57 competitors from 8 countries came to Cancun in Mexico with one goal - to qualify their country to the Youth Olympic and Pan-American Games. This was a chance that would not repeat itself, as the North American Windsurfing Championships were the last opportunity to get that precious spot.
Miguel Angel Pani Can, President of the Mexican Windsurfing Association, which made the event happen together with the Mexican Sailing Federation, explained just how important it was. "This championship is very important for us and bringing this event to our country creates a better interest, especially here in the peninsular, where most of the sailors live.
"Events like this one also increase consciousness among the authorities that windsurfing in Mexico can be done internationally at a high level. The next step for us, I hope, will be to make an even bigger event."
The places for the Youth Olympic Games went to Mexico and USA, both in Youth Man and Youth Woman fleets. It was the Mexican sailors on top with Alex Torres Rinaldelli and Joanna Diego winning the event and becoming the 2018 North American Champions.
Over at the RS:X fleets, where Pan-American qualifications were decided, Ricardo Santos from Brazil was first overall and Ignacio Berenguer from Mexico was second overall and first in the continentals.
Ricardo was clearly happy with the event. "After 5 Olympics and almost 25 years of training I decided to take a break after Rio. I started coaching. I worked with American, Egyptian and Chinese sailors. I also worked with the youth from Brazil. Now I'm going to Indonesia to train the team there. My way of coaching is different, so I spend a long time on the board. I'm always on the water, testing, comparing. I love windsurfing. So the decision to stop is a hard one. Now I'm here and it is a good way to come back.
The place is beautiful, great organization, warm water. I'm super happy to be here again and of course happy with the result. I'm here to have fun, but for the first time in my life I'm out of the World Sailing ranking, so this will also be a chance to get back.
This year I'll keep coaching, work with the Brazilian Youth Team. I'll also try to win the internal trials for the Pan-American Games. I've got 4 gold medals and 1 silver from previous Pan-Americans, so why not try again. If I'm doing well I want to compete. I love it, that is why I have good results. I fell in love with windsurfing when I saw it for the first time and it has been this way since. When somebody beats me in Brazil I'll stop, otherwise I'll keep going."
Demita Vega from Mexico became the RS:X North American Champion.