Giovanelli extends lead at 2012 Slalom Europeans kiteboarding race Day 3


Two bullets and one third place pushed Lornezo Giovanelli (ITA, Temavento/Slingshot) further in the lead ahead of Julien Kerneur (FRA, RRD) and Bruno Sroka (FRA, Cabrinha/Aguera). In the womens fleet, Maria Ruth Piscopo (ITA, Brunotti/Ozone) extended her lead with another three bullets and is now leading the competition ahead of Mathilde Serin (FRA, Naish) and Ariane Imbert (FRA, North).

The day kicked off with the daily skippersmeeting at 12:00 hours, but in contrary to the previous days the wind seemed not to cooperate from the very beginning. The race committee set a course including two speed runs and a short technical middle part to again test different skills of the riders. The first elimination of the day, number eight in total, kicked of as scheduled at 13:00 in light conditions. As this elimination was run as a quarter final race for the men and a half fleet race for the women, things became interesting once the semi-final was reached. The current leaders, Giovanelli, Kerneur, Sroka and Giovanelli Santostefano (ITA, NJS/Ozone) reached the final in some close racing, and once the horn went in the final heat of this elimination, Sroka and Kerneur found themselves black flagged for being over the start line too early. The re-run after the general recall saw Giovanelli then taking victory ahead of Santostefano.

In the womens fleet it was another demonstration of Piscopos skills, with Imbert taking advantage of her light wind skills ahead of Serin. Previous third ranked Merve Ceylan (TUR, Aguera/Ozone) was black flagged in her semi-final, which now resulted in dropping her down to fourth position overall.

The race committee then decided to postpone further starts as the wind started to shift by 30-40 degree and vanishing. Shortly after 15:00 the wind finally stabilized in direction and strength, and with a course adjusted to the new wind direction the race committee called for a next start at 16:00, again run as a quarter fleet race.

Competition went underway again, this time without any major surprises, seeing the usual suspects reaching the final. 12-14 knots provided perfect racing conditions and some spectaculare action around the marks. Giovanelli proved another time that he is the fastest rider downwind, with Kerneur on his heels and Sroka again in third.

Over to the women, no surpise on the top with Piscopo taking her seventh bullet out of nine, and Arianna Cau (ITA, Best) as well as Imbert behind. Imbert was later disqualified by the umpires, with redress given to Serin in third position then.

As the wind became lighter again, the race committee called for a final full fleet race to conclude the days racing action, this time seeing Kerneur having the best start and defending the lead ahead of Sroka around the course. Giovanelli played safe and ended up third, a score he can easily afford to discard. In the womens fleet it was Piscopo another time ahead of Imbert and Ceylan, both on big kites and race boards.

Competition was called off at 17:30 hours due to the wind being disappearing, and releaved riders that quite well could need some massage after now 10 eliminations in challenging conditions.

Racing continues tomorrow, the final day of the 2012 European Slalom Championships, with the skippersmeeting set to 12:00 hours. In the mens fleet, everything can still change with a fourth discard after 11 eliminations. In the womens fleet, Piscopo is in pretty comfortable lead, but the remaining podium places are hardly fought for.

Rankings after day 3 and 10 eliminations (3 discards):

1. Lorenzo Giovanelli (ITA, Temavento/Slingshot) – 8.4 points
2. Julien Kerneur (FRA, RRD) – 11.1 points
3. Bruno Sroka (FRA, Cabrinha/Aguera) – 16.4 points

1. Maria Ruth Piscopo (ITA, Brunotti/Ozone) – 4.9 points
2. Mathilde Serin (FRA, Naish) – 16.5 points
3. Merve Ceylan (TUR, Aguera/Ozone) – 19.0 points

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