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
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 Pistol River Wave Bash is back with a huge splash coming to Oregon June 17th-20th. Organized by Trade Wind Events, this contest is guaranteed to be a success. Open to the first 100 registers, the contest will also feature stand up paddling in addition to this exciting wave sailing contest. Find more information about the event and register today at www.wavebash.weebly.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!
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
US Windsurfing and U.S. Sailing proudly announce a new two-day Beginning Windsurfing Instructor training course. The new course makes it easy for those already holding Level 1 Small Boat Certification to earn beginning windsurfing certification in one-half the time and at significantly less cost than the standard four-day course.
The first two-day course will be held on February 7 and 8 as part of U.S. Sailing’s NSPS (National Sailing Programs Symposium) taking place in Houston, Texas.
The course is limited to 12 student-instructors and the registration deadline is fast approaching.
Visit US Sailing to learn more and to register online.
For any questions, please contact Dan Weiss, US Windsurfing’s Northeast Regional Director, via E-mail or phone, both of which can be found by clicking on the Directory link in the “About USW” tab, at the top of this page.
2008 i-to-i Competitors
The 2009 i-to-i Race is only 4 weekends away, December 5-6, 2009. The event website www.i-to-i.org has been updated and the NOR is posted. This is the first race of the 2010 US Windsurfing National Race Tour. Hope to see you there!
Another great event in the calendar. This year the MIAMI PRO-AM will be taking place November 21 – 22 at the US SAILING CENTER MIAMI. Classes include: Formula Pro, Formula Sport, Formula EX, Kona, Techno 293 and Open.
For more information, please visit www.windsurfingtour.com