FRANCK DAVID WINS THE 2ND. KONA GOLD CUP
La Ciotat, France - September 23rd. 2007
The second Kona Gold Cup became an intense affair with competitors from 12 countries - and tactically demanding conditions with light to medium winds.. Although devided into 4 weight groups according to the class rules, the organizers decided to go for a one fleet solution. Interestingly it proved to be a very even field between all groups - using different sail sizes to compensate for weight differences. This, as well as the "no wind limit, no pumping" rule is unique for the class.
However, with several Olympic and World champs on the start line, it turned out to be an aggressive ordeal - and at times a handful for the organizers. A yellow card system was implemented to police the fleet. An interesting twist indeed, that is worth further consideration as a permanent addition to the class rules.
Among the top 10 over -all, we find sailors from 6 nations and 3 weight groups. Franck David (1992 Olympic Champion) and Patrik Pollak (current Raceboard World Champion) gradually dominated the fleet with excellent tactical and consistant sailing, but they had to work hard for their money. Herve Piegelin, France - Rikard Almquist, Sweden, - Koen Sonck, Belgium - Patrice Belbeoch, France and Haakon Nissen Lie, Norway were all a constant treath to the front runners.
Again, the atmosphere must be described as typical "Konadian" - friendly and social but competitive. The magic combination that made windsurfing a big sport in the first place.
ONE FLEET - ABSOLUTE EXTREMES
Never before has a windsurfing championship been attended by Olympic and World champions as well as intermediate sailors and kids in one fleet - from 63 to 10 years old. Cedric Belbeoch (11), Alexandre Villatte (10) and Kajsa Larsson (12) displayed an impressive performance in the kids category -using 5.0 and 4.2 sqm sails.
Ruben Petrisie - the Freestyle king from Bonaire surprised himself and the rest of us by taking home the bronze in the heavy weight division, while the Speed and Formula specialist Koen Sonck, Belgium - was even more astonished - walking away with the heavy weight gold medal.
"This was a great event for me. I didn't think it would be possible to give the course racers a fight, but thanks to the nature of this class I was able to. It all boils down to tactical and fair sailing. The different sail sizes also neutralize the weight groups, so we are all even in all conditions, which makes the game a lot more interesting. Couldn't believe I was up there fighting with the medium and light weights all the time. Close to winning one race, but very happy with my two 2nd. finishes in this fleet. Great concept, and I will be back."