Category Archives: formula

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

More Great Racing in Florida

The Florida racing season continues, with great racing in Miami, Merritt Island and Clearwater! 

The Miami Wind & Surfers Challenge was held at US Sailing Center in Miami, FL from April 9-11.  Fernando Martiznez sailed to victory just ahead of Ron Kern and Farrah Hall after 10 races on Biscayne Bay.  The weather was perfect for Formula racing the entire weekend – you can read all about it at www.windsurfingtour.com and see full results and more pictures!

Ron Kern blasting on Biscayne Bay

 

The Florida Windfest (co-hosted by Calema Windsurfing and Sandy Point Progressive Sports) will be held at Calema Windsurfing on April 17 & 18.  It is a low key event for all ages that is a great way to try out racing for the first time or be part of an event that isn’t as big and intimidating as some of the races you read about.  You can get all the details at www.calema.com.

Calema Midwinters (regatta, Techno 293 NA’s & race camp!)

The world renowned Calema Midwinters is just around the corner, March 4-7, 2010.  In addition to great Formula class racing for both pros and weekend-warriors, the Midwinters will also be the Kona class North American Championships, the Techno 293 class North American Championships and the qualifying event for the Youth Olympic Games for North American competitors! 

In the Formula class Gonzalo Costa Hoevel and Jesper Vesterstrom will be showing up to battle it out for top honors and other pros are signing up daily.  In the Techno 293 class, competitors are confirmed from the US, Cananda, Mexico, Puerto Rico, Guatamala and Brazil who will be competing for the right to represent their respective countries in the Youth Olympic Games.

Preceding the event, on March 1 & 2 will be a Techno 293, international junior race clinic hosted by Tinho Dornellas.  For more information check out www.calema.com and click on the link for Midwinters.  For all the details on the junior race clinic go to http://calema.com/events/event-details/?event_id=32.

With airfare to Orlando from anywhere in ths US being so cheap and a great rate at the host hotel (the Radisson Resort at the Port) there is no reason to stay home – register now!

Caviliga Regatta Day 3

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

Steve
USA-4

Caviliga regatta day 1 report.

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
Steve
USA-4

Banana River Resort Race

Banana River '09

Banana River Resort Race – October 31 & November 1st

Banana River Resort Race will take place the weekend of the cancelled Fall Showdown regatta October 31 & November 1st.  It was exciting to see the outcry of people that wanted to get together for racing on that weekend and an alternate site was quickly found and offered up by Beth & Greg Winkler of the Banana River Resort in Cocoa Beach, FL.  Britt Viehman, US Windsurfing Youth Representative, has a large group of young sailors who are anxious to race that weekend and was pleased to hear that a new event had sprung up.  Ron Kern who’s been a number of times to Banana River Resort said, “It’s a great location and lives up to the name of windsurfing resort.  I’m excited that we’re back racing there.  We’ll have a good turnout!” NOTICE OF RACE >>

USW Nationals

start-crash-close

Four days of epic racing on the Columbia River Gorge was enough for local Bruce “I own this river” Peterson to claim both the course and slalom disciplines for the 2009 US Windsurfing National Championship in Hood River, Oregon. With 83 competitors registered, it was an event to be remembered as the Gorge delivered nuclear winds on the first day of slalom racing to 10-12k on the final day to test competitors ability in all conditions.

In what seemed like a huge junior contingent from around the country, the 22 strong junior fleet held a 2 day clinic before the event, tuning in the racing skills with the help of local Sailworks guru Bruce Peterson. The juniors were sailing the Bic Techno 293 board (with some of the older fleet already on the formula boards) which provided an excellent platform for racing. Im sure in a few years, we’ll see their results of hard training and will be nipping on the heals of the formula fleet.

Equally impressive, was the huge turn out from the San Francisco fleet with almost 20 sailors making the trip up and pushing at the top of the fleet in both disciplines. Up and coming SF junior racer, Marion Lepert took both the slalom and course title for junior girls while David Wells, Eric Christanson, Jean Rathle, Chris Radkowski, Mike Percy, Al Mirel and myself, Steve Bodner, all made the podium on Sunday!

Days 1 and 2 saw the fleet running 11 slalom heats in conditions that can only be described as challenging! On the opening Day, the Gorge went off with gust pushing into the 40′s and sailors overpowered on their traditional slalom rigs and switching down to smaller wave gear just to survive! Bruce Peterson dominated the slalom racing with bullets in 9 out the 11 heats. Carbon Art maestro James Dinnis from New Zealand was in the heat most of the races sticking some sick laydown gybes at the marks making it look easy. The rest of the fleet struggled to get around the unique ‘Gorge Box slalom course’ and found their crash tacks to be the best solution getting around the top mark in the course.

On day 2 the fleets were broken up into gold and silver fleets with the top dogs fighting it out around the course. Of course, the event site proved an excellent venue to watch the races as well as well as hear all the comments from the peanut gallery. Everyone on shore can always gybe better than the guy on the water! Doc Watson provided the commentary to give the event a positive vibe and onlookers a clue to what was happening on the water.

On day 3, the winds lightened to a gusty15-20k and gave the fleet a chance to jump into course racing. Again, a unique course was set up to take advantage of the Columbia River’s long and narrow site. 4 races were run for the 3 fleets with most sailors setting themselves up on port tack to start and get out to the favorable wind and current along the Washington shore.

Finally on the last day on competition, 2 more formula course races were run in 10-15k under the black flag as the fleet was anxious to gain any last opportunities. Eric Christanson slipped into 2nd behind Bruce Peterson while I held onto the 3rd place podium finish overall. The competition at this event couldn’t have been closer but local knowledge and experience always seems to pay off with Peterson cleaning up in both disciplines. Next year’s nationals will be back in San Francisco and the bragging rights start all over again!
Regatta report and photos @ www.stevebodner.blogspot.com
Steve Bodner
USA341