The South American qualification tournament for the Youth Olympic Games has kicked off in style. The 23 windsurfers from 7 countries, who have come to Paracas, Peru for the regatta have not been let down. The sun, the wind, the atmosphere – an unbeatable combination for a perfect week of racing.
The day started slowly with sailors registering for the event, but as the wind picked up, everybody knew that what was going to happen later was going to be spectacular. And it was. Three races were sailed back-to-back for both Youth Men and Youth Women in wind speeds reaching 20 kts. Tired, but happy the sailors came for a break ashore, before one more race for the men was conducted.
Among the countries seeking to qualify is Brazil, who has come to Peru in a strong team of 8.
Bernardo Simanke Lobo, who is in Parcas for the Youth Olympic Games Qualifier, where he hopes to qualify Brazil to the Games enjoyed the first day of racing – “Today the conditions were pretty good, in the first three races especially. Now the wind dropped a little for the fourth, but I still enjoyed it. The M course, which we sailed today is my preferred format, a course that is especially fun in planning conditions, like today.”
Bernando’s friend Guilherme Munhoz added – “We trained a lot on the Techno293Plus before this event. We trained in different conditions, places and formats. Including slalom. I think we’re ready for this competition and to qualify Brazil for the Youth Olympic Games.”
“Paracas is the place to come for windsurfing” said Piotr Oleksiak Techno293Plus Class Representative at the event. “The conditions have been just marvellous, allowing us to have both course and slalom racing, nice and close to the beach.”
It was slalom that attracted many of the young competitors including Raul Claux from Peru, who commented on the format just after finishing for the day – “It was very good. I enjoyed slalom racing. The wind was very strong, the conditions tough, but finally I advanced one position. I’m happy with the performance. It was a good day for me. I’d really like slalom racing in the future. I love slalom. I practice slalom with a slalom board, this was my first time with Techno293Plus and it was great. I felt really good on the board today.”
Raul finished third overall behind Manuel Nores from USA and Belisario Kopp from Argentina. Belisario and his teammate Celina Saubidet Birkner put on a dominant performance winning all the races in their fleets. Argentina is the host nation of the Youth Olympic Games next year and you can see that the sailors are training hard for a good performance on home soil. On the Youth Women podium with Celina we had the Brazilian duo Giovanna Prada and Larissa Schenker.
Thanks to their performance at the event it will be Peru and Brazil joining Argentina at the YOG in both Youth Men and Youth Women fleets.
Congratulations to all the sailors. Next stop - European YOG Qualification Tournament in Sicily.