The wind gods blessed the racers in Costa Brava with some awesome conditions on both day one and day three of competition, allowing two of the PWA’s longest standing legends to take control of their respective fleets at the event, and move into pole position in the overall rankings.
Fifty-nine men competed in a full round of high-octane slalom on the first day, which saw Bjorn Dunkerbeck (Starboard, Severne, Mystic) take the early lead. A second elimination was also started, but the wind dropped off in the early evening causing the racing to be cancelled for another day. The women’s fleet saw twenty-one fast and furious females competing in the biggest fleet the PWA has seen for over a year. And, in a similar fashion to the men, the women managed to complete one full round on the first day which saw Valerie Arrighetti nee Ghibadou (Tabou, Loft, Mystic) take first line honours and the event lead.
Day two was the first without wind, meaning the world’s best had to wait until day three to resume the second elimination. The third day saw big swells and gusty winds which enabled the men to race through the early round heats, but just as the finals were about to start, the wind dropped yet again. However, the women managed to squeeze in a full round of racing which saw Karin Jaggi (Patrik, Severne) claiming victory.
The remaining three days of competition were frustratingly spent on hold with the wind refusing to blow consistently enough for any world cup competition to take place.
Day one saw the mighty Dunkerbeck dominate the fleet on his Severne Reflex 8.6 and Starboard iSonic 111. He flew off the start line in every race, and won his early round heats with a convincing margin. By the time the winner’s final came round, he was full of confidence and was without doubt one of the fastest racers on the water. His speed helped him to achieve an early lead with the 2009 world champion, Antoine Albeau (JP, NeilPryde) trailing in his wake. At mark three, following a not so perfect gybe, it looked like Albeau might overtake Dunkerbeck, but he put the pedal to the metal and raced off ahead to take the bullet.
With the conclusion of race 2 unable to take place, and both Albeau and Dunkerbeck having qualified for the winner’s final, they were awarded equal points for that race. This meant Dunkerbeck’s first race win put him on the top of the podium, for the first time since Sylt 2008, with Albeau having to settle for second.
Flying Frenchman Cyril Moussilmani scraped through his early heats in race one, but managed to put in an excellent performance in the winner’s final to finish just behind Dunkerbeck and Albeau. He then qualified for the final of race 2, which earned him the final spot on the podium for the event.
Costa Brava marked the return of the 2009 slalom world champion, Valerie Arrighetti to world cup competition, and with it, a convincing first race victory ahead of nearest rival Karin Jaggi.
Jaggi failed to let this bother her too much, and following a little bit of drama in an early round heat on day three, where she fell at the final mark, evened the scores with Arrighetti by taking the winner’s final of race 2.
This left Arrighetti and Jaggi on equal scores for the event, but due to the tie break rules, Jaggi claimed the crown. The young freestyle world champion, Sarah-Quita Offringa (Starboard, Gaastra) posted a consistent set of results to take the final place on the podium.
Despite a lengthy period on hold, the spectators were treated to some extremely exciting racing late in the afternoon on day three. A fairly sizeable swell was running which made for some interesting inside mark roundings, and a few unexpected launch ramps that had many of the sailors airborne on various legs of the course whether they liked it or not.
The young Italian racer, Alberto Menegatti (Starboard, Simmer) sailed a flawless first round heat of race 2, to swiftly proceed through to the next round. He then scraped through the quarterfinals by the skin of his of teeth, claiming a fourth position to just carry him through. Then in the semi finals, racing in a fleet full of the world’s greatest racers, including Dunkerbeck, Williams, Buzianis, Maynard, and Allen, he sailed the heat of his life to beat all of the stars in the tough conditions and claim his righteous place in the winners final.
Luck Of The Legends
The evening of day three could have been a complete disaster for the highest ranked sailors in the world. First off Dunkerbeck’s mast snapped moments before his heat, but, as if by magic, mark three began to drift which bought the legend plenty of time to hitch a ride in and switch to another set of gear.
Albeau also had a lucky escape when the wind began to drop, and he was out on gear that was too small during in his semi final heat. He was left out the back and struggling to maintain his usual speed, but just as he rounded the final mark in sixth position, the wind dropped below 7 knots, causing the heat to be cancelled. Needless to say, he didn’t make the same mistake again, and went straight in to grab the biggest gear he could find to win the re-run.
Tie Break Rule Explained
Throughout the final half of the event, Arrighetti and Jaggi were equal first due to them both having scored a 1st place and 2nd place finish, and therefore having accumulated 2.7 points each. In this situation Part 1 section 13.4 (event scoring: ties) of the PWA rulebook applies. This states that in the event of a tie in total points of an individual discipline the tie shall be broken.
The rules state numerous ways in which a tie shall be broken. Firstly, who has beaten the other more times, then if that doesn’t do it, who has the highest number of firsts, seconds, thirds etc. If the tie still remains, then it goes on to who discarded a better result, then a sail off between the competitors can be permitted if reasonably possible. And finally, if the tie still remains between competitors ranked in the top 3, the tie is broken in favour of the highest finishing position in the last race or elimination.
Jaggi and Arrighetti had beaten each other an equal amount of times, they had an equal number of firsts and seconds, there was no discard, and a sail off was not possible, so it went right to the wire. Jaggi beat Arrighetti in the last race, and therefore took the crown.
1st Bjorn Dunkerbeck (Starboard, Severne, Mystic) 5.2pts
2nd Antoine Albeau (JP, NeilPryde) 6.5pts
3rd Cyril Moussilmani (Starboard, North) 7.5pts
4th Micah Buzianis (JP, NeilPryde)13.5pts
5th Ross Williams (Tabou, Gaastra) 16.5pts
6th Sylvain Moussilmani (Starboard, Simmer) 17.5pts
7th Benoit Moussilmani (Starboard, Simmer) 18.5pts
8th Kevin Pritchard (Starboard, Gaastra, DaKine) 18.5pts
9th Pierre Mortefon (Fanatic, North) 19.5 pts
10th Finian Maynard (RRD, Gaastra) 20.5pts
1st Karin Jaggi (Patrik, Severne) 2.7pts
2nd Valerie Arrighetti (Tabou, Loft, Mystic) 2.7pts
3rd Sarah-Quita Offringa (Starboard, Gaastra) 7pts
4th Alice Arutkin (Starboard, North) 9pts
5th Lise Vidal (Exocet, North) 9pts
Costa Brava has certainly made the title race much more exciting in the men’s fleet. Dunkerbeck’s win and Albeau’s second place finish mean that they’re now on equal scores overall in the rankings. Dunkerbeck is currently in the lead however due to the tie break rules.
Micah Buzianis (JP, NeilPryde) has also snuck ahead of Jimmy Diaz (Starboard, North) after posting a more consistent set of results. The biggest surprise is that last year’s runner up, Finian Maynard (RRD, Gaastra) has slipped down to ninth, after a PMS in the race one final, and a shocking result in the semi finals of race 2 saw him scrape into the loser’s final in Costa Brava. There’s still plenty of events left to go though, and everything to play for!
1st Bjorn Dunkerbeck (Starboard, Severne, Mystic)
2nd Antoine Albeau (JP, NeilPryde)
3rd Micah Buzianis (JP, NeilPryde)
4th Jimmy Diaz (Starboard, North)
5th Sylvain Moussilmani (Starboard, Simmer)
Following two consecutive wins, Karin Jaggi now stands head and shoulders above the rest of the crowd in the women’s rankings. If Alacati is the final women’s racing event of the season then a 4th place or higher would see her claim back the overall world title for 2010. However, if Sarah-Quita Offringa wins in Alacati, and Jaggi only manages a 5th, Offringa would snatch the title from her.
1st Karin Jaggi (Patrik, Severne)
2nd Sarah-Quita Offringa (Starboard, Gaastra)
3rd Alice Arutkin (Starboard, North)