PWA Slalom Alaçati: Event Report

Event Summary: Cousin crowned the champion of the world, whilst Albeau and Offringa clinch respective event victories

The PWA Pegasus Airlines World Cup proved to be a tricky affair this year with light winds creating hugely challenging racing. By the end of the week five eliminations were completed on the beautiful turquoise waters of Alaçati in winds ranging from 7-18 knots - meaning that the majority of the sailors were on their biggest equipment for much of the week. Come the end of an intense week Antoine Albeau managed to edge one step closer to an incredible 21st world title, by claiming his second victory of the year. Meanwhile, Sarah-Quita Offringa returned with an emphatic event victory, but all eyes were on Delphine Cousin after the French lady secured her maiden PWA Slalom world title.


Antoine Albeau made the perfect start to the week in Alaçati as he claimed the opening bullet with a proficient display of sailing. After such a good start the big Frenchman then had to do things the hard way having jumped the gun on two occasions. However, as the reigning world champion so often does, Albeau dug deep and regained his composure to finish the week with a win in race four - narrowly ahead of Alberto Menegatti, before finishing second in the final elimination of the week to secure his second event victory of the season.

Alberto Menegatti recovered from a slow start to the week - exiting the first elimination at the quarter final stage - to eventually claim his place on the prestigious podium in second place. The Italian ended the week in the best possible fashion as he stormed to victory in race five after showing a blistering top speed.

Argentine Gonzalo Costa Hoevel continued his fine season as he secured his best finish of 2013 thus far, fourth place. Costa Hoevel finished the week on equal points with Julien Quentel, but unfortunately missed out on a place on the podium due to his weaker discard - he’ll now be hoping to make a strong finish to the season in Sylt - at the end of September - as he goes in search of his first top ten ranking since 2009.

Overall Rankings at the PWA Pegasus Airlines World Cup - Men’s Slalom

Antoine Albeau
2nd Alberto Menegatti
Julien Quentel
4th Gonzalo Costa Hoevel
5th Cyril Moussilmani
Pierre Mortefon
7th Antoine Questel
Micah Buzianis
9th Ben van der Steen
Ross Williams


Sarah-Quita Offringa
made an emphatic return to the slalom scene as she dominated with four victories out of the five eliminations completed to seal a superb event victory.

However, Offringa’s brilliant performance couldn’t keep the limelight away from Delphine Cousin, who claimed her maiden PWA World Championship at the age of just twenty-two years old, with a very consistent display to see off the challenge of the 2012 world champion Valerie Arrighetti and Swiss gem Karin Jaggi, who both seemed slightly off the pace for much of the week. But both women still finished the season in second and third place overall, respectively.

Local hero Cagla Kubat completed the event podium with an accomplished display, which included two second places - in eliminations two and three - respectively - whilst also achieving her best overall ranking to date, fourth.

Overall Rankings at the PWA Pegasus Airlines World Cup - Women’s Slalom

1st Sarah-Quita Offringa
Delphine Cousin
3rd Cagla Kubat
Valerie Ghibaudo
5th Ayako Suzuki
Dilara Uralp
7th Lena Erdil
8th Karin Jaggi

Day 6: An unforgettable day for Delphine Cousin as she claims her maiden world title

The final day of the PWA Pegasus Airlines World Cup saw two more eliminations completed for both the men and women as the Meltemi wind continued to blow for much of the day. At the end of the day Antoine Albeau battled his way back to the top of the rankings to secure the event victory, with one bullet and a second place today. Meanwhile, in the women’s fleet Sarah-Quita Offringa continued to dominate with back-to-back elimination victories on the final day to emphatically claim the event win, but the biggest news of the day involves Delphine Cousin who will remember this day forever, after clinching her maiden world title as she was crowned the 2013 PWA Women’s Slalom World Champion.

Men’s Elimination Four - Winners’ Final

Gonzalo Costa Hoevel
made the best start of the day in the first winners’ final, but Antoine Albeau raced into the lead by the opening mark with Alberto Menegatti just behind, whilst Costa Hoevel entered the first jibe in third place. By the third mark, Albeau and Menegatti had opened up a good lead over the Argentine and Finian Maynard, who eventually finished third and fourth respectively. In the meantime Albeau was cruising to victory on the final reach, but Menegatti hadn’t given up hope of snatching the top spot and as they crossed the line there was only half a board length in it, thankfully for the big Frenchman he’d done just enough to claim the first bullet of the day.

The main story of Race 4 is Heat 12 saw a number of upsets - the main one featuring Race 3 winner Antoine Questel - who finished in fifth place, whilst Arnon Dagan and Patrick Diethelm also missed out on places in the semifinal.

Men's Elimination Five - Winners’ Final

The last winners’ final of the week took four attempts to be completed as a combination of premature starts, fickle winds and drifting buoys caused three re-runs. Arnon Dagan was the man to be disqualified after being a little too eager with his start, before Alberto Menegatti finally managed to claim the victory. But it was Micah Buzianis who timed his start to perfection to burst into the lead from the start, however Menegatti showed blistering speed to move into the lead. By the third mark, the Italian had opened up a significant lead over his closest challenger Antoine Albeau, with Buzianis and Ben van der Steen in third and fourth. However by the next mark Julien Quentel had maneuvered himself into third place with Buzianis completing the top four.

The ever-consistent Jimmy Diaz missed out on a place in the quarterfinals as did Steve Allen, Ludovic Jossin, Finian Maynard, Bjorn Dunkerbeck and Pascal Toselli.

Women's Elimination Four - Winners’ Final

The first winners’ final started under dramatic circumstances as Fulya Unlu mistimed her start as she was disqualified from the proceedings. Upon the restart Sarah-Quita Offringa made a brilliant start to the final to march into the lead from the outset and the Aruban gem only extended her lead over the remainder of the course, with a combination of superb jibes and a supreme top speed. Behind her, Lena Erdil and Karin Jaggi collided at the first mark, which allowed Maria Andres to overtake into third place behind Delphine Cousin. Over the remainder of the course Cousin closed slightly on Offringa but it wasn’t enough as the French lady had to settle for second place with Andres and Dilara Uralp finishing in third and fourth place respectively.

Women's Elimination 5 - Winner's Final

Sarah-Quita Offringa led once again into the first mark in the second winners’ final of the day in front of Karin Jaggi, Marion Mortefon and Valerie Ghibaudo. As she has done over the entirety of the week Offringa stepped on the gas to build a huge lead over Ghibaudo, Dilara Uralp and Cagla Kubat. In the end, Offringa claimed an accomplished victory ahead of Ghibaudo, Gelly Skarlatou - who achieved her best finish of the week - and Marion Kaplas in fourth place.

Words from Sarah-Quita Offringa, the winner of the PWA Pegasus World Cup:

“Thanks to everyone for being here, this week was amazing, I’m really happy with the races we got it. I want to thank the organizers, the PWA crew, thank you so much. It’s been a tough week but it worked out well in the end. Thank you to everyone to all their support.”

Day 5: The Meltemi wind returns to deliver an intense day of ballistic slalom

After two days of light and frustrating winds, the Turkish Meltemi wind’s finally returned on Day 5 of the PWA Pegasus Airlines World Cup, to provide a brilliant day of racing. After almost six hours of competition, Pierre Mortefon now finds himself at the top of the men’s rankings, whilst Sarah-Quita Offringa maintains her lead at the top in the women’s, after another assured display, overall.

Men’s Elimination Two - Winners’ Final

Heat 16 was finally completed on the third attempt, after light winds had brought a halt to the proceedings after the opening jibe on the previous two efforts. Josh Angulo made a flying start as he burst into the lead, but Andrea Cucchi soon found himself in the lead as he showed great pace down the opening reach. The Italian held his nerve over the remainder of the course to claim the first bullet of the day, and more importantly his first ever elimination victory on the PWA World Tour. In the meantime Julien Quentel claimed second place as he held off Cyril Moussilmani and Matteo Iachino, who finished in third and fourth place respectively. However, Ben van der Steen was left unhappy after an altercation with Angulo at the third mark, which resulted in the flying Dutchman finishing in 8th place.

Men's Elimination Three - Winners’ Final

The second winners’ final of the day witnessed a combination of dropping winds and premature starts, which led to numerous resails - Antoine Albeau, Finian Maynard and Pieter Bijl were all disqualified from the final having all jumped the gun, leaving just the remaining five sailors to battle it out for top honors. In the final showdown, Cyril Moussilmani made the best start, but before entering the first jibe he sailed into Alberto Menegatti which saw Moussilmani drop from first to last, whilst Menegatti found himself outside the top four with both sailors having to radically readjust their sailing line to make the buoy. Antoine Questel took full advantage, having avoided the carnage, to burst into the lead and by the end of the race he had built a substantial advantage over his closest rival Cyril Moussilmani, who made a fantastic recovery. Menegatti also staged a comeback as he claimed third, with Ludovic Jossin and Micah Buzianis finishing in fourth and fifth place respectively.

Hit and Miss!

Tristan Algret threw away a golden opportunity to qualify for the semifinals after dropping his jibe at the third buoy, which enabled Cyril Moussilmani to leapfrog Algret and claim the final qualifying place from Heat 9.

Jordy Vonk - on the other hand - enjoyed a terrific and memorable day as he qualified for his debut semifinal. This time around the Dutchman couldn’t secure his place in the winners’ final, but he is looking like a name to look out for over the coming years. In the losers’ final Vonk was left slightly disappointed after slipping off his board exiting a jibe whilst in fourth place, but overall, today will still stand as a memorable day for the twenty year old.

Men's Elimination Four

The fourth elimination was started in the evening and the opening heats of the first round were completed. However, in those four heats they has already been a couple of major upsets as Ben van der Steen and Bjorn Dunkerbeck both took uncharacteristically early exits from the first round.

Women’s Elimination Two - Winners’ Final

Sarah-Quita Offringa picked up exactly where she left off from - after her victory in the opening elimination - as she led from start to finish with an accomplished display in Elimination 2. Valerie Arrighetti was pushed all the way by Ayako Suzuki, but the reigning world champion eventually pulled away to claim second place, with Suzuki in third. Karin Jaggi started well but eventually had to settle for fourth place.

Women's Elimination Three - Winners’ Final

The second winners’ final of the day started under dramatic circumstances as Sarah-Quita Offringa and Valerie Arrighetti collided on the start line, however both women made quick recoveries, but not quite quick enough, as Delphine Cousin held the lead into the first mark with Cagla Kubat and Melek Toraman just behind as Offringa and Arrighetti approached in fourth and fifth place. Cousin looked confident in the lead and it wasn’t long until the young French lady was claiming victory - as she mounts a serious challenge for the world title - ahead of local hero Kubat and Offringa - who eventually fought her way back to third - with Dilara Uralp producing a great performance to clinch fourth.

Results After Three Eliminations - Men’s Slalom

Pierre Mortefon
2nd Antoine Questel
3rd Cyril Moussilmani
Julien Quentel
5th Alberto Menegatti
6th Ben van der Steen
7th Gonzalo Costa Hoevel
8th Andrea Cucchi

Results After Three Eliminations - Women’s Slalom

1st Sarah-Quita Offringa
Delphine Cousin
3rd Cagla Kubat
4th Ayako Suzuki
Lena Erdil

Day 4: The waiting game continues as light winds halt the proceedings

The fourth day of the PWA Pegasus Airlines World Cup proved to be a largely frustrating affair as teasing winds kept the competitors on standby for much of the day. After a very quiet start to the day at 12 PM the wind swung 180 degrees and began to rapidly pickup causing a flurry of action on the beach. However the wind remained gusty for much of the afternoon meaning that only a further two heats were completed - one men’s and one women’s semifinal.

In the men’s semifinal, Pierre Mortefon showed good speed again to win the heat, whilst Ben van der Steen, Julien Quentel and Alberto Menegatti all qualified for their first winners’ final of the week. The second men’s semifinal was started but gusty winds prevented the conclusion of the heat.

In the women’s semifinal, Marion Mortefon made the best start to the heat and safely qualified for the final with a proficient display, whilst Lena Erdil claimed second place. The remaining qualifying places were clinched by Karin Jaggi and Ayako Suzuki meaning that local hero Cagla Kubat misses out on a place in the winners’ final.

The forecast for tomorrow looks much more promising than today, so hopefully, we will see the conclusion of Race 2 at a minimum. The skippers meeting will take place at 10:30 AM tomorrow morning with the action commencing from 11 AM. Don’t miss a thing!

Day 3: Teasing winds result in a slightly frustrating day for the competitors as the heat rises

Day three of the PWA Pegasus Airlines World Cup saw just three heats completed in the women’s second elimination as fluky winds brought an early conclusion to the day. After a similar start to Wednesday as yesterday, conditions began to rapidly improve at around 2 PM. However the wind didn’t last long as lulls of five knots appeared on the race course by 3 PM and unfortunately the wind never returned from this point, meaning that the men’s and women’s fleets are both poised at the semifinal stages.

Women’s Elimination Two

Heat two was the first heat of the day to be sailed and was completed at the second time of asking, after the first attempt was canceled due to a drop in the wind. Upon the restart Marion Mortefon made the best start of the fleet, but it was local hero Cagla Kubat who fought back to claim first place, whilst Mortefon, Lena Erdil and Gelly Skarlatou - who is making her debut on the PWA World Tour - all qualified for the next round.

Heat three also needed two attempts to be completed. In the end Burce Vardarli, Melek Toraman, Ceren Yaman and Deniz Sekercioglu comfortably booked their places in the semifinals with confident displays.

The final heat to be completed today was heat four, featuring the current event leader Sarah-Quita Offringa and the reigning world champion Valerie Arrighetti. Offringa got away to the perfect start as she crossed the start line in first place, but Finland’s Marianne Kaplas broke into the lead by the opening buoy and would eventually claim victory. However after such a good start Offringa was slow to plane away from her jibe after getting caught in dirty wind and needed to clinch the final to qualifying spot to ensure her inclusion for the semifinals. Meanwhile, Delphine Cousin and Arrighetti finished in second and third place respectively.

The first men’s semi final was started but lulls in the wind soon brought an end to proceedings with the competition officially being called off at 5 PM.

Day 2: Hot, sunny and windy combined with an abundance of drama creates an intense windsurfing cocktail

After a stiflingly hot and almost windless start to day two of the PWA Pegasus Airlines World Cup the wind eventually filled in shortly after two O’clock enabling the resumption of the second eliminations, in winds ranging from 7-15 knots. After two and a half hours of competition a further nine men’s heats were completed, which brings us to the semifinal stage of the second race, whilst the opening heat of the women’s was also finished, before the wind became to fickle to continue, bringing the conclusion of day two at 17:30 PM.

Men’s - Elimination Two

The first heat of the day - heat four - saw Alberto Menegatti comfortably qualify for the quarterfinals as he cruised to victory ahead of Pierre Mortefon, Enrico Marotti and Enes Yilmazer, but there was no room for Steve Allen as he narrowly missed out in fifth place. The only other shocks in the first round were that Cedric Bordes failed to qualify from heat eight - also narrowly missing out in fifth - whilst Bora Kozanoglu’s crash in heat seven cost him dearly as he went from first place at the opening mark, to missing out on a place in the next round as Jordy Vonk, Josh Angulo, Matteo Iachino and Ludovic Jossin all booked their places in the next round.

Into the quarterfinals and heat nine was eventually completed after numerous attempts, but it wasn’t without its drama as Bjorn Dunkerbeck was involved in a collision with Ben van der Steen at the first mark. The flying Dutchman escaped unscathed as he went on to qualify for the semifinals, but for the terminator that would be the end of the line after the nose of his board was badly damaged, forcing his retirement from the race. An appeal was made but it turned out to be in vain as the result was upheld. Finian Maynard claimed victory in heat nine, whilst Gonzalo Costa Hoevel and Fred Morin finished in third and fourth place respectively also advanced.

Heat ten saw Alberto Menegatti storm down the opening reach to move into the lead by the opening buoy and he was able to hold onto the number one spot come the end of the heat as he finished with a substantial lead over Pierre Mortefon and Enrico Marotti. The final qualifying place saw an intense battle between Enes Yilmazer and Julien Quentel. In the end the Frenchman just edged the duel - completing a fine comeback having been outside the top four at the first buoy - to advance into the semifinals.

In the penultimate quarterfinal Ross Williams was disqualified after being a little too eager with his start. Upon the restart Arnon Dagan successfully booked his place in the next round after a confident display. Also joining him in the semifinals will be Andrea Cucchi, Antoine Questel and Cyril Moussilmani after the Frenchman was able to out maneuver Peter Volwater.

Heat twelve was also full of drama - first of all the current event and world tour leader, Antoine Albeau jumped the gun resulting in his disqualification - before carnage followed at the first mark following the restart. Jimmy Diaz tried diving down the inside at the first mark but with inadequate room a pileup ensued allowing Pascal Toselli and Ludovic Jossin to open a sizable lead over the remaining pack. In the end Matteo Iachino claimed third place, whilst Micah Buzianis came agonizingly close to a stunning comeback - after being in seventh place, after the carnage at mark one - as he pushed Josh Angulo all the way to the finish line for the final qualifying place. However, Angulo used all of his experience to put an end to the American’s revival.

Women’s - Elimination Two

The opening heat of the women’s second elimination was completed, however after this the wind became very patchy and started to change direction meaning no further heats were finished. However, Karin Jaggi, looked in much better form today as she was able to beat Ayako Suzuki to claim victory in the opening heat. Also qualifying from heat one are Fulya Unlu and Dilara Uralp, who finished in third and fourth place respectively.

Tomorrow’s forecast promises much the same as today meaning, hopefully, we should see the conclusion of the second race. The skippers’ meeting will be held at 10:30 AM tomorrow morning, with the first possible start at 11 AM, if conditions allow. Make sure you don’t miss a thing by following all of the epic racing via the PWA live stream.

Day 1: Perfect starts to the week for Antoine Albeau and Sarah-Quita Offringa

The inaugural day of the 2013 PWA Pegasus Airlines World Cup began with a bang - after the formalities of registration had been completed between 10 AM and 11 AM - with the Meltemi wind in full swing the opening eliminations of the week started just after 1 PM, and by 4:30 PM results for both the men’s and women’s fleets had been obtained as Antoine Albeau and Sarah-Quita Offringa claimed the first bullets of the week with commanding displays.

Men’s Elimination One - Winners’ Final

Gonzalo Costa Hoevel
came flying out of the starting blocks as he made the perfect start to cross the line in first place, but his lead didn’t last long as a rampaging Antoine Albeau flew down the opening reach to storm into first place by the opening jibe and from here the reigning world champion only extended his lead with a combination of blistering speed and fluid jibes, and it wasn’t long until he was claiming the first bullet of the week. Behind him Pierre Mortefon turned on the afterburners as well as out maneuvering several sailors at the first mark to move into second place, a position that the Frenchman was able to secure as he crossed the finish line to make a strong start to the week.
Costa Hoevel eventually finished in third place ahead of Antoine Questel - who held off the strong challenge of Ross Williams at the final mark to complete the top four - meanwhile, Bjorn Dunkerbeck had to settle for sixth place.

A few big names were eliminated from the first round though as Ludovic Jossin, Maciek Rutkowski, Cedric Bordes and Andrea Rosati all took early exits. The second semi-final saw a collision between Ben van der Steen and Pieter Bijl at the final mark as they battled for the final qualifying place, but in the end neither of them qualified after their crash.

Women’s Elimination One - Winners’ Final

The first winners’ final of the week started under dramatic circumstances as reigning world champion Valerie Arrighetti was disqualified along with Marion Mortefon after both women mistimed their starts. The second attempt to begin heat four saw yet more drama as a further two sailors were disqualified for premature starts - this time Lena Erdil and Delphine Cousin. However no mistakes were made on the third attempt to complete the final as Sarah-Quita Offringa took full advantage of the absence of several big names, including the current world tour leader Karin Jaggi. The Aruban gem - making her first appearance of the season - put together a commanding display to claim victory by a substantial margin over her closest challengers Cagla Kubat, Ayako Suzuki and Ceren Yaman who completed the top four.

The losers’ final saw the Turkish women dominate as they claimed the top three places. Fulya Unlu came out on top with Melek Toraman and Deniz Sekercioglu in second and third place respectively, Karin Jaggi though could only manage a fourth place finish after colliding with Gelly Skarlatou at the third mark.

The day was eventually concluded at 6 PM as deteriorating and increasingly gusty winds brought an end to the proceedings. The skippers’ meeting has been called for 10:30 AM tomorrow morning with the action commencing from 11 AM. Of course you’ll be able to see all of the enthralling racing live by tuning into the PWA TV!

Results After Elimination One - Men’s Slalom

Antoine Albeau
2nd Pierre Mortefon
3rd Gonzalo Costa Hoevel
4th Antoine Questel
Ross Williams
6th Bjorn Dunkerbeck
Sylvain Moussilmani
8th Josh Angulo

Results After Elimination One - Women’s Slalom

1st Sarah-Quita Offringa
2nd Cagla Kubat
3rd Ayako Suzuki
Ceren Yaman
5th Burce Vardarli

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