For a long time today it looked as though there may be no racing on Day 8 of the Fuerteventura PWA Grand Slam – sponsored by René Egli – with light onshore winds for much of the day. However, the wind did eventually swing offshore and filled in late to produce an exciting evening of racing in 20-25 knots of wind, which saw most sailors reaching for their 7.0s-8.0s.
Ross Williams (Tabou / GA Sails / Mystic / Shamal Sunglasses) looked be in fine form today as he won both his quarterfinal and semifinal and the Brit carried that blistering form into the winners’ final as he secured his first bullet of the week, which cements his 3rd place in the current rankings while also bringing him in to event title contention. Williams is now 5.3 points behind Antoine Albeau (RRD / NeilPryde) with two days to go.
Albeau still holds a healthy lead at the top of the rankings, but has seen his advantage greatly reduced from the opening day. AA finished 4th in today’s final, while reigning world champion Matteo Iachino (Starboard / Point-7 / Shamal Sunglasses) continued his excellent form as the Italian claimed 2nd place, which sees him close to within 3.6 points of Albeau.
Pierre Mortefon (Fanatic / NorthSails / Chopper Fins) missed out on the winners’ final for the 3rd time in 5 races, but still rises two places – 6th to 4th – in the current rankings after the Frenchman won Heat 15 to finish 9th in Elimination 5. Mortefon could still make the podium as he has also won two races, but he’ll need to make no further mistakes and for the second discard to come into play in order to do so.
Pascal Toselli (99NoveNove / Loft Sails / Chopper Fins) has recovered brilliantly since a disappointing showing in the opening race of the week and the Frenchman rises to 5th place, from 8th, in the current rankings after another excellent 3rd place today.
Coming into today Cedric Bordes (Tabou / GA Sails) had qualified for every winners’ final so far, but unfortunately he lost his perfect record today as he failed to progress from Heat 13. The Frenchman had the potential to advance from the semifinal as he rounded the opening buoy in second place, but a sloppy second gybe cost him dearly. Bordes is still enjoying by far his best event of the season and currently occupies 6th place.
Taty Frans (Starboard / GA Sails / Mystic) falls two places to 7th after being eliminated in the quarterfinals. The Bonairean was comfortably qualifying for the semifinals but ended up in the drink at the third mark and despite his best efforts he couldn’t quite fight his way back into the qualifying positions.
Julien Quentel (Patrik / Avanti) and Cyril Moussilmani (99NoveNove / Severne) both had days to forget with Quentel suffering a shock second round exit, while Moussilmani was eliminated in the next round. However, they remain in 8th and 9th place.
Ingmar Daldorf climbs one place to complete the current top 10 at the close of play with the Dutchman recording his best individual result so far, which saw the 26-year-old sail superbly to secure 5th place in Elimination 5.
Marco Lang (Fanatic / NorthSails) continues to recover from a slow first day when the Austrian was ill and has climbed back into the top 16 after qualifying for his first winners’ final of the week to finish 6th today. That place in the winners’ final came at the expense of teammate Jordy Vonk (Fanatic / NorthSails), who dropped his gybe at the third buoy when his first winners’ final of the week beckoned as well, so the Dutchman had to settle for 11th place today – 14th overall.
The forecast doesn’t look that great for tomorrow with slightly less wind than today being predicted and also the direction looks as though it could even be slightly northwest, so we will have to wait and see what happens, but a few of the locals think it will be similar to today. The skippers’ meeting has been called for 11am tomorrow morning with the action commencing from 11:30am (GMT+1) onwards. Make sure you tune into www.pwaworldtour.com to follow all of the racing as it happens via the PWA live stream.
Current Ranking Fuerteventura PWA Grand Slam – Men’s Slalom
*After 5 Eliminations
1st Antoine Albeau (RRD / NeilPryde)
2nd Matteo Iachino (Starboard / Point-7 / Shamal Sunglasses)
3rd Ross Williams (Tabou / GA Sails / Mystic / Shamal Sunglasses)
4th Pierre Mortefon (Fanatic / NorthSails / Chopper Fins)
5th Pascal Toselli (99NoveNove / Loft Sails)
6th Cedric Bordes (Tabou / GA Sails)
7th Taty Frans (Starboard / GA Sails / Mystic)
8th Julien Quentel (Patrik / Avanti)
9th Cyril Moussilmani (99NoveNove / Severne)
10th Ingmar Daldorf (Tabou / GA Sails)