- 08 July 2009 | Windsurfing
Sebastian Kornum of Denmark became the youngest winner ever in the 25 times the race has been contested in the waters off the British Virgin Islands today. The 17-year old U17 World Champion won both the morning race and the afternoon race of Sandy Cay to finish the event with four straight stage victories in one of the more impressive HIHO victories in recent years.
“I didn’t make any mistakes today,” said Kornum, who noted that he checked the course in the early morning before the race to set his strategy. His father Torben, also a contender this week, said “ sailing in 14 knots of wind around this tricky island made for interesting racing, very technical and exciting. Sebastian just tacks and jibes faster than the rest of us, and is very sure of how he wants to attack the course. I can guaranty I did everything I could to catch him, but I’m also very proud of him.”
The pro tour veteran came in second twice today, and finished second in all four of the races Sebastian won, and finished third overall in the Open Division.
Ricardy Maricel of St. Martin had won the first two legs and hung on to his overall lead until today, but had to beat Sebastian at least once to have a shot to hang on. Maricel was competing in his ninth Highland Spring HIHO and, despite also showing strong form in previous events, has yet to win the event.
The event’s much larger Techno Class was dominated by another Highland Spring HIHO veteran, Eli Fuller of Antigua. Fuller dominated the 43-racer strong class which is geared more toward top and less accomplished amateurs.
The Techno “one design” class sees all racers compete on identical boards. Open Class racers compete on different boards which are generally faster. Fuller sailed very well all week on his Techno board, however, and frequently challenged the Open contenders in several of the races.
“It’s a little like driving a BMW (techno) or a Ferrari, although the right driver can beat a Ferrari once in a while,” pointed out Fuller.
The Techno class is broken into six divisions. Fuller took first overall in the class and won the masters division. Second overall in the Techno class went to St Martin veteran Jean-Marc Peyronnet who took top honors in the Grand Master class. Third overall in the class went to US racer Al Simmons who won the Super Master category.
Owen Waters was the top BVI finisher in 14th overall.
The annual Highland Spring HIHO is a 6-day windsurfing & sailing adventure comprising a series of island-to-island races. Windsurfers cover 150-miles of racing and visit all the major islands in the BVI’s. A fleet of yachts provided by The Moorings follow the fleet and serve as overnight accommodations for all participants.