By Wilhelm Schurmann
"I arrived in Rio de Janeiro on the 7th of January under cloudy skies.
After meeting up with Mateus Isaac, we were picked up by our good local friend Igor, who informed us that the weather had been awful for the past 3 to 4 weeks with none stop rain and very little wind, even in Buzios, which is unusual for this time of the year.
As we unloaded the equipment at the BCV (Buzios vela club), we had to hurry as another big dark rain cloud was about to unleash lots and lots of water.
However, Buzios did not fail us, and as the week progressed, wind and sunny weather showed up and we had a great event, with lots of races, great churrasco (BBQ) at Ivan Pastors House, and night out in the busy "rua das pedras" street of Buzios. Below is the report for the Slalom and King of Buzios:
Close to 50 competitors, including 10 women, from Spain, Canada, France, Germany, Israel, Greece, Peru, Argentina, Mexico and Brazil, took part in the IV Buzios International Regatta. The event hosted the 2012 Brazilian Slalom Nationals, RS:X South American Championships, Techno 293 South American Championship, Raceboard South Americans and the King of Buzios grand prix long distance.
The Raceboard, RS:X and technos, did their race in the morning and by around 2pm, the slalom started with plenty of action right close to the beach.
The first day the wind was lighter around 12 to 15 knots and with a bit of rain and cloudy skies, by the second day, the wind started picking up more and the clouds started going away and the sun started to show its face.
By the third day onwards, normal Sunny Buzios conditions prevailed and we had great action on the slalom with solid 15 to 25 knots with some gusts up to 30s at some stage.
The course was a short 4 jibe slalom with plenty of action at the first mark which was set just meters of the beach. For the spectators, it couldn't have been any better, and at every heat, the crowd went wild as the sailors jibed around the buoys, some even started betting on sailors (not with money but with pasoca, a kind of Brazilian peanut candy).
After 18 rounds in the slalom, during the 5 days, Wilhelm Schurmann BRA999 came out in first in the 2012 Brazilian slalom nationals, winning 12 finals ahead of France Alex Guyader (ESP5) who won 6 of the rounds and showed very good speed. Third place went to Brazils top RS:X sailor, Ricardo Winick (Bimba) BRA1 who beat Ivan Pastor ESP7 followed by the young Mateus Isaac in 5th and the top Master Raul Saubidet from Argentina in 6th who sailed on borrowed equipment from Schurmann.
On the women, Canadas Nikola Girke took the win with a commanding lead over Germans Moana Belle GER 369 in second, third place was Marina Alabau ESP 5 followed by Monica Veras BRA 878 in fourth.
In the Youth men, Jose Martins was the winner with Andreza Rebello winning the Youth Women.
Wilhelm had this to say about the slalom:
"During the hole slalom event I used either the NP Evo3 8.6 on the Isonic 117 Wide or the NP 7.8 Evo 3 on the Isonic 107", it was a great combination. I had a good battle with Alex, Bimba, Ivan and Mateus, and with a short first leg, the action was always good at the first jibe mark."
The King of Buzios…
The last day, Sunday, was reserved for the Long distance race the King of Buzios, which the winners, King and Queen, get their name stamped on a permanent monument on the entrance to the city of Buzios.
The course is simple, sail from Manguinhos beach to Geriba and back to Manguinhos, however simple, it's not easy, as you can encounter strong winds in the beginning, big waves halfway, and light winds at some point that can drop to almost nothing, making it a very tactical race. Any equipment is allowed, windsurfing, kitesurfing rowing, all goes. No engine though ;-).
As it can get very demanding on the windward side with big waves crashing on the rocks creating a bubbling back wash, only a few of the top sailors take part on the race.
As the sailors started the race at 12:00, the winds were around 12 to 18 knots. Wilhelm with Formula gear opened a good lead in the beginning over the RS:X sailor which consisted of Byron Kokkalanis GRE 8, Nimrod Mashiah ISR 21, Ivan Pastor ESP 7, Alex Guyader ESP 5 and Mier David MEX 1, with the women Nikola Girke, Moana Belle, Marina Alabau ESP 5 and Bruna Mello.
Halfway through the course, the wind started to drop and as BRA999 started the downwind to Geriba he stopped planning and Alex ESP 5 on RS:X, took over the lead. Slowly the wind filled in and Schurmann managed to catch up to Alex and round the Mark in Geriba just a few meters ahead of Alex followed by Ivan Pastor. On the way back to Manguinhos, the wind filled in nicely and Schurmann sailed to win in just under two hours and take his third King of Buzios title, followed by Ivans Pastor who had an incredible come back and was the top RS:X sailor ahead of Alex Guyader.
In the women, the new Queen of Buzios went to Germans Moana Belle who had an incredible race, second was Nikola Girke and in third from Brazil Bruna Mello.
The most awarded sailor after the finish was Mateus Isaac, since after crossing the finish line, got bombarded by eggs by the sailors to celebrate his 18th birthday. One of the young generation that has proved and gotten better and better both in slalom and formula.
Pedro Bulhoens and Bruno Marques did a fantastic job on making the event happen and with a professional race comity, everything ran smoothly and efficiently.
A special thanks to photographer Gonzalo Arselli, who took great pictures and videos during the event.
Results for slalom
For the videos of the slalom heat go to:
Slalom men 2
Slalom women 2
Slalom men 3
Slalom women 3