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     Canadians in Florida, February 2014

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By Andree Gauthier, Kona 2453, December 2014

This year’s Kona Worlds was another huge success. Since the adoption of ISAF and races being run by qualified race committees the competition has become fierce, fun and fair. This year’s event was organized by Michael Fox with the help of Steve Gottlieb. The Guy Harvey Islander Resort in Islamorada, Florida was such a beautiful spot. Our Canadian race officer, Irene McNeil did a fantastic job of running 12 races in a variety of conditions. We had warm weather, water and the wind was with us every day.

At this event, 107 competitors were present from various countries. We met people from Japan, China, Bermuda, Netherlands, Sweden, Mexico, Denmark, Great Britain, Puerto Rico, Egypt and of course USA. Even though the level of competition was high, Kona still supports the recreational competitor. This was the first time I experienced what it is like to race in a large fleet and having to qualify. Six races were held in order to divide the fleet into Gold and Silver. It was great to see those in Silver fleet still being able to be competitive amongst each other rather than being drowned out by the larger fleet.

In the gold fleet Jean-Sebastian Fusere of Quebec, was the first Canadian placing 5th overall. He trains full time on RSX. Also in the gold fleet was Dominique Vallee who placed 10th overall. She no longer races and is now an RSX coach for the Quebec Sailing Federation. Dominique was able to just hop on a Kona and still be competitive. Eight RSX sailors placed within the top 20. Kona is another avenue for cross training. Artem Lavrynenko Sr of Toronto placed 3rd overall in the silver fleet. He is primarily a raceboard sailor.

Of the 107 competitor, 20 were from Canada, specifically from Ontario and Quebec.   Paul Matousek came all the way from Sioux Lookout. What a trek, but he and his fellow Northern Ontario friends (Brad Woodworth and Steve Wells) were well rewarded with the warm temperatures and warm water. We even had the pleasure of Pete DeKay’s company (editor of Windsport Magazine).

Kona is growing in Canada but mostly in small pockets around Ontario and Quebec. In August 2014, Kingston, Ontario hosted the Kona North American’s. In late June 2013, Club Multivoile in Trois Riviere hosted the Kona Worlds. It would be great to see one design racing of this kind continue to grow within and around Canada.



Watch the video of this great event at:



The results of the event:


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