1st of November 2009, Brazil, Sao Paulo Grand Prix 2009

Jesper Vesterstroms report from The Formula Grand Prix in Brazil...

As the northern hemisphere starts to get too cold for windsurfing, timing was perfect for the next Formula Grand Prix tour, as it was held in the Island of Ilhabela, located just outside of Sao Paolo - Brazil.

I arrived 4 days prior to the event and met with all the Brazilians and 1 tired Italian in Sao Paolo airport. We made the journey to Ilhabela, which was another 3 hours of driving. We arrived around midnight and we dropped the gear off, and we all went to "Casa del Schurmann" (willhelm BRA-999) where we all were staying throughout the event.

Not a lot of sailors made their way to Brazil, however there was still 4 from top 10 presented from the worlds, and not to forget the locals from Brazil who is always up for a good fight on the race course. Of the top sailors there were Gonzalo, Alberto, Ross, Wilhelm, Gabriel among others.

The first day of the event, the weather was cloudy and the wind was all over the place. Suddenly we had 8-10 knots, and we were called out to race. It took me around 15 minutes to get to the windward mark before they finally called the first race off. We were then sent to the beach to wait for the wind to kick in, however that did not happen...

Day 2 of the event we had strong wind from south. We actually started to make our way out to the other side of the island in exactly 1 knot of wind, before the wind would swing to the other side and we then had to make our way back again, against the wind, to wait for them to reset the course.

The wind increased quickly and we were all fully powered on 11. I was leading the first race, fighting hard to hold back Ross on the downwind, but with his 10 he was having blitzing speeds and I just got passed 10 meters before the finish line.

The next race was about solid 30 knots, I was on 11 and the rest on 10 - it was insane how hard that was and I could see Ross claim another bullet.

The next two races Alberto Menegatti, ITA4 showed that he was not giving up and

made two bullets leaving him and Ross tied on points after 4 races... 3,4,5 we were all 1 point from each other and it was still an open game for everyone.

Day 3 was a rest day and the wind never came in, instead mosquitoes attacked us all day long.

Day 4 we finally had the famous easterly winds and sunshine from a clear sky. Again the locals predicted the wind to be around 14 knots and again they were

wrong. We once more had around 25 knots. Waiting on the start line looking up on the mountains of Ilhabela was a dream; it was amazing to look at

the jungle while getting ready to race it were one of those moments where you really appreciate your job :-)

The start was all about getting to shore first, tack close to land and head for the windward mark. Ross and I moved away from the pack and were match racing once more, on the last downwind Ross went out to sea and I went the other way and he finished to board lengthÂŽs in front of me, so close it was. In 3rd place Wilhelm, who was going fast and making no mistakes.

Before we started the day Alberto had a good lead on most, but again, in Racing everything can happen and it did for Alberto. In 2nd race he took out a starboard tack sailor, him being on port, and Alberto lost the protest. In the 3rd race, he hit a fishing net and in general it was not his day.

In the last to races I was on my 10, and found some serious speed, easy passing everybody to make two bullets in a row, moving in to 2nd place , tied with Alberto on points, leaving him in 3rd place.

So far we had a lot of different wind strengths and we all have our favorites conditions....

After that day, we finished early; I went on a boat with some friends to explore the island from the water and see the beautiful beaches that can only be accessed by boat — an amazing experience that I will never forget.

In the evening there was a party at Wilhelms house and we all went out to have a taste on the nightlife, however it became an early night as we all were tired after the racingÂ…

For the last day, anything was still open. Ross had a good lead, but I could still make it if I did well and Ross didn't. Also Alberto and Wilhelm could change the game completely.

1st race Gabriel took the lead and won the race showing his potential on a race course, with me just after in 2nd place. Wilhelm was in 3rd and Ross had to double tack around the windward and was finishing in 4th bringing us all closer in the points.

2nd race, we where all checking each other out, trying to "roll" each other on the start, well, Ross rolled me pretty good and it was hard to make a comeback after that, as the course was a "follow the leader" course. I did a terrible race and Wilhelm another good one, so now Ross secured his overall win and Wilhelm was getting closer.

Wilhelm was racing extremely well, not to mention his angle going to windward, he was almost impossible to beat. In the 3rd race Wilhelm had another 2nd and I made 5th. We came to the beach and we were tied on points and the 4th race was going to be all or nothing. 3rd place was not secure as ITA-4 could also get on the podium.

We all went out to the last race; Ross was on the beach watching. The 5 minutes counted down and we were going towards the line, Alberto decided to stay close to me and I was trying to shake him off which left Wilhelm in a great position to start at the boat and just control the game during the race. Being below Alberto does not give you much of a chance, he is pretty quick and does not point a lot, so quickly we where far away form Wilhelm. I know I just had to stay close to Alberto, as Wilhelm was now to far away to reach... Wilhelm won that race and secured his 2nd. Place overall in the event, which he deserved.

Top 3 after 12 races where

1. Ross Williams Gaastra/Gaastra
2. Wilhelm Shcurman Starboard/Neilpryde
3. Jesper Vesterstrom Starboard/Neilpryde

The visit to Ilhabela was fantastic, the local people super nice and I really look forward to come back another time. Roomers are for 3 big formula events next year and I hope more people will come and join the racing and support the events in Brazil...

Thanks to everyone in Brazil for making our stay amazing...Thanks to Arrow Marketing for putting on a great event.

I will now travel to the other end of the world, Japan, to participate in Bain Cup for Starboard stating on Saturday- and will then after return to Fortaleza where the last Grand prix of the year is held...

I will get back with a report from Japan...

DEN-111 / Living The Dream in Brazil...