Calema Midwinters Windsurfing Festival - FINAL

                         RESULTADOS          FOTOS


Once again a strong fleet showed up for the Calema midwinters 2009 which celebrated it’s 24th edition. Tinho and Susie Dornellas put up a great event with great lunch, dinner parties and even a new discipline “stand up paddle races” which kept everyone entertained in the windless days.

As for the wind… first day (Friday) nothing, only enough to run the Kona and Hybrid Classes, same thing on Saturday. On Sunday, we showed up with little hope, as the weather forecast was even worst than the other days, but little did we know that Tinho had made some special wind dance and the miracle happened, wind picked up around 1:30pm.

One of the top sailors, Fabio Melo, had to leave before due to his flight schedule and missed the races; Dave kashy and Alan where also hitting the road but in the end changed their mind at the last minute. I guess no one believed the wind was really going to come up!
We all set out with 12.0s for the light but constant wind that was blowing around 7-11 knots.

Darren Rogers (race director) didn’t waste any time and soon the first race got under way. The first upwind was rather short, which kept everyone close together to the first upwind mark. Jesper DEN 111 rounded clearly in first, followed by Paulo dos Reis BRA3333, Mathias BRA5 , Jean Paul COL1, Gonzalo ARG3, Gabriel Browne BRA50 and I (Wilhelm BRA999).

On the downwind, Tinho on his boat, who was following the action and taking pictures, was so excited with the racing going on that he was cheering with his hands up and waving, Jesper and some other sailors thought that Tinho was waving in a “ race has been canceled, general recal” way. With this, Gonzalo, I (Wilhelm) and Gabriel sneaked the top positions around the bottom mark. Gonzalo took the bullet, I followed in second, Jesper, who did a great recovery in third, Gabriel Browne in fourth and Paulo Dos Reis in Fifth.
On the second race, Jesper and Gonzalo came to the top mark together, I stopped in port tack to let them through and when I tacked Paulo dos reis was right there with me.

On the downwind I manage to sneak through and rounded in first and maintain it until the finish, Gonzalo came in second followed by Paulo, Gabriel and Fernando Martinez. Jesper came in seventh after having a crash close to finish with Gabriel.
Going to the last race, Gonzalo and I each had a first and a second, we knew it was going to be the final deciding race, also, since there was going to be no discard, anything could happen. We started race three and there was a General recall, which came in handy for Gonzalo, since he had been knocked down at the start together with a few other sailors.

We restarted race three and Jesper had a good start, I tacked early and was going straight to the mark, but the wind dropped getting close to the mark, with this, Jesper rounded clear in first, followed by Gonzalo, Paulao and myself.

Jesper kept the lead all the way and took the bullet, Gonzalo came in second and took the event win, I was in third behind gonzalo and on the last tack dropped the sail, with this Paulo went through and finished third and tied on points with Jesper, But Jesper had the best single result and took the third position for the event. Loic Legallois FRA 56 had very good speed and finished the last race in fifth, followed by myself in sixth which secured me the second place for the event.

In the masters division, the title went to Mathias Pinheiro who was going really well followed by Dave Kashy in second and Antonio Esteban in third. In the Grand Master, Ron Kern took the win followed by Peter Ifju in second and Don Wagner in third. In the Juniors Igor Raposo took the title with a impressive 10th overall. In the women Sarah Hebert came first followed by Farrah Hall and Dominique Vallee. It was good to see Mike Porter, who is back in action after being away for more than a year. The real winner was the wind, who showed up at the last minute and made us all happy to get 3 races in.

Special thanks to the guys in Adventure sports, Kent, Josh, Garrett and Humberto, who manage to get me the gear together to compete in Calema. Also thanks to Eduardo Owen who gave me the ride to calema and is always helping out in anyway possible.

Wilhelm Schurmann (BRA999)

Sunday dawned and I looked at the computer screen showing me a high pressure directly over Florida, slightly to our west. Sinking air, no wind. Was this going to be the Midwinters where formula racers would be skunked by the wind, confirming some loser's comments? My usual optimism became a quiet resignation to the reality that alas, after 24 years we were getting a Midwinters with only light winds. I told myself, " Now, only with a miracle will we have wind today".

I got to kelly park to set up the course, the Banana River totally glassy. The course was set for a possible east Southeast breeze, if it ever came. The last possible race would be arount 3 pm. By 11:30 a ripple of the first wind showed in the distance, and the whole race committee quickly took their posts in anticipation of any possible wind, so any opportunity to race would not be wasted.

The breeze came up steadily, and the longboard/ hybrid class raced their last race, then the Kona North Americans fleet took the center stage for the last time. By this time there were 7- 9 knots all over the course.. The Kona Fleet was eating their lunch when the tower announced, " Formula Racers 15 minutes to your race!!!! And instantly a loud cheer and roar from the Kona racers, showing their support and approval!! I could not believe my eyes, whitecaps on the water and the whole formula fleet chomping at the bit in the water, you could feel the excitment. This was the first miracle of the 09 Midwinters. Soon after, as the start horn and the Formula racers rocketed out of the start line. The second miracle took place: Without any time to lose to general recalls we needed desperately to have three races before the end of the day. Any repeated general recalls woul have put an end at our chances of a three race series. But everyone behaved and we did get in 3 raes in full planing conditions, even with a general recaall.!! So the fight for the Midwinters title went with Wilhem Shurmann, Jesper Vesterstrom, Gonzalo Costa Hoevel, Paulo dos Reis , all fighting for the top. In the end Gonzalo took the win, showing consistency despite great speed from his rivals. This Midwinters had a special flavor, The Kona fleet showing great competition and fun, and the whole atmosphere was relaxed and fun even when ethe wind was light. Thanks to all our sponsors and our volunteer team who made the event possible.

Tinho Dornellas.

10th March '09