Category Archives: kona

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/

Kona Worlds Wrap-Up

The racing was terrific, the people great, the wind strong and everyone is now exhaustedly on their home. 

Check out Margot Samson’s report at www.windsurfingtour.com

Swedes… I met Adam Holm and Erik Bertilsson in Martigues this past summer at the Bic Techno World Championships. We were waiting for the Mistral winds to die down a bit and came to chat about the Kona Worlds in November. I told my friends that in contrast to the difficult conditions we were experiencing there, the regatta in Miami would be a leisurely one and that their most important piece of equipment would be their suntan lotion. I think they were slightly disappointed.

Final results are at http://www.regattanetwork.com/clubmgmt/applet_regatta_results.php?regatta_id=3408

And don’t miss the video from day 4! 

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Hard Core Kona!

Two days of racing into the 2010 Kona World Championships in Miami – and there are lots of sore muscles, tired bodies and big smiles! 

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Day one saw big winds and bigger swell on the race course.  The folks who came from flatwater sailing spots found the shore break and on-shore wind intimidating and the 4-5 foot swells that rolled down the course made the starting line a bit chaotic at times.  Three races were completed and it was extreme Kona racing – even for the race committe who overcame technical difficulties with the committee boat by running the races from a small inflatable coach boat.  They were as wet and tired at the end of the day as the racers!

For our second day, the lighter off shore breeze and flatter water was a welcome change for most.  Four races were completed for everyone, including the younger kids who stayed on the beach on day one.  The women’s fleet proved that it is fast to sail like a girl with three or four women in the top ten finishers in every race!

You can read more reports at http://www.waterhound.com/kona-windsurfing-world-championships-miami.html, check out results at http://www.mycyouthsailing.org/calendar.php and enjoy the video from the first day (courtesy of Patrik Pollak).

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!