23 year old Sebastian Kordel GER-220 is the new Formula Windsurfing European Champion after the wind made a late appearance on the final competition day at Viganj, Croatia. Five races were packed in to a tight schedule.
The first two races were won by Philip Korczycki whilst Sebastian Kordel took third place in both. However, Sebastian took the bullet in race three, then a second in race four . . . his fifth place in the final race became his discard.
Casper Bouman, who took the World title in this very spot in 2013, took a while to "warm up". His first race ended up as his discard, but he steadily improved in each race. However, he never managed to beat Sebastian over the finish line and finished the championship in second place on the podium.
Filip Korczycki couldn't maintain his flying start and had to settle for third place overall, just one point behind Casper.
Returning to Viganj after last year's World Championships where he came sixth overall, Basti said he was "super stoked" to be returning to a place where he had experienced great racing but found that conditions this year were completely different. In 2013 they had wind every day!
Sebastian said, "After four days of waiting, five races is a lot in one day, I feel pretty tired right now." He has been concentrating on slalom racing recently rather than formula so was not expecting to win at all but is "super happy that it happened".
Storms had heralded the arrival of many arriving for the competition and the weather systems were to prove challenging for the next few days. At close of registration there was a great entry - 60 competitors from 19 countries would demonstrate a very high calibre of competition.
On the first day, 2-3 knots from the South West under overcast skies was a result of high instability of the atmosphere and thunderstorms in the surrounding areas. Competitors were optimistic but the Race Committee couldn't set the race course.
The next day the wind gods teased with a 7-8 knots breeze from the west but then the news from the water that the wind had dropped to zero with heavy rain. On the penultimate day, under bright skies, the race committee attempted two race starts, but the wind wasn't in the right direction. Just one championship day left!
Then at last on that final day, in sight of the majestic Queen Elizabeth that had just cruised into port, the flags fluttered into life and it was game on after midday - a frenzy of activity with three back to back races, a short break, then two more races!
As always, many thanks to Bofor Viganj and everyone involved in providing the best racing possible, and for being great hosts. The FW Class looks forward to returning for a leg of the FW European Cup next year and, who knows, maybe another International Class championship.
Video interview with Sebastian Kordel
Photos and more on FACEBOOK Bofor Viganj