Formula North American Championships- SF CA

Registration is open for next months North American Course Racing Championship for the Formula Windsurfer & Kite boarding fleets hosted by the St. Francis Yacht Club- http://bit.ly/OJkFpe
5 days of races are planned with the starting line just off Crissy field on the San Francisco city front from July 18-22nd.
Bring you ‘A game’ because this ain’t your normal dog & pony show.

Each fleet will be racing with their own start and a combined ‘Round the rock’ race will be held at the conclusion of racing on Sunday where kites & boards will attempt to navigate around San Francisco Bay’s most famous rock.

See you on the starting line,
Steve
USA-4

Wave Contest and Slalom Races

pistol river wave contest

Big air in Pistol River, OR

The American Windsurfing Tour just wrapped up another hugely successful event in Pistol River, OR with the Naish Pistol River Wave Bash.  Great wind, great waves and fantastic wave sailing talent made for a spectacular event.  Levi Siver took first place, followed by Bernd Roediger, Morgan Noireaux and Kai Katchadourian.  Ingrid Larouche again took top honors in the women’s fleet, followed by junior sailing (and all around athlete) superstar Fiona Wylde, event organizer Sam Bittner took third. Brian Caserio finished first in Masters and Attila Tivadar took first in the Amateur fleet.  The next stop on the AWT will be the Quatro San Carlos Desert Showdown from July 28-Aug 4.   Full results, pictures and videos can be found at www.americanwindsurfingtour.com

The second event of the Maui Slalom Series, the DaKine Classic also took place last weekend.  Tamara Bockius continues to dominate the women’s division, having won both of the events so far.  Phil McGain took first place in the Men’s pro division.  You can see full results, broken down by age group at www.mauiraceseries.com

June Triple Header

Racing on the San Francisco city front course can bring plenty of surprises.
There’s the 40k+ gusts that hit you like a slap in the face!
There’s the 4′ voodoo chop that can stop a keelboat in its tracks!
There’s the 5k ebb that that makes calling any layline nearly impossible!
There’s the ferries, commercial fishing boats and freighters who go right through your course!
I wont even begin to mention the 40 degree foggy & cold summers…

But this past weekend- we had none of that.
For the first time in ages, we had a pretty civil conditions racing on the city front course with a flat flood tide, sunshine & a manageable 14-22k of breeze every day.
The Formula windsurfers and kite boarding fleet had 3 days of spectacular racing from the St. Francis Yacht Club.
Racers were treated to a combined Friday night series with the kites joining the windsurfers for 4 course races on the outside course; a combined long distance race to Berkeley and back on Saturday afternoon and 5 more course races on Sunday afternoon.

The kites dominated the long distance race with Johnny Heineken taking line honors in 1 hour and 13 min on the 24 mile course and Xavier Feret taking the top board spot almost 13 minutes behind him.

Overall- I was pretty stoked with podium finishes all 3 days!
I introduced a new sail (err..Technora fiber loadpath membrane) into my program the last 2 weeks and finally got a chance to race with it for 2 out of the 3 days
The Avanti 10.0 performed really well right from the start. Despite being built as a light wind slalom sail- it’s got great stability and control in the puffs and great range as a formula rig. The biggest difference from my other formula sails is the weight- almost 1/3 lighter!
Oh yea- its pretty dam sexy too- in a twisted carbon, laminate polymer kind of way…

Steve Bodner
USA-4

Full regatta report at www.stevebodner.com
Photos by Chris Ray www.crayivp.com
Results: St.FYC website

BIG THURSDAY

5-24-12 will henceforth be known as BIG THURSDAY.

Iwindsurf’s Mike Godsey’s 7am  forecast was spot on with the pressure gradients reading off the charts @ .24!
I usually start to pay attention when they reach .07 to .09.
The “skirt alert” was quickly turned into “hang onto your car” warning!

The wind and the swell in the upper half of the San Francisco Bay went off like Ive never seen in my 12+ years of windsurfing here. The Bay was turned into a frothy mess. By 5pm the wind spiked up to a solid 30k and gusting up to 40k+.
City front gust are spastic gusts like a back hand slap to a raw cheek!
They turn whitecaps into liquid spray.
They separate the boys from the men.

The port tack ramps lined up with such precision they practically launched you into orbit.
The starboard tack swell, not to be outdone, was of epic proportions- similar to that at the hatchery on a good day in the gorge.
Did I mention sunshine.
The golden gate was at it’s finest with a warm orange twilight glow coming across the Marin headlands and through the iconic golden gate bridge.

Without a doubt- it was one of the finest sessions I’ve ever had on the San Francisco Bay.

I hesitated on what to rig when I got to the beach as it was already gusting into the low 30′s in the early afternoon but we were in a 4:30 lull that calmed things down when I arrived.
I rigged up the bread and butter of my slalom quiver- 7.0 and 39 cm fin on my 105l light weight ml slalom board.
10 min later after a few runs to the middle of the bay and I already knew I was in trouble.
I’m not ashamed to admit defeat when I’m there.

Windsurfing is no fun when you’re not dialed into your equipment.
1-2m2 can make the difference between being powered and stupidly over powered.

I came in and switched down to my 85l ml free ride slalom board with 32cm fin and 6.3 north warp.
I was still super wound but beginning to enjoy the flow rather than being at the mercy of it.
Finally I moved my booms all the way down in the boom cut out on my sail and had way better control as I carved down the 5-6′ breaking swell and flew across the San Francisco Bay.

There was just a handful of us windsurfers as the kites were off racing to leeward and only came upwind a few times to round their windward mark set near the Presidio shoal. I saw some kite mares unfolding before my eyes as the race crew tried to make their way around the course on their 70cm race boards and 9m kites in 30-40k winds.

The consensus from the windsurfing side of the beach – “the best day this season.”
The consensus from kite beach,”OMFG- I cant believe I survived. WTF was I thinking kite racing in that breeze.”
Oh to be a windsurfer!
Everyone one of stayed out as long as we could, not to be outdone by the lucky few who were ripping it up. Every time I came back to the beach to catch my breath and let my pulse drop below 150, I looked out and saw 10 locals having the time of their lives.
I headed back out for ‘just one more run,’ which turned into 5 or 6.

The stoke level was at it highest its been and the grins on our faces couldn’t be wiped off.
BIG THURSDAY will go down in the record books as a day to remember!

Windsurfing out of the Olympics for 2016

photo by Dale Thompson

Most everyone has heard by now of the recent decision by ISAF to replace windsurfing with kite boarding in the 2016 Summer Olympic Games in Brazil.  It only took a few hours for a petition drive to begin to ask ISAF to reverse the decision, you can see and sign the petition at http://www.change.org/petitions/isaf-keep-windsurfing-as-olympic-discipline.  Over 14,000 people have already signed!  There is lots of interesting discussion in the facebook group to keep windsurfing in the Olympics (there are already almost 17,000 members).

The RS:X class website had the folowing to say:

“The campaign to put windsurfing back in the Olympics will not be easy. Nor will it be a sprint. It is more likely to be a marathon but when the the going gets tough the tough get going. The RS:X Class fully realize that this is not a matter just for them. It is a matter for the whole sport of windsurfing.

The initiatives to set up a petition did not come from within the RS:X Class nor did the Facebook Group. They came as a result of the spontaneous combustion of anger and frustration felt by windsurfers round the world. People from more than 100 countries are involved in some way or another.

So what happens now…”  For the rest of the article go to http://www.rsxclass.com/component/content/article/1-latest-news/854-rio-2016-when-the-going-gets-tough-the-tough-get-going

As devestating as this is for so many people world wide – it is important to remember that the sport of windsurfing still has a lot of fantastic things going for it….support your local clubs and events, teach some kids how to windsurf or encourage your local sailing center to start a youth program and most important – go windsurfing!

 

Inagural CISA junior windsurfing clinic

2012 CISA Windsurfing Clinic Details

CISA Windsurfing Clinic

June 20-22, 2012

St. Francis Yacht Club , San Francisco, CA

About the Clinic In February 2012 the CISA Board approved a proposal for a Northern California Windsurfing clinic to introduce and train our youth sailors in windsurfing competition.   St. Francis Yacht Club has partnered with CISA to host the inaugural CISA Windsurfing Clinic in June of 2012.  St. Francis along with other SF Bay area organizations will provide the equipment (Techno 293, Formula & RSX ) and venue and CISA will work with them to transfer attributes of their legendary Advanced Race Clinic to this event.

Application – Due May 20, 2012

More info and online application @ http://www.cisasailing.org/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=60&Itemid=1

New Teen Residential Windsurf Camp in the Gorge!

The Columbia Gorge Teen Windsurf Camp which will open in July provides a new concept in teen camp programs. While residential specialty camps in baseball, tennis, soccer, etc. are plentiful, windsurfing camps tend to be day camps, which are fine if you live close to a windsurfing center, but don’t meet your needs unless you live close to a place where a day camp is held. Other residential camps may promote themselves as windsurfing camps, but in reality are traditional camps, where windsurfing is just one of 20 or more programs offered.

For a teen who is hooked on the sport, or wanting to learn, and wants to experience Hood River, it has been a frustrating situation: trying to get the parents to drive him or her to “The Gorge” and check into a motel while the teen hits the water.

 Now teens will be able to fly into Portland, Oregon, be picked-up and driven to a residential camp just up stream from Hood River, housed, fed, supervised by experienced counselors and driven to “The Gorge” each day for the expert instruction and supervision by the world renown Big Winds.

 Since 1987, Big Winds has been combining first-rate instruction, top of the line gear and fun on the water for an exceptional windsurfing experience.

 When campers are not sailing, they will experience some of the other activities The Gorge has to offer…stand-up paddling, kayaking, whitewater rafting, kayaking, etc.

 The idea for this new camp was conceived by Dr. Robert Hanson, Professor Emeritus of the Recreation Department of San Diego State University. Hanson recognized that there is a void in programming for teens in outdoor sport specialties. Program director for the camp will be Terry Kimball, who has been an aquatic specialist at the Port Noarlunga Aquatic Center in South Australia for the past 20 years.

 For additional information, go to www.teenwindsurfcamp.com or call 801-679-9099 (MST)

 20% discount for all U.S. Windsurfing Members

Kona North American Championships

Fleet 8 and Kona Midwest are proud to host the 2012 Kona North American Championships on Lake Waconia.  Lake Waconia is the most popular high-wind lake in the Twin Cities metro area and has been the site for over 60 windsurfing regattas starting with the Windsurfer District 5 Championships in 1978.  Our venue will be the Lake Waconia Regional Park on the southwest shore which offers all the amenities for a great championship regatta.

 Kona USA is developing a web site to enhance the championships with on-line registration and regular updates, as well as daily results and video coverage.  For those eager to register and take advantage of the early registration fee, you can register at www.Fleet8.com by clicking on the Kona Championships and scrolling down to the Paypal button.  

 We will be providing charter equipment, yet limited with the anticipated attendance.  For us to provide charters for as many competitors as possible, you need to reserve as early as possible.  To help reduce the cost for racing families, Kona Midwest has developed a scholarship program to subsidize charter fees for women and youth.  Contact Fleet-8@juno.com for more details.     

Click here for the Notice of Race – konanaNOR

US Olympic Windsurfers Prepare for Weymouth!

photo by Dale Thompson

Bob Willis and Farrah Hall have both qualified to represent the United States in windsurfing at the Olympic Games this summer

.  The 2012 Summer Olympic Games are based in London, but the sailing events will take place at the southern end of the UK in Weymouth.  This is typically a windy venue, so the windsurfing should be fantastic!  You can read all abouth Bob and Farrah’s preparation for the Olympics on their respective web blogs www.bobsails.com and www.farrahhall.com .  Congratulations to both of them!