The Omaezaki region of Japan has a rich history in windsurfing with a strong community of talented locals. The opening IWT event also drew a number of the worlds top wave sailors.
Despite being a familiar face in the Ho’okipa lineup, Bernd has not been a regular competitor on the IWT. From the start he had to begin with a low-seed and some difficult heat draws, including 2017 IWT champion Morgan Noiraeux in round two. After defeating Morgan, Bernd advanced to round four to take on Takuma Sugi before making it all the way to the finals.
Omaezaki is well known as a windy location and for the IWT it did not disappoint. The mens final was held in 30-40 knots of wind making for extremely exciting windsurfing action. Riding his 4.1m Force IV, Bernd put on a performance for the crowd worthy of a second place podium finish.
More importantly to Bernd was seeing a community of enthusiastic windsurfers. “What is more meaningful: having a successful result in a contest – as an individual – or having the contest itself be a success for all those involved? Many thanks to the town of Omaezaki for committing to our event for the next 5 years. The International Windsurfing Tour did a fantastic job of running a flawless series of heats. What’s more, this event connected with the local community and the insanely passionate windsurfers here. Over the next 5 years, I can see a whole new generation of inspired sailors breaking onto the scene, with this event having acted as a catalyst. That’s a victory for all of us.” Said Bernd after the event.
From here, Bernd will be staying busy as he heads to Chile for the second stop of the IWT, March 23-April 6.
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Photos: International Windsurfing Tour