Albeau and Ghibaudo continue their domination, but fantastic days for Offringa and Maynard mix the rankings up in the overall.
Alaçati served up another day of strong Meltemi winds allowing two more rounds of high-octane slalom racing. The leaders maintained their supremacy, but the battle for the podium positions was intense. Men’s The first race of the day, race seven, saw Finian Maynard (RRD/NeilPryde) finally notch up a well-deserved victory. His performance has been awe-inspiring all week, but he lacked that crucial bullet next to his name until this morning. At the close of today’s proceedings he moved up into second overall by a comfortable margin. Maynard “Results only count at the end of the event. For me nothing is certain until the race director finally calls it off at the end of the contest. I have had some personal problems here but I am just trying to stay focused.” Antoine Albeau (JP/NeilPryde) however recorded the lowest points score of the day with a first and a second, once again stating to the fleet why he is the world Champion. Albeau “I am more relaxed than normal knowing I am already World Champion. It takes the pressure off, but still I want to win. I want everyone to know I am still here and fighting just as hard!” Bjorn Dunkerbeck (Starboard/Severne) clings on to third overall following a disastrous day. Two early exits in today’s quarter finals mean that he now has no room for any further mistakes if he wants to stay on the podium in two days time. Kevin Pritchard (Starboard/Gaastra/Dakine) seemed to have his foot back on the gas, a third and a second in today’s races helped him move up in the rankings into fifth. Pritchard “A much better day than yesterday. The course was better; the start was more even, I am definitely happier than last night!” Micah Buzianis (JP/NeilPryde) had a mixed day but holds onto fourth place. A night vomiting with food poisoning was not ideal preparation for a day of intense racing. Pierre Mortefon (JP/NeilPryde) was initiated into the elite group of finalists in the final race of the day. A well-deserved fifth place will hopefully spur this talented French young gun to even better things. Women With a sensational victory in race eight, Sarah-Quita Offringa (Starboard/NeilPryde) claimed the “sailor of the day” award. What makes the triumph even more glorious is that she is the first woman to break down the infallible Ghibaudo (Tabou/The Loft) here in Turkey. Sarah-Quita controlled the race from start to finish and kept here nerve, despite immense pressure from the leader. The result means she leaps from fourth to second ahead of Sarah Hebert and Karin Jaggi. When told for the first time she was second she commented, “No way, really? That is sick!!! It must be really close, but I am super happy about it.” Despite the set back for Ghibaudo she continues to count a perfect score of first places and now looks firm favorite to take the event title, and with it become the 2009 slalom World Champion. Sarah Hebert (Starboard/Naish Sails) maintains third position with another superb performance. In race seven she pushed Ghibaudo almost to breaking point, but couldn’t quite seal the deal. With Offringa moving up the rankings and Jaggi (F2/Severne) dropping to fourth the difference between second and fourth is now just three points. Hebert “I just need to be more consistent. I always do one good race and then one bad. I think it’s all about the start. It was quite a surprise when I saw the overall results.” Karin Jaggi’s frustrating day with fourth and fifth place finishes has left the battle for the podium wide open. Whatever happens on the last two days, it looks like the women’s battle will go down to the wire. Once again the Alaçati forecast looks solid for tomorrow, so join us for another feast of PWA slalom action. Follow the live event ticker, check out the eliminations and peruse the incredible John Carter photo gallery. All online at www.pwaworldtour.com