You’ve got to love these images from the 2009 Formula World Championship in Santa Pola Spain that really capture that spirit of modern windsurfing racing. With nearly 100 boards from around the world competing, the class is continuing to grow and develop after 10 years of evolution.
This year’s world championship saw many professionals dominate the top positions, despite the class being dropped from the PWA circuit a few years ago. Several Olympic class windsurfer coming fresh from the RSX Worlds in England earlier in the month were also pushing the top of the fleet. It goes to show that sometimes you can have it all with professional, amateur and Olympic class windsurfers racing together.
The worlds was a huge event this year with more organization than Ive ever seen at a regatta. For every racer there must have been another volunteer, police, or security officer there with the typical Euro/Spanish organization when you ask who’s in charge- everybody says "me!" Everyday they had breakfast and lunch for 150+ people. There were 3 huge tents for the sailors and their gear, a beach tower for the press and huge stage for the opening and closing ceremony. The top 16 men and 3 of the women split the 30,000 euro prize money.
The racing is what draws most to the class and this year it was tight. The pros are always f’ fast but it the rest of the amateurs that are catching up. Just behind the front pack from 15th-30th were some very fast sailors mixing it up but with the typical light wind conditions, there were a lot of mixed results on the scoreboard.
Going into the last race, it was a challenge between Steve Allen, AUS-0 and Woijek Brzowski, POL-10. Steve had won all 3 Euro Grand Prix’s this summer in Poland in the light breeze while Woijek (and the rest of the Poles)are known for cleaning up in the breeze. As luck would have it for the Aussie, the last and deciding race, was run in just 10-12k favoring the lightwind specialist.
That worked as well for Martha Hlavaty POL-111 as she was able to take advantage her RSX training and finesse her way to the podium in 1st followed by Allison Shreeve, AUS-911 in 2nd.
Complete report with photos @ www.stevebodner.blogspot.com