Day 5: Antoine Albeau and Karin Jaggi storm into first place after an epic opening day of slalom at the Aruba High Winds Grand Slam!
The fifth day of competition in beautiful Aruba saw a change in discipline, as the freestylers packed away their gear the slalom fleet were released onto Aruba’s glistening water for their turn to fight it out for first place.
The Caribbean trade winds cranked it up a notch, proving that Aruba’s pristine turquoise waters were not only a freestyle haven but also a dreamland for the men and women’s slalom fleet. The racers took to the water by mid-morning and competed relentlessly until the golden sun had dropped behind the horizon. By the end of a hectic day of thrills and spills on the water, two eliminations and then the opening round of the third elimination were completed.
Men’s elimination 1 final – Bjorn’s back in town.
Dunkerbeck stormed the start in the winner’s final leaving the rest of the pack to wallow in his wake. Arnon Dagan (Tabou / Gaastra) steamed down the second straight in an attempt to match his opponent but lost it on the gybe allowing Ben Van Der Steen (Starboard / Loft / Mystic) to sneak into second and then on to his position the rest of the way around the course. Further down towards the back of the pack Antoine Albeau (JP / NeilPryde) fought for fourth place against Ross Williams (Tabou / Gaastra). The final straight saw Van Der Steen squeeze out a couple of extra knots, leading to a man on man drag race against the mighty Dunkerbeck. The crowds on the beach erupted at the photo finish, but ultimately Dunkerbeck held his cool and claimed the first win of the day.
Men’s elimination 2 final – Albeau strikes back
The sailors burst out the starting gates and the pack stuck together throughout the first leg of the race. The first gybe saw Albeau spot his line early and deliver an exceptionally clean undertake allowing him to pull on the power, and force his way into first place. Carnage came at the third mark when Buzianis lost control and piled into Dunkerbeck sending his equipment flying. Albeau managed to increase his gap from the fleet and cruised undisturbed around the rest of the course, securing him the event lead.
Women’s Elimination 1 final – Jaggi steals the show
A clean start for the women saw Colette Guadagnino (JP / NeilPryde) fly in front of the rest of the fleet, leaving Karin Jaggi (Patrik / Severne) in second. Carnage at the second gybe mark saw Guadaginino go down, followed by the rest of the pack. Jaggi managed to avoid the drama and sail a smooth race all the way to the finish line, asserting her position back at the top.
Women’s elimination 2 final – Offringa’s return
Alice Arutkin (Starboard / North) stole the start in the second women’s final, followed by Offringa and Jaggi. Offringa charged her way round the second and third marks and managed to break her way into first place by the fourth. The girls fought hard down the final straight as Arutkin was determined to take back her winning spot but once Offringa had the finish line in her sights there was no stopping her.
1st Antoine Albeau (JP / NeilPryde)
2nd Bjorn Dunkerbeck (Starboard / Severne / Mystic / DunkerbeckEyewear)
3rd Arnon Dagan (Tabou / Gaastra)
4th Ben Van Der Steen (Starboard / Loft / Mystic)
5th Micah Buzianis (JP / NeilPryde)
1st Karin Jaggi (Patrik / Severne)
2nd Valerie Arrighetti (Tabou / Gaastra)
3rd Zofia Klepacka (RRD / North)
4th Fanny Aubet (JP / NeilPryde)
5th Lena Erdil (Patrik / Loft / Mystic)
With another perfect forecast lined up for day six, tune in tomorrow for another full throttle day of racing. The skippers’ meeting is planned for 10 am with a first possible start to racing at 10:30. Scope The Action
For more information on all the entrants, and to keep up to date with every piece of the action, click on www.pwaworldtour.com
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– Live ticker service for heat-by-heat bulletins
– Check live elimination ladders
– View results
– Read daily news summaries
– Browse awesome action photo galleries
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Photo Credit: PWA / John Carter