The PWA slalom season officially kicked off in one of the most popular windsurfing countries in the world, France. Le Jai in Marignane is well known for being one of the windiest spots in France and for hosting multiple French Slalom championships over the past years. Known for its high wind stats and extreme racing conditions, the anticipation for this first event was big by the whole slalom world.
Unfortunately, the usual strong mistral winds never came through with a prevailing easterly wind direction creating tricky and difficult offshore racing conditions. Massive wind holes, unseen amount of canceled races and frustration for everyone involved made for a long 6 days of racing and waiting...
For the Severne team, it was a rough start of the year. Despite having an impressive opening heat win in round 2, showing great speeds Gonzalo Costa Hoevel was the first to be kicked out in the Quarterfinals. In the heat, after it was Matteo Iachino and Tristan Algret to fall out early after completely missing the start due to a wind hole in the starting procedure and not being able to fight his way back in the light winds, where a good start is crucial.
Qualifying for the semi-finals where current Freestyle tour leader Amado Vrieswijk and German speed record holder Gunnar Asmussen, whom both would fall short of the winners final finishing 15th and 13th respectively during the only elimination sailed.
Despite the bad start, Matteo Iachino stays positive and now will face a challenging PWA season where no more mistakes will be allowed in the chase for his second world title. But given his track record of podium places last year, we are sure he will return to his winning form in the upcoming events.
In the women's fleet, it was a whole different story with a surprising but well deserved back to back podium finish for Oda Johanna in 2 different disciplines! After the 3rd place in Bonaire for the Freestyle it’s the first podium finish ever for our Norwegian sailor on the PWA Slalom world tour.
Oda’s comment on her first ever podium finish:
“I just can't believe it. I am so happy right now. It was really hard for me to switch from freestyle to slalom in just a couple of days, but the equipment was working really amazing and was super easy. I was on a 7,8 during the final, and it was super easy to handle.”
Next up for our racing team is the PWA in Japan from the 10th till the 15th of May which will also see the kick off from the Foiling Worldcup season!