The Black Team in top positions. PWA 2017 after 3 events!
The month of May has been amazingly busy for all the top slalom PWA riders. 3 events in one month. Korea, Japan and just ending last weekend Costa Brava in Spain. Practically 3 of the events from the total of 7.
After the no wind found in Korea, and one slalom elimination in Japan in marginal wind conditions and lots of seaweed, the riders have finally got the perfect conditions to prove themselves in Costa Brava. 8 races with winds which allowed for our Point-7 Black team their AC-One from 9.2 down to 7.8.
Costa Brava was a total success for the AC-ONE. Our pure slalom sails entered in all the 8 winner finals with not only the World Champion Matteo Iachino, but numerous times with Andrea Cucchi and Basile Jacquin, Nicolas Goyard and Gabriel Brown.
Matteo Iachino was not able to put his world champion turbo down at the start of the event, but towards the end he climbed up to a final third place for the event. Now is sitting in third overall, same points as second, and the race for confirming his world title, it’s still opened.
Matteo, in the last day you went from 5th to third? How did you manage that?
I tried to stay focused without thinking about which results I had and without even checking the ranking at that moment. I just wanted to do my best and I try every time to start a new elimination as if it’s the first one… I managed to achieve better results and being consistent at the end, it paid off.
How do you summarize your last 3 events?
It has been a difficult month! Before Korea, where I was always top 3 during the final but we never managed to finish it, as the wind was light or gusty, and we ended up without a result. Then Japan, again unlucky with the wind, where I got a 6th place in the only final we have been able to get. Last week Costa Brava, with a record of races, 8 eliminations done in 2,5 days with a really high level between the competitors. Tricky starting line and tricky light-medium wind conditions changing every 30 minutes! I’m happy to be top 3 after these 3 events, with the same points as Pierre and more than half of the season ahead.
Going down to the 8th place in Costa Brava we find our boss and team Captain Andrea Cucchi. Another finishing in the top 10 confirms his last year performance where he finished 9th overall.
Gabriel Browne is back on tour after 6 years of no show. Now being 24years old he came back and it was kind of no surprise to see him score a top 20 at his first real event.
For Japan, I believe I already got some improvement. Won 2 heats, had competitive speed in a stronger wind. Still it was a very hard event!!
In Costa Brava, I started the event very bad. I’m still not 100% tuned on the very light wind condition. Luckily the wind got stronger and I had some good heats!! I was feeling competitive and totally in the game!! Went to my first winner’s final of the year. It was a good feeling!! I finished the event on the 16th position. I think it was a good place for me, I’m happy to improve during the events.
Now I’m here on Maui for few days and going back to Brazil before Fuerteventura. I’m looking forward for a nice and windy event. Normally I like these conditions!! Let’s see how it goes there!!
Just few steps down the ranking we come across our IFCA YOUTH world slalom Champion, Basile Jacquine. Only 18 years old, but managing also a top 20 results. A 19th place which is not really what he had deserved, when you would see the fact that he got 3 top 5 results, out from the 8 races. Unfortunately, a breakage of a strap, and of his waist harness, penalized him from a probable top 10 results.
Basile has given us his very bullet point feedback about his racing!
Race 1: destroyed my footstrap
Race 2: 5th in the quarter final (Williams made better gybe and pass me on the last reach)
Race 3: broke my harness during the start procedures, so again could not advance the round as I finished 5th.
Race 4: Cousin pass me on the last gybe, and I finished 5th of the first round.
Race 5: good start good race 5th in the final.
Race 6: 2nd place in the final!
Race 7: 4th place in the final!
Race 8: felt on the first gybe fighting with Van Der Steen, and finished last of my quarter final.
Bruno Martini was really upset with his 37th place. He tried to analyse with his team captain where the problem could be. He explains it very precise what racing is in windsurfing. Sometimes we may think it’s all about power and strength, but slalom racing in windsurfing is much more than just being fast.
think all the riders are fast, but if you don’t have the perfect timing on the starting line your speed is nothing. I lost my timing in the starts during this event, and in our sport if you are late, you can jibe and go back to the beach. The level is too high to believe to go through one round if you don’t nail the start to the meter. #ATUONO
Kurosh Kiani, and Jan Kosmina and Nicolas Goyard, were finding the same problems from being on the road so long. Their results were not as good as they expected, but sometimes the long days on the road to travel to 3 events far from each other, where the wind is not showing up for many days…it can get hard for many to keep the focus. In Asia, out of 15 days of sitting on the beach, having only one race is nerve wrecking. Motivation goes down, and when suddenly the wind picks up, you need to be shaken to wake up! This is one of the hard points which windsurfing competitors also need to face. It’s not like a game of tennis, or soccer game, where you know when you will start. Sometimes the wind is on its limit the whole day for racing, and it reaches the right strength only after 8 hours you were already on the beach in the wetsuit, testing gear before the race to start.
When we arrived in Korea, unfortunately this year, we were presented with a poor forecast. So a lot of time was spent sitting on the beach, and as the days passed, I felt myself slowly getting more out of shape and losing my sharpness. I tried to sail as much as possible in the small windows of wind that we did have, but it was not much.
By the time the wind came, I was actually caught off guard, because it was unpredictable. I managed to get to the quarter finals, but was eliminated because I was so overpowered on my 8,6, that I was all over the place in the gybes! But oh well, we didn’t finish the elimination in the end as the wind disappeared again!
In Japan, we were presented with the same scenario. The wind gods were just not with us. Sitting around is hard, and exactly the same thing happened here. The wind came up, and I went from sitting at the local café sipping a late to being on the start line within 30 minutes. I was on my biggest sail, which obviously was too big! Again, I made it to the quarter finals, and I was in a good position to move up further, but because of intense fighting with the other guys, I eventually caught a rail in one of the gybes, and I was once again eliminated. And that was it for Japan. We didn’t get any more wind for that event. It’s a far way to go for just one race 🙂
After the event in Tsukuihama, I spent another day in Japan with friends before flying straight to Barcelona, where I spend another few days waiting to go to Costa Brava. At this point, I was quite tired of being on the road!
Costa Brava presented us yet again with some waiting time until the last few days, where the wind really came through, and we managed to get an impressive 8 eliminations done! My only way to describe this event for me was “total meltdown”. Whether I was just worn out from traveling, or I just not was in the right state of mind is hard to say. I am still trying to analyse it. But one thing, which was certain, was that I wasn’t present the way I should have been, and I wasn’t in my normal fighting mode. I never managed to get really good starts, and my gybing was terrible. I never made it past the 1/8 finals, which I find really terrible. I just didn’t have it in my, and something was holding me back.
One thing is for certain, I am already at work figuring out what went down, and already looking forward to the next event in Fuerteventura, where I will do my best to break this rhythm and come back stronger 🙂
Stay tuned for next event! PWA Fuerteventura, starting on the 23rd of July.