The opening day of the Tiberias PWA World Cup saw a tricky start to the competition with gusty winds and wind shifts playing havoc at times. However, at the end of the first day, there is already a result in the bag with one elimination being completed in both the Men’s and Women’s Slalom in winds gusting over 25 knots.

Nicolas Goyard flies into an early lead, whilst Sarah-Quita Offringa returns to slalom competition with a bang

Tiberias Israel PWA World Cup 2021 – Video Day 1

Women’s Slalom
Sarah-Quita Offringa returned to the Slalom scene with a bang as she claimed the first bullet on the Slalom PWA World Tour since 2019. The Aruban had earlier sailed to the wrong mark when in the lead, but that was due to a massive wind shift which resulted in the final being cancelled. After two restarts due to general recalls, Offringa would gain the upper hand again, but she didn’t have things all her own way as Marion Mortefon claimed the lead as they rounded the opening buoy. Mortefon, couldn’t keep Offringa behind her for long though, as the 4-time Slalom world champion immediately pointed deep on the exit of the gybe to soon overtake the vice-world champion with a blistering turn of speed. Over the remainder of the course, Offringa would gradually edge away as she made the perfect start to the event, whilst looking dangerously fast.

Notable absentees include 2019 world No.3, 4 and 5 – Maëlle Guilbaud, Lilou Granier and Lena Erdil, who put her focus on Olympic IQ Foil class and marketing jobs. 

Men’s Slalom
Before the start of the event, there was obviously a great deal of hype in the fin vs foil debate – with this being the first event with the new format in which sailors have to make their own choice on whether to foil or use a fin. Most were probably expecting to see the foils used in the lighter winds, but even with gusts of over 25 knots the 2019 Foil Word Champion – Nicolas Goyard – decided to stay with the foil. The only other sailor to do so was – William Huppert, who finished in 12th place.

At the beginning of the day, the majority of the fleet had opted to use foils to help cope with the gusty nature of the wind, however, once it picked up as the afternoon progressed most chose to return to their trusted fins, which were seemingly expected to be quicker, in a straight line at least, once the wind approached 20+ knots. This, however, was not the case with Goyard being able to not only match their top speeds on the straights, but then literally fly through the gybes to build unassailable leads.

Goyard’s closest challenger was Enrico Marotti, who will be delighted with his start to the season as he picks up where he left off in New Caledonia – where the 30-year-old finished 4th. The Croat looked extremely quick all day and if it wasn’t for Goyard he would’ve been celebrating with a bullet.

A few big names aren’t competing in Israel and the draw has opened up slightly too with 3 of 2019’s overall Slalom top 10 not competing in Israel. Firstly World No.5 – Julien Quentel, who announced a shock retirement from racing last month, Ross Williams, who run this business in UK and grew his family and Tristan Algret , who is expecting to become a father within the next few weeks.

Ranking after 3 eliminations – 2021 Tiberias PWA World Cup – Women’s Slalom  

1st Marion Mortefon (FRA | Fanatic / Duotone)
2nd Sarah-Quita Offringa (ARU | Starboard / NeilPryde / Maui Ultra Fins)
3rd Delphine Cousin Questel (FRA | FMX Racing / S2Maui)
4th Sarah Jackson (GBR | Fanatic / Duotone) 5th Blanca Alabau (ESP | Starboard / Severne Sails)  

Ranking after 2 eliminations – 2021 Tiberias PWA World Cup – Women’s Foil  

1st Marion Mortefon (FRA | Fanatic / Duotone / LOKEFOIL)
2nd Blanca Alabau (ESP | Starboard / Severne Sails / Starboard Foil)
3rd Helle Oppedal (NOR | Fanatic / Duotone)
4th Linoy Geva (ISR) 5th Sarah-Quita Offringa (ARU | Starboard / NeilPryde / Starboard Foil)

Ranking after 4 eliminations – 2021 Tiberias PWA World Cup – Men’s Slalom  

1st Nicolas Goyard (FRA | Phantom Boards / Phantom Sails / Phantom Foils)
2nd William Huppert (FRA | Fanatic / Duotone / LOKEFOIL)
3rd Matteo Iachino (ITA | Starboard / Severne Sails / Starboard Foil)
4th Pierre Mortefon (FRA | Fanatic / Duotone / Chopper Fins / LOKEFOIL)
5th Maciek Rutkowski (POL | FMX Racing / Challenger Sails)
6th Enrico Marotti (CRO | JP / NeilPryde)
7th Basile Jacquin (FRA | FMX Racing / Point-7)
8th Ingmar Daldorf (NED | Tabou / GA Sails)
9th Alexandre Cousin (FRA | Patrik / Phantom Sails / Chopper Fins / Phantom Foils)
10th Mateus Isaac (BRA | Starboard / Severne Sails / Starboard Foil)