4th of March 2008, USA, Calema Midwinters - North American Championships

Calema Midwinters 2008

The three day North American championship was sailed as part of the Calema midwinters windsurfing festival on the Banana river in Cocoa Beach Florida. Other classes included the kona longboard class, hybrid class, formula sport and traditional longboard class. We had over 50 competitors on the formula fleet including many top riders as Antoine FRA192, Jimmy ISV11, Jesper DEN111, Wilhelm BRA999, Gabriel Browne BRA50, Melo bro's BRA74 AND BRA1794, Miguel POR5...

Most of us arrived two days before the event but unfortunately my gear didn't show up until late afternoon before the day racing started. Luckily i received a 10.7 and my new F2 board at the event side so i could go sailing and start tuning the board.

My first impressions were really good..the board felt really easy, with good angle and really early planing.
When my gear showed up i made a final tuning with some fins and downhaul settings just before the first race. I had all my RS racings tuned so it was easy to make last adjustments to the whole setup.

The wind was pretty light during the whole regatta..going from 6 to 15 knots on the most.

First Day

Race 1

The wind was 6 to 10 knots coming onshore. There was a small chop...

After a couple of general recalls I decided to start close to the race comittee as it seemed that the wind was stronger on the right side of the course even when the pin was favored. I had a clean start with Miguel close to the comittee and both started climbing as expected compared to the guys on the pin.

I rounded on first followed up by Gabriel which lead the pin end group and Miguel on third. I made a good distance on first downwind jybing through the middle of the course...after some time on the second upwind when you normally start chequing what are the second guys doing i had an impression that i 've extended the lead but in those light conditions anything could happened.
We were racing at that point with 8-9 knots and with lows of 6 i would say...on the last upwind and reaches to the finish line i extended the lead as i was sailing by myself. There was a big group fighting Wilhelm, Miguel, Antoine and Jesper...but was Jesper in the end which risk a little bit on an early tack for the layline that took the second spot followed by Miguel.
My feeling at that point was that my equipment was working really nice but as i had started and raced different to the top guys tactically made me think that i had i good tactical win.

So results on the first race were:
1st Gonzalo ARG3
2nd Jesper DEN111
3rd Miguel POR5

Second Day

No wind
We went to the NASA

Third Day

The forecast was better for the day but in the morning the wind didn't look promising at all..i had that nervous feelings of thinking if the wind doesn't pick up i would win..but then i really wanted to see what was going on with the new boards and sails...so that kept me pretty mellow hoping for the wind to pick up.

Race 2 (one of the day)

The wind was side offshore from the left around 10 to 13 knots most of the time with a super flat water..we did a start that was recall because of over earlies. At this start i kind of felt that it was better to stay again close to the race comittee and that the preasure of the wind was stronger...

So next start i started at the boat having a really good one. I felt i had good acelleration on the first 30 meters..when i pipped back to see how were the other guys positioned on top of me i felt pretty safe as i had gain some board lengths on them. I could see Antoine and Jesper going good further down so i gave a bit more speed instead of pointing hard...when they tacked to the layline i went a little bit more and tacked. I overlayed and the distanced that i had gained was reduced a lot..so Jesper and I rounded pretty close to each other. I made some distance on the downwind and after the first 50 meters of the second upwind i felt i had extended the lead and felt i was safe on that race to win it again.

1st Gonzalo
2nd Jesper
3rd Antoine

Race 3

After race 2 i felt my speed was really good but still felt really nervous. At this start i had a pretty close one but still thought i was safe on the bang...There was an individual recall and when i looked back after 10 seconds and i was pretty ahead i thought i'd blew it..! but i continued because i had a feeling that it wasn't me...I had a good lead at the first upwind mark..behind me was Antoine but kind of far. At the downwind i took some distance and after the second upwind i was pretty safe for another first.

1st Gonzalo
2nd Antoine
3rd Jesper

We had a small break and then we went for the 4rth race of the event and most probably the last one.

Race 4

The wind dropped a little bit but tactics kind of stayed the same...the guys starting at the race comittee stayed at the gust longer and could climbed a little bit of angle to the guys in the pin end which seemed to be favour..
On these one i decided to be more conservative at the start and didn't accelerate until Wilhelm who was below me went for it. It was the first time in the whole regatta where I found myself on a struggle position kind of behind a guy..so it was pretty important to me to see if me gear could give the abillity to come out of Wilhelm's wake which points really good on light winds. I felt i could climb and gain angle and then give some speed. My speed was good and i was able to catch back the guys that had started on the middle of the line who seemed to be dominating at that point. Getting closer to the lay line i felt it would be better to give some more speed as the gust seemed to be coming closer to the beach and favouring the lower guys. When they tacked i tacked and came clear in front to the first upwind. The wind dropped so the lay line changed a little bit and the guys behind me and below struggled to make the mark so i could take advantage of overlaying. Positions stayed the same, Fabio 2nd and Antoine 3rd to the very end. Gaps got bigger as the wind dropped a little bit.

1st Gonzalo
2nd Fabio
3rd Antoine

That was the end of the day. We tried to do another one but the wind started to drop a lot so the Race Director called it off having 4 races and 1 discard in.

My personal feeling was that my gear was working really good. My RS Racing 11.8 is performing really good and my new F2 FX6 board seems to have really good speed.
My advantage at the race was probably the ability of early planing that i had with this new board and my powerful 11.8. As well i felt that i was getting quicker to top speed compare to the other guys. How the course was set and with those conditions the starts and first upwinds were supper important. Places didn't change much after that first rounding...
I had some moments of testing on stronger winds before the event and the board was performing really nice as well so this gives me confidence that my gear was improved a lot from last year.
The event was really well organised in and off the water. We always waited for suitable conditions and fair racing...

Join the discussion

Luis M. | 5th March 2008 (16:40:15)

Hi Gonzalo,
congratulations for the perfect victory.whats is faster now,the new F2board or the "new Gonzalo".
all the best from cold Italy,
ITA-6 (Luis)

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