Category Archives: racing

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/

US Olympic Windsurfing Team Announced!

Congratulations to Farrah Hall and Bob Willis!

The recent ISAF  World Sailing Championships in Perth, Australia was the final event of the US Olympic trials for windsurfing.  After many days of racing in a variety of conditions, Farrah Hall and Bob Willis were named to the 2012 US Olympic Team for windsurfing.  Bob had a fantastic event and in addition to being the top US finisher, he also finished well enough to qualify the United States for a spot to compete in the Olympics for men’s RS:X.  Farrah was the top US finsher among the women, and just missed qualifying the US for a spot in the women’s RS:X event at the Olympics.  She will have another chance to qualify the country at the 2012 RS:X World Championships in Cadiz, Spain in March. 

You can read more about their adventures on their Olympic quests at www.farrahhall.com and www.bobsails.com.

2011 Elvestrom/Zellerbach regatta, San Francisco, CA

70+ dinghies and boards packed the San Francisco city front course for 2 days of racing at the St. Francis Elvestrom/Zellerbach regatta. The 5 fleets saw a building breeze and foggy conditions both days with racing in 15-25k and a raging ebb tide along the San Francisco city front.
The lasers saw a big turn out in prep for this season’s masters and 4.7 World Championships in San Francisco.

With just 6 board sailors in the formula windsurfing class, our fleet saw the core racers in action but it was Seth Besse who showed the most consistency to walk away with all 6 bullets.

I thought I might get the first one- leading around the course but failed  to cover on the last 2 legs and let Seth and Crad slip into the top positions. CRad and I rounded the bottom leeward mark in a pack of lasers on the outside of the pinwheel. Despite the dirty air, the formula boards are traveling so fast compared to the dinghies that it only takes a few seconds to clear and get through any bad air.   We tacked and were overlapped heading into the finish with CRad edging me out by shooting the line at the just the right moment.

Race 2 started with a true sportsmanship from our fleet. Rather than start with just 3 guys we abandoned the sequence in order to wait for the guys who went to rig down in the building breeze. Im not sure- Ive ever seen this happen but it sure is a lot more fun to win when you’re racing against all the competitors.

Seth and I were close midway through the race. I tacked just below him on the 2nd beat up thinking I would be able to squeeze him out with better angle from below but he had enough speed to roll right over the top of me.

Ouch! Speed kills. No strategy required.

In the high speed racing we do on formula boards, its not often you get more than 1 or 2 chances to make a move on the course. You’ve got to see it coming and when it happens capitalize on it immediately. When racing is tight, you’ve got to be able to utilize your best asset otherwise its waiting for the guys in front of you to make a mistake.

Race 3 saw more of the same in a building 18-22k breeze. All of the fleet was on the 9.5 or 10′s as the ebb increased and racing took it’s toll.   Consistency  paid off for Seth as he scored another bullet with Al and I rounding the top 3.

Day 2 saw 3 more races for all fleets + the chance to sail in the flood tide before the ebb really kicked in strong at 2pm. The usual pecking order established itself quickly as Seth got out to an early lead again with great speed. I had 2nd all but wrapped up again in front of Al coming into the finish line but had to duck below 2-3 lasers and barely eeked out across the line salvaging 2nd in what could have been disaster.

Race 5 saw the tide switch and the committee board swing from straight downwind to straight upwind despite a fresh 18-22k breeze I realized what was happening but failed to take into account the relationship of the starting line. It was now a slalom start and I was over early. Clearing myself I decided to get some separation from the fleet to get any advantage I could. When your behind, you really don’t have too much too loose and your risk can be bigger. I separated form the fleet during the next 4 legs and clawed my back but charged a bit too hard and went swimming on my last gybe to the leeward mark.

Total yard sale!

Race 6 started in 22-25k and a big ebb. All of the fleet was on either 9.o’s, 9.3′s or 9.5′s and 64-67cm fins. Anything else was just too big to handle in the chop and breeze.  Control was the name of the game. Seth jumped out to an early lead while I got buried at the start.  I kept going despite the bad air and made my moves when I could, finally powering over CRad on the final downwind to get another 2nd.

Overall another  great weekend of racing on the San Francisco Bay!

Steve Bodner

USA-4

www.stevebodner.blogspot.com

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/

DoubleTree by Hilton At Berkeley Marina Signs As 2011 Title Sponsor of US Nationals

It’s been a while since Windsurfing has signed up a large out of industry sponsor to support its premiere US racing event, the US Windsurfing National championships but times are a changin’.

As companies have come to realize however there is almost no more effective advertising spend than one that truly compliments and supports its patrons. We all know windsurfers are a nomadic bunch crisscrossing the globe in search of the best winds and the folks over at the DoubleTree by Hilton Berkeley Marina know this too. So it was no surprise when National Championships lead organizer, Jane Morson, announced the signing of the DoubleTree by Hilton at the Berkeley Marina as this year’s title sponsor.

“Organizing, and also being behind the scenes help at Windsurfing events for a number of years, I have tried to listen and learn from what attendees have had to say. ” says Morson. “There always seemed to have been accommodation problems, and this year we have solved this for everyone”.

The 2011 Windsurfing National Championships are set to fire off in Berkeley July 11th through the 16th of this year and with DoubleTree by Hilton having one of its own hotels sharing the land just down the road it made perfect sense that the hotel would want to be in on the action. The hotels picturesque resort-like setting is accentuated by the stunningly appointed facility and the hotel is ideally situated at right at the Berkeley Marina (pictured at right). These racers can look forward to a plethora of discounts in the form of discounted room rates, discounted food and beverage, and even free parking. When combined with the hotels panoramic views of the San Francisco cityscape and astonishing Golden Gate Bridge views it’s going to be an event to remember for those taking up the DoubleTree on these generous offers. (pictured belo left an example of the rooms racers can look forward to.

The US Windsurfing National Championships, now known as the DoubleTree by Hilton at the Berkeley Marina 2011 US Windsurfing National Championships, will be celebrating the 35th anniversary this year of its return to Berkeley, and it could be the start of a rebirth that launches windsurfing back in to the limelight.

Morson continues “It has been an absolute pleasure working with the DoubleTree by Hilton Berkeley Marina’s, Director of Sales & Marketing, Brooke Meyer, and it was my complete honor when they signed on to support the event. I look forward to seeing everyone at this year’s Nationals.”

Interested in attending the event? Click Here to reserve your room at the DoubleTree by Hilton at Berkeley Marina.

This year’s event promises to once again bring big winds and wild water the San Francisco bay is famous for but the highlight just may be the complimentary warm chocolate chip cookies waiting for you when you get there!

The notice of race is posted at http://www.formulawindsurfing.org/nor.php?id=129

About the Berkeley Yacht Club

Berkeley Yacht Club is in the Berkeley Marina, on the south side of the harbor entrance channel. The club was founded in 1939, and the clubhouse was built by members between 1940 and 1974. The clubhouse includes a bar, lounge, and dining facilities, and the bar and lounge areas feature a spectacular “three-bridge view” of San Francisco Bay.There is a guest dock, but the club does not provide permanent berthing. Berkeley Marina is a municipal marina, operated by the City of Berkeley.

There are approximately 250 active members. BYC was among the first yacht clubs in the Bay Area to become entirely non-smoking in 1992.

BYC runs a very active racing program, as well as club cruises once a month, formal and informal parties, dinner meetings, lectures and race clinics. The Commodore’s Ball, Halloween Party, Amateur Performance Nights, and various other special social events span the full range of party styles and tastes.

Berkeley Yacht Club prides itself on being an active participant in supporting the community in which we live. For many years we have had a junior program in conjunction with the Berkeley Boosters focused on introducing at-risk or disadvantaged youth to boating.

Berkeley Yacht Club uses minimal professional staff. Bartenders are usually members, and when there is no bartender on duty the members are free to serve from the bar themselves. Members have keys to the club, and in contrast to many other yacht clubs that are closed during most of the week, BYC can be opened any time by members who wish to use the lounge, bar, or kitchen facilities.

Interested in attending the event? Click Here to reserve your room at the DoubleTree by Hilton at Berkeley Marina.

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.