Rasmus Sayre wins Kona One World title
Published on November 5th, 2014
After five days of intense racing (Nov. 1-5) in Islamorada, Florida, American Rasmus Sayre is crowned new World Champion in the Kona One class. Rasmus secured the title after impressive sailing, winning six out of twelve races. Danish windsurfing legend Tim Aagesen won the silver medal ahead of fellow legend Nevin Sayre, Rasmus’ father and multiple time raceboard champion, who finished third.
The championship took place on Islamorada in the Florida Keys which has hosted numerous international sailing events over the years. A total of 106 sailors from thirteen nations and four continents competed during the five race days. Almost the entire championship was granted with good winds ranging from 12 to 30 knots. Rasmus Sayre proved to master these conditions and win an impressive six bullets out of twelve races and a total record: 2-1-1-1-4-2-1-4-2-1-(BFD)-4.
“I am very happy,” Rasmus comments. “It’s my first World Championship title and I value it highly. It’s been a challenging championship with a very high level of the competition. I managed to keep my racing on a steady level throughout the five days.”
Rasmus Sayre comes from Martha’s Vineyard on the American east coast where windsurfing was brought early to him. His father, Nevin, is an American windsurfing icon and winner of bronze medal in Kona Worlds 2014. His mother Stina is a former Swedish international windsurfer, and his sister Solvig sails in the American RS:X-team just as Rasmus. Solvig also competed in the Kona Worlds were she finished eleventh.
He also has a special bond to one of his fellow competitors from Mexico, Nicole Level. In 2011 Rasmus was sailing the North American Bic 293 windsurfing championships in Cozumel, Mexico. Conditions proved very rough, with large seas and high winds. When leading the last race, Rasmus saw an arm waiving in the distance, signaling for help. It turned out to be one of his competitors who was drifting into to open ocean after having broken and losing her equipment which had disappeared. Rasmus managed to sail both of them towards land when finally a rescue boat found them to bring them to safety ashore. For his unselfish act Rasmus was named “Guardian Angel” by the City of Cozumel.
Second in the Kona Worlds came the legendary Dane Tim Aagesen after a very consistent race series where he took three bullets during the championship. Tim has won world champion titles in four different windsurfing classes during three decades. In 2011 he won the Kona Worlds and finished second in 2012.
“This is by far the best Kona Worlds I have attended,” observed Tim. “The level of competition is constantly raising since the class continues to attract both young talents and experienced racers.”
Nevin Sayre, who finished third, previously won this year’s Kona US Nationals. He has a long windsurfing background winning several world champion titles in race board and served as PWA’s first president.
“Today I am a proud father,” Nevin shared. “I am also grateful for the opportunity to compete in the same international championship as both my children. That is was makes Kona quite unique.”
Kona One is one of the fastest growing windsurfing classes in the world and part of ISAF. It is a one design class where all sailors use identical boards and men and women compete together. The same sail is used in all conditions and size according to weight, to give as fair conditions as possible. It is further a non-pumping class.
Report by Daniel Nordlund, Kona One. Photos by Magi Foster.