Cheri Down Beach Park, Cocoa Beach
The fourth annual FWC was completed yesterday (November 7th) in side-off winds that gusted to 25 mph and waves that averaged three feet with an occasional five foot set. Two rounds of four heats begin after lunch when the wind belatedly arrived and the final heat ended near 4:30pm as dark skies on the horizon added to the drama. The offshore winds were light near shore, so most sailors struggled to maneuver in the impact zone. There were, however, blazing down-the-line rides on the bigger sets and good jumps on the outside once the sailors reached stronger winds. A nearby squall during the semi-finals produced gusts so strong that the judges stand was nearly blown away. Dozens scurried to secure the area while the diligent judges remained focused in the midst of the chaos. It was a memorable moment.
Despite winds that varied dramatically from heat to heat, the finalists were consistent with their scoring. They also had the endurance for four total heats. The first place sailor was John Campbell
of Jupiter, FL who found a couple of good waves to rip and set the standard for high scoring wave rides. He had the speed and awareness to find and hit the peeling wave lip and he often made his move directly in front of the judges. The second place finalist was defending champion Eddy Patricelli
of Orlando, FL who impressed the spectators with his looping finesse. His forwards in the light wind final were the highest scoring jumps of the heat and got him close to repeating as winner. John Ingebritsen
of Titusville, FL placed third this year in his fourth year as a finalist. After a powerful performance in the much windier semi-final, John was challenged by the lighter winds of the final. He used his years of experience in similar conditions, however, to get high scoring down-the-line rides and managed to generate a total score that was only marginally behind the leader. Once again, we had a tight competition and an exciting finish.
A huge thank you to our sponsors who provided a great collection of giveaways for the participants: Dakine, Chinook, Hot Sails Maui, Aerotech, Exocet and Windsport magazine. Also, thanks to IWindsurf whose forecast was essential in scheduling the event.
Thank you to Bruce Racicot, Boe Marshall and Clyde Giesenschlag for judging and to Claire Dupont, Peggy Giesenschlag, Dr. Sirpa Autio and Anne Thomas for their assistance.
Pictures and video will be arriving soon to the website: http://www.floridawavechallenge.com
. and FWC Facebook http://www.facebook.com/pages/Florida-W ... 958?v=wall
Until next year,
Bruce Thomas, Florida Wave Challenge