MISTRAL NORTH AMERICAN CHAMPIONSHIP, Feb 26th - March 3rd
Merritt Island, FL, USA
35 entries from 7 countries and 2 continents competed in the 2002 Mistral North
American Championship run in conjunction with the Calema Midwinters on the sheltered
waters of Banana River. Three races were run on the first day in planing conditions.
Day One, Randy Somnitz (USA), racing at high level for the first time since
since losing the US Trials in 2000, shows that he has not lost any of his speed
and tactical ability by winning race 1 and taking fourth in race 2. However,
unsurprisingly, he cannot maintain the pressure and retires from race 3 worn
out by the full on planing conditions. David Mier y Teran (Mex) takes full
advantage and is the overnight leader with consistent 2, 3, 1 finishes. The
forecast looks good for a windy regatta although the warmth of the sun is going
to be decidedly absent.
Day 2 and the predicted cold front descends from the mid west bringing a blast
of air cold enough to postpone the shuttle launch scheduled for today. Two back
to back races are scheduled for the morning session, both of which are won by
Takishima Keisuke (JPN) in fine style. David Mier y Teran (MEX) and Peter Wells
(USA) are close behind with Randy Somnitz mixing it with these three at the
front of the fleet. Further back there is a battle royal going on in the youth
division with Cezariusz Piorczyk (POL), Zac Plavsic (CAN) and Philip Muller
(USA) all competing hard to be the best of the rest. Meanwhile Kimberly Birkenfeld
I(USA) and Dominique Vallee (CAN) are fighting for dominance in the women's
division. Sadly, Takishima's boom fails in the third race and he has to retire.
Randy takes full advantage to post his first win of the day with David Mier
y Teran (MEX) 2nd and Ben Barger (USA)
Day 3 (Day 1 for the calema Midwinters) and race 1 is started in lively conditions.
The less skilled sailors in all fleets are having problems. Racing is postponed
to allow the rescue boats to sweep up those overcome by the 22>25 knot winds.
Sadly, the FW fleet have their races postponed for the rest of the day but the
Mistral fleet goes out alone for their second race.
Takishima is revelling in the heavy air and posts a 1st and a 2nd. His countryman
and room mate Yamanashi Takahito is also putting in a strong performance posting
two 3rd places but the surprise package is Tati Frans (AHO), new to One Design
racing and competing in his first North Americans, who steps up to =take a 1st
and a 4th. Given more time on a One Design, Tati, still only 17, will definitely
be a threat to the established names.
Day 4 (Day 2 for the calema Midwinters) and the conditions have moderated considerably.
Three races are scheduled with an early start. The organisers are pushing to
make up for lost time. Peter Wells (USA) scores three 2nd places and assures
himself of a podium position behind Takishima and David Miery Teran who posts
two first places to take the top spot. Tati comes through again to take 3rd
in the first race of the day and Dominique Valle (CAN) makes a late charge to
beat Kimberly Birkenfeld on a count back from a tie in the women's divsion.
Tati Frans (AHO) won the Youth Division convincingly.
Racing alongside the Mistral North Americans are the Junior One Class. This
is growing strongly in Mexico as evidenced by the size of the team and Patricio
Gasque-MieryTeran's convincing series posting 9 wins overall. Jadie De Lille
(MEX), a second generation windsurf racer, who came 2nd overall and first girl
ahead of Oliver-Tom Schliemann (ESP) 3rd. Although starting off the same line
as the rest of the One Design Fleet, the juniors only sailed one windward leg
before racing on to the downwind leg on the outer loop and finishing. This format
works well and simplifies the race management of the whole event.
The MOD racers enjoyed mixing with some of the stars of the PWA tour and were
no doubt impressed by the skills displayed by them in their Freestyle competition.
No doubt the appreciation was reciprocated when the Mistral fleet in turn demonstrated
their skill by racing in the strong breezes of Day 3.
MISTRAL WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP QUALIFIERS
Men: 1. David Mier y Teran (MEX) -24 pts 1.Takishima Keisuke (JPN)
2. Takishima Keisuke (JPN) -28 pts 2.Tati Frans (AHO)
3. Peter Wells (USA) -34 pts 3.Yamanashi Takahito (JPN)
4.Cezariuz Piorczyk (POL)
Women 1. Dominique Valle (CAN) - 131 pts 5.Ben Barger (USA)
2. Kimberly Birkenfeld (USA) - 131 pts 6.Steve Bodner (USA)
3. Beth Winkler (USA) - 178 pts 7.Philip Muller (USA)
8.Etienne Soliano (AHO)
Youth 1. Tati Frans (AHO) - 48 pts 9.Kevin Jewett (USA)
2. Alan Cairillo Vedra (MEX) - 147 pts 10.Juan Cruz Ramkirez (MEX)
3. Enrique Manero Ruz (MEX) - 165 pys
MISTRAL EUROPEAN QUALIFIERS.
JUNIOR1. Patricio Mier Y Teran - 14 pts 1. David Mier y Teran (MEX)
2. Jadie de Lille (MEX) - 26 pts 2. Peter Wells (USA)
3. Oliver-Tom Schliermann (ESP) - 36 pts 3. Ben Barger (USA)