by Jesper Vesterstroem (DEN111)
So I decided to make the trip to Miami to see what the 2015 IFJU FINS / FORMULA US EASTERN CHAMPIONSHIP was all about. Alex Morales, owner of Tillo International and associated with IFJU fins was organizing the event and he did so in style!
I arrived a few days earlier to get some sailing in. I always wanted to Windsurf in Miami Beach and luckily the wind was blowing every day, kinda side shore, making it perfect for formula sailing as you can slowly make your way upwind, enjoying the spectacular view from the water, just cruising along until you finally hit Miami Beach… Formula Windsurfing does not get much better.
The event was located on Key Biscayne at Sailboards Miami, which was a great location for windsurfing. Not only were people learning how to windsurf there, but at the same time they got to see some real racing right in front on them. The weather forecast was for it to pick up every afternoon, which it pretty much did. The fleet was around 18 sailors, so not too bad for a formula event. There were a few Internationals from France and then myself and of course all the local Miami guys.
The course was an up/down course with a gate in the middle that we had to go through going up and down, just to have a little more tactics put into the race. Everyone at the event had really good starts and we were all looking pretty good out of that start line, however of course during each race the fleet separated a bit. But nice to see that the standard was high and people knew what they were doing ; -)
After day 1 we already had 3 races completed, so that was a good start. On the beach there was a nice tent providing shade, drinks and fruits straight from the coolers set up by the sponsors of the event. The top of the leaderboard was quite international with myself, Loic (FRA-55) and Ludovico (who had 2 different numbers on his sail???). 1st “real” American was Ron Kern.
Day 2 was same scenario: we arrived midday and set everything up and the wind was there at 4 pm. The race committee quickly setup a nice course, a little longer than the previous day and we completed 2 races. The wind was a little lighter on Saturday, but we just had to pump a little harder, so it all worked out. Before racing I hosted a well-attended formula windsurfing clinic, giving away tips and tricks for the racers. I think it worked well for most of the racers and most came back with great input on how they already have improved a few things. It really does not take much!
Last day of the event offered a little stronger breeze and I think we were all on 11´s having a blast. Sundays are pretty busy in Miami on the water and it was really choppy. It was fun and challenging and at times scary, but everyone survived and in the end it just made racing a little more exciting for all of us, I think. We completed another 3 races and in total we got 8 great races.
1. Jesper Vesterstroem – DEN111 GA/GA
2. Loic Legallois – FRA 55 GA/NP
3. Ludovico Belli – US045 FA/NO
-> Full results
I think it was a great event, held and organized by IFJU fins. The sport needs passionate people to arrange more regattas like this to make the sport grow and be seen. I love windsurfing and racing and I really want to try and be around as many of the events as possible. Hope to see even more guys/girls on the water next time!