In late October 2023, the tranquil waters at San Rafael, Mendoza, became a playground for South America’s most skilled windsurfers as they gathered for the Formula Windsurfing Foil South American Championships. With the backdrop of the breathtaking Andes Mountains and the promise of fierce competition, this event proved to be a thrilling spectacle for both participants and spectators alike.
The Formula Windsurfing world descended upon this scenic Argentinian location from the 26th to the 29th of October, as the highly anticipated Formula Windsurfing Foil South American Championships took center stage.
The Zonda wind phenomenon, infamous for its ferocity, made its presence felt, gusting at more than 50 knots. The Race Committee, led by Leo Rivas, Javier De Carolis, and Gustavo Almenara, made valiant efforts to conduct races, but the overpowering conditions rendered it impossible. The westward wind made a calm entry into Lake El Nihuil, but once it was established and the regatta field was ready, it rapidly reached its maximum intensity. The organizers’ dedication was evident, particularly in their heroic rescue efforts on Saturday to aid those stranded inside and outside the lake due to the extreme wind. Despite these challenges, the championship’s atmosphere remained excellent, thanks to the dedicated efforts of the organizers, under the leadership of Juan Marcos Carloni. Competitors lauded the event for its good disposition and attention to detail.
From the very first day of racing, the standings remained final. A total of three races were held, with Argentina’s Fernando Consorte emerging as the early frontrunner. Demonstrating his local knowledge and mastery of the demanding conditions, Consorte showcased his impressive skills, making it clear that he was a force to be reckoned with. In second place, Uruguay’s Guillermo Ahlig was hot on his heels, promising an exciting battle for the top spot. Another Argentine windsurfing talent, Matias Bonomi, secured the third spot on the leaderboard, rounding out the top positions.
The Formula Windsurfing Foil South American Championships were undoubtedly an adrenaline-packed spectacle. Despite the challenging weather conditions, the championship showcased the unwavering determination and skill of the participants. For those who missed out on the action, the full results and captivating photos from the event can be found on the official website: https://foilsa2023.formulawindsurfing.org