The names are always big at the Azores Windfoil Challenge and with foiling just around the corner at the Olympics, the 2nd edition of this open foil event could not be more exciting.
Four out of the top five PWA men’s foil ranking leaders of 2019 arrived on the Terceira Island and in the ladies’ fleet we had the likes of Marina Alabau, Olympic gold medalist turned foil competitor, now maybe going back to the Olympic cycle?
Delphine Cousin Questel, who battled it out for the win till the very last race in the previous edition of the Challenge, could not attend this year due to a noteworthy nomination. As an inspiration to many and one of the success stories during the past 12 months, Delphine along with fellow windsurfer Antoine Albeau was nominated to the 2019 Rolex World Sailor of the Year award and was in Bermuda for the ceremony.
Azores always lives up to the reputation and this time was no different, although one of the days was atomic, and just too much for racing, but both men and women completed 13 races and some good opportunities to test their equipment.
It was not as close as at the previous Windfoil Challenge but existing all the same. The Spanish sisters Marian and Blanca Alabau took two top podium places in the ladies’ fleet followed closely by Anna Sayulent from Ukraine.
Last year’s winner Sebastian Koerdel had to settle for sixth this time as the French foilers dominated amongst the men. Brothers Nicolas and Thomas took top spots. Julien Bontemps in third.
The 2019 Azores Windfoil Challenge will go into the history books as one where the siblings showed strength - sisters and brothers doing very, very well. Family power!
Photos and Results available on the event website https://azoreschallenge.internationalwindsurfing.com