Riccione to Margarita…by Wilhelm SchurmannAfter the formula Grand Prix in Riccione, I drove up to Milan together with my fellow countryman, Gabriel Browne, Mathias Pinheiro and Aldo Maya (Bebeko) to board my flight to Brazil which would connect through JFK in New York.
As I arrived in JFK, I bumped into Micah Buzianis who was heading back to Maui, returning from the event in Costa Brava. He told me all about the nuclear wind conditions they had in Costa Brava and I told him about the Riccione GP racing where we had very light winds and raced in minimal conditions.
Windsurfing is amazing, we were racing on what was the same day on 12.0s with winds around the 6 to 8 knots range, super light and tactical, while a bit further away they were racing on the smallest size they had, with winds gusting over 45 knots. In both these events, Neilpryde took top spot, showing that the sails are working well from 6 – 45 knots.
From JFK I went to Sao Paulo and arrived there the next morning, a friend came to the airport and picked up my formula gear, as 4 hours later, I was due to board to Venezuela.
My flight got delayed and by the time I arrived in Caracas I missed my connection to Margarita, with this I had to sleep in Caracas and wait for the next morning’s flight. I eventually boarded to Margarita with “also” a 2 hour delay, by the time I arrived in Margarita, it was around 11am (62 hours after I left Riccione).
With no time to loose, I rigged my slalom gear that friends had brought from Brazil for me and hit the water for the start of the event the same day…
MARGARITA WILD WINDS 2011
El Yake (El Yaque) needs no introduction, blessed with trade winds and warm waters; the spot is one of the best in the world for Slalom and Freestyle. It is also so convenient with the hotels and windsurfing club just a few meters from the beach, not to mention the warmth of the local hospitality.
The event went on for 5 days (8th -12th June) and during the first two days the winds were lighter and most sailors were on 8.6 sails and big boards. However the winds picked up on the last three days and sail sizes went between 8.6 and 7.8 well powered up.
We did a total of 7 long distance races and 10 slalom finals.
In the long distance races, I managed to keep consistent with 3 bullets and 4 seconds, thus winning the Long Distance which counted for 20 % of the overall. Second Place went to Diony Guadagnino followed by Juan Marino in third. Sergio Mehl, who has won the event more times than any other sailor, took 3 bullets on the long distance, but unfortunately severe blisters on his foot prevented him from competing on the two last days.
In the slalom, which counted for 80% of the overall, Diony and I had a good battle right to the last and deciding race. At the last race, we were so close on the second leg, that Diony's board was touching my harness, I could have sat on his board. By the third jibe, I got overpowered on a jibe and went to0 wide, Diony seized the opportunity and went inside to take the lead and win the last race, with this taking the slalom title by 0.25 points ahead of me, what a race.
Third Place went to Ricardo Campello, who is no stranger to the Wild Winds and showed that he can be very competitive on slalom gear and not only wave and freestyle. In fourth was Colombia’s top sailor, Jean Paul Liht, followed by Juan Marino in Fifth.
The Margarita Wild Winds has many different categories, such as Master, Amateur, Kite slalom and Freestyle, Pro, Junior, Grand Master, Women, kids and super kids, the last one being one of the most amazing, as you see the very young generation ripping out there as young as 5 to 6 years old.
A special thanks to Victor Martin for making the event happen, all the people from EL Yake and for the Photos provided by: Alain Galarneau.
For all Photos go to Alans face book page at:
http://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.129448153802242.34130.100002111757973&l=63c7cfec20 Photos: Attached Photo Credit: Alain Galarneau