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
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
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.
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!