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.
A big thank you to the Clearwater Community Sailing Center for hosting the event, and to US Windsurfing for making it happen!
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)
The air is getting a little chilly everywhere, and the season’s first snow storms have struck already. Time to stash the gear away, hang cobwebs from the front porch and drink spiced pumpkin eggnog, right? Wrong! Halloween may be around the corner, but the windsurf racing season is in full swing! Check out the schedule of US racers for the next couple of weeks:
We even have a few intrepid world travelers attending the following international events:
Trick or Treat?… BOTH!
It’s looking like this could be the best ever and most fun slalom event ever. The event is 3 days, Friday October 18 through Sunday October 20 at Virginia Key. Check out the website for more information and to sign up. http://www.miamislalomseries.com/ Two formats will be run, slalom and super slalom. Check out the Notice of Race, NOR, on the website above.
Darren Rogers will be the race director so this should be the most professionally run event yet. Darren has run Mid-Winters, National, North American and local events with tremendous success around the USA and is highly sought after. We’re lucky to have him officiating this year! In addition to local sailors a large number of international sailors, youth and pro are planning to attend. Sean O’Brien and Kurosh Kiani, pro windsurfers, who are on tour with the PWA slalom series will be competing again this year.
Sign up today!
US Windsurfing SE Regional Director
Our formula windsurfing fleet had been invited to race on the Americas Cup course as part of the AC- OPEN- a showcase of different sailing, windsurfing , & kiteboarding competitions run in parallel with the Americas Cup and Louis Vuitton race series this summer on the San Francisco Bay.
We waited until Italy’s Luna Rossa and Emirates Team New Zealand finished their first race before launching from Crissy Field and sailing down to the start off last chance beach in front of the AC Village on the marina green. The shores were packed with sailing fans on grandstands set up along the water front but the 2nd of 2 races between Italy & NZ was cancelled as they reached their maximum safety limit where the organization and teams agreed it was not safe to race- a meer 24 knots of breeze and a 4k flood tide. Your typical summer San Francisco day.
Too windy for America’s cup?
Enter the formula windsurfer!
Things were about to get fun.
If you’re going to race on the San Francisco Bay- you better have the proper equipment or chances are- you wont be coming back anytime soon. Same applies with the AC boats.
The windsurfing fleet here has been pushing the limit of the equipment and evolving the sport for the past 30 years. We’re extremely lucky to have a world class board builder and fin makers within our community. Its all about experience and this fleet has it. The average sailors age this weekend was 50 years old and most have been racing some type of board for at last 20+ years. Anyone in the top 10 was capable of winning a race.
I chose my smaller Mikes Lab 89 cm wide board, 61cm Kashy fin and 10.0 Avanti for maximum power and control. Conditions looked brutal with a steep chop and 20-25 knots of westerly breeze coming through the golden gate. If you knew what you were doing it was manageable. If not it was hell. I’d been sailing on this course for the better of 10+ years. It’s my backyard, my playground.
Full race report at www.stevebodner.blogspot.com
By Peter Bonello
After obtaining permits from the City, County and Federal governments and coordinating with nine agencies, the stage was finally set for this year’s National Championships at LA’s Cabrillo Beach. 46 competitors from across the nation, some hailing from as far away as New England, Hawaii, Florida and Washington State, descended onto LA’s Cabrillo Beach for the 2013 Windsurfing National Championships.
They varied in age from 16 to 63 with 36 signing up for the slalom races, 23 for the formula course racing, and 16 of these signing up for both slalom and course racing.
Out of the 36 slalom racers, 5 were women and 6 of the men also competed for the freestyle title. Motivations to participate varied of course, but a contributing factor had to be the opportunity to sail at a venue that no Nationals had ever been run at before and possibly a welcome change from the usual venues.
Nicknamed Hurricane Gulch, Cabrillo Beach consistently delivers solid thermal afternoon breezes during the summer and the week of Nationals was no exception with the wind blowing between 15 and 20 knots for all of the racing. This breeze is not limited to a small local area either as evidenced by the fact that the organizers confidently sent the course racers on a long distance race 8 miles dead downwind to Long Beach and back – a race that covered over 30 miles over the water and was completed by the leader in just under 1-1/2 hrs with most of the fleet finishing under 2 hours.
The long distance race was a part of the course racing series, counting as two course races. Over the other four days of the regatta, ten races were held, allowing competitors to discard their three worst results. While the overall top two positions became obvious pretty early in the regatta between the defending National Champion Phil McGain (Hawaii) in first place and Xavier Ferlet of Southern California, in second, the race for third was a real nail biter between five Bay Area sailors with Al Mirel and Soheil Zahedi finishing only 1 point apart for that coveted position.
18 year old Jack Lundquist put on an incredible performance finishing in 6th place overall amongst a fleet dominated by grand masters with 30+ years of windsurf racing experience. The middle of the fleet also enjoyed close and intense racing with positions jockeying back and forth through the course of the week amongst racers who each tend to dominate their local regattas and make that occasional trek out to Nationals.
12 Slalom races were held over three of the five days. The first race was however thrown out as the finish boat’s anchor did not hold and with menacing rocks just a short distance downwind, the crew had to focus on boat recovery efforts rather than record the finishers. The men’s fleet raced all together with about 25 racers in each heat. The sprint to the first downwind mark set only about a hundred or so yards off shore was exhilarating to watch and must have been nerve-racking to be in as a dense pack of blasting windsurfers charged towards the beach bearing down for that first critical gybe.
Tyson Poor sailed consistently well taking an early lead in the regatta and held onto it throughout the week in spite of pressure from McGain who took second. A very close battle for third place developed between Xavier and Casey Hauser. The tie was broken based on the best scores of each to Xavier’s advantage. While Phil Soltyziak was clearly in 5th place with a series of very consistent results around that position, a battle for 6th through 9th developed with another tie breaker between Wyatt Miller and Jay Watermeyer. Local veteran sailor Dave Whittaker obtained an impressive 10th place overall for his first time ever at a national championship, also taking third place in his age division.
The women’s slalom races followed immediately after each men’s start. Sarah Delaunay from France dominated the races except for races 4 through 6 which she obtained DNFs for failing to finish correctly. Hawaii’s Tammy Bockius sailed consistently and placed in a solid second while a close race for third place between local sailors Johanna Yee and Kay Monteleone was developing. Sheri Nelson was not far behind even scoring a bullet in one of the races.
To the delight of the onlookers, the six freestyle sailors duked it out just a few yards from the beach in spite of the inconsistent wind pressure when close to shore. Pro sailor Phil Soltyziak took first place with an unparalleled repertoire of airborne spins and maneuvers. Wyatt Miller was judged in second place with Casey Hauser in third. Phil’s younger brother Tom Soltyziak took fourth place ahead of Jay Watermeyer and Ben Quinn. The event was run in a single day though many practice sessions before ensured quite the spectacle for onlookers.
As promised, both Phil’s each gave a windsurfing clinic to anybody that showed up at the beach shortly after 9 am on the pre-designated day. While McGain discussed racing and training techniques, Soltyziak covered freestyle.
Every evening at the yacht club, the competitors and their guests were served complimentary beer, provided by our sponsors Shipyard Brewing and Sea Dog Brewing Companies. Two evenings were pre- scheduled for dinner at two local restaurants, The Whale & Ale and Babouch, both supporters of the event. On Tuesday it was Whale and Ale night with 30 windsurfers gathering for a nice British pub style dinner and a round of bar songs. Wednesday night was reserved for Babouch where about 20 windsurfers gathered for authentic Moroccan food and belly dancing entertainment.
Friday night’s awards and closing ceremony provided an opportunity to meet the volunteer officials of the Cabrillo Beach Yacht Club that hosted the event and provided the many boats, marks and other resources for the regatta as well as to thank some of our sponsors in person. Mr. Marty Bellville of the Ardagh Group was in attendance. Marty, a local windsurfer, was also a key contributor to the event not only through his company’s financial support, but also through contribution of his time and personal resources towards the event. Also invited, but unable to attend, was Mr. Kirk Robinson of Captain Kirk Windsurfing, the local windsurfing shop who also sponsored the event.
Other supporters include the San Pedro Convention and Visitor’s Bureau and Mr. Greg Long, a friend of the organizers. The creators of the Event Website, Debi Thompson and husband Spennie were also in attendance. In addition to financing, designing and managing the website, the Thompsons also designed the Race Shirt graphics. Scott Carter, a long time local windsurfer who volunteered for the role of master of ceremonies throughout the event continued in this role at the closing ceremony and brought with him members of Jim Drake’s family. As many windsurfers know, the late Jim Drake is credited as the inventor of windsurfing. Mr. Darren Rogers, the principal race officer, who worked tirelessly not only during the day to run the races but also after each day’s racing into the night to get the scoring recorded, was also on-hand and buying drinks for yacht club volunteers who manned the many boats.
At the awards ceremony, in addition to recognizing the top three finishers for the various age and gender divisions of each event, the overall National Champion was declared based on the combined performance of both the Formula and the Slalom Races. Phil McGain was thus crowned 2013 US National Champion with Xavier Ferlet coming in second and Bay Area sailor, Chris RadKowski in third place.
Local Photographer Daniel Gallet, a former windsurfer, was present every day on the committee boat, at the beach or at the several evening get-togethers. He and Dominik, another photographer who made the trip from San Diego, posted many photos of the event that can be viewed by clicking on the following links:
While this year’s Nationals were not free of challenges and glitches, especially at the onset, the event proved to be a huge success. The wind and water conditions were fabulous, plenty of races were served up, including an awesome downwind-upwind long distance race and a very cool freestyle event. The best part of the event, one might say, is the camaraderie of the windsurfers and their families that participate in this annual event. Whether you are new to Nationals or a veteran that returns year after year it really is a great family atmosphere to be in and the 2013 Nationals at Cabrillo was no exception!
Results and more stories can be found here:
Hope to see you all at the 2014 US Windsurfing Nationals in Worthington, MN from June 11-15, 2014!
I wasnt able to attend this years US Windsurfing Nationals in Cabrillo Beach last week but am taking the opportunity to post- Soheil’s report from the regatta on my blog
I think you’ll find it a good read about the trials and tribulations of sailing a regatta- the highs and lows and most importantly- the lesson of never ever giving up.
Soheil sailed one of the best regattas of his career and finished a career high 4th overall in the Formula class. Big props to him for keeping it going and sending out an report each evening.
Full report @ www.stevebodner.blogspot.com
Report by MauiSails’ very own
(and US National defending champion!)
The final slalom event of the year took place at Kanaha beach park last Saturday July 27 in typical trade wind conditions. Competitors showed up from various parts of the world to contest this famous Hawaii State Championship. Apart from the local sailors the next biggest contingent was from New Zealand.
Micah Buzianis was the star of the day winning eight consecutive heats to claim two divisions, the mens Pro and Mens age group 40-49. Buzianis, a veteran Professional windsurfer from Paia, nailed his starts all day and had awesome board speed to beat out Dan Ellis and Peter Slate in the pro divison. In the mens 40-49 Buzianis had his hands full with Phil McGain giving him a bit of run but in the end McGain settled for second place with Kevin Ozee in third position.
Dan Ellis had another excellent day to top off his season, putting together some near perfect heats to walk away with the mens 19-39 age group with Neil Turpin coming second and Samuel Perez in third place.
In the Womens Division Tamara Bockius won her third straight State Title by beating out Argentina Bonilla Jimenez and racing in her first season Diane Takemoto got herself on the podium in third place.
Mike Yasak once again proved he’s the most consistent sailor in the mens 50-59 age group, however he was pushed all the way by Chris McNeil and Sam Bockius, who took second and third places. Todd MacFarlane is the state champion in the Mens 60-over division with Ted Hunter in second and Greg Thomas in third place.
Special Mention has to go the juniors with Deniz Bicakci who has raced well all year taking the title from Taylor Boyd and Connor McKenney. We look forward to these boys growing into Men in the future and racing with the big boys.
All results Below.
RESULTS OF THE NEILPRYDE HAWAII STATE CHAMPIONSHIPS:
MAUI RACE SERIES FINAL STANDINGS:
US National Champion Phil McGain will race and defend his title at the US Nationals at Cabrillo Beach!
In addition to competing in the Formula, Long Distance and Slalom events, Phil will be offering a free clinic on Tuesday August 6, prior to the day’s racing. Phil will cover almost all aspects of windsurfing but mainly focus on racing preparation, tuning and tactics.
If you haven’t yet registered for the Aug 4-9, 2013 US Nationals in LA, here’s the link to the event website: http://www.2013windsurfingnationals.com/
On Friday August 9th at 10am Canadian professional freestyle windsurfer Phil Soltysiak will be holding a free freestyle clinic at Cabrillo Beach, Los Angeles. Cabrillo Beach is the venue of the 2013 US Nationals where Phil will be competing in both freestyle and slalom!
During the clinic, Phil will cover the basics of freestyle windsurfing, followed by more in depth discussion of how to improve your skills, and answer any questions you may have. The clinic is open for everybody to attend, so we hope to see you all there!
For more information on Phil, check out: www.PhilipSoltysiak.com
If you haven’t yet registered for the Aug 4-9, 2013 US Nationals in LA, here’s the link to the event website: http://www.2013windsurfingnationals.com/