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Jaggi consolidates her lead after a colossal battle on Jinha Beach
The decision to hold an earlier skippers’ meeting on day four of the Ulsan PWA World Cup was duly rewarded as Jinha beach was transformed into a port tack slalom sailors playground, which allowed an epic - but grueling - eight hours of racing to be completed.
The usual thermal winds - which so often grace South Korea’s number one windsurfing beach - were replaced with a frontal cross shore wind from the left.
By the end of the day, two eliminations for both the men and women were completed, whilst the first round of the men’s race four was also sailed.
Today’s action firstly the two reigning world champions Antoine Albeau (RRD / NeilPryde) and Valerie Arrighetti (Tabou / Gaastra / Mystic) both claimed their first race victories of the year. Unfortunately for Arrighetti, Karin Jaggi (Patrik / Severne) soon reasserted her authority over the event with another bullet. Today the Sea of Japan truly showed exactly why South Korea is one of the most challenging stops on the tour.
Valerie Arrighetti bounced back from her disappointing performance in the opening elimination in the perfect fashion as she claimed her first bullet of the season, but it was Turkey’s Lena Erdil (Patrik / Loft Sails / Mystic / AL360) who actually made the best start of the bunch in the winners’ final.
However after a promising start things quickly went downhill for Erdil and by the first mark Arrighetti had moved into the lead. Once at the front of the pack the French lady showed her guile and expertise to open up an unattainable lead as she combined brilliant straight line speed with fluid gybes to claim victory.
Karin Jaggi followed up her opening victory with a solid second place, whilst Marion Mortefon (Starboard / Severne) and Delphine Cousin (JP / NeilPryde) completed a heavily French dominated top four.
Marion Dusart (Loft Sails) needed to be escorted from the water after a nasty catapult just after the start line in the losers’ final. Thankfully her injuries weren’t serious and the twenty-two year old was able to resume her competition in race three.
The multiple times world champion, Karin Jaggi, struck again in race three as she claimed her second victory of the event thus far. However, the Swiss gem didn’t have it all her own way as Fujiko Onishi (Starboard / Loft Sails) burst out of the starting blocks. Jaggi though - as always - kept her cool and by the second mark she had built a substantial lead over her closest challenger, Ayako Suzuki (Starboard / Gaastra / Mystic). With the top two wrapped up, it was all about the battle for fourth which involved Arrighetti and Cousin. Despite a poor gybe at the final mark Arrighetti was able to secure third, as her compatriot was forced to settle for fourth.
Lena Erdil felt the full force of the newly enforced rule - which means the heat is only cancelled if 6 or more sailors are off the plane for 10 seconds or the wind drops below seven knots - as she failed to qualify for the winners’ final. The Turkish maestro made another strong start and was still in great position by the second mark, but from here it all went to pieces as Jaggi, Onishi, Mio Anayama (Starboard / NeilPryde) and Sayaka Iwai (RRD / MauiSails) all bypassed her to compound her misery. The other shock in race three was the fact that Cagla Kubat (Starboard / Loft Sails) also failed to advance after dropping her gybe in heat two.
After a marathon day on the water, which saw four separate winners, the day eventually concluded shortly before five O’clock. Tomorrow we will be hoping that the thermal wind kicks in during the afternoon, so that the fourth eliminations can be completed. The skippers’ meeting for tomorrow has been called for 10:30am with the first possible start at 11am. You’ll be able to follow all the adrenaline fueled racing live by tuning into the live stream via the PWA TV @ https://www.pwaworldtour.com/index.php?id=1622.
Results After Four Eliminations -
Results After Four Eliminations - Women
1st Karin Jaggi (Patrik / Severne)
2nd Delphine Cousin (JP / NeilPryde)
3rd Valerie Arrighetti (Tabou / Gaastra / Mystic)
4th Ayako Suzuki (Starboard / Gaastra / Mystic)
5th Mio Anayama (Starboard / NeilPryde)
Courtois Straight Through to the Semis
12. December 89
– Pauline Courtois leads after first day