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3 October 2005, 07:27 pm
Looking To The Future
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RS:X Cadiz Race 2005
Cadiz, Spain

With 20 youth sailors in Cadiz, the regatta has not just been the first big RS:X event in Europe, but also testing ground for some of the windsurfing stars of the future. On Saturday and Sunday some of the young sailors went out on the water to test a youth version of the new Olympic windsurfing equipment, whilst within the fleet the big stars are joined by many new names looking to make their first strides towards success in 2008.
On Sunday morning two of the youth sailors from the Volvo Trophy winning nation at the 2005 Volvo Youth Sailing ISAF World Championship, France, were out on the water testing the equipment with ISAF Vice-President Fiona BARRON (GBR) joining Esperanza PÉREZ CRESPO (ESP) from the ISAF Youth World Championship Sub-Committee, to observe some of the trials.

With winds just over ten knots, the trials on Sunday provided an interesting contrast to those held on Saturday in lighter winds. PÉREZ explained the aims of her visit to Cadiz, ´What we´re trying to do here is some trials to see which equipment in better for the ISAF Youth World Championship. Today we are doing trials with the girls in the morning and they will try the 7.5 and the 8.5 equipment… the objective is to have feedback as in addition to the coaches to see which is the best.' Before

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Nikolas KAKLAMANAKIS
on his way to a silver medal
in Athens...
© MENAHEM KAHANA/AFP/
Getty Images

...and (in blue shirt) picking up
a few RS:X tips from Mike
GEBHARDT in Cadiz
© ISAF
presenting a report to the Sub-Committee, PÉREZ will also be getting feedback from some of the MNA's as they further test the 7.5 and 8.5 equipment.

Olympic gold and silver medallist Nikolas KAKLAMANAKIS (GRE) is one of the star names in Cadiz, although this time round in a coaching roll rather than on the water. Greece have a total of ten sailors in Cadiz, including two women and three youth sailors. Since winning silver in Athens last year, KAKLAMANAKIS has turned his attention to bringing on the next generation of windsurfers in his home country, beginning with the Mistral World Championship this year in Mondello, Italy and moving on to the new Olympic windsurfing equipment in Cadiz. In particular, Ioannis CHRYSOCHOU impressed on Saturday, scoring a fifth and sixth places in races one and three.

Along with young sailors, the large turnout in Spain includes windsurfers from almost every corner of the sailing world. Formula sailor, Jaime TORRES, from Puerto Rico competed as one of only two masters in the men's fleet, and although he lost his personal battle with fellow Puerto Rican Jorge TORRES, the racing was not the only reason he came to Spain.

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The RS:X is sees a new start for Olympic
windsurfing, which Jaime TORRES believes
smaller sailing nations like Puerto Rico can
capitalize on
© ISAF

He explained, 'The RS:X is a very important development that has revitalized windsurfing in my opinion and probably one of the best ways it's done that is by bringing all nations to a fresh start. So a lot of smaller nations like Puerto Rico, a lot of Caribbean countries and South American countries, that were far behind on their Olympic windsurfing programmes, find themselves with a unique opportunity to be right up to date - or behind as everyone else. I'm here to join the fray from the beginning with the idea of bringing Olympic windsurfing and creating an Olympic windsurfing effort for Puerto Rico.'

Like KAKLAMANAKIS, TORRES has his sights set firmly on the future of windsurfing in his nation. He is aiming to use the new Olympic windsurfing equipment as a stimulus to attract youngsters and the people of Puerto Rico in general to the sport of sailing and has been greatly encouraged by what he has seen at the regatta in Cadiz, 'I'm excited to see the amount of energy that the people here have for RS:X, how they have taken to it full board and I'm hoping I'll be able to transmit that energy to the folks in Puerto Rico.'


ISAF. Image, Testing the RS:X rig on Sunday morning:© ISAF
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