With 7 course races already under their belts, racers returned for Day 3 of the US Windsurfing National Championship in San Francisco that saw the fleet spread out across the San Francisco Bay in a long distance race to Treasure Island and back to Crissy Field before 6 heats of slalom were run in gusty but reasonable conditions.
Consistency was the name of the game for Phil McGain who took the long distance race after event leader Paulo des Rios mistook the mid course gate for the leeward mark and started back upwind.
It wasn’t long ago that McGain – a veteran in the sport of windsurfing- gave up one of San Francisco most famous long distance races- the SF Classic by sailing right passed R4 and let the local fleet slip by. This time, he had his notebook for reference with course diagrams, tides and weather info.
The long distance race started and restarted and finally restarted again under the black flag with the outgoing ebb tide pulling sailors across the line and over early. Finally in the last start, I decided enough – and I would start on port with a few others ducking the fleet- making sure to get out the the right side but this time the inside lift finally paid off at the beach with the majority of the starboard tackers getting upwind first.
From there it was a slow but steady downwind run in 16-22k and over some short steep chop along the city front that had racers gybing through multiple lanes of ferry traffic and fishing trawlers and then through 2 gates: one stationed in front of the StFYC and the other off Blossom Rock on the north east side of the city and finally down to a leeward mark stationed north of Treasure Island before heading back upwind- in reverse order through the Blossom Rock gate and to the finish in front of the StFYC.
The pecking order was pretty much established with the top 10 staying pretty much in that order.
Finally with an hour rest break, the slalom fleets were established and 6 full rounds of slalom were run in 12-18k before the wind diminished too much on the inside of the course- set just off Crissy Field.
Racing in both course and slalom will continue Friday and Saturday with old and new school freestyle set to start Friday afternoon from the east beach at Crissy Field.
Photos Credit: Shawn Davis
The Ronstan Challenge is billed as a comfortable tour of the San Francisco Bay taking the formula windsurfers and kite boarders down to Berkeley and back to the SF city front. Unlike its older sibling- the SF Classic (with 18 downwind gybe marks) run next month- it’s a straight shot downwind and back. The biggest thing you need to take into account is the tides.
Line them up correctly and you could be riding a magic carpet straight to the finish while your competitors fight it out in the flood tide.
For a while it looked like it might be a full on reaching race with the wind from the north at 20-25k Saturday morning. Predictably, the westerlies filled in but hardly in SF fashion. The RC shortened the course to Treasure Island and back as it was still 8-13k at the 2pm start. Most racers choose their 11m rigs and big kites for the hour plus tour of the Bay.
I finally passed Steve Sylvester for the lead below Alcatraz and rounded the leeward mark in front but failed to protect my lead as the top 3 squeezed by playing the inside ebb tide on the city front on the upwind ride home. After 55 minutes of racing and nearly 16 miles to show, only 13 seconds separated the top 2 with Sylvester edging out Eric Christanson for the bullet. The kites lined up for their start 25 minutes after the boards and course winner, and current world Champion- Adam Koch showed some amazing VMG with an elapsed time of 49-1/2 minutes beating local Chip Wasson by 2 minutes across the line.
If racers felt cheated from the lack of a full long distance race on Saturday, the course more than made up for it on Sunday with the windward mark set near the presidio shoal buoy and the leeward mark set off Pier 39. 3 course races were run for each fleet in a building 20-25k breeze.
The long down winder was brutal flying over the short steep chop at 25K+. If you could just hang on it was all good!
In the last race I found myself near the top again and gybed with the leaders but immediately went over the handle bars as I accelerated right into a 3′ wall of voodoo chop. I lay spread out like a yard sale in the middle of San Francisco Bay. I slowly picked up the pieces trying to uphaul, then water start. 30 seconds later later and the leaders were gone.
Local racer Seth Besse dominated the Formula fleet with 3 bullets in convincing style while Koch and Wasson battled it out in the kite fleet with neither finishing worse than 2nd. In the it was Koch taking the line honors again.
As always, the St. Francis YC deserves huge props for well run regatta.
Photo credit Chris Ray.
Complete report, results and photos at www.stevebodner.blogspot.com
See the city from the water!
The 2010 Nationals are just around the corner – July 20-24 in beautiful, windy San Francisco! The event, which is also the North American Formula Championships, will be run out of (and hosted by) the St. Francis Yacht Club and sailors will launch from world famous Crissy Field just next door. Racing will take place Tuesday through Saturday and the emphasis will be on course racing, though the event organizers may run slalom and/or a long distance race if conditions permit. You can see the complete notice of race at 2010 US Windsurfing National Championship NOR and you can register at http://yachtscoring.com/emenu.cfm?eID=376
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James Douglass captured this boom’s eye view of sailing a formula board.
Come along for the ride.
Things didn’t look too promising on day 3 with the forecast for getting another race in and drop for the series but somehow a few sailors managed to make it around the course with out an abandonment flag by the RC.
Conditions were sketch at best with an offshore shifty and variable breeze. Just like Saturday we were overlapped with several other fleets running a course in the same waters on the Biscayne Bay. With the windward mark set close to shore, it was anybody’s guess on how to best get there. The top boards planned off the line leaving the rest of the fleet parked.
Both left and right corners failed miserably and patience was the name of the game to get upwind with such wide upwind reaching angles. BRA3333 set the pace on his custom north 12.0 and new PD formula board with some blazing speed and angle keeping a commanding lead the entire race with local Fernando Martinez on north and PD board keeping pace just behind.
By the time I rounded the top mark I was deep and took off in the opposite corner as the fleet ahead and by the bottom mark was rounding comfortably in 3rd as the right side sat parked.
The lesson is never give up.
Soon enough on the 2nd upwind Micah was back and tacked in front of me at what was the port layline.
As another puff approached we split tacks and I headed even deep to the left corner, overstanding the top mark by miles and coming back to round planing as the USA34, BRA999 and K all sat parked on the right side.
I held on to 3rd but with Fernando finishing in 2nd he got the last laugh to get me by 1 point in the overall. Schurman and Micah both got their drops with the fifth and final race and closed out the top 3.
Best performance goes toBRA3333 Paulo Des Reis with 3 bullets never out of the top 2.
Impressive. The new Norths looks like they’ve got lots of power again.
Also it was great to see a Micah back in the fleet with the new JP board and some innovative sail changes from NP.
As always, a huge thanks to the Shake A Leg Sailing Center in Miami and the Alex Caviliga Blue Water Foundation for a great regatta. It was great to see the other classes actively represented as well with a strong junior 293 , kona and rsx fleets.
More @ www.stevebodner.blogspot.com
Micah showing off the new JP Formula Board
With a fast approaching storm this morning, the 3 fleets rushed to get a race underway but unfortunatlly the squall caused some huge chaos and the fleets were sent back to shore. Once everything passed, race 3 got underway with the rsx and kona/techno 293 fleets starting and finally another race for the formula fleet. I had the chance to port tack the fleet but didn’t quite pull the trigger in time and ducked the first 3 guys at the pin. Off to the right side I banged the corner and was looking good until I sat parked in a lull as the left side crossed ahead. From there it was catch up trying to gain as much tactical advantage over the next 3 legs picking off 1 board at a time to finish a strong 3 just catching Fernando at the last gybe in front of the finish. Schurman was OCS with Micah and Paulao taking a commanding lead.
By the time race 4 started the breeze was down to 10-12k and I was looking for all the power my 12.3 had and 72xxs kashy would give me. Booms high, outhaul bagged and harness lines long. I even tried my mast track back to 42″ from the front fin screw.
Again a port start with the whole fleet charging the line except for Micah coming down fast on starboard. I gor off the line well and off to the right corner with speed but backing down 2x to clear the weeds on my fin In the light stuff it’s important to remember that your laylines are further than normal. I tacked and came up short having to tack another 4x to round the top mark. At that time the top 3 were gone and I struggled to catch the 4 boards who rounded just in front of me to salvage a 6th, pumping hard all the way to the finish.
So with only 4 races complete I find myself in 3rd as we need 5 races for a throwout. Both Micah and Schurman are sitting deep both carrying an OCS.
Paulao and Fernando have sailed the most consistant and thus are in the top 2 spots.
Mondays forecast looks dismal but anything can happen.
Results and photos @ http://www.cavigliafoundation.org
The first regatta of the year is always the toughest as its been several months since the last serious sailing and the hands are pretty tender come January. Nonetheless, a trip to Miami in the middle if winter is exactly what any sailor needs.
A quick report from day 1 in Miami @ the caviliga regatta.
All the usual characters + some new faces at the first regatta of the season.
The formula fleet got off to a late start but managed 1 race in the breeze with Schurman BRA999 taking the bullet just infront of fellow Brazillian BRA3333 and Buzianis in 3rd. I managed to stay in front if the rest of the rest of the fleet with the winds building up to the mid 20s.
A quick break for lunch on the barrier island was all it took for the breeze to calm down as sailors began to shift gears into light wind mode. Most of the fleet was still on their 10s and 11s struggeling for power. I managed to sail pretty fast but in the wrong direction as I banged the right corner, tacked and game over. Not enough time for a recovery with just a 2 lap race.
Buzianis got the bullet but was osc.
Finally we tried to start a 3rd race in little to no wind and it was abandoned as most of the fleet never got planning.
Tommorows forecast looks decent with 15-20k.
More @ www.stevebodner.blogspot.com
US Windsurfing and U.S. Sailing proudly announce a new two-day Beginning Windsurfing Instructor training course. The new course makes it easy for those already holding Level 1 Small Boat Certification to earn beginning windsurfing certification in one-half the time and at significantly less cost than the standard four-day course.
The first two-day course will be held on February 7 and 8 as part of U.S. Sailing’s NSPS (National Sailing Programs Symposium) taking place in Houston, Texas.
The course is limited to 12 student-instructors and the registration deadline is fast approaching.
Visit US Sailing to learn more and to register online.
For any questions, please contact Dan Weiss, US Windsurfing’s Northeast Regional Director, via E-mail or phone, both of which can be found by clicking on the Directory link in the “About USW” tab, at the top of this page.
2008 i-to-i Competitors
The 2009 i-to-i Race is only 4 weekends away, December 5-6, 2009. The event website www.i-to-i.org has been updated and the NOR is posted. This is the first race of the 2010 US Windsurfing National Race Tour. Hope to see you there!
Another great event in the calendar. This year the MIAMI PRO-AM will be taking place November 21 – 22 at the US SAILING CENTER MIAMI. Classes include: Formula Pro, Formula Sport, Formula EX, Kona, Techno 293 and Open.
For more information, please visit www.windsurfingtour.com