Sunfish Worlds 2018 report

Simon Gomez-Ortiz of Colombia wins the 2018 ISCA Youth World Championship & Jean Paul de Trazegnies of Peru Wins the 2018 ISCA World Championship

The last day of sailing with 62 boats on the line at this year’s ISCA World Championship at the Carolina Yacht Club in Wrightsville Beach, NC, was a race to the finish that started in 10-12 breezes. But, alas, Mother Nature decided to add a light air challenge in the middle that allowed only 24 boats to finish within the required time limit. With no more air in sight after this one race on the last day, the Race Committee hoisted the “Done for the Day” flag.

For this year’s World Championship, everyone started together.  Simon Gomez-Ortiz of Colombia, this year’s USSCA North American Champion and Youth Champion (a Pan-Am Games qualifying event), was the top youth finisher for this World Championship and the 10th top overall finisher. Simon is an impressive and very competitive sailor who not only sails fast and smart, but also smiles the whole time to show his love for sailing. He also happens to be a gracious and delightful young man.

Darius Berenos of Curacao was the 2nd place youth finisher (11th overall in the championship) followed in 3rd place by Alejandro Mago of Peru who placed 12th overall in the championship. Gustavo Alayon of Puerto Rico was the 4th place youth finisher who placed 14th overall. Ingnacio Antequera-Erro finished 15th overall and was the 5th place youth finisher. The Top Female youth finisher was Fernanda San Roman of Peru who finished 46th overall and who raced in every race despite the heavy air and high seas on Day’s 1 and 2.

In the championship category, Jean Paul de Trazegnies of Peru was able to use today’s light air 7th place finish as his throw-out and held on to his first place standing at the end of this 6-race World Championship. Not far behind, however, former ISCA World Champion, Alonso Collantes of Peru, finished this last race with a bullet which moved him up to 2nd place and only 3 points behind Jean Paul. Here are two true champions who sail against each other all the time making them better and better competitors. One is rarely, if ever, far behind the other.

David Hernandez of Guatemala sailed so well in the first 5 races of this event that he really didn’t need a high standing in today’s light air race to hold a 3rd place final finish in this highly competitive World Championship. Good thing too! He didn’t quite make today’s time limit and was recorded as a TLE which was used as his throw-out.

Martin Alsogaray of Argentina did make today’s time limit with an impressive 3rd place finish which allowed him to hold onto a 4th place final finish at this World Championship in sailing conditions that ranged from “how high did you say the winds were?” to “what happened to the breeze?”  And with a 5th place final standing was Jonathan Martinetti of Ecuador whose 2nd place finish in today’s light air race held him in the Top Five final standings.

The Top Female finisher was Caterina Romero of Peru who placed 8th overall. The Top Apprentice Master (40-49) was David Mendelblatt of Florida/USA. The Top Master (50-59) was Paul-Jon Patin of NY/USA who placed 16th overall. And the Top Grand Master (60-69) was Martin Willard of the USA who finished in 27th place overall.

Tonight will be the Award Ceremony to honor all the champions who braved the tough sailing conditions and who will come back again and again to test their skills against the best of the best. There have been friendships formed that will last a lifetime, and there are always new venues to visit that add possible vacation sites for the future. The Sunfish is a Best-Boat-Forever (BBF) where competitors range from young to old; where Mom’s and Dad’s can sail against their sons and daughters, and where the top champions make the time and effort to help their competitors get better and better.

Although the focus is always on the sailors, there are always those who work hard behind the scenes to make an event of this caliber happen. Kevin Smith, Manager of the Carolina Yacht Club (CYC), and his staff were miracle workers who didn’t let Hurricane Florence keep CYC from hosting this event. The damage done to the club and near-by housing was quite evident but was repaired enough to make everyone feel welcome and comfortable.

Then there was the highest level of Race Committee personnel from all over the world who devoted a week of their lives to make sure this World Championship was run the best that any event could be run. And what an awesome job they did.

Last but not least, there were the International Judges who provided their usual high level of expertise to keep the competition as fair as possible.

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