This year's northern slalom event saw 5 days of super exciting racing in various conditions - favouring different riders each day. The first eliminations were sailed in light winds, the weather then changed to rain, storm (35-40 knotssssss!) and chop, before calming back down towards the end of the event. Only the TOP 2 men - Pierre Mortefon and Iachino - managed to always reach the finals, and therewith only count single digits. All other sailors dropped out surprisingly early a few times, using up both discards. This changed the event ranking constantly.
Pierre Mortefon started the event in the best way claiming a bullet right in the first elimination, before finishing 4th in the second one. On day 4, Pierre showed his best and won two eliminations:
"Pierre Mortefon enjoyed a perfect day on day four with the Frenchman winning both races completed today to regain the event lead having relinquished it to Matteo Iachino yesterday. Mortefon was untouchable today and now holds a narrow 2.3 point advantage at the top of the rankings and tomorrow’s opening race - Elimination 7 - could play a significant role in deciding not only the event title, but also the new world tour leader with the second discard at this event to come, while with this being the fourth Slalom event of the year the sailors will be able to drop their worst result thus far. Mortefon will be looking to discard a 16th, while Iachino is looking to discard a 9th place here." (PWA)
By never missing a final, Pierre counts 3x 1st, 4th, 5th, 7th and a 9th place and finishes on a great 2nd place. This means he is now leading the PWA World Title race together with Iachino.
It looks like Marco Lang is now back to 100% after recovering from a Korean virus last season. He started off with solid digits and then found his groove towards the end of the event. By only counting results from finals (10th, 12th, 2nd, 5th, 16th, 9th, 5th) he got rewarded with an amazing 5th place.
Jordy Vonk will have to discard this event, as things just wouldn't turn out well for him. He still sits on a 5th place in the PWA overall ranking. With a good result in New Caledonia, he will finish the season on a solid top 5 place.
What a battle! Marion Mortefon and her young team mate Jenna Gibson both were in contention to the podium until the very last race. Marion knew: "The last day of competition was crucial, I still had a chance to come back on the podium. The race director announced at the skippers meeting, only one race today! I knew that I have only one thing to do: win the race."
She then showed who is the boss, finishing the event in style:
"With Offringa already having the event title wrapped up, the main battle in the women’s fleet on the final day was between Jenna Gibson and Marion Mortefon for the final place on the podium. Gibson, who was hoping to earn her first podium on the world tour, started the day with a 3.3 point advantage over Mortefon, but soon saw her podium aspirations wilt away as she crashed into the back of Ünlü at the opening buoy in the winners’ final. Take nothing away from Mortefon though, who produced her best performance of the week In the last race of the event. The 27-year-old led into the first mark and then fended off heavy pressure from Lena Erdil to claim her first victory of the week while ensuring she claimed the final place on the podium." (PWA)
1st Sarah-Quita Offringa (ARU | Starboard / NeilPryde / Maui Ultra Fins)
2nd Delphine Cousin Questel (FRA | Starboard / S2Maui)
3rd Marion Mortefon (FRA | Fanatic / Duotone)
4th Jenna Gibson (GBR | Fanatic / Duotone)
18th Helle Oppedal (NOR / Fanatic / Duotone)
1st Matteo Iachino (ITA | Starboard / Severne)
2nd Pierre Mortefon (FRA | Fanatic / Duotone / Chopper Fins)
3rd Maciek Rutkowski (POL | FMX Racing / Challenger Sails)
4th Julien Quentel (SXM | Patrik / GUNSAILS)
5th Marco Lang (AUT | Fanatic / Duotone / Chopper Fins)
22th Jordy Vonk (NED / Fanatic / Duotone)