2016 KONA WORLDS – ISLAMORADA
1. Huig-Jan Tak (NED)
2. Adam Holm (SWE)
3. Noah Lyons (USA)
1. Andrea Holm (SWE)
2. Karen Marriott (USA)
3. Beth Winkler (USA)
1. Noah Lyons (USA)
2. Alex Temko (USA)
3. Maverick Putnam (USA)
The Kona Worlds returned in 2016 to the beautiful Guy Harvey Islander resort in Islamorada, Florida USA. Organized by Kona USA and US Windsurfing, Oct 29 – Nov 3, 2016.
Photos: John Bambace, Susan Sorensen, Jerome Samson.
After five days of intense racing in Islamorada, Dutchman Huig-Jan Tak was crowned the 2016 World Champion, and Andrea Holm confirmed that she’s the one to beat in the women’s fleet! Huig-Jan secured the title after a thrilling battle with silver medalist Adam Holm, who finished on equal points after no less than 12 races, and 15-year old American Noah Lyons won the bronze medal. For 18-year old Swedish sensation Andrea Holm, this was her 4th World title in the Kona Class (she previously won in 2012, 2013 and 2014).
A grand total of 107 sailors from fifteen nations and five continents competed this year. The greater part of the Championship was sailed in heavy breeze, with conditions frequently over 30 knots during the races. Huig-Jan Tak reveled in those conditions: “I am very happy,” said the 22-yr old star at the end of the week. “It was top competition! We fought to the last millimeter and I had some luck on my side. It’s my first World Championship title and I value it highly. I managed to keep my racing on a steady level throughout the five days and I definitely want to mention Adam: it was a privilege to race against him.”
Earlier this season, Huig-Jan Tak won the first International U23 Kona World Championships in Malmo, Sweden. His racing background is primarily in RS:X, where he is among the Netherlands’ most prominent racers. The greatest surprise of the week was 15-year old American Noah Lyons, who finished third after very consistent sailing. He has a classic all-around sailing background, from optimist to 420, 49er and RS:X, but the Kona Class is where he built his racing chops. He was on the podium already at the Gulf Coast Championships the week before the Worlds.
“The championship was awesome,” said Noah, still a bit starry-eyed after his breakthrough finish. “I constantly improved my racing watching the more experienced sailors. My goal was to finish top ten, but over the days I improved my scores, and in the end I realized the podium was not far away. I managed to get my sailing together all the way to the bronze medal!”
Huig-Jan Tak: “I am very happy! It was top competition. We fought to the last millimeter and I had some luck on my side. It’s my first World Championship title and I value it highly. I managed to keep my racing on a steady level throughout the five days and it was a privilege to battle with Adam to the very end!”