Vor knapp einem Monat startet die PWA Slalom Tour in Ulsan / Südkorea in die neue Saison und morgen steht Event Nr. 2 bevor. Wie schon im letzten Jahr geht es dafür nach Spanien an die Costa Brava – ein Thermikrevier welcehs sich aber , sofern der Tramontana mitspielt, innerhalb kürzester Zeit in einen „High Wind“ Slalomspot mit über 30 Knoten Wind verwandeln kann. 6 Tage Racing sollten locker für ein Ergebnis sorgen und ich bin schon jetzt gespannt ob in diesem Jahr mit Antoine Albeau, Pierre Mortefon und Cyril Moussilmani wieder 3 Franzosen ganz oben auf dem Treppchen stehen werden. Während Antoine als amtierender Weltmeister mit einem Sieg in die neue Saison startete und sich Pierre Mortefon über Platz 2 freuen durfte hat Cyril Moussilmani nach einem Flop in Ulsan sein erstes „Streichergebnis“ für die Saison bereits nach dem ersten Event als Druckmittel im Hinterkopf.
Sebastian Kördel und Nico Prien sind „aus deutscher Sicht“ am Start und hoffen auf ein gutes Ergebnis. Beide befinden sich in ziemlich guter Form und besonders Basti konnte mit Platz 5 bei der Formula WM sowie einem Windsurfing Euro-Cup Sieg am Gardasee bereits richtig gute Racings in diesem Jahr zeigen
Ein paar Bilder + Video aus dem letzten Jahr findet ihr in der Gallery unten – genau wie die offizielle „Event Preview“ von PWA Press Officer Chris Yates.
A little more than a month has past since the opening slalom event of the year in Ulsan, South Korea, which means it’s time for the second battle of the season in Costa Brava, Spain – which will once again play host to the world’s fastest sailors between the 9th-14th June. The picturesque town of Sant Pere Pescador is located 150km to the north-east of Barcelona and is blessed with twelve kilometres of jaw dropping white sand beaches and the beautiful blue waters of the Mediterranean Sea. The Gulf-de-Roses have become a world renowned destination due to its clockwork like sea breezes, which frequently grace Costa Brava with their presence during the summer months. However, whilst offering an astonishing backdrop, the Pyrenees Mountain’s can also transform Costa Brava into a white knuckled assault course – when the ferocious Tramontana wind whistles down the mountain range in excess of thirty knots – ready to test the mettle of any world class sailor. Either way we are guaranteed to see more exhilarating, close-quarters racing.
Ones to Watch
Antoine Albeau (RRD / NeilPryde) made the perfect start to his title defence by claiming victory in South Korea. Although he may not have won one of the two eliminations completed in Korea he again showed the level of consistency that is required to come out on top by qualifying for both winners’ finals. The reigning world champion has an excellent record in Costa Brava with three wins and two podium finishes over the past five seasons and you’d expect him to be there or thereabouts come the end of the event and he’s definitely the man everyone will be looking to beat.
Pierre Mortefon (Fanatic / North) has emerged as a genuine title contender and it all started this time last year in Costa Brava when the Frenchman captured his first PWA podium finish. Since then the 25 year old hasn’t looked back and he has made a great start to 2015 – claiming second place in Korea – where he won the opening elimination. Mortefon has also enjoyed major success away from the PWA by winning the Defi Wind in May, so confidence will be sky high and he’ll be a real threat over the course of the week.
After claiming his first podium finish since 2011 – Josh Angulo (Angulo / Gun Sails) – will enter the second event of the season full of confidence. The man from Cabo Verde has already spoken about the fact that his latest result has given him even more motivation for the remainder of the year and he’ll be even more dangerous in Costa Brava. Angulo has been on the cusp of some big results in the past and this extra motivation and drive could mean it’s his time to shine.
Video from last year
Ross Williams (Tabou / GA Sails / Mystic) made an excellent start to the season as he claimed fourth place in South Korea – only missing out on the prestigious podium on count-back. The Brit is regarded as one of the best overall sailors in the world and you’d expect him to build upon his promising start to the season.
Pascal Toselli (99NoveNove / Point-7) produced his best performance to date on the PWA World Tour in 2014 as he finished in fifth place overall and the Frenchman looks to be continuing his rich vein of form after claiming fifth place in Ulsan. Toselli is one of the quickest sailors on the tour and he’ll be looking to put his pedal to the metal as he goes in search of another top five finish.
Having changed sail sponsors during the winter Gonzalo Costa-Hoevel (Starboard / Point-7) proved that he has made a seamless transition to his new equipment as he took home sixth place in Korea, whilst Italian Matteo Iachino (Fanatic / North) continues to impress having achieved another top ten finish – both will be hoping to feature in the top ten again.
Arnon Dagan (RRD / NeilPryde) and Steve Allen (Starboard / Severne) finished eighth and tenth respectively in Korea and will be as dangerous as ever in Costa Brava with both men being extremely quick in light winds, which occur frequently here.
Marco Lang (Fanatic / North) was the standout sailor in Korea as he broke into the top ten for the first time in his career and it will be interesting to see if he can sustain his high level here. South Korea produced some shock results, but you’d expect the likes of vice-world champion Cyril Moussilmani (Starboard / Severne), Ben Van Der Steen (Tabou / GA Sails / Mystic), Julien Quentel (RRD / NeilPryde), Tristan Algret (Starboard / Severne / Mystic), Cedric Bordes (Tabou / GA Sails) and Finian Maynard (99NoveNove / Avanti) to all bounce back with a vengeance and push for a return to the top ten at a minimum. Taty Frans (Starboard / GA Sails / Mystic), who missed South Korea due the Freestyle Worldcup in Austria, will be back as well.
I’m looking forward to six days of action packed racing and promise to report as soon as the action happens. For more info click www.pwa-worldtour.com