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.

Techno 293 Nationals & Worlds

80 boards at the start!

The Techno 293 World Championships in Martiuges, France and the Techno 293 US Nationals in Vineyard Haven just wrapped up with great performances from youth windsurfers at both events! 

In Vineyard Haven, 15 races were run over 3 days – with the first two days having the conditions we all dream of racing in, high teens to low twenties!  26 kids from the US, Canada and Mexico showed up to compete for the National title.  John Sebastian, the top Canadian Techno 293 sailor dominated the fleet with ten first place finishes!  Raz Sayre (son of former world champion windsurfer, Nevin) and Chris Waldo of Gainsville, FL battled it out for second and third place.  You can see full results at http://www.vhyc.org/files/Download/techno239results.htm and check out the video of the event (thanks to Dan Weiss) at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uHyrp4Gl6GQ 

The Techno 293 World Championships also just wrapped in Martigues, France (just outside of Marseille).  The US Team consisted of Marion Lepert and Jack Lundquist from San Francisco, Margot Samson and Charlotte Samson from Clearwater, Florida and Ian Stokes from Norfolk, VA.  US Junior Team coach Britt Viehman was there as well, helping the kids to achieve their best possible performance.  The event was huge (almost like the old days, maybe even better) with over 350 racers!  Huge congratulations to Marion Lepert, who finished 11th out of 80 girls in the 7.8m girl’s class and Ian Stokes who finished 68th out of over 150 in the boy’s 7.8m class.  Check out the video from Day 1 (when it was blowing 50 knots!)

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You can see more videos and full results at www.techno293.org

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

Relief from the Heat on Day 1 of Nationals

Seth Besse at 2010 US Windsurfing Nationals

Even the locals looked cold on day 1 of US Windsurfing Nationals here in San Francisco!  With just over 40 boards on the starting line, four races were completed in building breeze and the complicated currents that San Francisco is so famous for.  Brazillian Formula superstar, Paulo dos Reis is dominating so far, with Phil McGain, Wilhelm Schurmann, Aurelien Le Metayer and Seth Bessie rounding out the top five.  More Formula racing plus slalom and freestyle is scheduled for the rest of the week – so check back for more updates!  You can see full results from the St. Francis Yacht Club race office at http://www.stfyc.com/files/2010-US-Windsurfing-Nats-Results.pdf and check out the pictures from professional photographer Shawn Davis at http://www.picyourshot.com/event/2010-US-Windsurfing-Nationals and see more event reports at http://www.waterhound.com/us-windsurfing-national-championships-and-formula-north-americans-day-1-report.html, www.stevebodner.blogspot.com and http://www.mauisails.com/forum/viewtopic.php?id=2913

Nothing less than Classic for the SF Formula fleet

What can be said about the San Francisco Classic and Ultra Nectar Challenge that hasn’t been said before.
The longest running long distance windsurfing race in some of the toughest conditions imaginable!
A 40+ mile trek taking the formula boards and kiters (for the past 5 years) out the golden gate and 8 times across the SF Bay, down to the bottom of the Berkeley pier for the SF Classic and back the the StFYC for the UN Challenge.

Seth Besse dominated both races in the 25 board formula fleet with an elapsed time of 1 hour and 46 minutes while kiters Johnny Heineken and Joey Pasquali each took the upwind and downwind portions of their race respectively but still were well off the pace of the top boards with best elapsed finish time by Chip Wasson in 2 hours and 2 minutes

The wind readings off Angel Island on Saturday pretty much sumed it up.
35-40k at Point Blunt.

Multiple blow ups on the way downwind and upwind had me thinking about about stopping to retire at Treasure Island at least a few times as that was our designated safe spot- guaranteed for a ride back to SF with the RC.
Each time, however, I was able to dig a bit deeper and hang on a little bit longer.
The reach from Blossom rock to Point Blunt was pure hell.
Somewhere between a beam reach and a close reach on a formula board is pretty much the most uncomfortable position you would ever want to put yourself in with a 67cm and 9.5m rig . Add 4-6′ breaking swell and the wind now gusting above 30k .
Im not sure how the others coped but I found just how far I could push myself to the limit without going over.
Survival was the name of the game.
It was a respectable 5th for me in the SF Classic and just happy to have made it back home across the finish line for the UN Challenge.
Ive sailed in 8 or 9 SF Classics and can say this was one of the windiest and most challenging I’ve ever done.

The return trip home for the UN Challenge was equally as brutal.
Port tack towards Angel Island seemed an eternal punishment for all the bad things I had done in my life.
I was getting pounded never able to put the hammer down.
Wave after wave- the board was flying well out of the water across the top of the 4-6′ swell.
My muscles are still sore thinking about it.
The guys that sailed up the city front had a bit tamer ride and a noticeable advantage once they reached the finish in front of the St. Francis YC.

The timing for this years event couldn’t be better with the 2010 US Windsurfing National Championships off Crissy Field in San Francisco from July 20-24.

Steve Bodner
USA-4

Results and report @ www.stevebodner.blogspot.com
Photo credit: Don Albinico

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