Sean O’Brien reports from day two of the action at PWA Alacati…
• Boards destroyed = 3
• Masts snapped = 5
• Hospital trips = 0
Back at the beach for the second day of racing at the Pegasus Airlines PWA World Cup in Alacati, Turkey. I’m not going to lie, the forecast for today was pretty average. It is Turkey though, and it gets radical-HOT here, so anything can happen with the thermic winds here; and everything DID happen.
A delay waiting for wind in the morning meant the commencement of Heat 4 in Elimination 2 didn’t get away till after 2pm with fairly light winds around 7-12 knots. Everyone was on their biggest kit, 9.5m’s and 130l boards. The usual suspects were up at the front in their heats. I decided to jump into the live-stream commentary box with Ben Proffitt as I was already out of the round after the late session yesterday.
It’s always fun to watch the racing with a microphone in your hand. It’s easy to be critical, but there were some monumental errors taking place in the high-intensity lightwind racing. First off the rung was Bora Kozanoglu, the local Turkish legend, who was leading his heat by a country-mile before slipping the boom on the final gybe and hitting the drink to finish last. Steve Allen and Cedric Bordes continued the run by failing to qualify for the next round in their heats.
Carnage continued from yesterday in the quarter finals with Ben Van Der Steen coming downwind like a rocketship from the boat end on the first leg in Heat 12, blasting over the top of the fleet then finally touching his boom on Dunkerbeck’s head as he went past causing Bjorn to crash heavily over the front, splitting the nose of his board in two! Bjorn tried to appeal some kind of redress (not exactly sure what you could actually protest against here in NO-RULES sailing?) and was denied; Bjorn is eliminated from Round 2 now which will make a podium spot at this event extremely difficult.
Antoine Albeau went over early in his quarter final, costing him dearly as we’ll need 4 complete rounds finished to get a discard (the forecast isn’t amazing for the rest of the week!). In the restart of his race, Jimmy Diaz tried an impossible inside gybe at the first turn inside of Micah Buzianis, missed the boom after the sail flip and hit the deck, his rig falling over Micah’s completely blocking his path and both of them were unable to qualify to the semi finals.
3 of the ladies heats were able to be sailed before the wind dissapated for the day and the sailors were sent home around 5pm. Still 4 more days to go in this competition, so anything is possible, but the door is left wide open right now for Pierre Mortefon and Gonzalo Costa-Hoevel (currently in 2nd and 3rd respectively) to take over the event lead now that Albeau is out of the mix. Tune in tomorrow to see where this Round will end up.