Day 4: Albeau and Ghibaudo ensure team France dominate in Korea.
Another day of sun and wind had the slalom fleet hard at work on the fourth day of competition in Korea. Showing early form, Alice Arutkin (Starboard / North) capitalised on a strong start in the opening women’s race (race 5), to notch up her first win of the competition: “The wind had picked up so I had to change my sail before the heat, but I was still sailing my biggest board as there were patches of light wind all over the course. It’s always tough sailing against Valerie (Ghibaudo) and Karin (Jaggi) but I think I sailed well. I’m really happy to have won.”
The subsequent three women’s heats saw utter domination from Valerie Ghibaudo (Tabou / The Loft), as she executed back to back wins to firmly cement her name at the top of the women’s rankings.
Chasing Ghibaudo, Karin Jaggi (North) and Alice Arutkin filled out the majority of the day’s remaining podium positions to secure second and third respectively in the overall standings so far.
Lena Erdil (Starboard / Loft) showed early promised after finishing second in the opening race, but seemed to drop off the boil as the day progressed. She scraped together a disappointing sixth and seventh in the following races, dropping her down to fifth overall, behind Sarah Hebert (Starboard / Naish) in fourth.
The men’s racing kicked off by finishing up the remaining three heats of race four. The explosive race had already seen the departure of Finian Maynard (RRD / NeilPryde) and Bjorn Dunkerbeck (Starboard / Severne) after a collision in the semi final. Maynard: “Bjorn was 30m ahead of me going into the mark, then I don’t know what happened to him, a lot of people have said he stopped. I never saw him. So I went in to do my gybe and got a big gust from behind. The next thing I know I’m just barrelling into him. I’m really sorry for Bjorn, it was definitely my fault, but it came as a total surprise for me. It’s just an unfortunate racing incident.”
This incident left Antoine Albeau (JP / NeilPryde) free to add another victory to his stash. In second, Josh Angulo (Dakine / Angulo / MauiSails) bagged his best slalom result of the season so far, and Gonzalo Costa Hoevel (Exocet / MauiSails) showed a glimpse of the form he enjoyed in Austria to take third.
The men’s last completed elimination of the day saw a total reshuffle on the finish line. Kevin Pritchard (Starboard / Gaastra) finally got to grips with conditions to secure third place, far and away his best result of the event. Micah Buzianis (JP / NeilPryde) continued to show outstanding consistency in second, in turn securing him second position in the event so far. But topping the elimination was Maynard, who had been hinting as his ability to win races, but thus far had never delivered. Maynard: “I started the race in the middle to upper part of the line, and just tried to hold my speed down the first reach. Micah had a better start than me but we both met mid way down the run. I decided to back off him at the gybe and try and take him on the second reach. Again, we got to the gybe together. I did a wide, high-speed gybe which really paid off and allowed me to overtake. From there I managed to control the race and was able to finish ok. It was a good run.”
The day finished up with inroads made into the sixth men’s elimination, before fluky wind had the race committee call an end to racing.
The 2009 PWA Ulsan World Cup results after day 4:
1 Antoine Albeau (NeilPryde / JP)
2 Micah Buzianis (NeilPryde / JP)
3 Björn Dunkerbeck (Starboard / Severne Sails)
4 Finian Maynard (RRD / NeilPryde)
5 Cyril Moussilmani (Starboard / North Sails)
6 Kevin Pritchard (Starboard / Gaastra / Dakine)
7 Gonzalo Costa Hoevel (Exocet / MauiSails)
8 Josh Angulo (Dakine / Angulo / MauiSails)
9 Ben Van Der Steen (Simmer Style / Exocet)
10 Patrick Diethelm (North Sails / F2)
1 Valérie Ghibaudo (Loft Sails / Tabou Boards)
2 Karin Jaggi (F2 / Severne Sails)
3 Alice Arutkin (Starboard / North Sails)
4 Sarah Hebert (Starboard / Naish Sails)
5 Lena Erdil (Starboard / Loft Sails)