pin end again but Ludovic came storming down start line and just sailed straight into me leaving me with no change to catch up and even breaking my board. so last place in second round (30.5).

day 3
The winds were good again as the forecast already said . We finished the 3rd slalom elimination were I made it to the final again and got a good start at the pin end again but Albeau just got in front at the first mark as he shot down from the top with a little more speed. The race was on but was hard to catch up in such small course and finished in second. The the 4th slalom elimination was on and I made it to the final again. Not taking the best start but popped out of the first mark in 3rd after a good gybe and the battle was on with Ross Williams. On the last mark I went to go for a full speed gybe on the
inside so I could go up wind a little and managed to do that, then passed Ross on speed on the last leg towards the finish making it an other second just behind Volwater.


day 4
Windy again !! Slalom nr 5 was up. After some tough rounds I did make it to the final again but did not have a greats start from the pin and Pascal Tosselli got me on the fist reach with Albeau in front off us. so the battle was on all the way down the course . On the last gybe I knew I had to go all in to have a chance to pass Pascal so I did and went wide and low to keep as much speed as possible and got right under pascal, as I was riding a pretty big fin I could push very hard and go a little better upwind and managed to squeeze just in front of Pascal on the last reach to the finish line so an other 2nd place .
Slalom Nr 6 I did make it into the final again but got a little stuck in the pack so it was gybing and racing well to get back and managed to finish 4th in this round of slalom

day 5
Turkey delivers wind again!!! and slalom N7 was on the way were I made it to the final after some tough heats. I wanted to see if I could win one more a the middle of the line seemed favored so I went for that but I hesitated for a split second and closed my sail just to late and found myself stuck in the back of the pack getting to the buoy in 7th but going for a fast inside gybe with my starboard 107 and my 8.6 loftsails and my 40 Z fin I shot out of the mark and went from 7th to 3rd and stayed there for the rest of the race . Slalom Nr 8 was an other good race as I managed to get into the final again and
got an ok start but Antoine and Alberto got an amazing start and I had to settle for 3rd behind those guys as the winds were getting gusty it was even harder to pass people and finished in 3rd this race .

day 6
Elimination 8 and the last slalom of the event I was stuck in my 2nd position for the event. I did want to do the race but I was coming to the start line a bit early and if I would have rounded up to stall I would have ran into someone and so I shot downwind of the buoy an the round was over for me but the 2nd place was already in the bag.

So then I went off to see Remi Vila to test the new starboards, and yes!!!
they are amazing again!!!

All in all I was very happy with my gear and my speed I did however
could start a lot better so there is room for improvement !! Now off
to Sylt for the last event looking forward to that .

Best regards,

Ben van der Steen

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