Category Archives: RS:X

2014 RS:X Youth Worlds in Clearwater: All To Play For!

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Women Fleet in Action in the Building Breeze (credit: Jay Ailworth)

Day 4 at the 2014 RS:X Youth Worlds in Clearwater, Florida, and the sound of the day was that of racers whooping and hollering past the race committee boats  (two imposing 44-ft power catamarans provided by event sponsor MarineMax) in a breeze that high-wind specialists had been waiting for all week.

After a first race in oscillating 8-12 kt side-off conditions, the wind filled in from the north: a solid cross-shore 12-15 kt breeze greeted the competitors for the second race of the day, before kicking up one more notch to a solid 16-18 kt for the third race. The action was once again set up close enough to shore for spectators to enjoy the show from the beach and Pier 60: gutsy starts, fast racing, spectacular wipe-outs, we had it all on Day 4!

Men's Leader Mattia Camboni (ITA)

Men’s Leader Mattia Camboni (ITA) enjoyed the conditions

Defending champion Mattia Camboni (ITA) and Radoslaw Furmanski (POL) traded race wins today and separated themselves from the rest of the men’s fleet. “It was great today,” said Camboni, “Radoslaw won the first two races and I won the last one, and at the end of the day I’m one point ahead in the overall. It’s going to be all to play for in the medal race!”

Indeed, nobody else is within striking distance of those two at this point in the championships, and you can count on some serious match racing in the medal race tomorrow. Toni Bonet from Spain doesn’t quite have bronze sewed up yet, and will have to look over his shoulder as Frenchman Oel Pouliquen still has a chance to climb on the podium if he wins the medal race.

Things are even tighter in the women’s fleet: while the race wins today went to Hadar Heller (ISR), Imogen Sills (GBR) and Shahar Tibi (ISR), young Emma Wilson from Great Britain impressed with steady racing in the building breeze and now stands on top of the podium entering the medal race. Her lead is razor thin though, and she’s going to have to fight for it on Saturday: Marta Maggetti (ITA), Ma Kwan Ching  (HKG) and Berenice Mege (FRA) are all within 4 points!

Gutsy Start from Mateo Salles (MEX)

Gutsy Start from Mateo Salles (MEX) – credit: Jay Ailworth 

 

The rest of the fleets will enjoy a final race tomorrow morning, come back ashore and line up on the pier to cheer on their friends in what promises to be an exciting medal race for both men and women!

The Organizing Authority continued to treat competitors to first-class dinner, this time at the Clearwater Community Sailing Center (courtesy of event sponsor Bright House Networks), before everyone rushed back to Pier 60 for a fireworks show (sponsored by Pier 60 Concessions).

The stage is set!

 

2014 RS:X Youth Worlds in Clearwater: Shake-Up at the Top on Day 3!

RS:X Racing on a public beach at the 2014 Youth Worlds in Clearwater

RS:X Racing on a public beach at the 2014 Youth Worlds in Clearwater

Shake up at the top on Day 3 of the 2014 RS:X Youth Worlds in Clearwater, Florida! Fully recharged thanks to the lay day yesterday, all competitors were eager to enter the final stretch of the competition in Clearwater, and the planing conditions in the forecast certainly contributed to the excitement on the beach. With cooler temperatures this morning came a 10-14 kt side-off breeze (don’t panic, cooler temperatures means 16C this time of year in Florida!) and the race committee wasted no time to set the course for the first race of the day. The windward mark for the inner loop of the course was set barely 200 yards from the tip of Pier 60, allowing spectators to enjoy the mark rounding action up close and personal.

View of the Baystar Racing Village from Pier 60

View of the Baystar Racing Village from Pier 60

It was Frenchman Clement Guevel who took charge in the first race of the day before letting a couple of competitors slip past him at the finish.  The French team found extra motivation today in the early departure of their teammate Clement ‘Boubou’ Bourgeois, who cut his foot during rest day yesterday and had to be flown back to France before the conclusion of the championships. That would be a big disappointment for any racer this week, but it was especially hard to take because Clement was standing in 3rd position this morning.

Unfortunate Early Departure for Clement 'Boubou' Bourgeois

Unfortunate Early Departure for Clement ‘Boubou’ Bourgeois

“Very good day for me today,” wrote French teammate Berenice Mege. “The wind was shifty and patchy and I was able to figure it out. The top step on the podium is really close. I want to climb up there for ‘Boubou.’ Her sentiment was echoed by her teammate Adrien Mestre, who joked that he wouldn’t make a push to the front out of respect for his wounded teammate, before promising that he would in fact fight ’til the very end in his honor. The race committee moved briskly to run two more races in very technical conditions. Those able to stay alert, read the current and find the patches of wind on the course were richly rewarded. Besides the early departure of Clement Bourgeois due to injury, there was another factor that contributed to the shake-up at the top of the men’s leaderboard: Radoslaw Furmanski (POL) and Mattia Camboni (ITA) were granted redress for an OCS earlier this week, along with four other competitors. Camboni moved straight to the top of the rankings as a result, while Furmanski stepped up to 3rd. Overnight leader Toni Bonet (ESP) lost the lead but is only 1 point behind Camboni tonight.

The Boys Fleet racing to the outer loop

The Boys Fleet racing to the outer loop

While Berenice Mege had the best combined score for the 3 races contested today in the women’s fleet, overnight leader Ma Kwan Ching (HKG) had very steady results and padded her lead a little over Marta Maggetti (ITA). With Mege, Wilson (GBR) and Czurylo (POL) all within a few points of the lead, it’s still all to play for.

Girls Fleet heading back down to leeward gate

Girls Fleet heading back down to leeward gate

Tonight’s dinner party was at Crabby Bill’s, a laid-back and colorful restaurant located directly across from the venue on Clearwater Beach. All competitors had a nice meal and headed in early: three more races are scheduled for tomorrow!

2014 RS:X Youth Worlds in Clearwater: Full Schedule after Day 2!

Clearwater 2014 - Start of Women Race 6

Clearwater 2014 – Lining up for Women Race #6, as viewed from Pier 60

After two days of intense racing at the 2014 RS:X Youth Worlds in Clearwater, both fleets have completed a full schedule of 6 light-wind races, and they’ve earned their lay day!

Very light and shifty winds were forecast for the day, and it was a nice surprise to see a 7 kt side-off breeze fill in early from the North. After a short postponement on shore to make sure the wind was steady, all racers were called to the water for what turned out to be three races in a row for both fleets, around the same tried-and-true trapezoid course used the day before.

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Riccardo Enrique Perez Gio (MEX), in 44th place after Day 2

“It was much steadier than yesterday,” said Ricardo Enrique Perez Gio from Mexico. “It was still very hard, but I enjoyed it more.”

The breeze eventually turned to side-on, but the race committee was on top of it and by 3pm, all racers were back to shore licking their wounds, counting their blessings, and looking forward to a great dinner party.

After the jitters of opening day and most likely a word or two from their coaches, racers were much more disciplined on the start line today, with no OCS in the three races of the day in either fleet. “I saw people being extra careful on the start line today,” observed Mateo Salles. “We all added five seconds to the countdown!”

Even with conservative starts, the leaders worked hard all the way around the course. “These guys are really good,” added Mateo’s teammate Federico Vega. “I’m learning a lot on every race.”

Toni Bonet - Men's Leader after Day 2

Toni Bonet – Men’s Leader after Day 2

With one discard in play already, Angel Granda Roque (ESP) and Mattia Camboni (ITA) made major gains in the men’s rankings: from 37th to 12th overall for Mattia and from 27th all the way to 5th for Angel. But Toni Bonet (ESP) has increased his lead with very steady racing and a bullet to end the day.

On the women’s side, French teammates Berenice Mege and Delphine Jariel showed their talent, with two bullets for Berenice vaulting her from 17th to 5th, and Delphine’s steady finishes allowing her to climb from 14th to 7th. Ma Kwan Ching (HKG) still leads the proceedings, but 2013 World Champion Marta Maggetti (ITA) has closed the gap, and Emma Wilson (GBR) is well positioned with the lowest discard among all the girls in the fleet.

The day ended in style, with trolleys picking up hungry sailors at the beach venue for a drive down the shoreline to local favorite restaurant Salt Rock Grill. A great opportunity for all to meet one of the Championships’ major sponsors, the Baystar Restaurant Group, and refuel after two long days on the water.

Race organizers are keeping an eye on a tropical depression brewing in the Bay of Campeche. Winds are expected to pick up when racing resumes on Thursday. But not before some much-needed R&R!

Dinner Party at Salt Rock Grill

Dinner Party at Local Favorite Restaurant ‘Salt Rock Grill’

 

2014 RS:X Youth Worlds in Clearwater: Hard Work on Day 1!

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Launching off the beach on Day 1 at the 2014 RS:X Youth Worlds in Clearwater, FL USA

The 2014 RS:X Youth Worlds kicked off today in Clearwater, USA, and it was hard work from the start: in 5-6 kt of breeze, offshore to start the day and side-on to close it, pumping was in order for the 54 boys and 28 girls gathered here for the 2014 RS:X Youth World Windsurfing Championships.

Races started on the dot at 11am in offshore conditions, with the knowledgeable race committee opting for a trapezoid course to keep the two fleets well clear of one another. After a long break ashore to recover from the morning workout, and to give the afternoon side-on breeze a chance to settle, the fleets were called back for two more races. Racing in those pumping conditions is very technical. It’s also a real test of a sailor’s stamina and psychological endurance, and the hot Florida weather can be the straw that literally breaks the Camelbak!

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Brenno Francioli from Brasil

“It was very hard out there for me today,” said Brenno Francioli from Brasil. “I’m better in high winds, but it was a good day. We should have higher winds later this week. I can’t wait!” Brenno currently sits in 29th place.

The boys are racing as one fleet, and errors on the start line are costly. With 6 boys OCS (early over the start line) in the 1st race, 8 in the 2nd race and 6 again in the 3rd, and a few boys scored OCS more than once already, there’ll be plenty of catching up to do the rest of the week. One of those affected is Mattia Camboni, the 2013 Youth World Champion, who scored 1, OCS, OCS for the three races of the day and will have no option but to race aggressively the rest of the way if the provisional results hold. Toni Bonet from Spain was incredibly regular and leads the Men’s fleet by 10 points over Frenchmen Clement Bourgeois and Oel Pouliquen, but the discard is likely to make the contest much closer once it gets into play. On the women’s side, Ma Kwan Ching from Hong Kong came out swinging in the afternoon with two bullets. Behind Ma Kwan Ching, Sara Wennekes (NED), Noy Drihan (ISR) and Emma Wilson (GBR) are lurking, but here too the discard will bring many more racers closer to the front.

The competitors this week have a venue unlike any other: the Baystar Race Village is set up directly on the sugar-white sand of Clearwater Beach, one of the most beautiful beaches in America. A big tent provides well-needed shelter from the sun, overnight storage for the equipment, and a corridor has been set up from the tent to the limits of the 300 ft zone to allow everyone to launch and land without obstacles. Wind conditions today didn’t allow for racing very close to shore, but that didn’t stop regular beach-goers from lining up the boundaries of that corridor to watch the competitors up close. They took pictures, asked questions, waved flags and cheered for their favorite countries.

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Baystar Race Village on Clearwater Beach, FL USA

Planting an enormous Race Village smack in the middle of a touristic beach is a logistical challenge for sure, but it creates real excitement for everyone: for the racers who get to spend a day at the beach, for the spectators who get introduced or re-introduced to the sport, and for the local community that gets to promote its incredible natural assets and the can-do attitude of its leaders.

“It’s a throwback to the early days of windsurfing,” said Jerome Samson, President of US Windsurfing. “Most sailing events are run out of yacht clubs, and for very good reasons, but it’s often at the expense of visibility. One thing we can say with certainty is that our venue this week is very visible!”

Racing continues Tuesday Oct 21 through Saturday Oct 25.

This event would not be possible without the energy and passion of Frank Chivas and Tampa Bay Charities, the city of Clearwater, the Clearwater Community Sailing Center, the St. Petersburg/Clearwater Sports Commission, the Clearwater Yacht Club and many more generous sponsors.

Skill level goes UP at the 2014 US Techno Nationals!

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All Smiles at the 2014 US Techno Nationals in Miami, FL!

Youth and talent were on display this weekend in the Sunshine State: nearly 30 young racers converged to Miami, Florida for the 2014 US Techno Nationals and RS:X Spring Festival. It was a great opportunity for everyone to reconnect, take stock of the competition and iron out the kinks ahead of the summer racing campaign.

Competitors were greeted with 10-14 kt southerly winds on Friday, 4-10 kt puffs with 30 degree shifts on Saturday on the back of a big overnight lightning storm, and 14-20 kt gusty north-westerlies on Sunday. Enough craziness to test everyone’s sanity! Mack Van Den Eerenbeemt, just off the podium at both the North and South American Championships this year, made up for it here and dominated the Techno Class with 7 wins out of 10 races. He summed it up for us: “the conditions were so varied, everyone got a chance to express themselves!”

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Racing against the Miami skyline! Photo Credit: Tomas Nores

Mack and Steven Max traveled from Aruba for the event to test their skills against the best racers from the US, and they were joined by a strong contingent from Mexico: among them Mateo Salles, who confirmed his 5th place at the North Americans earlier this year with a 5th place in Miami; and Mariana Aguilar who served notice that she’s the girl to beat in the Techno Class in North America right now, and will surely be a force to be reckoned with this summer at the Worlds in Brest and at the Youth Olympic Games in Nanjing.

The US National Techno title went to local hero Maximo Nores, ahead of Steven Cramer and Maximo’s brother Geronimo Nores: the same triumvirate that ruled the North American Championships in Cancun two months ago, and will be carrying the flag for the US at the European Championships this week in Italy. Those kids do get around, don’t they?

What made the US Nationals a great event for those kids? “It was great to race with people from outside the US,” said Maximo. “The best part was meeting racers from other countries,” added Mariana. The Miami Yacht Club and the Miami Youth Sailing Foundation ought to be commended for running a great event, but more importantly for helping keep the momentum going and creating yet another occasion for kids from North, South and Latin America to get together, learn from one another and raise the bar for everyone.

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Gold and Silver Fleets Ready to Pounce at the 2014 US Techno Nationals!

Success breeds success, and the talent at the top is infectious. Noah Lyons, a 12-yr old up-and-comer from Clearwater, FL, relished the heavy air and impressed everyone on the race course, but he knows he has some catching up to do in lighter conditions. He was wide-eyed about the experience and came away with the feeling that “with enough practice, anything is possible.”

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Hard Work at the 2014 US Techno Nationals

While the Techno class battled it up for national titles and bragging rights, the ‘older’ RS:X sailors used the event as a tune up. US Olympic Development Team Member Raul Lopez loved that this was a hard-thought yet no-pressure kind of event, and that relaxed attitude showed on his scorecard: he didn’t lose a single race! Diego Becerra from Mexico took advantage of the conditions to make “drastic improvements to (his) downwind technique.” Malo Ouallet “took (his) gear tuning skills to another level.” US Youth World Team Member Charlotte Samson used the event to test how her knees were holding up after a long injury timeout – “it’s been a while since I’ve sailed free of pain,” she said. “I’m really encouraged and looking forward to getting back on the water big time!”

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The RS:X Fleet Battling for Position ahead of the Finish Line – Miami, April 2014

The road is long and filled with endless hours on the water, buckets of sweat at the gym and layers of calluses on the hands, but as Raul Lopez noted with a smile, “it’s fantastic to see how the level in the US keeps going up.”

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Clowning Around at the 2014 US Techno Nationals!

Here are the podium positions:

Techno 293 US National:
1. USA 102. Maximo Nores
2. USA 242. Steven Cramer
3. USA 108. Geronimo Nores

Overall Techno 293 – girls:
1. MEX 28. Mariana Aguilar
2. MEX 75. Paula Carmona

Overall Techno 293 – boys:
1. ARU 11. Mack Van Den Eerenbeemt
2. USA 102. Maximo Nores
3. ARU 888. Steven Max

Overall Techno 293 – silver fleet:
1. USA 519. Michael Cramer
2. USA 628. Max Castillo
3. USA 708. Benjamin Dietch

RS:X 9.5:
1. USA 529. Raul Lopez
2. USA 528. Jonathan Rudich
3. USA 142. Malo Ouallet

RS:X 8.5 Girls:
1. MEX 87. Beatriz Castillo
2. USA 797. Charlotte Samson
3. MEX 126. Renata Millet

RS:X 8.5 Boys:
1. MEX 50. Mario Flores
2. MEX 83. Diego Becerra
3. USA 105. Nicolas Bailleul

Full Results here…

2014 RS:X Nationals

On the Start Line at the 2014 RS:X Nationals

On the Start Line at the 2014 RS:X Nationals – Photo: Dominique Vallée

The RS:X US Nationals took place in Miami on Jan 18-20, 2014, on beautiful Biscayne Bay and in mild temperatures while the rest of the country was battling nothing less than a ‘polar vortex!’

A number of international sailors, in Miami for winter training, took part in the open regatta as a tune-up to the ISAF Miami World Cup. Altogether, a fleet of 27 RS:X racers took to the waters right off of Coconut Grove Sailing Club for three days of intense competition in moderate to light winds, alongside 150 other boats across a number of other Olympic classes competing for their North American Championships.

Farrah Hall took the Women’s US National title in style, while Pedro Pascual won the Youth division and US Sailing  Sperry Topsider team member Carson Crain won the Men’s division. Here’s what Farrah had to say about her performance:

Farrah Hall at the 2014 RS:X Nationals

Farrah Hall at the 2014 RS:X Nationals – Photos: Farrah Hall, Will Ricketson

I had a successful event in quite difficult conditions. The wind was from the west for most of the event, which on Biscayne Bay means light, shifty, and gusty conditions.  I sailed a conservative event, which meant not taking any major tactical risks, and staying observant of the oscillating wind shifts.

The days were extremely long, because we shared a course with the 470s and 420s.  On their course, the races were 50-60 minutes, and given the unsettled wind, we spent about 5 hours per day on the water.  This made it a tough event, but it was also great training and confidence building in advance of the OCR.

There was a very big fleet of American youth, which was great to see!

Speaking of which, the 2014 RS:X Nationals were of particular importance for US Youth sailors not just because of the prestige of the national title at stake, but also because those championships were the 2nd and final leg of their qualifying series to make the US Youth Worlds team, and represent the US at the ISAF Youth Worlds this summer in Portugal.

Pedro Pascual for the Boys, and Charlotte Samson for the Girls will have that honor!

From Left to Right: Charlotte Samson, Pedro Pascual and Raul Lopez

Charlotte Samson, Pedro Pascual and Raul Lopez at Qualifier #1 – Photo: Third Coast Photo

In the Open 8.5 division, Izzy Hamilton (GBR) led the event wire to wire, as did Marco Baglione (ITA) in the Open 9.5 division, but with Farrah, Demi Vega (MEX), and David Mier y Terán (MEX) each winning their share of races, they really had to earn it.

A big thank you to Ron Rostorfer and all our friends at the Coconut Grove Sailing Club for running a great event!

Full results are here

Light wind battles at the 2014 RS:X Nationals - Photo: Dominique Vallée

Light wind battles at the 2014 RS:X Nationals – Photo: Dominique Vallée

Carson Crain reports from the 2013 Open Orange Bowl

RS:X Sailors at the 2013 Open Orange Bowl

RS:X Sailors at the 2013 Open Orange Bowl

After Steven Max’s perspective from the Techno fleet at the recent Open Orange Bowl in Miami (Dec 27-30, 2013), here’s a report from Carson Crain (US Sailing Team Sperry Top-Sider) who won the RS:X competition convincingly, and shares with us the details of how it all played out!

 

By Carson Crain – USA75

This year was the first time that the Open Orange Bowl Regatta featured an RSX fleet and Techno fleet.  Coconut Grove Sailing Center put on a great a event that attracted sailors from all over the world.  In the RSX and Techno fleet we had sailors from Mexico, Peru, USA, Sweden, and Canada.  US Sailing Team Sperry Topsider Coach Leandro Spina did a fantastic job attracting all these sailors and organizing this great event.  Many of the RSX sailors saw this event as an important tune up event for the US ISAF Youth Worlds Qualifier and ISAF Sailing World Cup Miami.  With 12 races scheduled over 4 days the sailors were ready to work for every inch.

On the first day sailors were battered by several rain squalls and winds ranging from 7-14 knots.  These conditions required the sailors to be very heads up with quick gains able to be made all over the course.  I  jumped out to the early lead on Day 1 with 3 straight bullets in the RSX fleet, while Mateo Salles-Ize took the lead in the Techno fleet with Steven Cramer and Maximo Nores right behind him.  On day 2 the breeze increased to 15-18 knots, but the rain squalls continued to affect the racing.  In the first race of the day Max Robinson passed me at the finish line to win the race. I was able to rebound to win the next two races and take a commanding lead.  In the Techno fleet Mateo Salles-Ize won all three races to lead the Techno fleet after day 2.  Day 3 was forecasted to be the windiest day, but once the competitors had made it out to the start line the breeze was only blowing 6-9 knots.  This allowed some of the lighter competitors to show off their light wind skills.  In the RS:X fleet I continued my dominant run winning all three races.  Jonathan Rudich was one of the fastest guys out on the course finishing second in all three races, but only to be OCS in 2 of the races.  In the Techno fleet Steven Cramer took advantage of the lighter conditions to win all three races, narrowing the gap between him and first place Mateo Salles-Ize.  On day 4 the wind never filled in enough to complete any races so the leaders from day 3 held on for victory.  In the Techno fleet there was Mateo Salles-Ize in 1st, Steven Cramer 2nd, and Steven Max 3rd.  In the RS:X fleet I ended up in 1st after winning 8 of the 9 races, Gabriel Paquette in 2nd, and Raul Lopez in 3rd.  The top RS:X 8.5 sailor and female was Nicole Level from Mexico.

Overall it was a great event with 3 perfect days of racing.  Coconut Grove Sailing Center and Leandro Spina deserve a big thank you for organizing and running a great event.

Complete results here: http://bit.ly/JWONfk

 

Carson Crain (USA75) and Jonathan Rudich (USA528) at the finish line

Carson Crain (USA75) and Jonathan Rudich (USA528) at the finish line

Success at the 2013 Halloween Regatta in Clearwater, FL!

Racing Starts at the Halloween Regatta in Clearwater, Florida

 

By Connor Oursler – USA 313

With the advent of cooler weather the Clearwater Windsurfing Team is anything but reluctant to get out on the water. To commence this year’s season, the Clearwater Community Sailing Center hosted its first annual Halloween Windsurfing Regatta this past weekend. Led by Coach Britt Viehman, the eight youth racers consisted mainly of those from the local racing team, age 12 to 19. Nevertheless, with three current members of the US Sailing Youth Development Team on the start line, it was enough for some successful and intense racing from the RS:X and Techno classes. Accompanied by light to marginal conditions and crisp October skies, these committed sailors were ready to put two months of rigorous training to the test.

 

In order to take advantage of the 6-8 knots of morning breeze from the East, day one was an early start. Immediately after the skippers meeting, the competitors headed across the flat and brilliant waters of Clearwater Harbor to catch the 10:15 start. It was a strong start too as Jonathan Rudich earned three straight bullets leaving the others to fight for second. However, by noon the winds were shifting to the West, causing a two hour postponement, yet the racers were back on the harbor in no time for three more races in 10 knots of sea breeze. This time, Margot Samson finished in the lead by only two points.The following morning presented ten knots of more Easterly winds to allow four more races of an intense battle for first. Conclusively, and not without a great performance by all, Margot Samson was able to hold her position in the RS:X fleet, but only barely with Connor Oursler and Malo Ouallet trailing by only two and four points respectively. Being the only competitor in the Techno fleet, Noah Lyons received his well deserved prize. Ultimately, Coach Viehman expects a very successful season for each of his students with the exceptional results and outstanding display of skill from this exciting weekend of great racing.

 

Top Finishers: 1. Margot Samson; 2. Connor Oursler; 3. Malo Ouallet

 

A big thank you to the Clearwater Community Sailing Center for hosting the event, and to US Windsurfing for making it happen!

 

Awards Ceremony – Group Portrait of Smiling Competitors

 

Overall Results:

1. 28 pts. Margot Samson
2. 30 pts. Connor Oursler
3. 32 pts. Malo Ouallet
4. 33 pts. Jonathan Rudich
5. 35 pts. Diego Becerra
6. 44 pts. Charlotte Samson
7. 50 pts. Tucker McElwaney
8. 68 pts. Noah Lyons (1st Techno)