Sicily May 26-June 1 1997

Merit Cup Windsurf World Festival
Aaron McIntosh reports

Wow what an event. If you ever want to see a real Windsurf spectacle this is the place to go. Windsurfing , Hobie Cats and Beach Volleyball. All the Hobies and Boards had Merit Cup sails provided to them , all brand new.

Straight after SPA regatta , it was to Sicily. We were racing out of the Albaria Windsurf Club in Mondello , 15 mins from Palermo.

We were greeted with light airs and a temp of 26 degrees. Can’t complain about that. The 28th was the first day of racing the wind never got over 5 knots a real pumping battle , Marcos Galvin of Argentina winning and Aaron second.

Day 2 The marathon and a marathon it was. We had a La Mans start in winds up to 7 knots out across Mondello Bay and around the point , down the coast to and island about and hour and a half away and back. With a nice downwind along with huge cliffs generating 10 knots of wind and a swell rolling in it was good sailing. Amit Inbar of Israel took a big lead and was never caught , the rest of us battled upwind to the finish tacking in under the huge cliffs trying to get every last gust of wind , as we rounded the point for the finish the breeze died completely we wallowed back to Mondello. I finished second and Bruce Kendal showed he is still up there finishing 3rd.

Day 3 One course race in light airs again.

Day 4 Saturday two course races and the Night race , what an event 11 o’clock start with thousands of people lining the beach , laser lights reflecting off the sails and the music pumping. It was Bruce Kendall who revealed in these tricky conditions to take the win.

Day 5 No wind at all we attempted to start but the wind did a complete 180 and started to blow hard , but all after the last possible start time. Oh well that is the way it goes.

Everyone enjoyed themselves , the event will go ahead next year again and I shall return for my 5th time.

Thanks to all the team at the Albaria Windsurf Club for an great time.

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Aaron McIntosh 1997

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