Those of you who are following the progress of our young windsurfers in the US have heard of the Nores brothers from Miami. Big brother Maximo, the reigning Techno 293 North American champion, is turning 16 this year and will represent the USA at the Youth Olympic Games in China. Younger brother Geronimo is 14 now and was making headlines long before he turned his attention to windsurfing when he claimed three World titles in a row in the O'pen Bic class in 2010-12. And yes, there's a third Nores brother, Manu, who is doing much more than waiting in the wings of his two older brothers, and starting to make waves of his own.
Those three have been on a whirlwind adventure of late, travelling from Cancun, Mexico to Mendoza, Argentina along with their US teammates to hone their skills, posting great results along the way against the best from the Americas. The April 18-20 US Nationals in Miami gave them all a chance to catch their breath with a home-based event, but the break was short-lived: immediately after the awards ceremony at the Nationals, they hopped on a flight to Italy with their Miami teammate Steven Cramer to take part in the 2014 Techno 293 European Championships. A few hours after landing in Milan, they found themselves in a flash mob of 313 jubilant youngsters waving flags through the streets of Torbole!
At that event, Geronimo finished 2nd in a fleet of 81 eager competitors under the age of 15. This was a breakthrough performance in glorious Lake Garda conditions against some of the very best young windsurfers in the world. We couldn't resist reaching out to Geronimo when he returned to the US to find out what happened:
"My heart is racing, there are people all around me, all with the same goal, to win. The start horn goes off and everybody is pumping away at the start, some left behind and others launched ahead.
Racing in international events, to me are the highlights of my whole year. There is just so much to learn with so many people around you and it's an amazing experience. The T293 2014 Europeans in Garda was definitely one of my favourite windsurfing events I've ever been to. It was so well organized and full of fair racing and fierce competition. I can honestly say I've never pumped so hard and so much in my life.
I had an amazing time, both on and off the water. With over 300 competitors, friends were everywhere to be found. The venue of this European championship was amazing because Garda delivered amazing racing conditions every day, and Torbole was a beautiful town. The event was the biggest of the European championships in history of the T293 class which is definitely a positive sign. People are becoming involved at younger ages like 11 and 12 and the class is growing in all fleets of all ages. We expect over 500 people at worlds making T293 the biggest youth windsurfing class and, in the opinion of many others and mine as well, the best. I was proud to represent my country and thrilled to get a second place and stand on that podium.
I left Garda quite pleased and very motivated to train even harder for my next challenge, which is Worlds in Brest. The whole Team trained hard and to see it pay off for all of us made us appreciate all the support we receive from outside and each other on the team pushing each other to the next level."
Geronimo's feeling that the team's hard work is starting to pay off is echoed by his coach Uri:
"We spent two seasons building up the base of the pyramid, and we're starting to see great results. This year, we started training early in October with a group of windsurfers who had international racing experience, and we made great progress every step of the way. The Europeans in Italy were a strong test event for us. The team had a really good experience traveling for that event. We had no pressure to post a result - although in the end we got a silver medal! Our goal this summer is the Worlds, and the Europeans were a great stepping stone."
Florencia Barletta heads the Youth Sailing Foundation (YSF) programs at the Miami Yacht Club where Geronimo and his teammates practice every week. Speaking about the impact that those results are having on the development of the team, she adds:
"The Miami Yacht Club Youth Sailing is extremely proud of their windsurfing racing team. They have had a year of great accomplishments all over the globe. This, of course, is thanks to the great efforts of the coaches who work with them, the parents who make sure they can travel and experience these unforgettable life opportunities, and the sailors who put forth the effort and the hours of training! We are very happy to be able to support our team.