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RS:X and Techno Windsurfing South American Championships

by Bas Edmonds, RS:X Class 6 Mar 01:43 PST 1-4 March 2018
RS:X Windsurfing South American Championships final day © RS:X Class

The RS:X Windsurfing and Techno South American Championships concluded on Sunday with four days of amazing sailing in near perfect conditions.

Paracas, Peru, must be one of the new meccas for windsurfing after delivering sun and wind for the duration of the event, with some tired but very happy windsurfers hitting the beach at the end of the finals day racing. This event has been a perfect showcase for windsurfing at its best with super-fit athletes battling it out for the titles with tactical and high speed racing. Both Saturday and Sunday provided strong winds for both classes which allowed the RS:X fleets to complete their full schedule of 15 races and the Techno fleets to count 10 races.

Mack Van Den Eerenbeemt from Aruba won the event with an dominating performance with his scorecard counting no less than nine race wins. However, this was a much closer affair than these races wins would indicate with Brazils Gabriel Bastos, who is the South American Champion, a close second but having a much better series of results with discards playing an important part of the win for Van Den Eerenbeemt. Argentina's Bautista Subidet Birkner claimed third place with a very consistent scoreline with a costly OCS in six which potentially cost him the silver medal. In fourth was a very strong performance from American Geronimo Nores who as the youngest sailor in the fleet has a promising windsurfing career ahead of him.

Whilst all of the sailors would have had one eye on the overall title, the other eye would have been on making sure they qualified their country for the Pan American Games. Aruba, Brazil and Argentina are all through with Peru as host nation already qualified.

Van Den Eerenbeert commented on the win, "Coming from Aruba where its windy, I loved coming here and the conditions suited me perfectly. I really enjoyed having five races per day but I am really tired as its not what we normally do. It makes it more exciting and keeps the racing close but it is hard work for sure. Next I go back to Aruba and then head to Palma for my next regatta".

If Van Den Eerenbeert dominated, the Peru's Maria Belen Bazo German completely owned the women's title virtually from day one, taking 14 race wins and only have a second place in race eight to blemish her perfect scoreline. Argentina's Maria Celia Tejerina Mackern was the only sailor to take a race win and sailed equally consistently to secure a clear second place in the event. The third step on the podium was won by Bruna Mello from Brazil. The experience of this trio really shone through and will be a level that the rest of the fleet will have to aim for. German, a local sailor to Paracas talked about her win, "I am very happy to win here. Paracas is normally windy but this week was extra windy so it was really good for me. I am really looking forward to the Pan American Games coming to Peru next year and representing my home country". Argentina and Brazil qualified through this event for those Games.

In the Youth fleet, it was the Argentinian duo of Marcos Quiroga and Martin Nores who traded blows throughout the series to fight for the gold. In the end it was very similar to the Men, where the discard really made the difference with Quiroga being the winner but with two races where he didn't finish, the pressure was definitely on till the final race. Nores was the more consistent sailor counting only firsts and seconds but didn't beat his compatriot enough times to take the title. Brazilian Bernardo Lobo came in third place.

In the Techno Junior fleet, where the RS:X had some clear winners, the competition was as equally fierce but the battle even closer! Strong winds throughout the week meant that the Techno fleets didn't get as many races in but all of the racing was in planning conditions and the experience will serve these young apprentices well as they move up through the windsurfing pathway. Inspiration would also be in launching alongside their RS:X heroes and many sailors in the Techno fleet will be aiming for future Olympic Games.

Alexander Grahammer from Peru and Martin Reutemann from Argentina were tied on points after ten races and it all came down to the final race to determine the gold and silver medals. Grahammer won that race with Reutemann only managing fourth place, awarding the title to Grahammer. Another local sailor, De Las Casas, came in third in what was a very challenging week for all of the Techno sailors. The first girl in this fleet was Valentina Ovalle from Peru who sailed a fantastic regatta to narrowly beat Valentina Palma, also from Peru.

Peru also took both the boys and girls titles in the Techno Youth fleet with Alvaro De La Mellena taking the event with a race to spare, counting seven out of ten race wins. Rafael Llerena (Peru) came in second place,taking the final race to give a comfortable second spot on the podium. Perus control of the Techno fleet was interrupted by Constanza Almenara, who put in a massive effort to claim first girl and third spot overall in the Techno Youth fleet which is a fantastic result for this up and coming sailor – one to watch for the future!

The IWA, Techno and RS:X associations would like to thank all of the sailors, volunteers and officials as well as the Peruvian Sailing Federation for their support in hosting what has been a perfect event to showcase all levels of windsurfing across the board. The Pan American Games will be a perfect follow up to this event and we wish all sailors taking part the very best next year.

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