Category Archives: formula

Racing Begins at Nationals in Hood River

Day two at the 2012 US Windsurfing Nationals presented by the American Windsurfing Tour started slowly with a perfectly calm morning. The restful conditions allowed all the racers to settle into the Hood River Event Site and get all their gear rigged up and ready. By early afternoon the wind started to kick up above 12-knots and the call for the Formula racing to begin was made by race director Darren Rogers… a great call! And the wind just kept gradually building through three course races until it reached enough to make the switch to Slalom. A full round of three Slalom races completed another perfect day at the 2012 US Windsurfing Nationals. Let’s look at what happened in a little more detail..

Read the rest of the story and see results at http://us2.campaign-archive2.com/?u=d1a4e4eef8cd7953c762687fc&id=7391dd4d7d on the American Windsurfing Tour Website!

Formula North American’s end in San Fran. Nationals Begin in Hood River

The Formula Windsurfing North American Championships wrapped up in San Francisco this past weekend.  Racers had classic fantastic San Francisco conditions!  Winner Wilhelm Schurmann beat out the stiff competition to take first place.  Full results and pictures are available at http://www.stfyc.com/Default.aspx?p=DynamicModule&pageid=358162&ssid=266030&vnf=1

The US Windsurfing Nationals Championships started in Hood River, Oregon with freestyle.  Conditions were perfect for a spectator friendly event at the Hood River Event Site.  Wyatt Miller and Jordan Reid took first and second place respectively with big, clean moves that wowed the crowd.  Photos and videos will be available soon.  The event continues this week with Formula and Slalom racing.

Florida Racing for Everyone!

photo: Jane Thompson

The 2012 windsurfing racing season kicked off strong in Florida with the Sarasota Island Style Classic and the Calema Midwinters.  The Kona class had a nice turnout at both events, with a number of out of town sailors taking advantage of the ability to fly in, charter gear and race without the hassles of travelling with windsurfing equipment.  The participants in the Kona class ranged in age from early teens to over seventy and included first time racers and windsurfing legends Nevin Sayre and Bruce Matlack! 

The Formula class had its usual mix of local Floridians and out of town superstars.  Brazillian Wilhelm Schurmann came for both events, while Micah Buzianis, Taty Franz, Paulo Dos Reis and Gabriel Brown showing up just for Midwinters.  Racing was tight amongst the top pros with the top five all winning at least one race! 

Sovig Sayre took first place in the women's rs:x class, her dad Nevin took first overall in Kona and her brother Raz finished first in the Techno class at midwinters!

Also in attendance at Midwinters were youth RS:X sailors Margot Samson  and Lucas Gonzales who had previously qualified to represent the United States at the ISAF Youth Sailing World Championships (which will be held this summer in Ireland).  The RS:X fleet had more competitors this year with many of the younger windsurfers ramping up for their Olympic campaigns for 2016. 

Results from the Sarasota Island Style Classic can be found at http://www.mswindsurfing.com/results.php and pictures at http://www.flickr.com/photos/54980050@N06/sets/72157629106727954/with/6790967128/

Results and pictures from the Calema Midwinters can be found at http://calema.com/events/calema-midwinters-2012/

2011 Elvestrom/Zellerbach regatta, San Francisco, CA

70+ dinghies and boards packed the San Francisco city front course for 2 days of racing at the St. Francis Elvestrom/Zellerbach regatta. The 5 fleets saw a building breeze and foggy conditions both days with racing in 15-25k and a raging ebb tide along the San Francisco city front.
The lasers saw a big turn out in prep for this season’s masters and 4.7 World Championships in San Francisco.

With just 6 board sailors in the formula windsurfing class, our fleet saw the core racers in action but it was Seth Besse who showed the most consistency to walk away with all 6 bullets.

I thought I might get the first one- leading around the course but failed  to cover on the last 2 legs and let Seth and Crad slip into the top positions. CRad and I rounded the bottom leeward mark in a pack of lasers on the outside of the pinwheel. Despite the dirty air, the formula boards are traveling so fast compared to the dinghies that it only takes a few seconds to clear and get through any bad air.   We tacked and were overlapped heading into the finish with CRad edging me out by shooting the line at the just the right moment.

Race 2 started with a true sportsmanship from our fleet. Rather than start with just 3 guys we abandoned the sequence in order to wait for the guys who went to rig down in the building breeze. Im not sure- Ive ever seen this happen but it sure is a lot more fun to win when you’re racing against all the competitors.

Seth and I were close midway through the race. I tacked just below him on the 2nd beat up thinking I would be able to squeeze him out with better angle from below but he had enough speed to roll right over the top of me.

Ouch! Speed kills. No strategy required.

In the high speed racing we do on formula boards, its not often you get more than 1 or 2 chances to make a move on the course. You’ve got to see it coming and when it happens capitalize on it immediately. When racing is tight, you’ve got to be able to utilize your best asset otherwise its waiting for the guys in front of you to make a mistake.

Race 3 saw more of the same in a building 18-22k breeze. All of the fleet was on the 9.5 or 10′s as the ebb increased and racing took it’s toll.   Consistency  paid off for Seth as he scored another bullet with Al and I rounding the top 3.

Day 2 saw 3 more races for all fleets + the chance to sail in the flood tide before the ebb really kicked in strong at 2pm. The usual pecking order established itself quickly as Seth got out to an early lead again with great speed. I had 2nd all but wrapped up again in front of Al coming into the finish line but had to duck below 2-3 lasers and barely eeked out across the line salvaging 2nd in what could have been disaster.

Race 5 saw the tide switch and the committee board swing from straight downwind to straight upwind despite a fresh 18-22k breeze I realized what was happening but failed to take into account the relationship of the starting line. It was now a slalom start and I was over early. Clearing myself I decided to get some separation from the fleet to get any advantage I could. When your behind, you really don’t have too much too loose and your risk can be bigger. I separated form the fleet during the next 4 legs and clawed my back but charged a bit too hard and went swimming on my last gybe to the leeward mark.

Total yard sale!

Race 6 started in 22-25k and a big ebb. All of the fleet was on either 9.o’s, 9.3′s or 9.5′s and 64-67cm fins. Anything else was just too big to handle in the chop and breeze.  Control was the name of the game. Seth jumped out to an early lead while I got buried at the start.  I kept going despite the bad air and made my moves when I could, finally powering over CRad on the final downwind to get another 2nd.

Overall another  great weekend of racing on the San Francisco Bay!

Steve Bodner

USA-4

www.stevebodner.blogspot.com

DoubleTree by Hilton At Berkeley Marina Signs As 2011 Title Sponsor of US Nationals

It’s been a while since Windsurfing has signed up a large out of industry sponsor to support its premiere US racing event, the US Windsurfing National championships but times are a changin’.

As companies have come to realize however there is almost no more effective advertising spend than one that truly compliments and supports its patrons. We all know windsurfers are a nomadic bunch crisscrossing the globe in search of the best winds and the folks over at the DoubleTree by Hilton Berkeley Marina know this too. So it was no surprise when National Championships lead organizer, Jane Morson, announced the signing of the DoubleTree by Hilton at the Berkeley Marina as this year’s title sponsor.

“Organizing, and also being behind the scenes help at Windsurfing events for a number of years, I have tried to listen and learn from what attendees have had to say. ” says Morson. “There always seemed to have been accommodation problems, and this year we have solved this for everyone”.

The 2011 Windsurfing National Championships are set to fire off in Berkeley July 11th through the 16th of this year and with DoubleTree by Hilton having one of its own hotels sharing the land just down the road it made perfect sense that the hotel would want to be in on the action. The hotels picturesque resort-like setting is accentuated by the stunningly appointed facility and the hotel is ideally situated at right at the Berkeley Marina (pictured at right). These racers can look forward to a plethora of discounts in the form of discounted room rates, discounted food and beverage, and even free parking. When combined with the hotels panoramic views of the San Francisco cityscape and astonishing Golden Gate Bridge views it’s going to be an event to remember for those taking up the DoubleTree on these generous offers. (pictured belo left an example of the rooms racers can look forward to.

The US Windsurfing National Championships, now known as the DoubleTree by Hilton at the Berkeley Marina 2011 US Windsurfing National Championships, will be celebrating the 35th anniversary this year of its return to Berkeley, and it could be the start of a rebirth that launches windsurfing back in to the limelight.

Morson continues “It has been an absolute pleasure working with the DoubleTree by Hilton Berkeley Marina’s, Director of Sales & Marketing, Brooke Meyer, and it was my complete honor when they signed on to support the event. I look forward to seeing everyone at this year’s Nationals.”

Interested in attending the event? Click Here to reserve your room at the DoubleTree by Hilton at Berkeley Marina.

This year’s event promises to once again bring big winds and wild water the San Francisco bay is famous for but the highlight just may be the complimentary warm chocolate chip cookies waiting for you when you get there!

The notice of race is posted at http://www.formulawindsurfing.org/nor.php?id=129

About the Berkeley Yacht Club

Berkeley Yacht Club is in the Berkeley Marina, on the south side of the harbor entrance channel. The club was founded in 1939, and the clubhouse was built by members between 1940 and 1974. The clubhouse includes a bar, lounge, and dining facilities, and the bar and lounge areas feature a spectacular “three-bridge view” of San Francisco Bay.There is a guest dock, but the club does not provide permanent berthing. Berkeley Marina is a municipal marina, operated by the City of Berkeley.

There are approximately 250 active members. BYC was among the first yacht clubs in the Bay Area to become entirely non-smoking in 1992.

BYC runs a very active racing program, as well as club cruises once a month, formal and informal parties, dinner meetings, lectures and race clinics. The Commodore’s Ball, Halloween Party, Amateur Performance Nights, and various other special social events span the full range of party styles and tastes.

Berkeley Yacht Club prides itself on being an active participant in supporting the community in which we live. For many years we have had a junior program in conjunction with the Berkeley Boosters focused on introducing at-risk or disadvantaged youth to boating.

Berkeley Yacht Club uses minimal professional staff. Bartenders are usually members, and when there is no bartender on duty the members are free to serve from the bar themselves. Members have keys to the club, and in contrast to many other yacht clubs that are closed during most of the week, BYC can be opened any time by members who wish to use the lounge, bar, or kitchen facilities.

Interested in attending the event? Click Here to reserve your room at the DoubleTree by Hilton at Berkeley Marina.

November stoke

I knew it was going to be a good day when the fog horn woke me up Wednesday morning.

Like an old familiar friend, I recognized its voice cutting through the cold damp San Francisco morning.

The chill hit me when I walked to my van and packed up my board for the day.

Work came and went but my mind was on the water.

By 3:30 I was rigging up at crissy field as the sun peaked in beneath the layers of fog.

The ride up was as smooth as butter. Flat water and 12-16 knots straight from the west.

Perfect conditions for formula windsurfing.

Soheil and I disappeared into the white, dodging incoming freighters, outgoing ferries and this season’s first crab boats masking their way in the San Francisco Bay.

Wells and Rathle were already on call paddling their SUP boards in the outer line up- just beyond Fort Point.

In sets of 3s and 4′s, the incoming swells would punch through allowing for a decent run up and surf down their faces. At the last critical moment you could gybe off, accelerating as you carved down and shoot off to the left as the wave peels right and enters a windless zone just west of the fort point.

Its a fine line of either or…

If you gybe too late you get sucked into a windless vacuum with the next set looming and the surfers taunting.

Soheil wasn’t so lucky and had to swim his gear out twice.

I played it cautious but scored on my first run catching of huge wake of a crab boat and surfing it it for almost a minute into the Bay.

David and Jean were catching wave after wave on their SUP boards and caught a few runs on camera as Soheil and I gybed around them.

Good Times!

[vsw id="16952505" source="vimeo" width="425" height="344" autoplay="no"]

http://vimeo.com/16952505

We got great runs for at least another 30 min in 12-16k gybing between the south tower and Ft. Point catching the incoming swell. Every so often, a set would come in a surprise me as I looked back to see wall of breaking waters and Wells and I sharing the same wave on an SUP and Formula windsurfer.

Time to gybe…

2010 Nationals Rocked!

The 2010 Starboard Severn US Windsurfing Nationals in San Francisco rocked all the way to the end of the last day with the finals of the freestyle contest.  You can see all the pictures at http://www.picyourshot.com/event/2010-US-Windsurfing-Nationals and read the full final report at http://www.waterhound.com/windsurfing/us-windsurfing-national-championships and www.stevebodner.blogspot.com.  And if you are interested in the recent history of the US Windsurfing Nationals – check out this great compilation at http://danewsblog.blogspot.com/2010/07/casual-history-of-recent-national.html.

US Windsurfing National Champs- 1/2 way through

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.

Steve Bodner

USA-4

Photos Credit: Shawn Davis

2010 Ronstan Challenge


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

Steve Bodner
USA-4

2010 US Windsurfing National Champ’s in San Francisco!

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