Day 6: Matteo Iachino in a league of his own as Italian completes superb hat-trick
After a frustrating start to Day 6 of the Mercedes-Benz Sylt PWA Grand Slam, the wind eventually stabilised and filled in to provide an excellent afternoon of racing in 10-16 knots — allowing a further two races to be completed.
Matteo Iachino (Starboard / Point-7) further reinstated his title winning credentials today with the Italian destroying the field again to complete a superb hat-trick. This deservedly gives him a commanding lead at the top of the event rankings — with Julien Quentel (Patrik / Avanti) 8.9 points behind in 2nd place. This swings the title race further in Iachino’s favour with his main rival — Pierre Mortefon (Fanatic / NorthSails) — currently back in 9th place after a disastrous day, which saw the Frenchman miss out on both winners’ finals. Mortefon hasn’t finished outside the top 4 so far this season, so could discard this result if required, but he will be determined to reduce the deficit over the next 4 days with a windy forecast to come.
Marco Lang (Fanatic / NorthSails) and Matteo Iachino made the best starts to Heat 16, and it was the Italian who held the lead as they entered the first gybe ahead of Lang and Ross Williams (Tabou / GA Sails / Mystic / Shamal Sunglasses). Like yesterday, Iachino continued to extend his advantage over the remainder of the course and he was soon claiming clinical back-to-back victories to take command of the event. Meanwhile, Lang, held his nerve to secure the best result of his career in 2nd followed by Gonzalo Costa Hoevel (Starboard / Point-7) and Bruno Martini (Starboard / Point-7 / AL360), who also recorded his best result in 4th. Williams dropped a gybe to slip out of the top 3 and to add insult to injury Julien Quentel finished one place ahead of him, which could yet prove pivotal in the stakes for a place on the overall podium.
In the opening quarterfinal, Quentel produced an amazing comeback. The man from Saint Maarten collided with Kurosh Kiani (Starboard / Point-7) at the first mark, but somehow managed to fight his way back into the top 4 to book his place in the semifinals alongside Jordy Vonk (Fanatic / NorthSails), Arnon Dagan (RRD / NeilPryde) and Gonzalo Costa Hoevel (Starboard / Point-7).
It was that man again — Iachino — who made the best start and he bagged the lead as they rounded the first buoy once again. However, he didn’t have things all his own way, this time, around with Taty Frans (Starboard / GA Sails / Mystic) and Vincent Langer (Fanatic / NorthSails) putting him under heavy pressure on the 2nd and 3rd reaches. However, Iachino remained cool and gradually he broke away from the chasing pack to clinch an emphatic hat-trick, which puts him in complete control at the end of the second day of racing. Langer took home 2nd place, which was well received by the home crowd, while Julien Quentel once again weaved his way back through the fleet to take 3rd ahead of Frans and Williams, who finished 4th and 5th respectively.
In Heat 12 Iachino and Steven Allen (Patrik / Severne) had safely booked their place in the semifinals and it looked as though Casper Bouman (Starboard / NeilPryde) and Malte Reuscher (JP / NeilPryde) would also be cruising into the next round. However, as the two of them approached the finish line they collided into one another. This left a few moments of deliberation as sailors must cross the finish line in the sailing position, but fortunately for them, they had already crossed the line.
Elsewhere, Ingmar Daldorf (Patrik / Loftsails) enjoyed a fine day. The Dutchman qualified for the losers’ final of Race 2 before finishing 6th in Elimination 3, which sees the 26 year old rise to 10th in the event rankings.
The forecast looks excellent for tomorrow with strong northeasterly winds of 22-26 knots being predicted. This will hopefully allow the men’s freestyle double elimination to be completed, which will decide the 2016 PWA Freestyle World Champion and as things stand — Amado Vrieswijk (JP / Severne) — is on course to lift his first world championship trophy, unless 6-time freestyle world champion — Jose ‘Gollito’ Estredo (Fanatic / NorthSails / MFC) can beat him twice. The Venezuelan will first have to win Heat 50 to have any shot at a 7th world crown. If the conditions are still suitable after the completion of the freestyle double the slalom will be resumed. Skippers’ meeting times for tomorrow as follows:
Freestyle – 8am — 1st possible 8:30am
Slalom – 10am — 1st possible 11am
Wave – 10am — 1st possible 10:30am
Make sure you tune into www.pwaworldtour.com tomorrow to follow, what should be a pulsating day of action, as it happens via the PWA live stream.
To stay up to date with all the latest developments from Sylt — including the live stream, elimination ladders, entry list, images and live ticker simply click HERE and scroll to the bottom of the page.
Current Ranking 2016 Mercedes-Benz Sylt PWA Grand Slam – Men’s Slalom – After 3 Races
1st Matteo Iachino (Starboard / Point-7)
2nd Julien Quentel (Patrik / Avanti)
3rd Ross Williams (Tabou / GA Sails / Mystic / Shamal Sunglasses)
4th Gonzalo Costa Hoevel (Starboard / Point-7)
5th Bruno Martini (Starboard / Point-7 / AL360)
6th Marco Lang (Fanatic / NorthSails)
7th Vincent Langer (Fanatic / NorthSails)
8th Finian Maynard (99NoveNove / Gun Sails)
9th Pierre Mortefon (Fanatic / NorthSails)
10th Ingmar Daldorf (Patrik / Loft Sails)