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40 Knots Push Slalom Racers to the Edge in Fuerteventura

With over 40 knots of wind for the third day of the Fuerteventura World Cup, slalom racers pushed the boundaries of the discipline. Julien Kerneur takes the lead after eight races and Gisela Pulido solidifies her first Place. Five races were run, three in the morning with about 25 to 30 knots and two in the afternoon when gusts of wind were hitting over 40 knots. The racing was absolutely amazing, with the riders consistently reaching speeds over 30 knots. The wind became so strong that the slalom boards became uncontrollable and most competitors switched to twin tips.

The format remained the same with two semifinals and a final for the men, and one final for the women for every full ladder of racing. All five men’s finals had five different winners, giving everyone the opportunity to win. The conditions became so tough, that the winners were the fastest ones that could stay in control throughout the entire race. On the women side Gisela Pulido and Paula Novotna traded first places until Paula had massive crash in race number eight and was done for the day, hopefully she will recover fast and be ready for freestyle.

Race Four

Gisela Pulido won her first final of the day, Paula Novotna was right on her tail the whole race but could not close the gap. Karolina Winkowska came in third. The men’s race was exciting with Adam Withington getting a great start and taking the lead early. Oswald Smith was taken out by Patrick Blanc but still managed to finish fourth, while Paul Serin finished second with Lewis in a close third.

Race Five

In race number five, Adam Whitington came out in front again, but halfway through the race crashed and was unable to recover. Julien Kerneur took the lead and maintained at the whole time, with Oswald Smith right behind him until the finish. Ariel Corniel and Reno Romeu battled all the way to the finish line with Ariel taking the third place. Novotna won race face for the women with Gisela in second and Winkowska in third.

Race Six

In race number six the top three racers did not make the final this open the door for Ariel Corniel to win his first race, followed by Paul Serin and Neto, Reno Romeu came in third. This number six was won by Gisela Pulido, with Novotna in second and Winkowska in third.

Race Seven

Race seven was won by Paul Serin, Followed by Ariel Corniel who really found his rhythm in the strong winds and was probably the fastest rider during the afternoon. Neto got another good results finishing third. Reno and Biniasch were four and five, with Kerneur being called early and disqualified. For the women Novotna won again, With Gisela in second. Winkowska decided not to race and rest for freestyle, Rosinka Capitalized on this and finished third.

Race Eight

The final races were extremely intense with the wind picking up even more. The women’s heat was carnage with all four girls crashing on the first reach. Pulido won, followed by Rosinska, Novotna was hurt in a massive crash and then tangled with Titova. The men’s race was extremely fast with Reno getting the win followed by Patrick Blanc and Kerneur. Corniel was fourth with Biniasch in fifth. Afterwards the race director decided to call it for the day due to the strong winds.

The entire day of slalom racing kept pushing the boundaries of slalom racing. Twin tips boards became the norm in winds over 30 knots, will have to wait the next event to see the models come out to compete in these types of conditions.