The 27th Calema Midwinters was very much like a well composed orchestra. The event was home for the Kona One Design National Championships, the Bic Techno 293 North American Championships (this is the Youth Olympic class board), and the usual stop for the Formula racers, as well as the Olympic class RSX competitors, hailing from all parts of the country and the world over.
Competitors from Sweden, UK,Brazil, Canada, Mexico, USA, Puerto Rico, Argentina, Peru, Belgium came together in Merritt Island, and where greeted with the traditional mixed bag of conditions that ranged from mellow Friday winds to wildly gusty and cold frontal winds that whipped the Banana River into a mad frenzy of white caps, windsurfers criss-crossing the river at ballistic speeds, and spectacular crashes that kept organizers on their toes. Sunday dawned cold and still very windy, but at least more manageable than Saturday.
Even through the fierce wind, you could see the tiny bodies of sailors like Steven Loyd Cramer streaming along as if nothing extraordinary was going on. But extraordinary it was, to witness such a drastic change in one year, how much stronger the US youth team has become, especially in front of such numerous and strong Mexican Team. The future looks good as the 2014 Youth Olympic Games approach. The USA will field a strong contender without a doubt.
In The Kona Class, showed again a strong increase in numbers, showing that the simple format and low expense in competing on this One design has attracted many new racers as well as bringing some old faces back into the heat of the battle.
Past world cup champion Nevin Sayre came out of retirement last year and has been dominating the Kona Men division, even though his win was seriously challenged by many close finishes. Sayre's last name was adorning more than one trophy as both his daughter Solvig and son 'Raz' stood on the podium in their respective classes.
Performance Sailcraft Australia (Asia Pacific)
Laser builder Performance Sailcraft Australia has taken on the successful RS Sailboat range from Britain, and is now licensed to build and distribute all of the RS range in the Asia Pacific region. [More info]