Midwinters: Always full of surprises
A report by Shelley Shepherd Klaner
The 25th anniversary of the Calema Midwinters Windsurfing Festival was a cool, but exciting one with no long lags in waiting for wind. The event, held in early March, included the Kona North American Championships, the Bic Techno 293 North Americans, which were a qualifier for the first youth Olympic games in Singapore this summer and a Formula Windsurfing Race.
The games drew a slew of young people to the event in Merritt Island, Fla. The first night competitors were also treated to a spectacular rocket launch from Cape Canaveral. Calema Windsurfing and Watersports — owned by Susie and Tinho Dornellas (one of two master instructors for windsurfing in the nation) produce the Midwinters. The races are held on the Banana River at Merritt Island, which is outside Orlando. Of course, as always, the Formula professional races drew the most international and media attention. The Midwinters is the kick off to the professional racing season and although there is no cash purse, draws the best windsurfers to Florida from all over the world to test out their new equipment for 2010 and see exactly how they match up to their competitors. The familiar faces from magazine covers are always on hand and willing to share their racing tips with many of the other racers, who don’t make their living from the sport, but enjoy it as a favorite past time.
There were some surprises in the Formula Pro with Paulo dos Reis (BRA 333) coming in first place. Gonzalo Costa Hoevel (ARG 3) came in second with Gabriel Brown (BRA 50) in third. Other winners: included: Wojtek Brzozowksi (POL 10), fourth; Wilhelm Schurmann (BRA 999), fifth; Micah Buzianis (USA 34), sixth; and Jesper Vesterstrom (DEN 111), seventh. The remaining line up, in order of their completion, includes: Jimmy Diaz, Mathias Pinheiro, Fernando Martinez and Eduardo Owen. Many of these professional racers left the Midwinters to head directly to the Formula World championships in Argentina.
Farra Hall (USA3) took first place in Formula Women with Karen Mariott (USA 41) in second and Monica Arche (ESP 211) in third. Lasse Uronen (FIN 196) took first in Formula Men fleet with Martin Abete in second and Vincent Barre in third. For Formula Masters the final line up included Ron Kern in first with Peter Ifju and Renato Pozozo in second and third. Max Robinson (CAN0) came in first in Hybrid RSX. Mateo Vargas took first in the Kona fleet for men with Dave Stanger and Bruce Matlack in second and third.
Countries qualifying for the Olympics included Mexico, Puerto Rico and the United States for girls. Alejandro Monllor will be representing Puerto Rico and Margot Samson will be representing the girls for the United States.
Full results for the Midwinters can be found at www.calema.com with a complete galley of photographs. Be sure to mark your calendars for the 2011 races. They are always held in early March!!!