For the most part the penultimate day of the 2017 Fuerteventura PWA Grand Slam – sponsored by René Egli – saw more scintillating action as the wind continued to howl for the 9th day in a row, however, the days racing became somewhat insignificant with Taty Frans (Starboard / GA Sails / Mystic) and Pierre Mortefon (Fanatic / NorthSails / Chopper Fins) involved in a serious crash, which resulted in Frans being rushed to hospital – the second sailor this week after Ethan Westera (Tabou / GA Sails) was injured on Day 3.
A Near Miss
Unfortunately during the final heat of the day – Winners’ Final of Elimination 7 – a serious crash occurred between Pierre Mortefon (Fanatic / NorthSails / Chopper Fins) and Taty Frans (Starboard / GA Sails / Mystic) as the pack approached the first mark in winds exceeding 40 knots, which resulted in Frans needing urgent medical attention, while it is a miracle that Mortefon survived the potentially fatal crash unscathed. Thankfully, both sailors are said to be fine. Frans was initially feared to require an operation but the latest developments suggest that the Bonairean only requires stitches, while Mortefon has experienced pain in his back and foot, while obviously been shocked by the crash.
3 in the Mix
For the first time in this event Antoine Albeau (RRD / NeilPryde) lost the No.1 spot after a semifinal exit in Elimination 6, which was eventually won by Ross Williams (Tabou / GA Sails / Mystic / Shamal Sunglasses) as the Brit claimed back-to-back bullets. However, reigning world champion – Matteo Iachino (Starboard / Point-7 / Shamal Sunglasses) assumed control of the event after securing second place.
At this point Williams trailed Iachino by just 0.4 of a point, while Albeau was only 2.4 points behind and there’d be more drama to follow in Elimination 7 as Iachino was eliminated from the first semifinal to leave the door open for Williams.
However, with the Winners’ Final seemingly at his mercy Williams span out upon exiting his final gybe and would end up in the drink alongside Sebastian Kördel (Starboard / GA Sails).
Unfortunately, as previously mentioned the Winners’ Final was overshadowed, but Julien Quentel (Patrik / Avanti) came out on top, while Albeau secured second place to reassert himself at the top of the event rankings heading into the final day.
The skippers’ meeting has been called for 10am tomorrow morning with the action commencing from 10:30am (GMT+1) onwardsMake 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 7 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 Julien Quentel (Patrik / Avanti)
6th Pascal Toselli (99NoveNove / Loft Sails / Chopper Fins)
7th Cedric Bordes (Tabou / GA Sails)
8th Ben van der Steen (Patrik / Gun Sails)
9th Cyril Moussilmani (99NoveNove / Severne)
10th Taty Frans (Starboard / GA Sails / Mystic)