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Old 24th January 2008, 12:17 AM   #14
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Writeup by Tom Ingram on Kona results from the Caviglia--

The Shake a Leg Foundation and the Caviglia Bluewater Foundation put together another awesome regatta in beautiful Coconut Grove, Miami. I sailed Kona so this post is Kona-centric. For the formula version, see Steve Bodner's blog or www.miamiwindsurfing.com.

Friday, we had beautiful winter weather, low 80s and sunny, though not a lot of wind. The Kona fleet got in two races in about 4 knots of breeze. The heavies on the 9.0s were completely in the mix with the 7.4s, and the finishing order did not correlate to weight. Friday night, we had the "casual" dinner, pasta y albondigas (meatballs) and unlimited drinks. Fortunately everyone was well-behaved. Saturday we had a little more wind, somewhere around 5-9 knots with a few brief periods of higher wind, again in bathing suit weather. The Konas got in 5 races, I think 3 in the morning and 2 in the afternoon, with lunch on a pretty little island in front of the harbor that the volunteers at Shake-a-Leg replanted with native mangroves and palms over the summer. The formula fleet got in a few races but with a fair amount of non-planing lulls. The conditions were a little lighter than typical for Miami this time of year, but the Florida sailors were pretty used to this sort of thing. Jax, FL sailor Vincent Barre got out on the 2008 Exocet formula board and got a 3rd in one of the afternoon races, behind pros Jimmy Diaz and Micah Buzainis. Saturday night the volunteer army of Shake-a-Leg pulled out all the stops, decorating the historic waterfront seaplane hangar with fancy lighting and such and hosting a great local jam band. The chefs put together a 6 foot pan of paella which was awesome. The drinks were unlimited again but people were well behaved. The band had a guest singer for a few songs, my friend Peter's 6 year old daughter. She had grabbed the mike and started humming a tune while the band was taking a break. The band then came back up one by one, getting warmed up for the second set, and started to jam around her tune. In a few minutes they had a full blown 10 minute rock-out jam revolving around the tune, complete with lyrics, chorus, solos, you name it. It was unreal.

Sunday, the wind was forecast for trees and buildings to be flying through the air as a front passed through but as we made it out to the water it turned out to be only about 10-15 knots with a few higher gusts. The Konas got in 3 races and formula got in four in the shadow of downtown Miami. In the Kona fleet, the 9.0s and 7.4s seemed pretty well matched in the conditions we experienced (mostly not planing). The Kona racing was very tactical, with many in the fleet finishing within a few seconds of each other, especially Saturday. The results are posted on the Caviglia website but note that Jim Desilva got a few bullets and for some reason they aren't showing.

All in all, the regatta was again one of the best windsurfing regattas ever. The windsurfers were just a part of the whole scene - the regatta included a fleet of one-design dinghies for youth (the O'pen Bic) plus 4 different paralympic classes, on 4 racecourses simultaneously. There were over a dozen safety boats out on the water and probably 60 or so volunteers helping things run smoothly. If you weren't there this year I hope you'll sign up for next year.
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