Event Summary: Albeau, Estredo and Offringa reign victorious after an amazing nine days
The 29th edition of the Fuerteventura PWA Grand Slam, hosted by René Egli, saw nine days of fantastic competition as the slalom and freestyle fleets provided fantastic entertainment for everyone involved. By the end of the ferocious competition Antoine Albeau claimed victory in the slalom, whilst Gollito Estredo returned to winning ways in the men’s freestyle. Meanwhile, Sarah-Quita Offringa, produced another flawless display to move to within touching distance of her seventh PWA Freestyle World crown.
Men’s - Slalom
Antoine Albeau secured his second event victory of the year after coming from behind. The big Frenchman produced an amazing display on the final two days of the slalom to win three out of the remaining five rounds, as he eventually powered his way to the top of the rankings. However, Cyril Moussilmani still leads the overall world rankings after another consistent performance in Fuerteventura, which saw him earn second place to keep up his charge for the world title.
Pascal Toselli performed brilliantly over the five days of racing to claim his place on the prestigious podium for the first time. This event will also live long in the memory of the Frenchman as he also secured his first bullet on the PWA World Tour, after coming agonizingly close on several occasions already this season. Pierre Mortefon completed an all French top four as they continue to dominate the proceedings in slalom. Julien Quentel achieved his first top ten finish of the year - ninth - whilst Sylvain Moussilmani completed the Top 10 to see six French in the top ten!
Men’s - Freestyle
Jose ‘Gollito’ Estredo stormed his way back through the double elimination to claim his first event victory since his success in Fuerteventura last year. The Venezuelan fought his way back from third place after defeating Amado Vrieswijk, followed by Steven van Broeckhoven in one of the closest heats of the year and a major talking point. The five-time world champion then defeated reigning world champion - Kiri Thode - to force a super final. After an amazing spectacle in the final heat of the event, Gollito was eventually crowned the champion by way of a 2:1 decision.
Kiri Thode finished an incredibly close second after another brilliant display. His latest finish still keeps the Bonairean at the top of the world rankings, but he’ll still be desperate to win again in Sylt when the freestylers next compete in September.
Amado Vrieswijk once again showed why he is one of the most exciting talents in the world right now. In the double elimination, the eighteen year old landed his trademark double culos and textbook kabikuchis on both tacks to win four consecutive heats, as he defeated Davy Scheffers, Dieter van der Eyken, Taty Frans and Bjorn Saragoza before Jose ‘Gollito’ Estredo proved a step too far this time around. The Bonairean takes home fourth place here. Fellow Bonairean’s - Saragoza and Taty Frans - eventually finished in 5th and 6th place respectively.
Meanwhile, Dieter van der Eyken and Adrien Bosson claimed joint seventh, whilst the top ten was completed by Anthony Ruenes, Davy Scheffers, Rafael de Windt and Balz Muller - with the latter two both earning their first ever top ten results on the PWA Freestyle World Tour.
Women’s - Freestyle
Sarah-Quita Offringa produced another magnificent display to claim her second event victory of the season, which puts her within touching distance of her seventh PWA Freestyle World Championship, as she once again extended her phenomenal unbeaten run by landing the latest power moves, with such consistency that she would challenge many of her male counterparts.
Sarah-Quita Offringa speaks after sealing another event victory:
"I'm really happy to have won, we had really good conditions. Thanks to all the sponsors and to everyone who supported us over the week. I'm also really happy to see the level of the girls really improving. Congratulations to Olya and Oda for claiming their place in second and third and to all the other girls too."
Olya Raskina secured her best ever finish on the PWA Freestyle World Tour as the Russian claimed second place. Over the course of the four days of competition, Raskina showed a great variety of moves and crucially proved more consistent in the challenging, choppy conditions.
Completing the prestigious podium was Oda Johanne, who continues to improve at virtually every competition she sails in. The Norwegian is still only in her second year on the PWA World Tour, but is already showing the potential to break into the overall top three and beyond. Johanne earned her place on the podium by landing brilliant shakas, switch konos and funnels.
Where to Next?
From the 4th of August, the elite of the wave sailing world will return to action for their second event of the year, as they head to el Medano, Tenerife. You’ll be able to follow all of the brilliant action live by tuning into the PWA live stream and live ticker.
Overall Results Fuerteventura PWA Grand Slam - Men's Freestyle
1st Jose 'Gollito' Estredo
2nd Kiri Thode
3rd Steven Van Broeckhoven
4th Amado Vrieswijk
5th Bjorn Saragoza
Overall Results Fuerteventura PWA Grand Slam - Women's Freestyle
1st Sarah-Quita Offringa
2nd Olya Raskina
3rd Oda Johanne
4th Yoli de Brendt
5th Heleen Muijsers
The penultimate day of the Fuerteventura PWA Grand Slam, hosted by René Egli, saw another intense day of freestyle as Sarah-Quita Offringa reinforced her title as the Queen of Freestyle with another brilliant victory in the double elimination. Meanwhile, the first half of the men’s double elimination saw some extraordinary battles with monster moves being thrown left, right and center setting up a mouth watering day tomorrow, when we will see the conclusion.
Men’s - Double Elimination
Rafael de Windt was the standout sailor so far in the men’s double elimination as the 19-year old enjoyed his best day ever on the PWA World Tour, by securing himself at place in the top ten for the first time - joint 9th - at a minimum. The man from Curacao went on a rampage today as he blew the rest of his competition out of the water as he won four heats in a row. de Windt firstly defeated Aron Etmon in the opening round by accumulating the highest score of the day thus far, before dispatching of Max Matissek. Next up was Nicolas Akgazciyan and de Windt claimed his biggest scalp so far as he took victory by way of a 2:1 decision in his favor, before finally defeating Adam Gavriel in one of the heats of the day as both sailors went massive in their bid for the Top 10.
Elsewhere, Davy Scheffers and Max Rowe enjoyed a close battle in Heat 41A as the Dutchman clinched victory by way of a 2:1 decision. Both sailors were missing a move and Rowe agonizingly dropped a pasko, which would’ve probably swung the tie in the opposite direction. However, Scheffers then went on to beat Adrian Beholz in the final heat of the day, as he secured himself a place in the top ten alongside Anthony Ruenes, who was also at his stylish best today.
Dieter van der Eyken started his fight back through the double elimination by dispatching of Yarden Meir, which setup an amazing battle with Tonky Frans. The Belgian maestro found his best form in Heat 43A and was able to cause a slight upset against the Bonairean to progress. On his way to victory, Dieter van der Eyken rotated through a superb pasko and a perfect spock into culo.
Women’s Double Elimination - Winners’ Final
Olya Raskina successfully defeated Oda Johanne in Heat 50 to setup another battle with Sarah-Quita Offringa. Unfortunately for the Russian, Offringa was in her usual imperious form as she landed an amazing shaka to open, before adding a brilliant burner, culo and an explosive regular kono to her scorecard as she claimed another victory. Raskina performed well in the final landing a clean flaka and forward as well as a spock 540 and puneta, but it wasn't enough to stop Offringa.
Sarah-Quita Offringa defends her crown:
“I’m always really happy and today we had some little waves, which made things fun. Overall I’m pleased with my performance on the water and happy to win.”
Elsewhere in the double elimination, Yoli de Brendt made a storming comeback as she won three consecutive heats. First by dispatching of Maxime van Gent, before also defeating Maaike Huvermann and Heleen Muijsers to climb into the top four. However, Norwegian Oda Johanne proved too much in Heat 49.
Tomorrow will see the conclusion of the men’s double elimination as well as a further double elimination for the women. The forecast promises slightly stronger winds and bigger stunt ramps, which should provide ideal conditions for the contortionists of the freestyle to throw their biggest moves as they go in search of victory. Don't miss any of the incredible action by tuning into PWA World Tour where you'll be able to follow the event as it happens via the PWA live stream and live ticker.
Results Women’s Double Elimination - Freestyle
1st Sarah-Quita Offringa
2nd Olya Raskina
3rd Oda Johanne
4th Yoli de Brendt
5th Heleen Muijsers
6th Maaike Huvermann
The seventh day of the Fuerteventura PWA Grand Slam hosted by René Egli, saw the freestylers truly explode into action as stronger, more consistent winds enabled both the men’s and women’s single eliminations to be completed. After a fantastic day of competition, Kiri Thode and Sarah-Quita Offringa were crowned the champions of the single eliminations after both producing amazing displays. They will be now hoping that they are able to defend their crowns over the next two days in the double eliminations.
Men’s Single Elimination - Winners’ Final
Kiri Thode lined up against Steven Van Broeckhoven in the opening winners’ final of the week and the duo enjoyed a hard fought battle. However, the reigning world champion was able to edge the duel as he claimed another victory. On his way to the top, Kiri Thode pulled out his biggest moves from tweaked shove-it spocks to outrageous double culos and superb skopus, but he was still pushed all the way by his Belgian opponent. Steven van Broeckhoven landed an amazing pasko and kabikuchi, but couldn’t quite find the ramp he required to pull another bongka or pushloop as he did in the semifinal, which is what made the difference in the end. The Belgian will now have to wait until the double elimination to try and exact revenge.
Heat of the Day
Jose ‘Gollito’ Estredo produced an outstanding performance in Heat 21B against Balz Muller - who achieved his best result to date on the PWA World Tour as he claimed joint 5th alongside Amado Vrieswijk, Taty Frans and Adrien Bosson. The five-time world champion earned the highest scores of the day from the judges - 54 points - as he launched into the most explosive and highest moves. The Venezuelan opened with an outrageous skopu-puneta 720 before also stomping a trademark pasko, clew-first backloop and an air chachoo.
Elsewhere, Bjorn Saragoza also enjoyed his best day on the PWA World Tour as he broke into the Top 4 for the first time after defeating fellow Bonairean Tonky Frans by way of a 2:1 decision.
Women's Single Elimination - Winners’ Final
Sarah-Quita Offringa produced one of the performances of the day against Olya Raskina in the winners’ final. Offringa had looked in brilliant form earlier in the day, but in the final the lady from Aruba took things to a whole other level, producing a performance that would have caused many of the man problems. Offringa didn’t crash once on her way to another comprehensive victory as she rotated through brilliant burners, culos and shakas, which gained plenty of cheers from the beach. Raskina landed spocks, flakas and puneta variations, but it wasn’t enough to stop the Queen of Freestyle.
Oda Johanne claimed her place on the prestigious podium for the first time after a terrific performance against Heleen Muijsers in the battle for 3rd and 4th. The Norwegian, who is still only in her second season of competition, rotated through brilliant shakas, funnels and flakas to clinch third place.
After a fantastic day of explosive freestyle, the skippers’ meeting for tomorrow morning has been called for 10 AM with the action commencing from 10:30 AM. The forecast for tomorrow is even better than today, with stronger winds being predicted. Don't miss any of the incredible action by tuning into PWA World Tour where you'll be able to follow the event as it happens via the PWA live stream and live ticker.
Results Men’s Single Elimination - Freestyle
1st Kiri Thode
2nd Steven Van Broeckhoven
3rd Jose ‘Gollito’ Estredo
4th Bjorn Saragoza
5th Balz Muller
5th Amado Vrieswijk
5th Taty Frans
5th Adrien Bosson
The first day of the freestyle in Fuerteventura made a relatively slow start to proceedings as just two heats were able to be completed due to the gusty and light nature of the wind. In the early evening the wind threatened to properly kick in, but after a brief period of teasing it once again backed off and the sailors were released for the day at 5 PM.
Men’s - Single Elimination
The first men’s heat of the contest featured Italian Mattia Fabrizi and Bonaire’s Florian Wegerer and in the end Fabrizi’s extra competition experience proved decisive as he successfully advanced into the second round. On his way to victory the twenty-two year old displayed much better diversity and technical skill, landing shakas, ponches, regular konos and a superb skopu considering the lighter winds. Meanwhile, the B-side of Heat 1 will see a re-sail between Quincy Offringa and Nic Hibdige.
Andy ‘Bubble’ Chambers efficiently dispatched of Eliran Levi, who was making his debut on the PWA World Tour at the age of 17. The Brit used all of his experience to setup a meeting against fellow countryman Max Rowe in the next round. On the other side of the draw Antoine Albert advanced past Adam Sims. The man from New Caledonia landed the move of the day as he somehow rotated through a brilliant air chachoo. Tonky Frans staying positive:
“Today we didn’t see classic Fuerteventura conditions, but the forecast looks good for the rest of the event, particularly Friday and Saturday. I’m sure we’ll see some great conditions. We’ll just have to wait and see what happens.”
The forecast looks better for tomorrow with slightly more wind being predicted, but more importantly the forecast shows more east in the winds, which would translate in more cross shore conditions, so hopefully there will be more wind on the inside of the course. The Skippers’ meeting for tomorrow has been called for 10 AM with the action commencing from 10:30 AM. Don't miss any of the incredible action by tuning into PWA World Tour where you'll be able to follow the event as it happens via the PWA live stream and live ticker.
Today saw the conclusion of the slalom at the Fuerteventura PWA Grand Slam after five fantastic days of racing. After a further one and a half eliminations were completed, Antoine Albeau was crowned the King of Fuerteventura after claiming his third victory of the week in the final race of the week, whilst Cyril Moussilmani achieved his first bullet of the year, which keeps the Frenchman at the top of the overall rankings after the third slalom event of the season.
Elimination VII - Winners’ Final
Ross Williams made the best start to the first winners’ final of the day, but as the sailors approached the first mark it was still too close to call. However, Cyril Moussilmani executed his jibe perfectly to break into the lead and the Frenchman continued to blitz his way down the remainder of the course to clinch his first victory of 2014. Antoine Albeau safely secured second place with an assured display, whilst Pascal Toselli and Cedric Bordes completed an all French top four as they continue to show that the French are the dominant force in slalom right now.
The second semifinal saw a scintillating conclusion between Matteo Iachino and Ross Williams battled it out for the final place in the winners’ final. After the final jibe it was advantage Iachino, after the Italian was able to make a cleaner exit, but Williams turned on the afterburners on the home straight to steal the crucial fourth place from under the Italian’s nose by less than half a meter.
Elimination VII - Winners’ Final
Josh Angulo was the only man to start by the pin, as everyone else opted to start by the boat, but Angulo’s gamble paid off as he crossed the line in first place. The American couldn’t hold his lead into the opening mark though, as Antoine Albeau stormed down the opening reach to take control of the last race. Teammates Cyril Moussilmani and Bjorn Dunkerbeck looked to be in second and third place, but a brilliant jibe from Angulo saw him leapfrog them into second. From here, Albeau only extended his advantage and was soon celebrating not only his third bullet of the week, but also taking the overall event title here in Fuerteventura. Angulo eventually claimed second as Cyril Moussilmani and Cedric Bordes finished third and fourth respectively.
Elsewhere, Sebastian Kördel and Amado Vrieswijk both looked to be advancing into the quarterfinals from Heats 3 and 4 respectively, but both sailors dropped their final jibes when in 4th place to miss out on the next round. Meanwhile, Pieter Bijl and Jimmy Diaz gave a jibing masterclass as they combined controlled aggression with tactical brilliance to dive down the inside of their rivals in Heats 6 and 12 to grab the final qualifying places in each of their respective heats.
After a brilliant five days of slalom, the freestylers are preparing to take center stage in Fuerteventura for the next four days. The forecast for the freestyle looks great with the wind and swell increasing as the event heads towards its conclusion. Unfortunately, reigning PWA Vice-World Champion - Arrianne Aukes - has had to withdraw from the second freestyle contest of the year after injuring her ankle going for a ponch, whilst warming up for the event yesterday. Everybody from the PWA would like to wish Arrianne a swift recovery and we hope to see you back on the water soon. The skippers’ meeting for tomorrow has been called for 10 AM with the action commencing from 10:30 AM.
Don't miss any of the incredible action over the next few days by tuning into PWA World Tour where you'll be able to follow the event as it happens via the PWA live stream and live ticker.
Overall Results Fuerteventura PWA Grand Slam - Slalom:
1st Antoine Albeau
2nd Cyril Moussilmani
3rd Pascal Toselli
4th Pierre Mortefon
5th Ben Van Der Steen
6th Josh Angulo
7th Matteo Iachino
8th Ross Williams
9th Julien Quentel
10th Sylvain Moussilmani
Overall PWA Rankings - Slalom Men
1st Cyril Moussilmani
2nd Pierre Mortefon
3rd Matteo Iachino
4th Pascal Toselli
5th Ross Williams
6th Ben van der Steen
7th Micah Buzianis
7th Taty Frans
9th Steve Allen
10th Arnon Dagan
The wind returned with a vengeance on Day 4 of the Fuerteventura PWA Grand Slam hosted by René Egli, as winds of 25 to 35 knots howled across Sotavento to produce the most exhilarating racing of the year. Antoine Albeau was on fire today as he claimed two victories out of the three eliminations completed to storm to the top of the event rankings, whilst Ben van der Steen clinched his first victory of the week in Race 4.
Elimination IV - Winners’ Final
The first winners’ final of the day started under dramatic circumstances as both Arnon Dagan and Finian Maynard jumped the gun to be disqualified. Upon the restart, Josh Angulo made the best start of the fleet, but a flying Ben van der Steen had burst into the lead by the opening mark. The Dutchman maintained his blistering pace to extend his lead over the remainder of the course and he was soon celebrating his first bullet of the week. Behind him, Pierre Mortefon turned on the afterburners on the final straight to beat Angulo to second place, whilst Pascal Toselli completed the Top 4 after managing to overtake Gonzalo Costa Hoevel and Taty Frans.
Earlier in Elimination 4, Heat 12 saw a photo finish as Gonzalo Costa Hoevel, Ross Williams and Julien Quentel all battled for the final two qualifying positions. At the penultimate jibe it looked as though Quentel and Williams were comfortably advancing, but a rampaging Costa Hoevel soon put his name into the equation. As the trio raced down the final straight, there was just a few meters between them as they crossed the finish line and unfortunately Quentel was the man to miss out on the semifinals.
Elimination V - Winners’ Final
The second winners’ final also need two attempts to be completed after Josh Angulo mistimed his start to be disqualified from Heat 16. Reigning PWA World Champion Antoine Albeau sailed the perfect heat as he led from start to finish to clinch his first victory of the event, but more importantly also saw the big Frenchman move to the top of the leader board by half a point over Pascal Toselli. Ben van der Steen was able to back up his earlier success with a solid second place ahead of Julien Quentel and Cyril Moussilmani, who finished in third and fourth respectively.
Today was clearly Bruno Martini’s lucky day. The Italian suffered a broken mast just a few minutes before his opening heat, but still managed to advance after Kasper Larsen, Damien Le Guen and Aron Etmon all jumped the gun to give Martini, Josh Angulo, Bjorn Dunkerbeck and Cedric Bordes byes into the quarterfinals. Meanwhile, Matteo Iachino made an incredible recovery in Heat 10 as he battled his way back from 7th place at the opening jibe to clinch fourth place after a photo finish with Antoine Questel.
The door was thrown wide open for Antoine Albeau in the 6th race as both Pascal Toselli and Ben van der Steen failed to qualify for the winners’ final. Prior to this, the duo were sat in second and third place, only half a point and a point behind Albeau, respectively. Albeau actually looked as though he too would be taking an early exit after dropping his opening jibe in the quarterfinals, but remarkably managed to claw his way back from seventh place at the first mark to fourth by the penultimate jibe after showing incredible straight line speed and text book jibes.
Elimination VI - Winners’ Final
Antoine Albeau consolidated his place at the top of the event rankings in the last winners final of the day. However, it wasn’t plain sailing for Albeau as he entered the first jibe in 4th place behind Julien Quentel, who flew down the opening straight to obtain the lead ahead of Micah Buzianis and Bjorn Dunkerbeck. Albeau stepped on the gas though and broke into the lead by the second mark, a position he wouldn’t relinquish, which now gives him a comfortable lead at the top. Behind him there was plenty of drama as Buzianis was taken out by Ludovic Jossin at the third, allowing Pierre Mortefon and Ross Williams to move up to the third and fourth with Quentel claiming his best result so far - second.
The seventh elimination was started, but the wind became more inconsistent during the early evening meaning only the first 5 heats could be completed. With the wind showing no signs of improving the sailors were released at twenty past six after an incredible day of racing. The forecast predicts further wind for tomorrow, but slightly lighter than today. The skippers’ meeting has been called for 10 AM tomorrow morning with the action commencing from 10:30 AM. Don't miss any of the incredible action by tuning into PWA World Tour where you'll be able to follow the event as it happens via the PWA live stream and live ticker.
Results after Elimination 6 - Fuerteventura PWA Grand Slam:
1st Antoine Albeau
2nd Pascal Toselli
3rd Pierre Mortefon
4th Ben Van Der Steen
5th Cyril Moussilmani
The wind returned on Day 3 of the Fuerteventura PWA Grand Slam, hosted by René Egli, as winds of 14 to 24 knots provided some of the best racing conditions of the year, allowing the third elimination to be completed. Pascal Toselli struck again to claim his second bullet of the week, which sees the Frenchman rise to the top of the event rankings.
Elimination III - Winners’ Final
Micah Buzianis made the perfect start in the winners’ final as he crossed the line in first place, however the American wasn’t able to hold onto his lead for long as Pascal Toselli moved into the top spot by the first mark as he continued to look blisteringly quick. The Frenchman, who claimed his first ever elimination victory on Friday, soon added another victory to his name as he stayed cool, calm and collected to secure bullet number two, which means Toselli is now the current event leader with two days to go. Behind him, Buzianis claimed second place followed by Antoine Albeau - who had to slow down just before the start line to avoid going over early - and Cyril Moussilmani, who did brilliantly to overtake his brother Sylvain Moussilmani at the final mark.
Elsewhere in Race 3 Gonzalo Costa Hoevel suffered a first round exit. The Argentinian was neck and neck with Jimmy Diaz as they approached the start line, but slammed on the brakes to avoid going over early. Unfortunately for Costa Hoevel the start was timed to perfection and he was unable to claw his way back into the top four. In Heat 5, eighteen year old Benjamin Augé, who is making his debut on the PWA World Tour, did brilliantly to book his place in the quarterfinals as he finished fourth behind Finian Maynard, Antoine Questel and Ben van der Steen.
The fourth race was started, but will have to be completed tomorrow after the wind became too gusty to continue racing. There is now just one heat remaining to be sailed of the first round, so Heat 8 will be the first heat on the water tomorrow. In the opening round, John Skye, who is also making his debut appearance in the slalom, was visibly delighted to qualify for the next round for the first time as clinched the final qualifying position in Heat 6. Meanwhile, Pieter Bijl missed out on a place in the quarterfinals. The Dutchman occupied fourth place in Heat 2, but dropped his second jibe allowing sixteen year old Ethan Westera to progress into the next round for the second time this week.
The forecast for tomorrow promises to provide further brilliant racing conditions as the slalom heads towards its climax. Will Toselli be able to hold onto his lead? Find out by tuning into PWA World Tour where you'll be able to follow the event as it happens via the PWA live stream and live ticker.
If you’d like to know more about Fuerteventura or are interested in a windsurfing holiday then be sure to visit René Egli. René Egli is a world class windsurfing center, which opened an amazing new station in April, stocked with all the latest toys you could possibly desire.
Results after Elimination Three Fuerteventura PWA Grand Slam:
1st Pascal Toselli
2nd Antoine Albeau
3rd Matteo Iachino
4th Cyril Moussilmani
5th Steve Allen
The second day of the Fuerteventura PWA Grand Slam hosted by René Egli, saw a pause in the action as the wind teased the competitors for much of the day. At 12 PM it looked as though we would see another afternoon of racing, but unfortunately a thick layer of cloud soon disrupted the wind, despite the breeze threatening to return in the early evening, suitable conditions never quite materialized. Having been on hold for the entire day, the sailors were eventually released at 5:30 PM.
With plenty of down time throughout the day we caught up with our current event leader Matteo Iachino:
PWA: What setup were you on yesterday and how was yesterday for you?
MI: “I was on my Fanatic Falcon 110 and my North Warp 7.8m². It was really good. The course was nice with a long first reach like usual in Fuerte, followed by a short tight second leg. It was quite tough to come out of the first jibe in a good position, which made for some challenging racing because you needed to point higher straight away and quick acceleration was crucial.”
PWA: As the current event leader, do you feel like that puts more pressure on you?
MI: “Erm... at the moment I’m feeling super happy, I know it’s still only the beginning of the event. Today we had no wind, but it likes like from tomorrow onwards the wind is going to blow again, so there will be plenty more racing. I have a bit of pressure, but I’m already happy to be in this position so I think I only have something to win and nothing to lose.”
PWA: How did you prepare for the season over the winter?
MI: “I spent the winter in Tenerife, from November to mid March. There I was doing lots of testing because I changed sponsors over the winter, so I needed to test my new boards and sails, which I was really happy with. I was also training with Mark Hosegood like many of the other guys on the PWA World Tour and I think that helped me a lot. After Tenerife, I went to Maui for the first time, which was amazing, to test the new equipment for next year, as well as training with my teammates Marco Lang and Pierre Mortefon and many of the NeilPryde guys.”
PWA: As well as slalom, you are also into surfing?
MI: “Yeah, I really love it, I have done it for many years with my friends in the North of Italy. In the winter time we get proper swells. I think it’s good training as well as being a lot of fun.”
PWA: Thanks, Matteo and good luck for the rest of the event.
The forecast for tomorrow looks good, so we should see the return of more frantic slalom on the water. The skippers’ meeting has been called for 10 AM tomorrow morning with the action commencing from 10:30 AM. Don't miss any of the incredible action over the next nine days by tuning into PWA World Tour where you'll be able to follow the event live via the PWA live stream and live ticker.
The Fuerteventura PWA Grand Slam, hosted by René Egli, started in explosive fashion as the racing started promptly this afternoon, allowing the opening two eliminations to be completed. The first blood of the day went to Pascal Toselli, before Josh Angulo claimed his first bullet of the season in the second race. However, at the end of the first day, Italy’s Matteo Iachino sits proudly at the top of the rankings as the current event leader after backing up his fourth place finish with a solid third.
Elimination I - Winners’ Final
Race 1 was completed in 14 to 22 knots as Pascal Toselli produced a fantastic display to claim his first ever elimination victory. The Frenchman has been on the cusp of victory a couple of times this season and today he was able to slot all the pieces of the puzzle together to make the perfect start to the event. Cyril Moussilmani made the best start to the final, but by the first mark, Toselli had burst into the lead - a position he would not relinquish. Behind him reigning world champion Antoine Albeau made a solid start to the week as he clinched second place ahead of Cyril Moussilmani and Matteo Iachino. Meanwhile, Sebastian Kördel, did brilliantly on his last jibe to maneuver himself from last place into 5th.
The first round saw several shocks as the big names fell early. In the opening heat of the day Taty Frans failed to advance. The Bonairean lead into the first mark but crucially dropped his jibe, a mistake he was unable to recover from. In Heat 4, Pierre Mortefon became to latest name to fall after narrowly missing out in 5th place to Denmark’s Kasper Larsen, whilst Pieter Bijl also suffered an early exit after jumping the gun. Meanwhile, in Heat 7 and 8 respectively Micah Buzianis and Cedric Bordes failed to advance. However, several sailors did well to advance from tough opening heats. Firstly, sixteen year old Ethan Westera booked his place in the quarterfinals before Marco Lang and Enes Yilmazer both escaped from Heat 2.
Elimination II - Winners’ Final
The second winners’ final of the day started under dramatic circumstances as Antoine Albeau was disqualified after crossing the start line early. Upon the restart, Josh Angulo timed his start to perfection, but Australia’s Steve Allen held the lead as the fleet headed into the first jibe. However, by the exit, Angulo had managed to take the lead ahead Allen, Pierre Mortefon and Matteo Iachino. Angulo extended his advantage by the third and it wasn’t long before he was claiming his first bullet of the season, whilst Mortefon made a great recovery after his first round exit in the first race to finish in 2nd followed by Iachino and Allen, who claimed third and fourth respectively.
Heat 3 saw two sailors cross the start line early, resulting in disqualification - Maciek Rutkowski, who qualified for the losers’ final in the opening race and unfortunately sixteen year old Aron Etmon, who is making his debut on the PWA World Tour and is the youngest competitor in the fleet. This left the door open for twenty-two year old Martim Montiero, who successfully booked his place in the quarterfinals along with Gonzalo Costa Hoevel, Benoit Moussilmani and Malte Reuscher. In Heat 7, Amado Vrieswijk - who is better known for his freestyling expertise - negotiate his way into his first quarterfinal as he clinched the final qualifying position.
After advancing into the quarterfinals in Race 1 - Enes Yilmazer - went one better in Elimination 2 as he navigated his way into the semifinals, before just missing out on a place in the winners’ final after finishing sixth in Heat 13. The second semifinal saw three sailors disqualified for jumping the gun - Sebastian Kordel, Ross Williams and Pascal Toselli, who will be very disappointed having won the opening round. With just five sailors remaining, each one of them pushed themselves to the limit for a place in the winners’ final. Unfortunately Micah Buzianis was the man to miss out after dropping his second jibe when trying to desperately pass Steve Allen.
Tomorrow’s forecast predicts lighter winds for tomorrow, but with Sotavento’s local affects you can never be 100% about what will happen. The skippers’ meeting has been called for 10 AM tomorrow morning with the action commencing from 10:30 AM. Don't miss any of the incredible action over the next nine days by tuning to PWA World Tour where you'll be able to follow the event live via the PWA live stream and live ticker.
Results after Elimination Two Fuerteventura PWA Grand Slam:
1st Matteo Iachino
2nd Antoine Albeau
3rd Pascal Toselli
4th Cyril Moussilmani
5th Gonzalo Costa Hoevel