It has been a tough few days on the water as the South American Windsurfing Championships reached the halfway stage with five races for the Techno Class. Racing on the beautiful waters of Paracas, Peru, it was a day where racing was held towards the upper wind speed limit and where size and fitness would be crucial if any ambitions were held of winning this event. For the Techno sailors, it has been almost survival conditions with three excellent races held on the second day before being sent ashore as the winds became just a little too much.
In the Techno Junior fleet, the lone visiting Argentinian Martin Reutemann sits in second and is pushing the leader, Peru's Alexander Grahammer, close with only a point separating the top two. Whilst these two sailors have traded race wins, the battle for third is pretty intense with a number of different sailors in with a chance with Peruvian De Las Casas coming out on top after two days.
In the Techno Youth, Peru hold all of the top spots with local sailors taking all of the race wins and locking out the podium. De La Melena won all of the races on the second day, showing just how much he loves the stronger winds, and with more wind forecast will hope to take his dominating form into the tail end of the event. Fellow countrymen Claux and Llerena are very close behind and will be taking any opportunity to overtake. Reigning girls champion, Argentina's Garcia Guerva, commented on the days racing, "My racing was really good today but I couldn't hold it towards the end as the wind was very strong. I have come here to defend my title and I will try for this in the winds we have tomorrow." Guerva currently is second girl in the Techno Youth Fleet and is on equal points with Constanza Almenara, also from Argentina.
For the organisers, this event is crucial in the planning for the Peruvian Sailing Federation (PSF) heading towards the Pan American Games which Peru are hosting in 2019. Jorge Barreda, PSF President, is delighted that the RS:X and Techno Classes have come to Peru for the South American Championships. "I have fought hard to bring sailing to this beautiful venue which has perfect winds for windsurfing. This event is a qualifier to the Pan American Games and it is great to be able to show off this venue to visiting sailors and teams." Qualification criteria allows three countries from the Men's fleet and three countries from the Women's fleet to qualify for the Games with Peru as host nation automatically gaining a spot.
Racing continues on Saturday and Sunday with even more wind forecast, not relenting at all and pushing all of the competitors to their physical edge. With another 8 races scheduled and all of the fleets competitive and tight on points, its going to be a tough weekend's racing to sort out titles and qualification spots.