View Full Version : Formula Windsurfing Worlds, Arnon and Gonzalo

9th September 2006, 06:45 PM
Dear All,

Arnon and I made the desition to leave the worlds.

After some days of no wind the race director Bruno de Wanker decided to send us in the water with no wind. After severall starts that maybe 5 guys could get into plain...in wind around 5 knots he sent us back to the beach. Then he made the first upwind really short and sent us back in the water again. If only one gust of 7 knots would have arrived we would have made the race in 10 minutes...(complete joke). Luckily the wind never came in and after a couple of drifting starts he sent us back to the beach.
Being the 2nd day of the world championships we complain that is not possible to be sent in the water and try to race in those conditions. He claims he had 7 knots in his digital windreader (that magazine tests say they always measure more), he was also not on a drifting boat as the rule states and was 3mt above water. Anyways the rule says is up to his discretion...so were is his discretion gone??? when you see most of the fleet not making the start!!!!

3rd day the forecast was better in the late afternoon. When the wind just appeard again he sent eveybody to the water. The first race was so light that many people didnt make it to the start that was only 100 mts in front of the beach. We made some generall recalls as every body was super nervous that there was no wind. In the end and after shouting at him he put black flag and started us.
Unfortunately there was no wind and only some lucky guys that manage to plain in 5 knots finish the race. There was a 4 minute difference between position 5 to 6 and almost all the fleet didnt plane for minutes. I came back to the beach as i couldnt plane off the start with my 11.6. Arnon was on third and stop plaining on the reach!!!!!!!!!!!
Most of the people went to complain but the president of the class Ceri Williams just laugh and ignore us as he did all year long.
While most of the competitors were cursing of that first race they sent us back in the water with less wind. The second race was even worst and this made only 35 guys finish it. Now gathering most of the beach we went to complain and the president laugh at our face again. I pointed out what happened in Australia worlds, Portugal Europeans, Leba Poland, Turkey slalom World championships with this same race director on all of them besides AUS and we demanded that this two races had to be cancelled. Having three more days of racing and a promising late afternoon for racing the RD should have waited.

This is the World Championships and many people spent a lot of money to come and to compete on fair conditions. In my point of view, i came here to become world champion and to race in 5 knots of wind is not fair, so i made the decition to leave the event. I decided this to make an example to them and not because of i had two bad results.

It would have been much easier for us to stay and come back as we normally do. I did it last year and as i make many times, but not this time. This time we preffered to stund up and protest and dont let it go anymore. We went to the AGM and discuss it and again the president asked the RD and the RD said he would take the same decition if it happends again. All the sailors appart from Steve Allen agreed with us. Antoine Albeau and Jesper Vesterstrom stated that the first two races were not even close to racebale conditions. This was it, so after speaking with most of the fleet we left.

Right now we feel really bad as we spent a lot of effort, money and we had really high expectations. All year long we suffered with this bad decitions and even after complaining the president didnt do anything at all. We supported formula windsurfing since the begining and is not possible that 6 years later we have this sort of problems.
We love racing and we see it is going down. I know many people that want to join the tour and that want to race but after they came to the Europeans they decided to stay home and not come to Korea. Melbourne had the same problem at the first two races and this can not keep on happening at World Championships.

The events organisations improved since 6 years ago so it is a shame that the problem is inside the class. I spoke to the organiser in Portugal, Poland and here in Korea about it and they are really dissapointed. It is really sad that the inside is leting us down so we finally stood up and we are trying to make a point to improve the class for the future.

After all the effort people put to support the class coming to events knowing that they are not here for any money, the inside organazation is being unproffesional and making us feel we are part of a joke.

Some as the guys loving to be at the world championships couldnt afford to come. The Belgium team founded too expensive to come when they asked them a ridiculous amount of excess baggage deciding not to come in the end. The Brazilian team was reduced to two guys as many guys could not risk to go through this being amateurs...

So its really sad whats going on with this class and in the World Championships.
Its not about what gear you had or how good you are, there were no conditions and it doesnt matter if some guys are able to finish a race in this...it just hearts the class and most of the competitors who love this sport.

Hopefully the action we took will open the eyes of the people managing the class, the windsurfing industry and the sailors that love the sport trying to make a change and save Formula Windsurfing...

Arnon Dagan ISR1 and Gonzalo Costa Hoevel ARG3

9th September 2006, 09:09 PM
Apologise to Bruno, for the bad spelling of his last name...

9th September 2006, 09:28 PM
Bruno de Wannemaeker is his correct name, sorry Bruno for spelling it wrong.
Arnon and Gonzalo

12th September 2006, 10:07 AM
Sorry to here about no wind at the worlds.

Would a change in gear help.
Thinking about Appollo and new 11m for light air.
They are saying early planning in new dedicated light wind set up.

I know for me that if I drive 2hrs to go windsurfing and it does not
work out for me, I think what equipment will help?

Right now I'm thinking about a 40m boat kite and a hobie 14
with a winch.

Crazy I know, could be the end of me.

Hope the Apollo is all that it claims!

12th September 2006, 11:27 PM
So what are we going to have to do to race formula in the future. Travel with two board (Apollo and F161), then decide which to go with depending on the wind forecast? Choose the wrong board and you may get your butt kicked.

Or - Will the Apollo handle 20 to 30 knots as well as the 161?

15th September 2006, 06:25 AM
Hello Mr Gonzalo,
Sorry but this reminds me of when Gal Fridman went on a rage in the NP forum when he didn't win the RSX euros. It isn't a good look.
One should be gracious in defeat even if you believe it may have being a non event. I think you should have finished the regatta regardless and then tried for a more diplomatic protest.

It is obvious now Gaastra have a better setup for marginal planning conditions. Two different sailors have won the two biggest regattas this season. worlds and euros.

You and NP have a choice for next year,
redesign the two biggest sails to be more gaastraish
lobby to change the wind limits.

It seems Starboard want to lower wind limits and make RSX redundant.:p

There is always next seasons;)

20th September 2006, 07:20 AM
Sorry....no sympathy from me. You got beat by better light wind sailors or folks who had better light wind gear. Winning in light air takes every bit, if not more skill, than winning in high wind. Those guys probably practiced alot more in light wind, and were better prepared. How would you react to competitors who claimed it was too windy. In my opinion, you should have finished the regatta and graciously congratulated the better sailors.

20th September 2006, 10:46 PM
Justin, jtw,

You obviously have non idea who is Gonzalo as a racer and as a competitor. Gonzalo's is amongst the strongest light wind sailors. Second, Gonzalo did not loose races, he just refused to race them.

21st September 2006, 09:00 AM
It's still bad sportsmanship to leave early and bad mouth the Race Committee. It does sound like some questionable calls were made, but it certainly appears that many of the top guys where able to deal the light conditions. I wasn't there so I'm armchair quarterbacking, but I think you have stronger case when you stick it out file protests if races were below the wind minimum. I would suggest that for the World Championships that the RC have to digitally record windspeeds to offer sailors redress if the wind fall below the minimum.

21st September 2006, 10:21 AM
Well ADG, it was incredibly noble of them to drop out of the regatta in protest, even though they were doing very well in the races. They were doing well in the races ...weren't they? Post their positions in the races they did, and I think everyone will be able to form some better opinions of these guys' actions

dave macinnes
21st September 2006, 08:12 PM
Firstly, all credit to Steve, Ross, Antoine etc who did consistently well in the light winds.

Secondly, I think this line is pretty harsh "It's still bad sportsmanship to leave early and bad mouth the Race Committee". They did try to hold talks with Bruno & Ceri along with the majority of racers and got no where. By the sounds of things they got laughed at - and this is frustrating for anybody. Can't blame them for letting off steam. Check the results of past comps and you will see that both Gonzalo and Arnon had some pretty crappy starts to some comps - and they didn't pack a sad and go home. Those crappy results would be down to their error rather than questionable conditions. And it is questionable if there is a 4 minute difference between 5 and 6 place, with people parked up all over the place. It's not rocket science! Would love to hear how they justified keeping that race.

George - did you even read their report? They did file protests, and they were using a digital wind meter - and it did fall below the wind minimum. The course is a big place - and you can't use a meter ever where - thats why they have RC discretion. They left the event because they had exhausted every option to them - and were getting no where. Staying to the end would have had no impact on future events - and wouldn't have made any statement at all about the state of formula. Which as Justin pointed out is about formula killing RSX - making it redundant. (What would happen to Ceri and Bruno if formula disappear and RSX took over?). I dunno - but air-rowing isn't really that appealing to anyone - apart from those who get large government grants to do it.

And JTW - you crack me up "You got beat by better light wind sailors or folks who had better light wind gear". Make up your mind - which is it? If you have been to any comps (aren't you a weekend warrior - let me know if I'm wrong) you will know that both these guys are always right up there in the low wind - and Gonzalo is especially unreal at picking wind shifts - so you are a moron if you are saying it is down to their sailing. I dunno how the boards are performing this year but aren't they both on Pryde? Pryde make terrible sails don't they ;)

21st September 2006, 10:01 PM
Well, Dave, with me being a moron and all, this may be difficult for me to explain. But I'll try my best....

You see, in formula racing, you're allowed to have different sized sails, and sails made by different manufacturers. Some of these sails work better than others in very light wind. I don't know why this is, and iffn' sombody tried to 'splain it to me, I probably wouldn't understand. Folks are also allowed to use different styles and sizes of boards from different manufacturers, too. Again, I don't know why, but some boards are faster than others in real light wind. So, it seems to reason that, if two guys had the same ability and were the same size, the one with the gear that worked better in real light wind would win in real light wind.

Now let me try to tackle the other one....preparation. If two fellas had the exact same sail and board, and if one of 'm practiced all the while in very light wind while the other just complained when the wind was such, and sat on the beach, this would constitute a difference in very light wind preparation. The one that practiced all the time in these conditions would probably win, even if he weighed more.

So, with my limited brain capacity, it looks like the people who beat them were either better prepared or had better gear for the conditions.

ceri williams
22nd September 2006, 02:04 AM
Hi Dave ,
You know me well enough to question the allegation -" ceri and bruno laughed at our protest" !!
I take my reponsibilities as class chairman seriously - it is not always an easy task.

22nd September 2006, 09:37 AM
Dave & Ceri,

I did read their report and you are correct it sounds as if they did file a protest, however my point is that by staying at the regatta they had the opportunity to continuing to protest if the rules bellow aren't adhered to.

Class Rules from the FW website:

2.2.1 If the wind speed is less than 7 knots in the
starting area at any time during the last minute
prior to the starting signal, the start shall be
abandoned .
2.2.2 Wind speeds shall be taken from a drifting boat
from approximately 2 metres above the sea
2.2.3 The Race Officer shall ensure that the wind is
measured over as much of the course area as
possible .

1.7 Pumping
If pumping becomes the main method of propulsion
the race shall be abandoned

Also if only one windmeter was used that is insuffient in my mind since it was the world championship and at the very least the RC should have windmeters at the startine, upwind and downwind marks. What else can be done. Also I don't understand how " a majority of the sailors" could be ignored? If they were then I understand but doesn't a majority win during a protest and the facts are the facts. If the wind was measure at 3m instead of 2m then there isn't any room for argument.


Are their some rules that could be more rigidly enforce so that their is less subjectivity to what is and isn't a "fair" race. This is supposed to be fun after all.

22nd September 2006, 10:06 AM
Yeah we know Gonzalo. He came to AUS and mowed down a starboard tacker in typical pro arrogance (however some pros are the nicest guys) didn't do penalty turns and put on the whole bullying act which is typical of him not just with other competitors but race comittees and management. He left AUS leaving a bad taste with many vowing never to race formula again. Many here don't recognize his result in that regatta.
So If Gonzalo reports himself that Formula is going down and this is a very sad situation then maybe he should look towards himself for this demise.
If only for himself so his sponsers dont drop him then he will have to stay home in ARG.
He should be promoting formula and his equipment so in turn that translates to sales for F2 and NP. He should say nothing or something like formula is great in lows wind but unfortunately I missed the very few changes I had it was very dissapointing for me as I am known to be an excellent light wind sailor but next seasons will be great.

But who would buy his setup now, not me.
Maybe he should have gone to Gaastra to like Steve Allen.

Blowing of steam is one thing, writing a essay on the Starboard forum name calling the RD is another thing.

Its not as bad as Gal Fridmans fall from grace but you know...

21st February 2007, 07:45 PM
Dear Justin,

I understand that everyone has a right to give their opinion, therefore I respect yours. However, I`m afraid that you don??t know Gonzalo well enough as to issue such statement. I??ve known him for a long time now, both as a professional sportsman and as a person, and I can say without a doubt that he is not even close to being arrogant. Whenever he is not sailing among the Pro??s he is keeping it real with his friends inside the water. He has been into windsurf for a very long time, for such reason, when he gives an opinion or complains about something, I??m pretty sure he has good reasons, you don??t become a Pro from one day to the next.

Best Regards,