Clear sunny skies and light to moderate winds – 7-17 knots – provided an entertaining day of racing on day 3 of the 2017 Mercedes-Benz Sylt PWA Super Grand Slam as the first two eliminations of the week were completed. Marco Lang (Fanatic / NorthSails) stole the show today by winning both eliminations in front of a packed out back in emphatic style to deservedly head up the rankings, while the two title contenders – Antoine Albeau (RRD / NeilPryde) and Matteo iachino (Starboard / Point-7 / Shamal Sunglasses) – endured a topsy-turvy day after a drama filled afternoon.
Marco Lang had never won an elimination before today, but that all changed with the Austrian enjoying a purple patch of form as he claimed two highly impressive victories in both races completed. On both occasions, Lang led from start to finish with his blistering speed leaving his rivals in his wake. The 31-year-old was understandably delighted after enjoying the finest day of his career so far and he deservedly holds a commanding lead at the top of the event rankings at the close of play. Lang was in fantastic form, but did have one heart in mouth moment in the second semifinal when he gybed into the buoy at the last mark when in the lead, but fortunately he still qualified for the winners’ final and cut a relieved figure on the beach afterwards – before that relief was soon replaced with pure joy with bullet number 2 in the bag.
Germany’s Vincent Langer (Fanatic / NorthSails), who is competing in his first event of the season, also enjoyed a fine day after 2nd and 4th place finishes. Langer’s starts were on point throughout the day which left him prominently placed in every heat he raced in and he occupies 2nd place in the current rankings but trails Lang by 4.6 points.
With Pierre Mortefon (Fanatic / NorthSails / Chopper Fins) suffering a shock quarterfinal exit in the opening elimination, Ross Williams (Tabou / GA Sails / Mystic / Shamal Sunglasses) now holds the upper hand in the race for the final place on the overall podium. Coming into the event the two sailors were level on points, but with Williams enjoying a fine day which sees him currently ranked 3rd he would move into a clear 3rd place. After a disappointing first race, Mortefon then bounced back in Elimination 2 with a 2nd place – pipping Williams on the line in a photo finish, but the current vice-world champion sits in 14th place after today and will be hoping there is enough racing to discard the result from the first race.
Arnon Dagan (RRD / NeilPryde) came into Sylt looking to discard a 25th place and the Israeli is on course to do just that after a solid display today which saw him qualify for both winners’ finals before finishing 6th and 7th, which leaves him in 4th place. If Dagan can hold on to his current position then he will leapfrog in the overall top 10 at the end of the event.
Title contenders Antoine Albeau (RRD / NeilPryde) and Matteo Iachino (Starboard / Point-7 / Shamal Sunglasses) both suffered days they’d rather forget. Both sailors did well in the first race – finishing 5th and 3rd respectively, but then things began to unravel. Firstly, Iachino was knocked out in the quarterfinals after breaking a mast when in the qualifying places, which could’ve almost decided the title race right here and now with the pendulum swinging even further in Albeau’s favour.
However, just two heats later Albeau suffered the same fate as the 23-time world champion went from first to last after rounding the opening mark in the light winds and much to Albeau’s disgust the cancellation flag never came and despite his protests the decision was upheld meaning Iachino’s equipment misfortune was not punished, while leaving the title race open. At the close of play, Albeau sits in 10th place, while Iachino is 16th. Both would instantly discard the result, but both will be hoping to complete at least 4 eliminations so that they can try and climb the rankings here.
France’s Pascal Toselli (99Novenove / LoftSails / Chopper Fins) currently occupies 5th place after finishing 6th and 11th and he holds a two-point advantage over Jordy Vonk (Fanatic / NorthSails) and Cedric Bordes (Tabou / GA Sails), who both have 19 points.
The top 10 is currently completed by Julien Quentel (Patrik / Avanti) and Croatia’s Enrico Marotti (JP / NeilPryde).
Elsewhere Tristan Algret (Starboard / Severne / Mystic / Chopper Fins) was disqualified from the second elimination for unsporting behaviour after an altercation with Maciek Rutkowski (Tabou / GA Sails).
The wind is expected to crank up to 30 knots tomorrow which should see either the freestyle or wave fleets hit the water for the first time this event with waves of up to 2.6m – increasing to 3m by the evening currently forecast. With a solid day of wind ahead tomorrow promises to see plenty of radical action and the skippers’ meeting has been called for 8am for both the freestyle and wave fleets – with a first possible start at 8:30am. Meanwhile, the slalom skippers’ meeting shall be held at 10am – with a first possible start at 10:30am (GMT+2).
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Current Event Ranking Mercedes-Benz Sylt PWA Super Grand Slam – Men’s Slalom
1st Marco Lang (Fanatic / NorthSails)
2nd Vincent Langer (Fanatic /NorthSails)
3rd Ross Williams (Tabou / GA Sails / Mystic / Shamal Sunglasses)
4th Arnon Dagan (RRD / NeilPryde)
5th Pascal Toselli (99NoveNove /LoftSails / Chopper Fins)
6th Jordy Vonk (Fanatic / NorthSails)
7th Cedric Bordes (Tabou / GA Sails)
8th Julien Quentel (Patrik / Avanti)
9th Enrico Marotti (RRD /NeilPryde)
10th Antoine Albeau (RRD / NeilPryde)