2009 South American Windsurfing Championships

Weather forecast showed cloudy and light wind today, but in lake Potrerillos, any thing can happen. As we headed from Mendoza to lake Potrerillos, we could see no clouds which is a good sign. When we arrived, light winds started to build in from the correct direction, soon a 10 to 16 knot breeze filled in and everyone started to get ready.

Techno class and raceboard had their skippers meeting at 11am, one hour afterwards we had ours for Formula. The course was; start - upwind mark - downwind mark - upwind mark - and a small reach with a 2 jibe mark (slalom like) to the finish.

Most of the Formula sailors went out with 11s, the start line was set perfectly with good length as well for the the 50 formula sailors.

First start got under way around 1:40 pm and everyone on Starboard tack. Sergio Mehl ARG 21, Rodrigo Costa ARG 13 had a good start close to the pin end followed by Paulo dos Reis BRA 3333 and Mathias Pinheiro BRA 5, I (Wilhelm Schurmann) BRA999 started in the middle of the line with Carlos Issac BRA 768 and Gonzalo closer to the boat, these where the people I could Identify at the time of the start.

Going for the first upwind, everyone was close together, at the top mark I rounded in first with Paulao and Gonzalo just behind than came Carlos Issac, Sergio Mehl, Mathias Pinheiro, Rodrigo Costa and Mateus Issac BRA 767 who at the age of 15 surprised everyone with his speed here.

On the downwind, everyone jibed early, Gonzalo kept going to the other side which did not pay off, I rounded the bottom mark, followed by Paulo dos Reis and Gonzalo.

Going for the last upwind, we all came close to each other on the top mark, I rounded in first and maintained the lead on the small two jibe slalom course to the finish to take the bullet, Paulo dos Reis came second followed by Gonzalo, Mathias, Carlos Issac, Rodrigo Costa, Mateus Issac, Raul Saubidet, Marcus Murgio and Marcos Galvan closing the top 10.

Going back to shore I was impressed on how many people came to the lake to watch the event, the lake, which is actually a dam, serves water to the hole town of Mendoza, the water is so clean, that you can actually drink it, everyone does, the waters come from the Cordilheiras dos Andes, and we are just at the East side of it, on the west of it is Santigo Chile and the highest peak in between is the mountain of Aconcagua which is 6962 meters. This makes it not only the highest peak of the Andes and South America, but in fact the highest point outside of Asia.

The second and last race of the day got under way just before 3pm and the winds started to drop.

The line again was pretty even, so sailors where all spread across the line, a few sailors got tangled close to the boat and knocked down. With the winds dropping a lot of shifts and gusts started to appear, half way to the upwind mark positions started to change after some risked to one side and others to the other side.

Paulo dos Reis came in top followed closely by Gonzalo, I and Mathias. On the downwind, I got the lucky gust and manage to take the lead at the bottom mark, Paulao followed in second and Gonzalo in third.

Going for the last upwind, Mathias came strong and overtook Gonzalo and Paulao, but half way, Paulao took back the second position, with this, I rounded the top mark in first, followed by Paulao and Mathias, who also got a good gust and started to catch up to me on the small slalom course to the finish, in the end we arrived a few meters apart with me in first, Paulo in second, Mathias in third, Gonzalo in fourth and Marcos Galvan in fifth.

So the top 10 after 3 races are:

3rd PINHEIRO MATHIAS BRA 5 (first master)
6th GALVAN MARCOS ARG (second máster)
8th ISAAC MATEUS BRA767 (Junior)
10th ISAAC CARLOS ALBERTO ARG768 (first grand máster)

Words by Wilhelm Schurmann 

On January 17, 2018, Portuguese big wave surfer Hugo Vau had a day he will remember for the rest of his life at Nazaré's Praia do Norte, in Portugal.

+ Surfing News

Nico von Lerchenfeld has had the time of his life at Surf Snowdonia, in Wales. But he was not there to surf.

+ Wakeboarding News