Delphine Cousin Questel claims her fourth world title
Cousin Questel and Mortefon crowned Slalom PWA World Champions
Over the course of the day there were several dramatic twists and turns, which saw the Men's title race go down to the final elimination of the event - such was the closeness between Pierre Mortefon (Fanatic / Duotone / Chopper Fins) & Matteo Iachino (Starboard / Severne) - while Delphine Cousin Questel (Starboard / S2Maui) gained the top 3 result she required!
Delphine Cousin Questel (Starboard / S2Maui) saved her best performance of the week until last to deservedly clinch her 4th world title ahead of Marion Mortefon (Fanatic / Duotone). The 28-year-old started the day in third place, but after winning both of the opening eliminations Cousin Questel already had the world title wrapped up with a race to spare after Maëlle Guilbaud (Patrik / Loftsails) finished 8th in Elimination 10. Cousin Questel had a bit of a turbulent week by her usual standards, but still won 5 out of the 11 eliminations completed over the last 6 days to be crowned the 2019 Women's PWA Slalom World Champion.
Marion Mortefon (Fanatic / Duotone) did everything she possibly could to deny Cousin Questel the title by winning the final event of the year, but even that wasn't enough in the end. However, the 27-year-old can still be delighted with her performance this week which earns her her first victory on the world tour, while she also finishes the season as the vice-world champion, which is her best result to date!
Lena Erdil (Starboard / Point-7 / AL360 / Chopper Fins) completes the event podium, but finishes just 0.2 of a point behind Cousin Questel despite winning the final elimination of the week. With Erdil slipping to third in the event rankings that means that she just misses out of the overall podium.
Maëlle Guilbaud completes the overall top 3 for the first time in her career - after finishing 4th for the event.
Meanwhile, Lilou Granier (Starboard / Phantom Sails) finishes 5th for both the event and in the overalls, which means the 19-year-old finishes the season as the 2019 Youth's PWA Slalom World Champion.
You couldn't have written the script for how the Men's world title race would unfold between Pierre Mortefon (Fanatic / Duotone / Chopper Fins) and Matteo Iachino (Starboard / Severne) as the battle took several dramatic twists and turns.
Iachino started the day with a 2.7 point advantage, but he soon saw that lead evaporate into a 5.7 point deficit after the completion of Elimination 9. The Italian looked to have made an excellent start to the first semifinal, but he soon lost speed on the opening reach and rapidly dropped back through the pack after unbelievably hitting a sea snake. Iachino tried to stage a come back but just missed out in 5th place.
On several occasions yesterday, Mortefon had failed to make Iachino pay for his mistakes, and while this was misfortune rather than a mistake on Iachino's part, Mortefon rubbed salt into the world by clinching his second bullet of the week to take the world title lead!
With a little bit of breathing room at the top of the event rankings, it looked as though Mortefon may have the title race under control, but that soon all changed as the 30-year-old was eliminated from Elimination 10 in the semifinals.
That gave Iachino a glimmer of hope to get his own title bid back on track having already qualified for the Winners' Final. Iachino would go on to finish second behind - Ross Williams (Tabou / GA Sails) - who won his first race of the season - while Iachino closed to within just 2.7 points of Mortefon - to ensure that the race to be crowned the 2019 World Champion would go down to the wire.
With both men successfully negotiating their way into the final of Elimination 11 the stakes couldn't have been higher. For Iachino to snatch the title he would need to finish at least 3 places ahead of Mortefon, while Mortefon knew finishing within two places or better would guarantee him a first world title. Heading down the opening reach it looked as though Iachino was better positioned, but Mortefon would come round the first buoy and cover Iachino.
The Frenchman accelerated away much quicker, while Iachino went backwards, which was another defining moment in the title race. Mortefon kept his calm over the remainder of the course and crossed the finish line ahead of Iachino to leave the result in no doubt and after so many years of being second or third in the world, the 30-year-old finally has his hands on the most coveted prize!
This loss will hurt Iachino having come so close to his second world title, but you can guarantee he'll be back even stronger next season and with a bit of time he can still be hugely proud of his efforts this year as he finishes the season as the vice-world champion.
Antoine Albeau (JP / NeilPryde) finished 3rd in the opening race of the day, but then lost his 100% Winners Final record as he missed out on the top 8 in the last two races. Albeau still completes the event and overall podium to cap another excellent year on the world tour.
Enrico Marotti (JP / NeilPryde) enjoyed a simply amazing final day with the Croat qualifying for all 3 Winners' Finals today where he recorded a 5th, a 3rd and a 2nd to cap a fantastic week. The 28-year-old gains one place from the overnight rankings to finish in a 4th place - which is a personal best!
Marotti relegated Maciek Rutkowski (FMX Racing / Challenger Sails) to 5th place for the event, but the Pole signed off the week in the best possible fashion by winning his second race on the world tour, which sees him ranked 7th in the overalls.
The event top 10 is completed by Jordy Vonk (Fanatic / Duotone) - 6th - Ethan Westera (Tabou / GA Sails) - 7th - Ross Williams (Tabou / GA Sails) - 8th - Julien Quentel (Patrik / GUNSAILS) - 9th - and local boy Basile Jacquin (I-99 / Point-7), who also wins the Youth's PWA Slalom World title for the second consecutive year.