Maciek Rutkowski (POL-23) and Andrea Ferin (ITA-1111), the reigning Italian Slalom Champion from 2017, had their first real test of the new 2018 Challenger AERO+ at the PWA Slalom/Foiling World Cup in Yokosuka, Japan, May 10 – 15. Both went fast and performed very well. Maciekk finished the Slalom in 10th and Andrea in 17th in a fleet of 63 riders. Antoine Albeau won! In the new fresh Foil discipline Maciek won his first PWA elimination in his career and made it in excellent 15th place in the Foiling discipline overall. Andrea finished the Foil event – 4 full eliminations were counting – in 30th overall in a fleet with 46 riders.
Maciek Rutkowski about the first PWA event in Yokosuka, Japan
“We had some great conditions with 8.6 full full full power and some rough chop in Yokosuka, Japan. My gear felt great! I managed to win my quarter and after a small mistake on the semifinal came up one place short to get the final. In the losers I went from 3rd to 5th and all the way back to 2nd. So a bit of a rollercoaster but Im stoked with how I managed to come back. The gear feels crazy easy. So let’s see how it will go in South Korea!!“ Maciek Rutkowski, POL-23
CHS: Big congrats to your first victory in a PWA elimination! How are your emotions now?
Maciek Rutkowski: I am pretty proud of it to be honest. I was sure it was coming sooner or later but to accomplish that in the first event of the year is great, specially that in foiling i didn’t had some terrible mishaps earlier in the event!
CHS: You changed sails over the winter. Are you faster with your new sails. You seem to go incredible well in upwind and downwind in 2018?
Maciek Rutkowski: Oh Yes Im definitely faster. The sails are working great, upwind I’m very competitive and downwind I was flying all event. In one race I came from 18th to 6th in one downwind – I think that says it all.
CHS: Let’s compare the Challenger AERO+ with other racing sails you used in the past. Is there any obvious difference?
Maciek Rutkowski: Yes the sails are totally different than most. Deeper with the center of effort way up front and open mid leech. So a totally different concept than most on the market and a different feeling, but as fast if not faster than all the other sails so it obviously works!!
CHS: What sail size did you use when winning the 4th foil race in Yokosuka, Japan?
Maciek Rutkowski: I was on 9.4 Aero+ Handcrafted
CHS: Will you win a Slalom elimination in 2018, too?
Maciek Rutkowski: I damn Hope so!! Haha, just like with the foil, Im confident it will happen. When? Im staying patient and waiting for the opportunity to present itself.
Andrea Ferin about the first PWA event in Yokosuka, Japan
„I made my first winner final in foiling! I qualified in 6th or 7th place in the 2nd foil qualifying heat. Then in the final I had a good start and was in the top 8 at the first mark, but then crashed 3 times … anyway I’m happy because I had just 20 to 30 days of foiling in my legs so far!
In The PWA Slalom I was feeling amazing with the 9,4m and 129 rrd xfire v10. I had really good speed and with a really good start on the pin ( after a resailing of my heat ) I qualified at the head of the group for the quarter. On the day with stronger wind the conditions were in between 8,6m and 7,8m, but with some holes. So i decided to compete with 8,6m and 129 ( same as the rest of the riders in my heat ). Unfortunately I had a bad start on pin end, where it was good, but I got covered by Ross Williams and I managed to arrive at the first mark just 5th and than I defended the position till the end. So I scored a 18,5, what was a 17th overall. We only completed one full Slalom elimination in 6 days!“ Andrea Ferin, ITA -1111
CHS: Ciao Andrea, congrats to the great result in the Slalom in Japan! Are you happy about the 17th place?
Andrea Ferin: I am happy to start with a 17th in the Slalom, but I know I can do better!
CHS: Did you hope there will be enough wind to complete a second elimination during the final day?
Andrea Ferin: Yes, If we were finishing the round I’m sure I was gaining some positions!
CHS: Are you faster this season or are the sails faster?
Andrea Ferin: I have a good speed that gives me the opportunity to beat many top riders. If I’m in front they don’t pass me and if they are faster I always have good jibing, too. We did some improvement and the sails are faster ever!
CHS: Foiling is quite a new discipline and you aren’t training for many days. Happy about your performance?
Andrea Ferin: I need to sail much as possible on my foil equipment to gain more experience, but I saw in a couple of situations that, if I found a good training, I can be in the top 16. In the 2nd elimination I was qualifying in 6th or 7th positions and than in the winner final I was in 7th or 8th position at the first mark. And that were 8,6m overpower conditions for me. Unfortunately I was foling down couple of times, just because I went over my limit of speed in the downwind.
Good luck for you both, Maciek and Andrea, Jinha Beach, South Korea!! The whole Challenger Team will follow you on the second PWA tour stop of the season 2018! All our fingers will be crossed,a s well for Josh Angulo, who will compete in South Korea for Challenger Sails for the first time in his long career.
Mag. Chris Pressler I AUT-226
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