2010 KONA WORLD CHAMPIONSHIPS
Miami Beach, Florida November 1st. to 7th.
The 1st. official Kona Worlds became a spectacular event with 83 competitors from 3 continents, battling it out in conditions from 7 to 28 knots, although with predominant heavy and rough conditions throughout the event, caused by a nearby storm center.
With 12 races scheduled, the experienced race committee, headed by Darren Rogers immediately went to work in 2 meter swells and winds gusting to 18 knots. Quite a challenge for many.
Juliano Scalabrin from France showed impressive form and nailed two bullets and a 6th. enough to secure the lead at 8 points. Equally impressive was the fluent sailing of the Canadian Olympic sailor Dominique Valle - with a 3rd. 4th. and 2nd. - placing her 2nd. over all only a point adrift, followed by Carl Sjoberg, Sweden and the young Swedish Champion Adam Holm at 11 and 15 points respectively.
The happiest man of the day was probably Denis Winstanley from Australia who came from behind to clinch victory in the 3rd. race.
"I simply could not believe it. Moderate start, but from that point everything went my way and I was at the right side of the last radical shift. It just lifted me up to a comfortable lead that I managed to defend all the way to the finish. Great feeling."
A close race so far with only 8 points separating the top 7.
Despite light and shifty winds from 7 to 13 knots, the committee managed to run 4 races. Adam Holm (SWE) showed his tactical skills and scored two bullets - a 3rd. and a 4th. to take the over all lead after 7 races. Dominique Valle (CAN) continued her flawless performance with three 2nd's and a 5th. while Juliano Scalabrin (FRA) fell back to third over all after placing 10-5-8-3.
The sensation of the day was Helene Andreatta (FRA). With superior boatspeed in the light breeze she collected two bullets, a 2nd. and a 5th. lifting her to a tie for 3rd.
The friendly Kona class rules (no pumping) favor tactical sailing rather than muscles and opens up for equal opportunities for the ladies, which the day had proved with two extremely talented girls placing 2nd. and 3rd. over-all.
We woke up to a good 20 knots offshore breeze- increasing to 25 and gusting to 28. Radically different from the previous day, and conditions suiting the likes of Juliano Scalabrin (FRA), Dominique Valle (CAN) and Carl Sjoberg (SWE).
Three races were scheduled and Juliano started of with a 2nd, and finished off with two impressive bullets to regain the over all lead. Dominique continued to turn heads. Her technique in heavy conditions is nothing but mind blowing considering, her body weight of 55 kg's. With a bullet in the first race, followed by a 4th. and 6th. she defended her 2nd. over all. Young Adam Holm (15) (SWE) gave it all he had and placed 7-5-3, enough to keep him in close contention - only 3 points behind the leader. That makes the medal race completely open. Carl Sjoberg (SWE) is currently 10 point adrift of the leading trio, although he climbed from 6th. to 4th. after today's convincing 6-2-2 combo. The light wind specialist Helene Andreatta (FRA) was struggling in the middle of fleet, and fell back to 6th.
The 5th. Kona Worlds ended in spectacular fashion with blue skies and 20 knots. It was a thriller with the top 3 only separated with 3 points. Adam Holm (SWE) closed the gap even further by winning the first race of the day, but he was closely followed by Juliano Scalabrin (FRA) in second, while Monique Valle (CAN) "only" finished 5th. It was all down to the last race. Juliano kept his nerves and ended the championships like he started; with an impressive bullet. CONGRATULATIONS TO A VERY WORTHY WORLD CHAMPION. Adam cruised to a second, just ahead of Dominique, but enough to secure the silver medal. The medalists were standing out in these Worlds - separated by only 5 points and 18 points clear of Carl Sjoberg (SWE) in 4th.
The 5th. Kona Worlds in a perspective.
It was an event powered by enthusiasm and friendship, with competitors from all over the world. - with a strong presence of the Kona spirit. Joachim Larsson, brand owner; "We do not speak about equipment, but instead we discuss our mistakes at the race course and share our experiences when it comes to tuning. It's an important issue, and I really like that."
The class again proved its unique versatility, with 4 different weight groups finishing among the top five, and with the growing attendance of girls (30%) giving the men a run for their money. With equal opportunities for all in a mixed fleet - the Kona Class celebrates the over-all winner as the only official champion, but award the winners of the weight groups individually.
The amazing Florencia Barletta,
Our sincere thanks goes to Miami Yacht Club, and Florencia Barletta for the great hospitality and astonishing amount of work put into these championships. To sail and compete directly on the majestic South Miami Beach was something none of us will forget. Establishing a camp on this vast public beach was a bold but luminous idea, creating a great atmosphere and making us feel privileged.
|Patrik - the man behind the scenes with his cameras'.
A huge contribution to these worlds was the dedicated and ingenious work of world class sailor Patrik Pollak from Slovakia, documenting the daily action and spirit of the event in an extremely professional manner. Great pictures, great memories.
See you all next year in Denmark.
Kona World Championships 2010
Miami Beach, Florida November 1st. to 7th.
It is all set for a highly competitive and historical World Championships, with 80 competitors from 3 continents. The class is divided into four weight groups plus the ladies and cadet divisions -and with different sail sizes carefully tuned to match the (weight) divisions, ensuring even probabilities for all.
It makes the Kona One class the first in the history of windsurfing to eliminate a "sweet spot" or weight advantage of any particular group. This is significantly adding to the excitement - as it allows all weight groups to compete at equal terms in one big fleet, rather than having separate starts for each division. Likewise, it simplifies the organization and boost the recognition of the overall and true champion.
In contrast to all other windsurfing classes, propulsion (pumping) is strictly prohibited and due to its unique versatility and superb light wind performance - no minimum wind limit is required - which always guarantee successful events for sponsors and organizers.. Easy accessible, the class is attracting windsurfers of all ages and sizes, and this years Worlds will again see competitors from 10 years of age to veterans in the mid 60's. Sailors from 40 kilos to super heavy weights - from ex Olympic and world champions to fresh youngsters, all in one class.
It is difficult to pick any favorites among the many seasoned sailors from Europe, USA, Canada, and Australia, but we believe this years Swedish Champion and young talent Adam Holm (15) will be a difficult customer to keep up with. In the ladies division the hot names at the moment are Kajsa Larsson (SWE), Manuela Buch (GER) Dominique Vallee (CAN) and Fanny Baumann (SWE).
The excitement is steadily growing as we get closer to this years main event at sunny South Miami Beach. It is in the experienced hands of the prestigious Miami Yacht Club. Not only will it be a spectacular event in tropical surroundings but also a historical one, in co-operation with the one and only Original Windsurfer Class. It is all set for the happening of the year, battling it out for the Kona World title and the Classical Windsurfer Freestyle and Slalom Cup's for those who can handle it all.
See you there.