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Young Dutchman Huig-Jan Tak wins Kona World Championships

by Daniel Nordlund on 3 Nov 2016
Kona Windsurfing - Kona One World Championship 2016 Daniel Nordlund
After five days of intense racing in Islamorada, Florida Keys, Dutchman Huig-Jan Tak (22 years) is crowned new World Champion in ISAF-class Kona One. Huig-Jan secured the title after a thrilling battle with silver medalist finished on the same overall point but gold medalist thanks to winning the last race. Swedish Adam Holm finished second with the same overall score while 15-year old American Noah Lyon from Clear Water, Florida won the bronze medal.

The championship took place on Islamorada in the Florida Keys which has hosted numerous international sailing events over the years. A total of 107 sailors from fifteen nations and five continents competed during the five race days. The greater part of the Championship was sailed in conditions up to 30 knots. Huig-Jan Tak proved to master these conditions and win an impressive six bullets out of twelve races and a total record: 4-2-1-1-2-1-1-1,5-5-1-1-2-1.

He had the same net score as silver medalist but thanks to winning the last race he secured the title.

'I am very happy. It was top competition. We fought to the last millimeter and I had some luck on my side. It’s my first World Championship title and I value it highly. It’s been a challenging championship with a very high level of the competition. I managed to keep my racing on a steady level throughout the five days and I want to mention Adam who is was a privilege to race against', gold medalist Huig-Jan Tak, comments.

Earlier this season Huig-Jan Tak won the first International U23 Kona World Championship in Malmo, Sweden. He has his racing background primarily in RS:X where he is among the Netherlands most prominent racers. He started his racing career in Optimist.

Second in the Kona came the well-reputed Swede Adam Holm. Among his previous merits are a gold in Kona Worlds 2012 and a gold in Kona Europeans 2014. The last years he has been full time engaged in an Olympic campaign in the RS:X-class.

'It’s been super cool. The best World Championship I have attended. Throughout five days it was tight racing at a level I never have experienced before. My goal was gold. Still I am satisfied with the gold finishing on the same overall score as Huig-Jan Tak but with a black flag one of the days taking the gold away', says Adam Holm.

The greatest surprise in the prize list was 15-year old American Noah Lyon finishing third after very consistent sailing. He has a classical background from optimist to 420 and RS:x before switching to Kona One some time ago. He finished third in the Clear Water regatta that served as a pre-championship race.

'The championship was awesome. I constantly improved my racing watching the more experienced sailors. My goal was to finish top ten but over the race days I improved my scores and in the end I realized the podium was not far away and I managed to get my sailing together all the way to the bronze medal.'

Kona One is one of the fastest growing windsurfing classes in the world and part of ISAF. It is a one design class where all sailors use identical boards and men and women compete together. The same sail is used in all conditions and size according to weight, to give as fair conditions as possible. It is further a non-pumping class.

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