PWA World Cup Alacati 2012 – Preview
Today is the start of the 5th PWA Slalom event. From the 27th August until the 1st September the world’s fastest sailors shall be gracing the idyllic shores of Alacati with their presence, for the Pegasus Airlines PWA World Cup.
Located on the Cesme peninsula, just a thirty-minute drive away from the bustling city of Izmir, sits the tranquil village of Alacati, which is renowned for its stunning natural stone villas, chic boutiques and its fabulous restaurants and traditional cafes. However, Alacati, truly comes to life during the summer months as windsurfers arrive in their thousands, from all over the world, to take advantage of the consistent winds and the beautiful turquoise waters.
From May until October the famous Meltemi winds provide the perfect conditions for windsurfers of all abilities. The Northerly wind, which blows consistently above fifteen knots, builds throughout the morning before peaking in the afternoon. Wind speeds of over twenty knots often frequent the bay of Alacati, so when you combine this with the amazing scenery and cosmopolitan atmosphere, it is easy to see why Alacati is fast becoming a windsurfing Mecca.
What’s The Deal?
Six days of intense slalom racing as the battle for the PWA Slalom World Championship titles heads towards the climax. The men and women will be battling it out for the €55,000 prize purse as well as those critical world tour points, which will be more eagerly contested for than ever before.
Björn Dunkerbeck may have missed out on the podium in Fuerteventura, as he finished fourth, but this still proved enough to see the terminator return to the top of the current PWA Slalom rankings. Dunkerbeck will now be concentrating on extending his lead over the chasing pack, and if he can replicate the form he showed here last year then he’ll do just that, after dominating the fleet in 2011.
The battle for the title is really beginning to heat up and Dunkerbeck’s closest rival and long time nemesis, Antoine Albeau, will be hoping to reclaim the number one spot come the end of the week. Having relinquished his PWA Fuerteventura title for the first time in years, the big Frenchman will be more motivated than ever to secure his first event win of the season. Expect to see him flying across the line as he looks to take matters into his own hands as well as demonstrating his blistering speed and fluid gybes to hit straight back.
The current top three, is completed by an on fire Julien Quentel, who is enjoying his best season to date on the PWA. Quentel has been one of the most consistent performers in 2012, with his phenomenal top speed and effortless gybes providing the perfect platform for success. There appears to be no reason for that to change in Alacati, so he should be challenging for the top honors come the end of the week.
Finian Maynard returned with a vengeance in Fuerteventura to not only win his opening races of the year, but also the entire event. The 2012 season had proved to be a massively frustrating affair up until this point, what with injuries and untimely kit failures. However it would seem he has now turned the corner, and after a scintillating display in Fuerteventura, Maynard will now be looking to capitalize on his previous performance, by showcasing his perfect starts and untouchable top speed once again as he looks to make sure that he is in contention for the podium by the end of the event.
Micah Buzianis and Ben Van Der Steen are inseparable at the moment as both men sit on equal points ahead of the sixth event of the year. This means we should see another intriguing battle as both sailors look to move onwards and upwards, from their current fourth and fifth positions. Van Der Steen finished on the podium for the first time in 2012 in Fuerteventura and he certainly proved that he is one of the quickest guys on the tour.
The big news ahead of the third women’s slalom event is that the current reigning World Champion, Sarah-Quita Offringa, will be making her first appearance of the 2012 slalom season, having missed the opening two events due to her studies. Offringa has been in Alacati training for the upcoming event, and after her recent success in Fuerteventura, the lady from Aruba will be in as confident a mood as ever. We expect to see Offringa heading straight to the top and causing some serious competition for Valerie Arrighetti and Karin Jaggi.
The multiple World Champion, Karin Jaggi, is on course for another title as she leads the way in the women’s fleet after a first and second place in the opening two events. However Valerie Arrighetti is breathing down her neck, and the French woman came out on top in Korea. Expect to see the two of them fighting tooth and nail in the penultimate event of the year. Alacati has the potential to make or break one of these ladies seasons.
Just behind the top two is Lena Erdil, who will be looking to use all of her local knowledge to come out on top, as well as her fellow Turk Cagla Kubat, who owns her own windsurfing school in Alacati. Kubat’s extra knowledge of the water could prove vital in her battle to overtake Delphine Cousin, who currently occupies fourth.