Category Archives: news

US Olympic Windsurfers Prepare for Weymouth!

photo by Dale Thompson

Bob Willis and Farrah Hall have both qualified to represent the United States in windsurfing at the Olympic Games this summer

.  The 2012 Summer Olympic Games are based in London, but the sailing events will take place at the southern end of the UK in Weymouth.  This is typically a windy venue, so the windsurfing should be fantastic!  You can read all abouth Bob and Farrah’s preparation for the Olympics on their respective web blogs www.bobsails.com and www.farrahhall.com .  Congratulations to both of them!

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/

Wave Sailing!

Junko Nagoshi

Maui Makani Classic women’s winner, Junko Nagoshi

The Maui Makani Classic, held at Ho’okipa Beach Park was the last event of the 2011 American Windsurfing Tour.  You can see the final results and daily reports at http://americanwindsurfingtour.com .  This was the last of the four event tour (five were planned, but hurricane Irene kept the stop in Hatteras from taking place) and planning for the 2012 Tour is well under way.  So work on your moves this winter – you can be part of the tour next year!

The Florida Wave Challenge is planned to take place on one of the next few weekends in November in Cocoa Beach, Florida.  Conditions are looking promising for November 5 & 6 – so get all the details at www.floridawavechallenge.com and head on down to participate in this grass roots wave contest!

2011 Junior, Youth & Masters Windsurfing World Championship in San Francisco

The St. Francis Yacht Club, in coordination with US Sailing and US Windsurfing, will be host to the 2011  TECHNO 293 Junior, Youth and open class  World Championship & Masters raceboard class World Championship  from July 17th to July 24th, 2011

NOR LINK

CHARTER EQUIPMENT LINK
Housing details:
There are fourteen nearby hostels, one within walking distance from the St. Francis Yacht Club (located at Fort Mason with beds from $22 and run by Hostelling International). The Club has been working with the S.S. Jeremiah O’Brien on some special housing arrangements too. There are a number of hotels in the Marina District of San Francisco, which is walking distance from St. Francis Yacht Club (for example, The Coventry Motor Inn).

Coach Boats:
Several companies on San Francisco Bay charter out boats suitable to coach from. You are welcome to contact Bryan McDonald for more information. His email is sailing314 at yahoo.com

More info @ http://2011worldchampionship.blogspot.com/

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).

Windsurfing Competition Concludes at Youth Olympic Games

Margot Samson racing in Singapore

(reprinted from http://youtholympicgames.teamusa.org ) SINGAPORE – U.S. windsurfers Margot Samson (Belleaire, Fla.) and Ian Stokes (Norfolk, Va.) wrapped up competition at the inaugural 2010 Youth Olympic Games in Singapore on Wednesday. After 11 races in the Techno 293 class, Samson finished in 16th place, and Stokes ended 20th.

“I thought they learned a lot, and they made improvements,” coach Britt Viehman said. “It’s pretty tough competition, so we’ll do better next time.

“The event was awesome,” Viehman continued. “They did a stellar job with race management, the whole feeling of the Olympics was awesome for the kids – they really got to see what it is like.”

Samson raced consistently, posting her best finish on Friday, Aug. 20, with a 10th-place performance. She also concluded the regatta with a strong final race on Wednesday, ending in 14th among the 18 sailors.

“Everything was so great from the Village and the dining hall to all the people,” Samson said of attending the Youth Olympic Games. “We really had a lot of fun getting to know all of the other athletes, and it was great competition. I’m really happy to have been a part of it.”

Stokes recorded a strong few races in the middle of competition, including a 12th-place finish among the fleet of 21 in his fourth race on Wednesday, Aug. 18.

“It was sweet. It was such a great experience – Singapore did a great job,” Stokes said of his overall Games experience. “There were just a lot of things to do and I met a lot of people.”

In the boys Techno 293 competition, Israel’s Mayan Rafic captured gold (22), while Michael Cheng of Hong Kong (31) edged Great Britain’s Kieran Martin (32) by one point.

In the girls’ event, Siripon Kaewduang-Ngam of Thailand dominated with seven race victories to win the gold medal with 22 points. Veronica Fanciulli (39) of Italy was second overall, while Audrey Pei Lin Yong’s (43) third-place finish on the final day was enough to win bronze for Singapore.

Overall, 11 different countries won medals in the two boys and girls sailing events at the Youth Olympic Games, as racing was also held in the Byte CII class. With wind delays throughout the regatta, as well as thunderstorms passing through, the sailors passed the time by getting to know each other and painting on a mural set up at the National Sailing Center. Samson and Great Britain’s Jade Rogers – friends before the Games and even closer now – painted their names prominently on top, and the board quickly filled with country flags, messages and other art work.

Samson and Stokes qualified for the team at the 2010 Calema Midwinter Windsurfing Festival, where they were the highest finishing American male and female. The regatta was held in March in Merritt Island, Florida.

Samson, 16, will be a junior at Palm Harbor University High School. She started windsurfing two years ago when her father introduced her to the sport.

Stokes, 15, enters his junior year at Norfolk Collegiate School. He grew up in a family of sailors, and he was dominant in the Optimist class before switching to windsurfing. He has only been windsurfing competitively for the past year.

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

Gorge Windfest – June 26 & 27!

The wind is back and so are the windsurfers!  The Columbia Gorge Windsurfing Association invites you- whether you’re a seasoned windsurfer, newbie, or just want to enjoy a day at the beach- to join us at Windfest Weekend, June 26-27, in Hood River.   The festivities will be held at the Event Site in Hood River, Oregon.  Take exit 63 off I-84 and head toward the river.  Activities will run from 10am until dusk on Saturday, June 26th, and 10am to 4pm on Sunday, June 27th.  Demo tickets are available for purchase at the beach for $10, or $5 for CGWA members.   If you’ve never windsurfed before, this is your chance to try it out.  Big Winds is offering free lessons on Saturday and Sunday afternoons- space is limited, so sign up in the mornings at the Event Site.   For those who want to expand your skills, clinics will run throughout both days at the Event Site.  Clinics will be offered by Bruce Peterson (Owner of Sailworks), Wyatt Miller (Pro rider for Naish), and various skilled team riders. 

 Windsurf distributors from throughout the country will gather on the beach for unlimited gear demos all weekend.  Try out a stand up paddleboard, or work your way through the various brands’ newest gear.  Exhibitors include Trident Sports, Big Winds, Windsport Magazine, Groundswell / Ezzy, Bonnier Corps / Windsurfing Magazine, Sailworks, Maui Sails, Dakine, Realwind, Northsports, Naish Sails, and Shadowbox.

 Be sure to catch some live music and good grub at the Full Sail/Taco del Mar Pray for Wind Party on Saturday evening.  Tony Smiley will play live music on the beach until dusk.  David Griffith will host a live auction to raise funds for CGWA.  Hot auction items include:

  • Vela 7-day stay for 2 at the Brazilian combo- Jericoacoara + Icaraizinho
  • Make your own Nolimitz mast at the Nolimitz factory in White Salmon (you get to keep the mast)
  • On-water photoshoot with professional sports photographer Jock Bradley
  • Gift certificates for local lodging and dining, lots of windsurf gear, art, and much more!

There will be a silent auction on the beach in the large tent all day Saturday, and will close at 6pm.  The live auction will run from 7-8pm. 

 Also this weekend is the Gorge Blowout, where amateur and competitive windsurfers sail for 17 miles from Stevenson to Hood River.  The finish line is at the Event Site- come and cheer as they cross the finish line!  There is a junior blowout available for anyone looking to participate in 7 miles of downwind action, from Viento to Hood River.  For information about the Blowout and to register, visit www.VMGEvents.com

 If you would like to donate an item for the Pray for Wind party, please contact Beth McCullough at bmcculough@gorge.net.  If you are interested in volunteering at the event, contact Pete Biltoft at vintagevibeguitars@gorge.net

 Windfest is brought to you by the Columbia Gorge Windsurfing with the generous support of the Gorge community.  Special thanks to these sponsors: Vela Windsurfing Resorts, Your Rental and Party Center, Taco del Mar, Full Sail Brewing, and Griffith Motors. 

CGWA is a 501(c)(3) member-based nonprofit organization dedicated to enhancing the windsurfing experience throughout the Columbia River Gorge.  Learn more about our programs and projects at www.CGWA.net.