The first round of PWA racing was concluded in Reggio. Bjorn won the men's division and Karin Jaggi the women's both on Severne Reflex race sails. These sailors demonstrate once again the quality and sheer class of these awesome sails.
The surprise sailor for me is Gonzalo Costa Hoevel who came second, only narrowly missing beating Bjorn in their last heat. I don't have Gonzalo in my list of top sailors - he did so little last year - but I may need to re-consider if he keeps this level of performance going. Great stuff by him in round 1! I will say more about Gonzalo in the next post where we can look at a clip of him sailing.
Here are some criticisms of the Reggio event (besides the lack of wind) :
- The press coverage of the heats is almost non-existant. Come on PWA and board/sail companies. You are missing out on a great marketing opportunity. So many of us follow these heat videos avidly.
- There was apparently a lot of debris in the water (plastic bags, floating tins, old rope etc) when the heats finally got going and quite a few sailors crashed out unluckily. This is totally unacceptable when you consider the expense, the trouble and sheer effort of staging such an event, getting all the sailors and spectators to the venue, the spin-off for local business etc. The cost of three power boats with floating rakes and/or nets to sweep the course is negligible and should have been done.
- I am always shocked when great sailors get right through to the final heats and then throw everything away by going over early and getting disqualified. Ben van der Steen did this. Not good Ben. You are one of the shining lights this year and it is devastating to see you blow it in the final minutes.
The next race is in Korea starting Saturday (5th), hopefully with more wind. I look forward to this and will give you some feedback.
Good winds and stay sheeted in