Today was the first day of the PWA Slalom World Cup in Alacati, Turkey. One slalom race could be finished in men´s and women´s fleet and we saw Björn Dunkerbeck and Sarah-Quita Offringa winning this first elimination.
Alacati racing action - Pic: PWA/John Carter
On the first day of competition the riders got welcomed with a 12 to 20 knots breeze. After the registration from 10-12, the competitors had two hours left to prepare their gear for the start of race nr. 1 at 2pm. Race director Juan Aragon set a four mark course, with the first leg porttack. Actually a start on porttack is less often throughout the year. Only Korea, Aruba and one elimination at Costa Brava saw a porttack start. All other races had starts on starboardtack.
The course was tricky. First, the starting area is limited in space. Upwind it is too shallow for the slalom fins and the startline was very close to the harbour. This means, the riders have only about 30 seconds to approach the line and must find the right position and speed to get on time over the startline.
Second, the course had less downwind components and a lot of windlulls. Especially at the second and third mark was sometimes low wind and even Antoine Albeau fall victim to the low wind and did not qualify for the winnersfinal.
Some other top names missed the winnersfinal as well, like Cyril Moussilmani, Josh Angulo or Ludovic Jossin.
Björn Dunkerbeck wins race 1 - Pic: PWA/John Carter
THE WINNERSFINAL In the winnersfinal were some big names, but also some not really expected names. Gonzalo Costa Hoevel for example did not compete on Fuerteventura because of a shoulder injury, but immediately sailed on a 6th place here. Local sailor Bora Kozanoglu impressed as every year at his homespot with perfect speed and a 7th place and Pierre Mortefon seems to be back. He could not compete on Fuerteventura because of an injury on his foot and we still see him hobbling on the beach, but he straight got into 8th place here. The top 5 places went to big names. Current tourleader Björn Dunkerbeck took the victory, followd by a strong sailing Finian Maynard and local Jimmy Diaz, who definitely knows the bay of Alacati very well. But we must add, that Jimmy, still did not get his sails after the event on Fuerteventura, so he is on borrowed gear. In fourth came Ben van der Steen, who defends his third place overall and in fifth came last year´s Alacati winner Micah Buzianis.
WINNERSFINAL RACE 1 MEN
In the ladies, we saw a dominating Sarah-Quita Offringa, who already could win two slalom events out of three this season. In second came the Turkish sailor Lena Erdil and in third the French Lise Vidal.