The first Windsurfer World Championships of the new era have come to an end at Lake di Garda, in Torbole, Italy.
In 2018, World Sailing (WS) finally confirmed the International Windsurfer Class Association (IWCA) as an official sailing class.
Now, the Windsurfer crowned its first slalom, course, long-distance and freestyle world champions.
The historical event was organized by IWCA and Circolo Surf Torbole and was hailed a success.
One of the features the Windsurfer class has to offer is course race regattas, but also different disciplines that enhance each athlete's eclecticism, who must combine technical and tactical skills, agility, and endurance.
It was a tiring week for everyone - athletes, organizers, race committee, and international jury who found themselves operating from 7 am for two consecutive mornings in order to explore all possible winds.
The wind conditions were also challenging - one day had 20 plus knots in the gusts - offering a very high competitive level and featuring current and past Olympic athletes.
The history of windsurfing has undoubtedly been written in Torbole, a place that has contributed over the years to the expansion of the sport, and to its popularity as one of the top sports in Garda Trentino.
The event was enhanced by the presence ofPietro Porcella, the historical memory of windsurfing, and the first specialized journalist in Italy. He is someone who knows everyone and everything about this fantastic world.
The 2019 Windsurfer World Championships will also be remembered for the video message shared by windsurfing legend Robby Naish.
The waterman's words echoed during the opening ceremony and brought luck, considering the fantastic wind conditions the event had throughout the whole week.
The contest was also a social media success with thousands of video clip and photo shares, which brought windsurfing enthusiasts and former athletes together, and kept the Windsurfer spirit alive.
The female division was monopolized by Japanese athletes Masako Imai Osada and Mie Toyooka, both on the podium in the slalom, long-distance and classic overall categories.
Olympic champion, Imai Osada, also won the course race division, taking away the title from Sofia Renna in the last regatta.
However, it was an excellent second overall and first junior female place for the young athlete of Circolo Surf Torbole.
Third place went to the Australian, Melanie Webb, winner of the freestyle;
In the men's overall ranking, Australian Nick Bez was first followed by Italian Olympic athlete Mattia Camboni; and Antonino Cangemi was third.
The Course Race Division
Swain Hamish, from Australia, took the gold medal, while silver went to the Italian, Luca Franchi.
Tim Gourlay, Mattia Camboni, Alessandro Torzoni, and Meyer won the light, medium-light, medium-heavy, and heavy divisions, respectively.
The Long Distance Marathon
Nicolò Renna, from Circolo Surf Torbole, is the grand winner of the long-distance competition, as well as of his medium-light category.
Swain, Riccardo Giordano, and Giuseppe Barone claimed the light, medium-heavy, and heavy categories, respectively.
The Slalom Races
Antonino Cangemi ended up taking the gold medal in the overall slalom rankings, after racing with the best of each category.
The athlete from Palermo, who is now at the Circolo Surf Torbole as an instructor of the youth team, successfully managed the north wind gusts, which betrayed more than one athlete.
The silver medal went to Italian Olympic athlete Mattia Camboni, and bronze went to Massimiliano Casagrande. Gourlay, Marco Casagrande, Paco Cottone, and Nick Bez were the weight category winners.
The Freestyle Exhibition
The freestyle exhibition was a dive into the past and attracted many spectators to the beach.
The most skilled windsurfers were one with the board and sail, proving that this specialty can be a healthy pastime even with less wind.
The Italian Andrea Marchesi was the best among the men, while Melanie Webb fascinated the public by winning the women's title, followed by the Japanese Mie Toyooka and Manuela Arcidiacono.
"We were able to crown champions across all disciplines, categories, and divisions and that is not so easy to achieve," explained Armando Bronzetti, the president of Circolo Surf Torbole.
"We managed the areas as best we could, but with such a high number of competitors and companions, we are always a little bit in trouble."
The 2019 Windsurfer World Championships had nearly 200 athletes from 18 different countries.
"As always, the Windsurfer spirit has been confirmed - 50 percent competition and 50 percent fun, in the amazing setting of Torbole and Garda Trentino, a place that guarantees wind every day," added Maurizio Bufalini, the president of IWCA.
"On July 26, the Windsurfer International Class presented its candidacy for the 2024 Olympics, responding to the request of World Sailing, which launched a tender for a new male and female equipment starting in Paris 2024."
"Once the documentary phase is over, there will be water trials, probably in September here in Torbole, as previously happened for the current RS:X Olympic class," concludes Bufalini.
2019 Windsurfer World Championships | Overall Podium Places
Men's Course Race
1. Swain Hamish (AUS)
2. Luca Franchi (ITA)
1. Antonino Cangemi (ITA)
2. Mattia Camboni (ITA)
3. Massimiliano Casagrande (ITA)
Men's Long Distance
1. Nicolò Renna (ITA)
2. Antonino Cangemi (ITA)
3. Marco Casagrande (ITA)
1. Andrea Marchesi (ITA)
2. Stephan Louw (AUS)
3. Chris Thompson (AUS)
Women's Course Race
1. Masako Imai Osada (JPN)
2. Sofia Renna (ITA)
3. Melanie Webb (AUS)
Women's Long Distance
1. Masako Imai Osada (JPN)
2. Mie Toyooka (JPN)
3. Simona Cristofori (ITA)
1. Melanie Webb (AUS)
2. Mie Toyooka (JPN)
3. Manuela Arcidiacono (ITA)