The final PWA slalom event of the year is already underway at Noumea, New Caledonia (Nov 18 – Nov 23). Yesterday was the first day of the event and there was no wind, but there is some wind forecasted for the end of the week.
The season is heading to a fascinating conclusion and Chris Yates, press officer of the PWA, had a look onto the battle for the 2014 PWA Overall Slalom title. And there is a video available, produced at Noumea beach with the title favourites in the focus.
With one event to go – the men fleet has 5 events with valid results in 2014 already – only three men remain in the quest for the 2014 PWA Slalom World Championship – Cyril Moussilmani (34), who leads the tour, Antoine Albeau (42) and Pierre Mortefon (25) – one thing is certain and that’s that this year’s men’s title will be won by a Frenchman.
Cyril Moussilmani enters the Airwaves Noumea Dream Cup with a slender 17 point lead over Antoine Albeau in second place. For Moussilmani the maths is simple, if he finishes ahead of Albeau then he will be rewarded with a maiden world crown.
However, although Moussilmani leads into the final event, Albeau still holds his destiny in his own hands, such is the closeness between the two rivals. In order to complete a historic hat-trick of world titles, Albeau, just needs to beat Moussilmani by one place – as long as Albeau finishes 5th or better.
If both – Albeau and Moussilmani – were to finish outside the top 5 then this would open the door to Pierre Mortefon, who still has an outside shot at the world title: if Albeau and Moussilmani were to both finish 6th or worse then Mortefon would need to win the event to come out on top. If Mortefon was to finish 3rd, he would need Albeau and Moussilmani to finish 7th or worse. And if Mortefon was to finish 4th or above, Albeau and Moussilmani would need to finish 8th or worse etc.
The women had two Slalom events this season, one in Turkmenistan and the other one in Turkey. French champion Delphine Cousin (23) sits in pole position heading into the final event with one event victory and a 2nd place, putting her in a commanding position. The reigning world champion requires fourth place or better to guarantee her the title, as even if Lena Erdil (25) or Valerie Ghibaudo (25) were to win the event – and Cousin finish 4th – Cousin would take the title on a tiebreak.
If Cousin were to finish 5th or worse, then Erdil or Ghibaudo would have to win the event to snatch the title away from the twenty-three year old, whilst 6th or worse would require second or better from Erdil or Ghibaudo, etc.
Erdil and Ghibaudo are currently tied on points so the duo face an intriguing battle outside of the title race too – who ever comes out on top at the Airwaves Noumea Dream Cup would claim second place overall, barring disaster, so there’s all still to play for even if the title proves to be out of reach.
©pwaworldtour/Chris Yates,Pics: PWA/Carter