The final day in Reggio Calabria delivered wind late in the day, as it had the previous evening. It wasn’t until 17:30 that the north wind kicked in to allow the conclusion of the men’s first elimination, and the completion of the women’s second elimination. It was a great way to end the event with dramatic finishes for both divisions.
The second semi-final was the first heat of the day to be sailed. Josh Angulo (Angulo / Point-7) got away to the best start but he couldn’t hold onto the lead for the duration of the course. In the end it was Bjorn Dunkerbeck (Starboard / Severne / Dunkerbeck Eyewear, Mystic) who came out on top, followed by Gonzalo Costa Hoevel (Fanatic / North), Antoine Questel (Starboard / The Loft ) and Angulo, all qualifying for the first final of 2012.
The losers final instantly lost two sailors as both Ben Van Der Steen (Starboard / The Loft, Mystic) and Steve Allen (Starboard / Severne) were a little too enthusiastic and were disqualified for crossing the line early. On the restart it was Taty Frans (Starboard / MauiSails / Mystic / Maui Ultra Fins) who burst into the lead after a perfect start. Frans was chased by Pascal Toselli (RRD / Point-7) and Julien Quentel (RRD / NeilPryde) as the race quickly became a three way battle. As they rounded the third gybe mark it was Toselli who managed to break into the lead after a superior turn. Toselli then wasted no time in stepping back on the power to storm home to victory. Frans eventually finished in third place, with Quentel finishing just ahead of him.
Rewardingly the winners' final would prove to be the best heat of the day, in what was an extremely close fought encounter. From the start line, it was Jimmy Diaz (Starboard / North), Costa Hoevel and Antoine Albeau ( RRD / NeilPryde) who led from the rest of the pack. Even though Dunkerbeck didn’t get off to the best start he was quickly in hot pursuit of the top three sailors, as he once again demonstrated his blistering top speed and faultless gybes, to put himself right in contention. The final saw history repeat itself, just as in Vietnam last year, the race for the finish line would involve Dunkerbeck and Costa Hoevel. In Vietnam Dunkerbeck beat Costa Hoevel by a matter of inches to claim the event win in the final race, and the same happened again today. The super calm Dunkerbeck kept his cool under severe pressure and in doing so created a strong start to the defense of his title. Costa Hoevel led from start to within feet of the finish until Dunkerbeck just edged ahead to leave him in second. Meanwhile the big French man Antoine Albeau had to settle for third place not managing to take any real distance from the two front-runners.
Women’s Second Elimination
The first semi-final was interesting to say the least. As the heat began, four out of the seven sailors involved crossed the line early. This gave Maria Andres (Starboard / Gun Sails / Mystic) and Lena Erdil (Patrik / The Loft / AL360) a bypass into the winners final. The second semi-final saw the top two seeds of the competition sailing against each other, but there was no drama as both Karin Jaggi (Patrik / Severne) and Valeria Arrighetti (Tabou / Gaastra / Mystic) comfortably secured their places in the winners final. The remaining two places went to Delphine Cousin (JP / NeilPryde) and Laura Linares (Challenger Sails).
Two women in particular got off to a flyer; Fanny Aubet (JP / NeilPryde) and Dilara Uralp (JP / NeilPryde), but as the heat progressed they slowly fell down the pecking order. In the end it was Cagla Kubat (Starboard / North) who came storming through the pack to lead from the first mark and claim victory and sixth place overall for the event. She was closely followed by Alice Arutkin (Starboard / North), Greta Benvenuti (Patrik / Point-7 / AL360) and Uralp.
After dominating yesterday proceedings Jaggi was in confident mood, especially after winning her semi-final today as well. But Jaggi was up against a super motivated Arrighetti who was keen to make a mends after previously missing out on the winners final. Jaggi and Arrighetti were very close in the last heat, and the final proved no different as they both got off to fantastic starts. Arrighetti was sailing flawlessly, both in a straight line and through the corners. On this occasion Arrighetti proved too much for Jaggi, and the evidently delighted French woman came out on top. Linares sailed a much stronger final this time around managing a third place finish in her inaugural PWA event in her homeland, whilst fourth went to Cousin.
The 2012 PWA Reggio Calabria Overall Standings : Men’s Slalom
1st Bjorn Dunkerbeck (Starboard / Severne / Mystic /Dunkerbeck Eyewear)
2nd Gonzalo Costa Hoevel (Fanatic / North)
3rd Antoine Albeau (RRD / NeilPryde)
4th Peter Volwater (Fanatic / Avanti)
5th Jimmy Diaz (Starboard / North)
The 2012 PWA Reggio Calabria Overall Standings : Women’s Slalom
1st Karin Jaggi (Patrik / Severne)
2nd Lena Erdil (Patrik / The Loft / AL360)
3rd Valeria Arrighetti (Tabou / Gaastra/ Mystic)
4th Alice Arutkin (Starboard / North)
5th Laura Linares (Challenger Sails)
Day 5: From the onset of day five it truly looked like no action would be possible today in Reggio Calabria. The day started with overcast skies and hardly a breath of wind, however at 16:00 the wind suddenly kicked in out of nowhere.
This enabled the first elimination of the women’s slalom to be completed, whilst 13 heats of the men’s slalom were finished. The world’s best sailors were finally allowed to showcase their skills in what had been a frustrating event up to now.
As the men finally got their racing season underway it looked like they meant business from the start. In fact the opening round saw nine out of the top ten seeds all qualify for the quarter finals with the shock elimination of fourth seed Cyril Moussilmani (Starboard Severne / Mystic) who narrowly missed out on a place in the second round. In heat 8 Bjorn Dunkerbeck (Starboard / Severne / Mystic/ Dunkerbeck Eyewear) did extremely well to qualify as he crossed the start line in last place. Dunkerbeck stepped on the gas and somehow managed to mastermind his way into second place. Pascal Toselli (RRD / Point-7) demonstrated his potential, leading from the front to win the heat.
The first quarter final, heat 9, saw Micah Buzianis (JP / MauiSails) crash out of the race on the first reach. Buzianis was massively unlucky as he hit an unknown object in the water, effectively killing his chances of making the semi-finals. Ben Van Der Steen (Starboard / Loft / Mystic) looked in impressive form as he opened his 2012 season by winning both his opening heat and the quarter final. The remainder of the round passed without major upset, except for the premature departure of Finian Maynard (RRD, Avanti) who failed to advance, with all eight of the remaining top ten seeds, safely navigating their way into the semi-finals.
Heat 13, which was the first semi-final, got off to a dramatic start as both Steve Allen (Starboard / Severne) and Bora Kozanoglu (Starboard/ Severne) false started, resulting in a general recall of the 6 remaining sailors. The restart of heat 13 was no less dramatic. Van Der Steen catapulted over the start line, which caused utter chaos amongst the other sailors. It was Antoine Albeau (RRD / NeilPryde) who managed to get away cleanly though, and after leading from the start Albeau never looked back, as he safely booked his place in the winners final and in doing so demonstrated that he has had no problems adapting to his new RRD boards. The other sailors advancing along with Albeau were; Alberto Menegatti (Starboard / Gaastra), Jimmy Diaz (Starboard / North) and Peter Volwater (Fanatic / Avanti). The other semi-final saw Taty Frans (Starboard / MauiSails / Mystic) disqualified as he went over the start line early. In heat 14, Arnon Dagan (Tabou / Gaastra) crossed the line in first place, however by this point the wind was beginning to drop and becoming increasingly gusty. This resulted in the second semi-final being cancelled and, with the wind failing to re-establish itself, the heat remained unfinished.
Should the situation remain as is then all of the 16 semi finalists will share joint 1st at the event, but the forecast for more thermal winds tomorrow promises to provide an exciting climax to the first race.
The women were first onto the water when the wind arrived and the second semi-final opened proceedings where they left off 2 days ago. Karin Jaggi (Patrik / Severne), who is the women's top seed at Reggio Calabria, commanded her way into the winners final by claiming victory in her opening heat of the season. Fanny Aubet (JP / NeilPryde), got off to the best start, but she couldn't hold on as Jaggi used all of her experience to fight her way into first place. Joining her in the final were: - Marianne Kaplas (Starboard / Severne), Fanny Aubet (JP / NeilPryde) and Lena Erdil (Patrik / The Loft).
After missing out on a place in the winners final, second seed Valerie
Arrighetti (Tabou / Gaastra / Mystic) made no mistake in the losers final. Arrighetti put her disappointment behind her, and she was rewarded with victory as she put in flawless performance from start to finish. Finishing in second and third place respectively were Greta Benvenuti (Patrik / Point-7 / AL360) and Maria Andres (Starboard / Gun Sails / Mystic).
Jaggi was untouchable in the final. After a great start, Switzerland's finest went from strength-to-strength as she built a sizeable lead over the chasing pack, the distance was too big for any of the sailors to close and she got her season off to the best possible start by winning the first race. Laura Linares (Challenger Sails) couldn't repeat the success of her debut race as she finished in 8th place. Erdil and Alice Arutkin (Starboard / North Sails) battled it out for second and third position, but ultimately Erdil proved too strong for Arutkin and finished ahead of the young French woman, who had to settle for third.
After a favorable change in the latest forecast, it looks as though the final day of the PWA Reggio Calabria World Cup should offer plenty of racing, and thus end with a bang. The skippers meeting will be held at 10am, with racing commencing from 10:30. Make sure you keep up to date with all the action on the live ticker on the PWA website.
Results After The Elimination One
1st Karin Jaggi (Patrik / Severne)
2nd Lena Erdil (Patrik / The Loft)
3rd Alice Arutkin (Starboard / North)
4th Cagla Kubat (Starboard / The Loft)
5th Fanny Aubet (JP / NeilPryde)