Once again, the Alex Caviglia Bluewater Classic lived up to top billing with an outstanding fleet of Formula sailors. Some of the Techno Stars from the Miami Yacht Club also made an appearance, representing the youth, and had a lot of races. Miami is the epicenter of sailing and windsurfing during the winter for the entire world.
Day 1. Saturday was a lot of wind in the 8-12 knot range. First Formula race was won by Wilhelm Schurmann from Brazil, who is also a past winner of the event. Paolo dos Reiss came on in the second race to win by a convincing margin with more of the same in the third race. In the fourth race of the day, the wind was very light, but Fernando Martinez, Paolo and Wilhelm all took off planing as the rest of the fleet wallowed at the start. These 3 planed out to the layline, and tacked, and continued planing up the course. About this time, the rest of the group got going. Around the windward mark, everyone sailed into a nice hole and parked for around a minute, minute and a half. Then, the top 3 were off again, but on different tacks, with Fernando going out into the Bay, while Paolo and Wilhelm were gybing back towards the shore. Initially, Fernando was going good but it was getting lighter and lighter . . . but he was hundreds of yards ahead at this point. But the other two sailed into a big puff and started ripping downwind . . . things were starting to even up, Fernando gybed, Paolo and Schurmann gybed, converging towards the line. Martinez was high of the layline and initially it looked like Paolo was going to lay it, he was going to make up the distance!! But no, Fernando gybed, Paolo went up high in a light spot and Fernando had beaten the pros for first! But wait . . . here comes Wilhelm, screaming in low and on the layline for the pin, he sneaks by Paolo for the 2nd!! Rest of the fleet was barely planing at all, the race was very hard for them, but when you have 3 guys planing over 90%, it's hard to call the race off for lack of wind.
Day 2. Sunday was a washout for Formula.
Day 3. Monday the wind returned, but in a strange way. RC got to the course, and we had 8-11.5 steady . . . but by the time everyone got out, it had dropped to 6-8. Formula, after waiting around for an hour plus, finally got what they deserved, a planing race! Paolo took off with Wilhelm, powering over him within a hundred yards of the start and was clearly in front after the two laps . . . but then, things went funky. Within 2-3 board lengths of the finish, Dos Reiss gybes, and starts sailing towards the RC boat . . . he has not crossed the finish but he thinks he has!! Meanwhile, Wilhelm and Fernando, broad reaching behind, snake through to take first and second!! Now the regatta is anybody's to win, as Paolo only had a 2 point lead over Wilhelm to start the last day. But in race # 2, Paolo took off and comfortably won, securing the victory by one point over Wilhelm. In general, Paolo has a lot of speed, but sails off on some weird tangents from time to time. Wilhelm, definitely not as fast, but tactically very good, makes up for it by making less mistakes. But Dos Reiss is incredibly strong, able to hold his rig incredibly steady and his board railed for far longer than anyone else, and over time, the combination of his very fast setup (North Warp and PD 2011 Formula, same as Martinez) and incredible physical strength usually wins out. Two time winner of the Caviglia, BRA-3333, has proven he is the best in the world right now.
Meredith Bass handed out the awards, and another phenomenal Caviglia thanks to everyone from all over the world for coming and making this one of the best and most prestigious windsurfing and sailing events in the world. And special thanks to Shake A Leg Miami for hosting the event in their incredible facility and Liquid Miami for doing the registration party at the shop in the Grove.
Report by : Jim DeSilva
Photos soon at http://www.cavigliafoundation.org/