RS:X Worlds, March 2013

Buzios, Brazil
There are challenges and there are challenges.  Buzios proved to be one of the toughest.  66 men and 41 women gathered in Brazil.  A maximum of 13 races was scheduled and, with two non-planing days when only two races can be run according to policy, 11 were completed.  

Top mark layer Martin Stephens was to join Robert Lamb (Class Race Director) as we were to test a new race format.  However, when this decision to test was reversed by the class, and with the low entry numbers, his flight was never booked and he stayed in Wales.  But Rob missed him.  Although the two local mark layers were accurate and in that respect did a good job, they were very slow and clearly need a lot of practice before Rio in 2016.  A week with Martin would have helped them a lot so it is regrettable that Martin was not in Buzios.

The major challenge of the event was a reluctance by the local organisers to provide any manpower to run the event whilst arguing that modern racing is too consuming and does not need such resource.  In the absence of any safety cover on the water a quiet word was said into the ear of the senior local organiser so that would be corrected, as would the provision of people other than the skipper on the finish boat.

The race office was looked after by just two people and one of these was provided by the class - so not enough to run an efficient setup.  
One of the International Judges doubled up as timekeeper as well as being on the Jury on the first proper race day - unacceptable by contravening Appendix N and had to be actively stopped!  Even after a request for more help there were just two race officers on the finish boat until it was insisted that more were supplied.

With no other judges on the water the Jury sent out alone a judge who had never seen boards before and was told by his senior colleague to just keep out of the way.  He did not wear a killcord, ran out of fuel and had to be rescued whilst racing was underway.  On two other days the judge presence on the water failed to stay out until racing was over.  Was this a World Championships?

Despite all this the racing was managed in such a way that it was clean and fair.  The fact that there was only one protest all week demonstrates that.  There was a full gamut of wind strengths from 6 knots to full planing conditions so it was a great World Championships from the sailors' perspective and the event delivered true champions for windsurfing in 2013.

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GBR colleagues - Nick Dempsey and Bryony Shaw

Nick Dempsey (GBR) secured his second World Championship and is the first of the RS:X men to do so.  Congratulations, Nick.  

Lee Korsiz (ISR) won her third world title in a row, a massive achievement.  Bryony Shaw(GBR) got her year off to a tremendous start with the silver medal.

© SolentXtra 2012