Windsurfing in Peru
Windsurfing in Peru started in the late 1970’s, when teachers from the German school Humbolt and a small group of enthusiasts practised it with wooden booms and masts. The big and heavy boards used in those times can still be seen in the warehouses of the Yacht Club Ancon and Club de Regatas Lima.
The Peruvian Windsurfing Association was founded in the Galapagos Island of Pucusana on April 17th 1982, aiming to disseminate and develop windsurfing. Since that date Peru has organised three South American Championships (1988, 1998, 2002) and many Peruvian windsurfers have achieved South American and Pan American titles.
Peru was selected to host the 2008 Formula Windsurfing World Festival.
The venue for the championship was Ancon Bay, hosted at the Yacht Club Ancon.
Ancon is situated 44 kilometres north of Lima, the capital, located within a beautiful bay that bears the same name. The bay is well protected by the rocky remnants from the old coastal mountain range. The place is arid, but the sea is rich in marine life. Nowadays it is not only a modern seaside and beach resort during summer, but an active fishermans cove.
Many important archaeological sites are located within the district of Ancon. The famous peace treaty that put an end to the war between Peru and Chile was signed in Ancon on October 20th 1883.
The protected bay ensures flat water and, combined with the climatic conditions, provides a perfect arena for windsurf racing. Thermal breezes are normal – summer is the wind season in Peru, with winds between 12 and 25 knots expected daily.
Registration and opening ceremony
Over 60 competitors from 10 countries, representing 3 continents, registered for the championships.
Officials and competitors received a fantastic welcome from a packed club at the opening ceremony. The enthusiasm from all involved in organising the event and the support given them by the local people was self evident – and would be clearly demonstrated later in the championship.
Many competitors arrived early to prepare – “We have until today all days wind 15 knots, that starts about 11.00 am and lasts till late in the afternoon. Ancon is situated by the bay with mountains around, the wind is side offshore, sometimes gusty, no waves. Organizers are very helpful and nice people. Yacht Club Ancon has very a very nice club, with pools, free access to internet…” commented Piotr Jankowiak, leader of the Polish team.
Early Days . . .
Despite wind daily before the event started, the first few days of the championship were blighted with little or no wind, and an unusual weather pattern.
Commented Xavier Ferlet, GBR 451, a leading contender for the Masters title: “After days of perfect wind, it decided to take a holiday for day 1 which is quite usual for windsurfing competitions! Not to worry, the GBR riders were busy relaxing by the pool. Yesterday the practice race went fine for yours truly who won overall (including the youth). Hopefully, we should get better wind tomorrow as the wind has been perfect up to now. The opening ceremony last night was fantastic and a tribute to the enthusiasm and hospitality of the Peruvians – well worth the trip!”
Conditions did not improve . . .
It was the 3rd consecutive windless day in Peru. We were called out on the water but the wind died before we got to the start line . . .
Today (1 Jan – day 4) at about 1.30pm the wind is still light but the sun is appearing so it might pick up!
The Peruvian hospitality more than made up for the lack of wind last night during the New Year’s Eve dinner and party. The Yacht Club Ancon is a beautiful place which is the perfect setting for parties of legend… Tropical rythms went on very very late last night. What a party it was!!!
New Year’s Day and a BIG decision . . .
Although scheduled as a rest day, lack of racing earlier in the week determined that every effort be made to validate the championship. Everyone was ready to race on New Year’s Day, a very public holiday in Peru!
As the day wore on it became apparent that we would not be racing – the organisers came up with a plan! They proposed to move the event site tomorrow. To Playa Paraiso, 90km north of Ancon. At this site the wind was consistently stronger than in the bay; but there were no facilities, everything would need to be taken to the venue.
A meeting was called and all competitors informed – so at 06.30 the following morning we met to load a huge truck with competitor equipment, shelter, race committee boats, food, water . . and buses for competitors
Day 5, and 4 races
We had a great day’s racing: 4 races for seniors, youth and masters; 3 for juniors. Leading the fleets are:
Junior (FE) – Morane Demont (FRA 59);
youth (FW) – Jules Denel (FRA 41);
senior (FE) – Nicolas Schreier (PER 2);
Master (FW) -Xavier Ferlet (GBR 451)
The plan paid off and the organisers proved their worth!
Day 6 – final racing day and prize giving
Back to base at the Yacht Club Ancon for the final day of racing, and this time the conditions in the bay did not disappoint. A full day’s racing for all fleets.
To round off a memorable championship a big crowd attended the closing ceremony and prize giving party.
World Titles went to:
Junior – Morane Demont (FRA 59)
Youth – Jules Denel (FRA 41)
Master – Xavier Ferlet (GBR 451)