The winds were not in our favour on the last day of the IFCA Grand Prix Croatia. Long waiting times on the beach started the day with light winds slowly coming in around 12:30. With high hopes, the AP flag came down at 13:30 to start the important A Final of the Men's third elimination.
After a bit of waiting at the starting line with the wind unfortunately dropping below 9 knots the competitors were sent back to shore, but the race committee successfully pushed another start an hour later. We could see a strong Maciek Rutkowski lead this Final, followed by Italian Andrea Ferin and Luka Mratovic from Croatia. The young and light Italian Francesco Scagliola crossed the finish line in fourth.
Event leader Enrico Marotti missed out on the A Final. He was aiming for a starting point at the pin (the leeward side of the starting vessel) that would assure him the lead, but due to too light winds he stalled and didn't make it. He took a big risk and decided not to race. "I made a mistake," Enrico says but nevertheless, with one discard after three eliminations, his overall points still make him the overall winner of this event.
The fourth elimination for the Men was created with a tricky start of Heat 1 in very light winds and lots of pumping needed for the competitors to start planing. The Race Officer had to cancel the race in the end due to further dropping winds, leaving 3 eliminations for the Men to score overall results.
Men Top 5 results after 3 eliminations:
1 Enrico Marotti CRO-401
2 Maciek Rutkowski POL-23
3 Francesco Scagliola ITA-353
4 Andrea Ferin ITA-1111
5 Wojtek Brzozowski POL-10
The ladies could start one more race as well, with Brigita Viilop remaining absolutely invincible, Palma Cargo following her closely taking second place, and Vedrana Brncic coming in third.
Women Top 3 results after 8 races:
1 Brigita Viilop EST-217
2 Palma Cargo CRO-751
3 Vedrana Brncic CRO-134
Overall it was a slow but successful last day of slalom racing here in the sunny bay of Bol, Croatia. "It was an interesting day with the wind going up and down a lot, but I'm happy we could do the races we did and finish the eliminations," says the IFCA head of jury Eric Kling.
The prize giving ceremony will be held in the center of town tonight at 22:00 where we will raise our glasses to all participants and celebrate the end of a successful competition.
Last but not least, congratulations to the 2017 IFCA Slalom Master European Champion Wojtek Brzozowski and the 2017 IFCA Slalom Female European Champion Brigita Viilop.
The IFCA Grand Prix Series Finals will be held this September on the island of Mauritius and the first IFCA Grand Prix Slalom Champion shall be crowned - GP Series Mauritius