Category Archives: racing

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.

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.

2010 Ronstan Challenge


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

Steve Bodner
USA-4

2010 US Windsurfing National Champ’s in San Francisco!

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

More Great Racing in Florida

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.