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.
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.
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 email@example.com. If you are interested in volunteering at the event, contact Pete Biltoft at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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.
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
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!
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 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!
Things didn’t look too promising on day 3 with the forecast for getting another race in and drop for the series but somehow a few sailors managed to make it around the course with out an abandonment flag by the RC.
Conditions were sketch at best with an offshore shifty and variable breeze. Just like Saturday we were overlapped with several other fleets running a course in the same waters on the Biscayne Bay. With the windward mark set close to shore, it was anybody’s guess on how to best get there. The top boards planned off the line leaving the rest of the fleet parked.
Both left and right corners failed miserably and patience was the name of the game to get upwind with such wide upwind reaching angles. BRA3333 set the pace on his custom north 12.0 and new PD formula board with some blazing speed and angle keeping a commanding lead the entire race with local Fernando Martinez on north and PD board keeping pace just behind.
By the time I rounded the top mark I was deep and took off in the opposite corner as the fleet ahead and by the bottom mark was rounding comfortably in 3rd as the right side sat parked.
The lesson is never give up.
Soon enough on the 2nd upwind Micah was back and tacked in front of me at what was the port layline.
As another puff approached we split tacks and I headed even deep to the left corner, overstanding the top mark by miles and coming back to round planing as the USA34, BRA999 and K all sat parked on the right side.
I held on to 3rd but with Fernando finishing in 2nd he got the last laugh to get me by 1 point in the overall. Schurman and Micah both got their drops with the fifth and final race and closed out the top 3.
Best performance goes toBRA3333 Paulo Des Reis with 3 bullets never out of the top 2.
Impressive. The new Norths looks like they’ve got lots of power again.
Also it was great to see a Micah back in the fleet with the new JP board and some innovative sail changes from NP.
As always, a huge thanks to the Shake A Leg Sailing Center in Miami and the Alex Caviliga Blue Water Foundation for a great regatta. It was great to see the other classes actively represented as well with a strong junior 293 , kona and rsx fleets.
More @ www.stevebodner.blogspot.com
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