Category Archives: kona

Back in the Saddle at the 2014 Kona Worlds!

Tom Pace at the 2014 Kona Worlds in Islamorada, FL USA! Credit: Magi Foster

Tom Pace at the 2014 Kona Worlds in Islamorada, FL USA! Credit: Magi Foster

By Tom Pace

Sixteen years ago, after nearly two decades racing one designs, Olympic classes, and Pro: course, slalom, and wave events, I sailed in my last windsurfing contest, the IFCA Worlds in Tarifa, Spain.

A year later, my friend Nevin and his Wife Stina had their second child, a boy named Rasmus… This first week of November, in my first race back in the sport we all love, my years of dull rust met that kid – the amazing, sharp talent that is Raz Sayre, and it was eye opening: he crushed me and 107 others this week in everything from 5-30 kts, enroute to his first World Title. And I was barely competitive with him in just part of one race. 16 years ago, I missed a World Title by one point to Tim Aagesen, who took second this week. This World Championship, I was never close, but had a few moments dueling again with Tim and Nevin, reminding me what fast feels like, and what the fleet looked like from Raz’s view all regatta!

This event brought out new sailors, former world champs, pros, formula and RSX racers, and everything in between. Multiple countries and ages were well represented, and it was as much a look into windsurfing’s fun competitive past as it was a look at the present and to the future of one design windsurfing. In this class, pumping is restricted to ONE per tack, gybe, or wave to initiate planing, and this is tightly monitored. Sails are determined by the racer’s weight, and the only adjustment allowed on the rig is the outhaul. What results is tight competition, fair racing, and a surprisingly even field from the 6’4, 200 lb sailor to the barely 5′, 100 pounder.

Racers from Canada, DEnmark and the USA duking it out at the Kona Worlds! Credit: Magi Foster

Racers from Canada, Denmark and the USA duking it out at the Kona Worlds! Credit: Magi Foster

The regatta started in light offshores that quickly built to blasty 20-30 kts, leaving many unable to finish, and scores in need of rescue. Only 32 of the 107 finished that race, and it was abandoned after the 32 had finished – as much for fairness and safety concerns as for marks that moved in the lumpy water and high wind. It was one of my better races this week, but with the 12 more we did complete for scores, we all had plenty of chances!

Any event takes a ton of work to put together well, and something of this size can be daunting. The organizers, race committee, and volunteers put in an exceptional effort, and the five day event went off without any major glitch. It was great competition, fun camaraderie, a chance for me to get my feet wet again, and to rekindle old friendships with the Sayres, Steve and Marty Gottlieb, Steve Callaway, and Beth Winkler. We saw Superlight racer from 20 years ago Billy Mason, Tinho Dornellas, Dasher, and others. Old windsurfers that did not compete stopped by to check it out and see old friends – John Turecki, Hubert Baudoin, Pat LeMehaute, world cupper Andy Morrell, and long time racer and freestyler Greg Winkler. All names very well known in the windsurfing world 20+ years ago. Also there was the first ever Windsurfer World Champion and inventor of the harness, Bruce Matlack.

Camaraderie between races at the Kona Worlds. Credit: Magi Foster

Camaraderie between races at the Kona Worlds. Credit: Magi Foster

Kona ONE is growing world wide, with strength in Sweden, Holland, throughout Europe, and thanks to Steve Gottlieb, Mike Fox, and Tinho Dornellas, it’s building in the USA. It is very, very good racing, fair, and accessible to sailors that no longer want to pump and row around the course like a triathlete glued to a sailboard. Further, being a one design, you don’t need a full quiver of sails, booms, and fins to be competitive, nor can you modify any of it: it is a true one design. Kona has a dynamic that makes it possible for today’s best to shine, but also is a class that enables the old guard – in this case Tim Aagesen and Nevin Sayre, 2nd and 3rd overall this week – to show they still can windsurf, and that they have the tactical racing ability to be at the top.

This Kona Worlds has whetted my appetite, and I’ll be back in the saddle for the 2015 Kona North Americans at Calema in Merritt Island next March. I’ll absolutely earn a better spot than my 16th overall this week, and hopefully, I can better mix it up with all the Sayres – Raz, Nevin, and 22-yr old Solvig, who is doing an RSX campaign for the next Olympics.

Tom Pace in Action at the Kona Worlds! Credit: Magi Foster

Tom Pace in the hunt at the Kona Worlds! Credit: Magi Foster

For now, I’m left with (finally!) callused hands, thoughts of what I did right and wrong on the water, and that happy feeling from seeing old friends and making new ones, just as we did decades ago. I’m also left in wonder with seeing a torch not so much passed, but SHARED between Nevin, Raz, and Solvig – who all earned their spots on the podium, to chants of ‘USA, USA !’ that quickly morphed into a more accurate ‘US SAYRE, US SAYRE!!’. Proud parents indeed, Nevin and Stina.

Sailing windsurfers, especially wrapped to my eyeballs in wind that usually sends the leaners and yachties running for the club bar is just as much fun for me now as ever, and the Kona One Class makes it possible to race in just about any wind strength, and to be competitive with anyone – from a 17-yr old kid to his ancient Dad, who is my age… So, for my first big time race in 16 years, this was as good as it could be, and is shaping up to get better still!

Kona Worlds 2014 Full Results

Kona Colors in the Florida Keys. Credit: Magi Foster

Kona colors in full bloom in the Florida Keys. Credit: Magi Foster

My Ode to Kona Windsurfing!

Start Line at the 2014 Kona Worlds in Islamorada, FL USA

Kona Fleet, with different sail sizes differentiated by color, on the start line at Kona Worlds in Islamorada! Photo Credit: Magi Foster

By Jim DeSilva
Sandy Point Progressive Sports, Miami

Although I have participated in a number of Kona races, including the Worlds in Miami a few years ago, we had never gotten 100+ Konas together in one place before. This was certainly a unique experience. The question you have to ask is, before these Kona Worlds and the RS:X Youth Worlds a couple of weeks ago in Clearwater, when WAS the last time we had a 100 person One Design Windsurfing Race of any description in the US? A bunch of the kids we teach at the Miami Yacht Club were at all the huge Techno events in Europe this past summer, including the Worlds with 350+, but it has been a LONG TIME in the United States.

What was fascinating about this event was the even level of the racing: everyone was going the same speed. Of course the winner seemed to have a little extra squirt, but the winners in all sports do. Although I was only there for one day, every race was the same: wind shifts were a huge deal, getting a good start was a huge deal, mark roundings and positioning on the legs was a huge deal. Hitting laylines correctly was a huge deal. But speed was not such a huge deal because everyone was going the same speed. Normally OD windsurfing events are very weight sensitive: light guys going fast in light wind, heavier guys dominating when it is hammering. Kona is unique this way in that they have the weight breaks for the different sail sizes. Smallest people on 6.6, next smallest on 7.4, 8.2, 9.0 and even 9.8 for the bigger guys. What is interesting is that it actually works: you see every size up at the front, and every size in the back and everywhere in between. It has completely eliminated the weight penalties that have plagued the sport since OD windsurf racing began, and made for the most even windsurfing racing I have ever been a part of.

The other thing that has changed is younger sailors are quite competitive with their older parents and vice versa. This is unique in windsurfing. Raz Sayre, who won the event, was battling straight up with his dad, Nevin, a longtime windsurfing legend. At 53 years old, I was battling with a couple of the kids I teach at MYC, duking it out in multiple races, even though I am close to 200 lbs and they are 85-120 lbs. The sail size differences, proportional to the weights of the sailors, make it really even. In the lighter winds, they would have crushed me with the same size sail, and I would have had a huge advantage if I was there on the windier days. But in Kona, everyone is underpowered the same and overpowered the same. And don’t forget about the women: they won multiple races OVERALL in the gold fleet and had 3 finishers in the top 11, because they don’t have to be in a pumping contest and can just use their skill and knowledge. You cannot pump in Kona: you just sail. There is a little gray area currently in the rules but that looks to be getting cleaned up, but for the most part, you just sail. And this lets a really wide range of sailors compete against each other on a very fair basis. Skill, technique and smarts instead of hyperactive aerobic activity. Everyone likes it too.

Steven Cramer, 14 years old, 95 lbs, 6.6 in 25 knots, first day of racing

Steven Cramer, 14 years old, 95 lbs, 6.6 in 25 knots, first day of racing. Photo Credit: Magi Foster

 

The other aspect of it is the simplicity. You have one board, one fin, one rig, and you are totally even with everyone else. Not “Oh, I hope it’s windy so I can be competitive” or “I hope it is light wind so I can plane off before everyone else.” None of this exists in Kona, it’s totally even, all the time. The board, while very low tech, works in all conditions very nicely and you can still teach new people on it. Light winds, 1-5 kts, it sails great, no cambers, just full battens, and it will sail upwind with the dagger up when it is windy like an RS-X, Techno or Prodigy. And for fully lit beam reaching, it is actually pretty fun and easy to gybe due to the round rails. It’s not fancy at all, but it works pretty good all the time. Simplicity is good: you should not need a giant van full of gear to be a windsurf racer.

The Kona Class solves a lot of problems in windsurf racing. I know there will be a lot of people who poopoo it because it is kind of low tech (no carbon!)(no cambers!)(no 1500 dollar fins!)(it’s got a rubber deck?) But if you want to see more grass roots racing, it’s the way to go. I think most of the people who were at the event would agree that it was the most evenly raced windsurf regatta they had ever attended: more even than any Mistral OD Regatta, more even than any RSX regatta, more even than any Windsurfer or Superlight regatta back in the day. Anyone can join, compete, win AND just have a board that works for fun sailing and messing around the rest of the time. And they cost less than most Optimists.

To see it growing like it is, and happening like this, young and old, men and women, all racing together… What a huge positive for windsurf racing. 13 countries and 105 competitors in the Florida Keys: that IS just like the good old days that many remember, but it is here, right now… and growing.

Winner Raz Sayre leading the fleet

2014 Kona Worlds Winner Raz Sayre leading the fleet. Photo Credit: Magi Foster

2014 Kona Worlds in Islamorada – an Interview with Event Chair Michael Fox

In exactly three weeks (Oct 31 – Nov 5), 100+ competitors from around the world will come together in beautiful Islamorada, Florida for the 2014 Kona World Championships. We thought this would be the perfect time to sit down with Michael Fox, event Chairman and President of Kona USA, to preview this world-class event and learn about what the Kona Class is all about!

Michael, a Kona racer himself these days, has been involved in organizing windsurfing events in the US for nearly 30 years, and the task of organizing the 2014 World Championships for the Class couldn’t be in better hands.

Enjoy the interview!

Michael Fox - Portrait 01

Michael Fox, Event Chairman

US Windsurfing: What makes the Kona Class special?

Michael Fox: It is a well-supported one-design class with a board that is very entry-level friendly, with body weight differences equalized accordingly with sail size and relying on true sailing skills and tactics by the elimination of pumping.

Is it for advanced or beginner racers?

It is definitely a strong class for beginner racers based on the virtues I just mentioned, but should also appeal to the advanced racers who want to see how they perform on the most level playing field in all of sailing.

Can you race in 3 knots?

Yes and we’ve done it. Two years ago, we were forced to race in barely 3 knots of thermal wind generated by a highway running next to the lake. The wind pattern reached out a quarter mile and ran a half mile down the beach. The competition was tight, but the qualifier was that the water was absolutely flat. I wouldn’t want to race in 3 knots if there was a swell or boat chop.

Can you race in 30 knots?

There are definitely those who can race in 30 knots. I was on the RC boat at our first Worlds in Miami when the winds were peaking at 30. But the majority of the starters sailed in survival mode or didn’t finish at all. If it is not a major championship, I have always preferred to switch to a slalom format in the higher winds if it will help get more people off the beach and across the finish line.

How fast is the Class growing?

It is growing at a very steady and healthy rate, faster than most any other windsurfing class in many years. We are currently adding 500 boards per year with Sweden leading the wave. The U.S. is probably second, although we have yet to develop the West coast at all. With the 2015 U.S. Nationals scheduled for Cabrillo Beach, we will soon see Kona flowers west of the Rockies.

When did it first break through in the US?

It started very early in Florida, thanks to the popularity of the Calema Midwinters and our Florida-based distributor who recognized the value of a well-supported one-design class to the faltering racing scene. But it was the 2010 Kona Worlds held off South Beach in Miami that helped spread the seeds across much of the continent. The Kona flower quickly took strong roots in Toronto, the Midwest and Texas, and a year later in New England.

Why are the Worlds in Islamorada special?

If you have ever windsurfed or raced in the Keys, you shouldn’t ask that question with a straight face. We are sailing out of the Guy Harvey Islander with most of the competitors staying there and the rest less than a mile away. Islamorada offers many activities both on and off the water for non-racing family members. And then there is that Island mystique which is much more than umbrella drinks at the Tiki bar.

How many countries and athletes do you have registered?

At this point, we have 12 nations and over a hundred racers registered. I believe we have the charter boards to reach 115 or a little more.

How hard is it to organize such an event?

For 28 years, I was fortunate to lead a dedicated group of volunteers in putting on the Mille Lacs Crossing which was basically a high-risk, long-distance race that took an afternoon. I often said that it would be much easier to plan and run a national championship regatta than put on the Crossing. I won’t use those words again. My experience in running major events several hours from my home base provided for some false confidence. But fortunately, while I faced various obstacles that confront a World championship, I was regularly rewarded with the excitement from registrants. And while I have had a smaller team than I had for the Crossing, they have provided great support and input.

What conditions are you expecting?

The lightest reports from that time of the year are 8-10 knots. If we get an early season front moving through, we will have some high wind racing. At the very least, the winds should easily be Kona winds and when it picks up to planing speeds, we have a reef outside the race area keeping the water relatively flat.

Any early favorites to take the crown?

Vegas is still working on that formula. We have several older competitors with multiple world and national championships under their belt. And then we have nearly as many younger racers who have been absorbed in Olympic campaigns who should definitely make a presence on the award podium. No pumping and the sail size-to-weight balancer helps erase the age and weight handicaps, meaning more racers reaching the first mark seconds apart and close finishes throughout most of the fleet. The crown will definitely be earned.

 

Experience Prevails at 2014 US Nationals in Worthington!

Enjoying the Action on Lake Okabena in Worthington (credit: Noah Keitel)

Enjoying the Action on Lake Okabena in Worthington (credit: Noah Keitel)

Lake Okabena in beautiful Worthington, Minnesota is barely two miles across, and yet on June 11-15, in the span of five days of intense competition, it threw an amazing display of conditions at the racers gathered there for the 2014 US Windsurfing Nationals: 0 to 40 knots, wind from all directions on the compass, 45-75 air temperature, sun, rain, flooding and enough lightning in the air to literally fry a wind turbine!

We're not kidding! Storms roll in on day 4 of the US Nationals

We’re not kidding! Storms roll in on day 4 of the US Nationals (credit: Tea Storm Chasers)

This marquee event on the US national racing calendar had it all: challenging conditions and tight course racing action for the raceboard, kona, formula and sports fleets featured at the Championships; free windsurfing instruction for dozens of onlookers, courtesy of Roger Jackson and Ellen Faller (thank you!); mad slalom heats on the days when the wind was at its fiercest, marking an auspicious start to the recently announced 2014 US Slalom National Racing Tour; thousands of spectators; live television coverage; and an amazing arts and music festival in the evenings!

It was sunny too! US Nationals in Worthington, Minnesota

It was sunny too! US Nationals in Worthington, Minnesota

Free Windsurfing Instruction at the US Nationals!

Free Windsurfing Instruction at the US Nationals!

Artist Shawn McCann in front of the mural he created for the event (credit: Ron Kern)

Artist Shawn McCann in front of the 52′ x 20′ mural he created for the event (credit: Ron Kern)

In a great display of racing skills, tuning mastery and experience, Xavier Ferlet won both the slalom and formula National Titles in Worthington. We asked Xavier to take us inside the ropes:

The first day of regatta was a bit light but we had three Formula races. Losing some weight over the last few months paid off. I found it relatively easy to pop on the plane with the 12.0. The skills acquired by doing Formula at inland venues in the UK was put to good use! (…)

Read Xavier’s full testimonial here: Inside the Ropes at the 2014 US Windsurfing Nationals!

Rock Band Narrow Vines on the main stage at the US Windsurfing Nationals!

Rock Band Narrow Vines on the main stage at the US Windsurfing Nationals!

We also asked Bill Keitel, local resident, event co-founder, emcee extraordinaire, calypso guitarist (and VP of US Windsurfing to boot!) to give us a recap of the onshore festivities:

The 2014 U.S. Windsurfing National Championships are history and the city of Worthington is easing back to decompress. The UnVarnished Music Festival is of, by and for windsurfers and musicians. This year we put forth a devil-may-care attitude and started the opening night with Ray Wylie Hubbard (…)

Read Bill’s full recap here: On Stage at the 2014 US Windsurfing Nationals!

2014 Raceboard National Champ Mark Boersma shares his knowledge with local fans

2014 Raceboard National Champ Mark Boersma shares his knowledge with local fans (credit: Noah Keitel)

Xavier wasn’t alone on the top step of the podium in Worthington: Mark Boersma (above) won the raceboard national title, Steve Gottlieb (below in the red sail) leaped to the front of the standings on the last day to take the Kona title, and Kelly Johnson took the crown in the Sports fleet. You’ll find all the results here courtesy of our friends at Mowind.

Konas in Action at the 2014 US Nationals! (credit: Larry Reed)

Konas in Action at the 2014 US Nationals! (credit: Larry Reed)

A big thank you to the city of Worthington, The Worthington Area Chamber of Commerce, the Convention and Visitors Bureau of Worthington, the Worthington Okabena Windsurfers, the Daily Globe, Mowind, Jeff Hegwer and his team, and all the sponsors, supporters and spectators who made it all possible. Enjoy Xavier’s and Bill’s testimonials, and start making plans for the 2015 US Windsurfing National Championships at Cabrillo Beach next summer!

Artists Jeff Adamski and Jeff Hegwer and the gorgeous trophies they designed for the event!

Artists Jeff Adamski and Jeff Hegwer and the gorgeous trophies they designed for the event!

Windsurfing's True Colors! Up and comers at the 2014 US Nationals! (credit: Ron Kern)

Windsurfing showing its true colors! Up and comers at the 2014 US Nationals (credit: Ron Kern)

US Windsurfing Nationals Get Amped Up!

Previous US Windsurfing Nationals in Worthington, MN - Photo Credit: Dan Norman

Previous US Windsurfing Nationals in Worthington, MN – Photo Credit: Dan Norman

One month to go before the 2014 US Windsurfing Nationals in Worthington, Minnesota - are you ready?

The Worthington Windsurfing Regatta and Unvarnished Music Festival has been a mainstay on the US Tour for many years, and it’s playing host next month to its 3rd US Windsurfing Nationals, from June 10-15.

The US National Championships are a celebration of windsurfing, and a wonderful opportunity to get racers together from all corners of the country and across all disciplines, from Formula to Kona, from Slalom to Open Class. Everyone is excited to be heading to Worthington this year, on the waters of Lake Okabena, not just because of the incredible wind conditions there, but because of the vibe and support of the local community.

Near Shore Action in Worthington, MN - Photo Credit: Dan Norman

Near Shore Action in Worthington, MN – Photo Credit: Dan Norman

Racing in the Middle of Town in Worthington, MN - Photo Credit: Dan Norman

Racing in the Middle of Town in Worthington, MN – Photo Credit: Dan Norman

Oh, and there’s another reason: the music! That’s right, the event doubles up as a music festival. Have you sailed to the sound of live music before?

Bill Keitel, VP of US Windsurfing, knows the local scene very well: he lives right there on Sailboard Beach. Bill, along with the Worthington Okabena Windsurfers association, is in charge of thawing the lake each spring, stashing away the ice shanties and cranking up the wind turbines off Buffalo Ridge in nearby South Dakota. He’s also in charge of the music lineup, and is fired up about the upcoming festivities:

Worthington is excited to host their 15th annual regatta & 3rd U.S. Windsurfing National Championships. As many remember tornado warnings from 2008 Nationals made wind speeds a bit more excessive than necessary. We will moderate the wind speeds this year and hope for nothing more than small craft advisories!

Preparations have been made to treat Windsurfers like Exalted Rulers of the Universe! Worthington Windsurfing Regatta and UnVarnished Music Festival is dedicated and predicated on the notion that this festival is of, by, and for windsurfers and musicians.

We’ve gone to great lengths to put together an Event of Uncommon Merit. Five city blocks of Sailboard beach will be blocked off and only Windsurfers and musicians will have access to beachside parking. Besides hotels, Lakeside camping is also available, book soon to avoid disappointment.

Through dogged determination and a devil-may-care-attitude we have stretched our imagination and budget to rustled up some of the finest musical entertainment ever provided to Windsurfers. The evenings on Sailboard beach will be memorable! Opening ceremonies Wed. musical lineup will include Ray Wylie Hubbard. Ray Hubbard from Austin Texas has recently appeared on the David Letterman Show.

The main sound stage will power up on Wed. and there will be music every night.

We look forward to your arrival!

Go to www.worthingtonwindsurfing.com for all the details. It’s early registration until May 28, and $100 ($55 for juniors) gets you food, live music and all the racing you can handle in five days.

Join the fun and get amped!

Florida Events Coming Up

It may be snowing and cold in much of the US – but it is warm and windy in Florida! 

Kona racers can head to the Clearwater Community Sailing Center on November 17 & 18 for the Carlisle Classic.  You don’t want to miss 2 days of racing at this great location on the west coast of Florida.  There will also be racing for Opti, 420, Laser, O’pen Bic, Windmill and Hobie Wave classes.  More information and a notice of race can be found at http://clearwatercommunitysailing.org/2012/carlisle-classic-2012

Challenge yourself at the I-to-I in Ft. Lauderdale!   The 10th annual running of the Inlet to Inlet Long Distance Race is scheduled December 1-2, 2012.  The i-to-i helps wrap up the US Windsurfing National Race Tour for 2012.  More information, notice of race, (NOR), etc. can be found on the official race website:

 www.i-to-i.org

Windsurfing in Waves and on Lakes in August

The Pacasmayo Classic wave event (the Peru stop on the AWT) and the Kona North American Championships in Minnesota both took place the last weekend of August.  Two very different disciplines of windsurfing in two very different locations – but the same fun and windsurfing stoke at both!

Kona North Americans in MN

The Kona North American’s were held on Lake Waconia, just outside of Minneapolis, MN.  Kona is a one-design class with everyone racing on the Kona One board and the one-design sail for their weight class (bigger sails for bigger folks).  The one-design concept along with the no pumping rule in the Kona class makes for tight, close racing.  With 50 people on the start line, the mark roundings were crowded and exciting!  Joachim Larsson and his daughter Kajsa from Sweden took first and second place overall, Arden Anderson, Steve Johnson and Adam Anderson rounded out the top five.  For more information on the Kona class check out www.konaone.com  The results broken down by class are as follows:

Women: 1st Kajsa Larsson, 2nd Karen Marriott, 3rd Jamie Keltz
Lightweight (7.4m sail): 1st Joe Marotti, 2nd Bruce Matlack, 3rd Jeff Adamski
Midweight (8.2m sail): 1st Joachim Larsson, 2nd Arden Anderson, 3rd Peter Hill
Heavyweight (9.0m sail): 1st Steve Johnson, Adam Anderson, Rob Evans
Super Heavyweight (9.8m sail): 1st Steve Calloway, 2nd Paul Matousek

Pacasmayo Classic

The Pacasmayo Classic was a departure for the American Windsurfing Tour crew – travelling all the way to Peru!  Camille Juban took first place, Tatiana Howard won the women’s and Fabrice Beaux won the master’s.  More stories, pictures and videos can be found at www.americanwindsurfingtour.com

Techno 293 Nationals & Kona New England Champs

Maximo Nores from Miami racing on the Techno 293

Forty-two windsurfers from as far as Mexico, Canada, California, and Florida attended the Techno 293 National and the Kona One Design New England Championships at Vineyard Haven Yacht Club August 1 & 2.  The Techno 293s were part of US Sailing’s Junior Olympic Festival.

 The Florida sailors proved tough to beat in the light winds, taking the top three places overall in the Technos and first in the U17, U15, and U13 age groups.  Five of the top sailors were traveling on to represent USA and Mexico at the Techno 293 World Championships in Medemblik, Holland where more than 350 kids, age 16 and younger, are racing in August.

 Jonathan Rudich won the hotly contested U17 Class and first overall with Olivia Mew (Canada) taking the U19, Geronimo Nores winning the U15, and younger brother Manu Nores taking the U13 age groups.  Emily King was the cream of the Silver Fleet in Techno 293s and will be moving to Gold Fleet in future events.  Nevin Sayre edged out 2012 ISAF Youth Worlds Representative, Margot Samson, in the twenty-two board Kona One Design Class for adults.

Kona Results

Techno 293 results

Kona North American Championships

Fleet 8 and Kona Midwest are proud to host the 2012 Kona North American Championships on Lake Waconia.  Lake Waconia is the most popular high-wind lake in the Twin Cities metro area and has been the site for over 60 windsurfing regattas starting with the Windsurfer District 5 Championships in 1978.  Our venue will be the Lake Waconia Regional Park on the southwest shore which offers all the amenities for a great championship regatta.

 Kona USA is developing a web site to enhance the championships with on-line registration and regular updates, as well as daily results and video coverage.  For those eager to register and take advantage of the early registration fee, you can register at www.Fleet8.com by clicking on the Kona Championships and scrolling down to the Paypal button.  

 We will be providing charter equipment, yet limited with the anticipated attendance.  For us to provide charters for as many competitors as possible, you need to reserve as early as possible.  To help reduce the cost for racing families, Kona Midwest has developed a scholarship program to subsidize charter fees for women and youth.  Contact Fleet-8@juno.com for more details.     

Click here for the Notice of Race – konanaNOR

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/