Spannender könnte es kaum sein. Der Airwaves Noumea Dream Cup hatte auch am 4. Wettkampftag beste Windbedingungen mit bis zu 25 Knoten zu bieten. Ben van der Steen steht mittlerweile im Ranking ganz oben da er gestern eine beinahe perfekte Performance abrufen konnte und mit 2 Siegen und einem zweiten Platz grandiosen Speed und fehlerfreie Halsen zeigte. Doch auch Antoine Albeau ließ sich, von einem für seine Verhältnisse eher durchschnittlichen Tag gestern, nicht aus der Ruhe bringen und liegt nun im Titelrennen nach seinem zweiten Eliminations Sieg und einer guten Performance in den anderen Wettfahrten wieder leicht vor Cyril Moussilmani. Der Abstand ist denkbar knapp und da die Vorhersage für die restlichen Eventtage ebenfalls gut aussieht ist noch rein garnichts entschieden. Wir sind sehr gespannt wer seine Nerven besser im Zaum halten kann.
Bei den Damen sind übrigens mittlerweile bereits 8 Eliminations ausgefahren. Delphine Cousin darf fast schon feiern, mit jeder Elimination mehr unterstreicht die Französin ihren Anspruch auf den Weltmeistertitel und liegt in der Eventwertung weiterhin auf Rang 1. Eine Position in den Top4 würde ihr zum Titelgewinn reichen.
Die Action des Tages könnt ihr euch übrigens im Livestream Archiv nochmal „on demand“ ansehen. Ansonsten erhaltet ihr alle Infos in der offiziellen Pressemitteilung der PWA unten – hier gibts Winners Final für Winners Final aufgeschlüsselt. Außerdem gibts unter www.pwa-worldtour.com alle Bilder von JC. Wer am Wochende weder Surfen will noch arbeiten muss dem sei der Livestream empfohlen. Die Übertragung startet so gegen 00:30 und wie immer führt Ben Proffitt durch die Heats – welche die letzten Tage spannender waren als so mancher Blockbuster.
Video of the Day
The wind continued to blow on day four of the Airwaves Noumea Dream Cup PWA to produce another action packed day in New Caledonia, as a further three races for the men and four races for the women were completed in 15-25 knot winds. By the end of the day Ben Van Der Steen (Tabou / GA Sails / Mystic) headed to the top of the rankings after a near perfect display, which saw the flying Dutchman win two races and claim second in the other. Meanwhile, Antoine Albeau (RRD / NeilPryde), edged into the lead in the battle for the 2014 title as he took his second bullet of the week in the final elimination of the day, whilst Delphine Cousin (Starboard / Loft Sails) edged ever closer to the world title after securing two more victories today.
Men’s – Elimination Four – Winners’ Final
Björn Dunkerbeck (Starboard / Severne / Chris Benz / Dunkerbeck Eyewear) made the best start in the opening winners’ final of the day, but it was Ben Van Der Steen who led after the first gybe ahead of Antoine Albeau and Cyril Moussilmani (Starboard / Severne). By the penultimate gybe Van Der Steen had built a substantial lead and continued to fly over the remainder of the course to claim his first bullet of the week. Julien Quentel (RRD / NeilPryde) showed more impeccable gybing to finish second in front of Albeau and Moussilmani – third and fourth – whilst Dunkerbeck finished fifth.
van der Steen leads the way
Elimination Five – Winners’ Final
The title race saw the pendulum of momentum swing into Antoine Albeau’s favour in the fifth elimination after Cyril Moussilmani jumped the gun to be disqualified – opening the door for his rival to reduce the deficit. Upon the restart, it was once again Ben Van Der Steen who broke into an early lead, and just as in the previous race the Dutchman laid down the gauntlet to claim back-to-back bullets after another flawless display. Julien Quentel secured second place, whilst Antoine Albeau was able to burn past Cedric Bordes (Tabou / GA Sails) on the third reach to finish third. AA may have not inflicted the maximum possible damage to Moussilmani’s title challenge, but it greatly reduced his advantage over Albeau – placing even greater importance on the final race of the day, but who would be able to hold their nerve?
Elimination Six – Winners’ Final
Josh Angulo (Angulo / Gun Sails) made the best start of the fleet and held his lead into the opening gybe ahead of Antoine Albeau, Ben Van Der Steen – who was looking for a hat-trick of elimination victories – and Antoine Questel (Starboard / Loft Sails). However, by the third mark Albeau had stormed into the lead, clearly looking to capitalise on his momentum, and that’s exactly what the world champion did as he claimed his second bullet of the week. Behind him, Van Der Steen was able to climb into second place, which sees him rise to the top of the event rankings at the end of day four. Meanwhile, Angulo claimed third place, whilst Questel was able to fend off the challenge of Moussilmani in the battle for fourth and fifth. More importantly for Albeau though, victory in race six sees him take control of the title race with two days to go.
click for fullsize – all pics by John Carter / PWA
Women’s – Elimination Five – Winners Final
Valerie Ghibaudo (Tabou / GA Sails) crossed the start line in first place, but was unable to hold onto the lead as Sarah-Quita Offringa (Starboard / Mystic / Maui Ultra Fins) gybed in first place. However, Delphine Cousin (Starboard / Loft Sails) executed a perfect gybe to momentarily assume control, before Offringa stepped on the gas again. The duo enjoyed a terrific battle over the remainder of the course, but on this occasion it was Offringa who came out on top. Behind the top two Lena Erdil (Patrik / Loft Sails / Mystic / AL360) occupied third as she headed for the final mark, but after dropping her gybe, slipped to seventh place. This saw Océane Lescadieu (Starboard / Loft Sails) and María Andrés (Fanatic / Gun Sails / Mystic) rise into third and fourth respectively.
Elimination Six – Winners’ Final
Valerie Ghibaudo held the top spot as the fleet approached the first buoy, but unfortunately dropped her gybe allowing Lena Erdil to burst into the lead. However, the Turk’s lead didn’t last long as Offringa once again showed her fantastic top speed to race into the top spot by the second mark ahead of Erdil, Delphine Cousin and Océane Lescadieu. Offringa continued to blitz her way across the rest of the course to claim back-to-back victories. Erdil wasn’t far behind in second, whilst Cousin finished third ahead of María Andrés.
Elimination Seven – Winners’ Final
Valerie Ghibaudo failed to capitalise on another good start as she catapulted on the opening reach. After the opening gybe it looked for the all the world as though Sarah-Quita Offringa would be celebrating a hat-trick of elimination victories as she raced into the lead, but that isn’t how things panned out. On the final reach the Aruban gem battled to keep control of her gear, as Cousin edged into the lead, but just metres before the line suffered a brutal wipeout. After a few moments of concern, it thankfully turned out that SQ was okay. However, with her chances of victory now gone, it was Delphine Cousin who claimed first place ahead of Lena Erdil, Ghibaudo and Ayako Suzuki (Tabou / GA Sails / Mystic).
Brutal Wipeout for SQ
Elimination Eight – Winners’ Final
Delphine Cousin cemented her place at the top of the event rankings with her second bullet of the day, which now puts her within touching distance of the 2014 world title. The reigning world champion led from start to finish with an accomplished display as Offringa had to settle for second place, whilst Lena Erdil and Mio Anayama finished third and fourth. After another good day for Erdil, it looks as though she has second place in the overall rankings wrapped up, barring disaster.
Tomorrow promises to be another windy day with a similar looking forecast to the past two days, meaning there should be more warp speed slalom – guaranteeing more enthralling action. The skippers’ meeting has been called for 10am – with the action commencing from 10:30am.
LIVESTREAM ARCHIVE – Text: Chris Yates / PWA, windsurfnews – all pics by John Carter / PWA