68 competitors from 8 countries: USA, Aruba, Mexico, Puerto Rico, Brazil, Cuba, Peru and Canada are taking part in the North American Windsurfing Championships for the RS:X and Techno 293 Classes. All were given a very warm welcome, then a colourful display of traditional dancing before the obligatory group photo call; all eagerly anticipating the imminent start of competition.
On competition day one, after the formalities of registration, measurement and the skippers meeting, competitors took to the water. The course area was set close to the shore with the finish line just 20 metres from the beach - perfect for the spectators lining the shore.
In the Techno fleet, the first two bullets of the day were taken by Mac Van Den Eerenbeemt ARU-11 but he made a mistake in the third race which cost him 5 places.
"It was really good, I was first upwind then downwind but I thought I had to finish and went back to the shore! I realised I still had one more lap to do and went back on the water, but couldn't get my first place back although I overtook one or two." Mac shrugged off his mistake and said, "It was a good day with strong wind and I think I will be okay in the lighter winds too if I pump really hard and do my best."
American brothers, Maximo (USA-102) and Geronimo Nores (USA-09) are first and second overall on the Techno 293 leaderboard, consistency being the key. Maximo took the third bullet and is just one point ahead of Geronimo, who is one point ahead of philosophical Mac.
There are just four girls in this championship but 1st girl, Mariana Aguilar (MEX-28) is also a very consistent sailor currently sitting in 11th overall. First junior is Manuel Nores, 12th overall.
Over in the RS:X Fleet, Mexican lady Demita Vega dominates the 8.5 leaderboard with three bullets, an impressive 7 points clear of Mexican Youth Mario Flores, who is just one point ahead of Brazilian Youth Benno Francioli.
Brazilian Ricardo Santos has three bullets and is five points clear of the American, Carson Crain who was beaten twice by Mexican Ignacio Berenger who currently sits in third place overall.
With just three races completed out of a possible twelve, there is all to play for!
Miguel Angel Pani, the Event Organiser, full of enthusiasm and vibrancy, is proud of this venue: "flat water, loads of wind, a 5* destination with an international airport close by, the tourist infrastructure is first class . . . we couldn't ask for more. The reason that windsurfing is growing in Cancun and the Yucatan peninsula is that it receives government funding and a lot of other support. This location is also renowned for providing excellent conditions and infrastructure for international competition."
Check out highlights from the opening day here.
Results after 3 races: Techno 293 / RS:X
Photos from Patrik Pollak (scroll down for latest pics)
Event website for results, videos, photos, news.