Biggest windsurfing event in the US in the last 20 years

Its not often you can get the best of both worlds but this past week I think it just happened.
With 150 Techno-293 charter boards, BIC Sports set up camp at crissy field for the biggest windsurfing competition the US has seen in over 20 years.180 junior windsurfers form 29 different countries took part in the Youth and Junior Windsurfing World Championships, hosted by the St. Francis Yacht Club.

I think the average age of the St.FYC was lowered by 40 years as the under 17 and under 15 year old kids took over the starting line room and main courtyard the entire week. One foreign junior windsurfer even remarked. “not only did they let me in the club but an old guy in a blue blazer even asked me how my racing went!”

The Techno 293 class is doing something right- charter boards, social activities after racing and even an unofficial ‘round the rock race‘ after the official course racing was done on Sunday for the complete Alcatraz and San Francisco Bay experience. They also made sure to have a professional videographer to document the whole thing. The result- a professional looking media package that went out to thousands of viewers every day.

day 6 video

day 5 video

day 4 video

day 3 video

day 2 video

day 1 video

The opening ceremony saw a special appearance from the visiting prime minister of New Zealand who greeted his fellow country men and wished them luck at the competition. After a full flag procession of 29 countries through the yacht club, the regatta was open and the big breeze followed. For 3 days on 2 different courses, the fleets battled a big flood tide and winds up to 25k. Local San Francisco Bay 15 year old windsurfing prodigy Marion Lepard (US-143) led the charge with a string a bullets in the U-17 girls fleet. Her biggest foe was about to come as the the last 2 days of the regatta saw a lighter and more flukey breeze.

At the end, it was the British team of windsurfers who swept almost every class from the U15 to U-17 placing at least 2 sailors in the top 3 in most of the 5 classes. Twin sisters- Imogen Sills (GBR 561) and Saskia Sills,(GBR 956) managed to get between Marion on the last day and the US star had to settle for 2nd. In the boys U-17 fleet, it was 1-2 for the UK Team placing Kieran Martin (GBR 926) and Adam Purcell (GBR 62) juat ahead of Bell BAZ (ISR 619.) In the U-15 girl class Emma Wilson (GBR  961) overtook Shai Blank (ISR 951) and Emily Hall (GBR714) to take home yet more hardware for the UK team. The U15 boys saw Mattia Onali (ITA134) above Artiom Javadav (BLGR 766) and Mikita Tsirkun (BLG 714) on the podium. The French team led the open class with sailors over 17 sailing the same BIC Techno 293 one design board and rig. Julien Bouyer (FRA 192) and Marc Lavaud (FRA 434) took the line honors above Alejandro Monllor (PUR1.)  Despite the raceboard class having a small fleet, it was Vincent Uegenin (SUI9) on top above Fernando Consorte (ARG 155) and Jean Asia (FRA 171)

Win, lose or draw, Im betting you’ll see most of these windsurfers competing for years to come. The grin on their faces was ear to ear and thats something that hard to wipe off an impressionable 16 year kid in a wetsuit surrounded by 179 of his new closest friends.
Kudos to the 110 volunteers and professional race crew at the St.FYC for pulling off one of the best regattas Ive seen in a long time. Hopefully a sign of things to come!
Event website
Photo credit: Shawn DavisDavid Wells

Steve Bodner

Techno 293 World Champs in San Francisco!

Over 150 kids from all over the world are competing in San Francisco this week for the Techno 293 World Championships!  You can read what Margot Samson (Windsport Magazine’s 16 year old correspondent) has to say at and you can see results at the event website at  And don’t miss the daily videos, posted at

Nationals is Just Around the Corner!

The 2011 US National Championships are coming up quick – July 11-16!  You can get a sneak peak of who is registered at

It looks like it’s going to be a killer event, with plans for Formula and Slalom racing and a Freestyle event!  We just got word that Darren Rogers will be running the racing on the water – so quit postponing and sign up now at

27th Annual Maui Slalom Series!

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The series of events that makes us all wish we were in Maui  is happening now! There are three events left in the 27th annual Maiu Race Series this summer -  the Maui Fin Co Open July 2 at Kanaha Beach Park, the Quiksilver Cup July 16 at Kanaha Beach Park and the Neil Pryde Hawaii State Championship, July 30 at Kanaha Beach Park.  You can see all the results, pictures and more details at .  Get out and race!

Windsurfing is part of the US Sailing Road Show!

The inaugural US SAILING Roadshow will be making stops at sailing organizations from Maine to Virginia to participate in a variety of events including regattas, junior clinics, and community outreach programs, adult learn to sail seminars, and other sailing events.  Check out the Roadshow blog at .  If you are in the area when they come through – go check out the styling trailer and Bic Techno 293s in person!

Register now for Nationals! Save Money!

The 2011 Double Tree by Hilton at Berkeley Marina US Windsurfing National Championships are quickly approaching!  With less than two months to go until the event now is the time to sign up! 

The 2011 DoubleTree by Hilton at Berkeley Marina US Windsurfing National Championships has opened for registration!

It’s time to save some money and register early for what promises to be a spectacular regatta of Freestyle, Slalom, Techno, and Formula Windsurfing action in the infamous waters of San Francisco Bay this July 11 through the 16th. By registering early  you can save some significant dollars as registering closer to the event start date will incur you some additional costs and with Slalom, Freestyle, and Course racing filling up the agenda you’ll want to save those dollars for exploring the incredible cities of Berkeley and nearby San Francisco.

Did we say save money? Yes! In fact this year’s title sponsor, The DoubleTree by Hilton at the Berkeley Marina, is located just steps away from the official event site and is offering competitors, and their families, discounted rates for staying at the Hotel. Act quickly however as rooms at these rates won’t last long!Calling all Techno sailors! The Nationals organizers have worked closely with the upcoming Techno Windsurfing Worlds Organizers to provide and incredible opportunity for sailors to prepare for the World Championships (July 19-24) by getting in some training time on San Francisco Bay prior to the Worlds. That’s right the 2011DoubleTree By Hilton at Berkeley Marina US Windsurfing National Championships has Techno Divisions just for you! The Techno Worlds start 3 days after the Nationals wrap up so there is no better way to be ready than joining in! So get a leg up on your competition and put the 2011DoubleTree By Hilton at Berkeley Marina US Windsurfing National Championships on your calendar today.

Click Here To Register For The Competition

Click Here To Secure A Discounted Hotel Room

Note to Techno Sailors – The DoubleTree By Hilton at Berkeley Marina is about a 30-35 minute drive to the Event site (Crissy Field) for the Techno World Championsh

ips so feel free to book your stay through both events if you would like. Staying at a hotel in San Francisco will likely be significantly more expensive. Unfortunately there is no Techno Charter Gear available so you will need to arrange for your own gear. There is however limited Starboard Formula charter gear still available. Contact This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it to secure gear but do act fast.

2011 Midwest Speed Quest

It is time to announce The 2011 Midwest Speed Quest. We would like to thank everyone who has participated in past years, and invite everyone back again in 2011. We have been working hard all winter long to make this Event even better. 

 The speeds recorded in this Event can be compared with speeds recorded anywhere in the world. We work closely with the Team at GPS Speed Surfing in Holland. These guys support all forms of Speed Sailing, including GPS WindsurfingGPS KiteboardingGPS Ice Sailing, and new for 2011:  GPS Land Sailing

 Thanks to the Support of our Sponsors, we have over $3500 in Cash and Prizes to award to the Racers. We will pay $1000 CASH to the fastest windsurfer on Lake Okabena in 2011. Speed shall be measured by the “The Best Ten Second Run“. The 2011 Midwest Speed Quest follows the rules and methods set out by GPS Speed Surfing.

 The “Economic Stimulus Package “was a success in 2009 and 2010, and shall be repeated again in 2011. Starting May 1, 2011, the first run over 30 knots shall receive $100 CASH! More Stimulus Funds to be awarded all season long!

 This has been a long, and cold winter. Spring has arrived late this year. For 2011, this event shall run from May 1 to October 15th on an open schedule. Pick a windy day that fits your schedule, and come on down. Let us help you with discounted Lodging and Great Food.

 The Wind Forecast for May 1 is terrific, with base winds of 26 mph, with gusts of 36. These are excellent speed sailing conditions:

 We have the best demo gear in the world for use by the visiting racers.  Please visit our Web Site for complete information.

 This is the 7th year of the Midwest Speed Quest. Every year we try to something new and different. This event is designed for sailors of all skill levels, from beginners to the top racers.  This Event is about Participation. We want Racers from ages 6 to 96!!!   No matter your skill level, we will be there to get you started Speed Sailing right!!!   We also provide free hot meals Beachside, as well as free Pet Care, Child Care, and Spousal Care (care of the Windsurfing Widow)!!!   As always, this event is FREE!!! There are never any fees or charges. You may enter as many times as you like all season long. We want you to participate as often as you can.

 We will provide the GPS unit . The official GPS unit of the Midwest Speed Quest is the GT-31 by LOCOSYS Technology. This is the finest hand held GPS available. With over $1000 on the line, our racers will want to use the most precise GPS device available.

 Again for 2011, there will a 500 Meter Alpha Racing Category. This is an event where your best average speed is measured through a jibe. This sounds complicated, but is really quite simple, and is easily calculated by the GPS Speed Software.   We want to recognize those racers who have excellent technical skills on the Race Course. This is a unique way to rank the Racers on their jibing ability.   For 2010, the Top Alpha Speed was recorded by Andrew Anderson of Oakland California with a speed of 21.11 knots.

 The Midwest Speed Quest runs on a completely flexible schedule over a 6 month period. You decide when you want to race. The National Weather Service Forecasts are extremely accurate up to 5 days in advance. Find a windy day that fits your schedule, and let us know you are coming down. We will meet you on the Beach with a GPS ready to go. See the “NOTICE OF RACE” Page for more information.

 There will also be a number of Scheduled race Days as well. On these days, we will provide free Refreshments and Snacks on the Beach, and a Hot Meal at the end of the day.

 Spectators are always welcome. This is a great opportunity to meet the Windsurfers and find out more about this Sport.   The success of this Event is the support of the 29 Sponsors.   This Event is unique in that some Sponsors are local, some are National, and others are International.  It is the Sponsors are the ones who make this all possible. We thank all these Sponsors for their support!  Please visit our “Sponsors Links Page. As you buy your gear and conduct business in 2011, please support the People and Companies who make this Event possible.  Thanks to the generosity of our Sponsors, we have the highest Speed Sailing Prize Money in the USA.  We also have lots of demo gear and prizes for visiting sailors from such fine companies as:

 We also welcome: “The Windsurfing Movie II. We will be giving away DVDs all season long. Thank you Jace Panebianco!   We have a number of discounted Motel Rooms at the  AmercInn of Worthington available to visiting racers, as well as discounted meals at La Azteca Mexican Restaurant of Worthington, the finest Mexican Food and the best Margarita anywhere.   We also want to thank these local Worthington Businesses for their support of the Midwest Speed Quest:

 It is great to have your local support!!!

Stay tuned for even more announcements in the near future.  We look forward to seeing you on Lake Okabena in 2011!


Craig Bergh

The Midwest Speed Quest


 Cell 1-507-360-4801

2011 Elvestrom/Zellerbach regatta, San Francisco, CA

70+ dinghies and boards packed the San Francisco city front course for 2 days of racing at the St. Francis Elvestrom/Zellerbach regatta. The 5 fleets saw a building breeze and foggy conditions both days with racing in 15-25k and a raging ebb tide along the San Francisco city front.
The lasers saw a big turn out in prep for this season’s masters and 4.7 World Championships in San Francisco.

With just 6 board sailors in the formula windsurfing class, our fleet saw the core racers in action but it was Seth Besse who showed the most consistency to walk away with all 6 bullets.

I thought I might get the first one- leading around the course but failed  to cover on the last 2 legs and let Seth and Crad slip into the top positions. CRad and I rounded the bottom leeward mark in a pack of lasers on the outside of the pinwheel. Despite the dirty air, the formula boards are traveling so fast compared to the dinghies that it only takes a few seconds to clear and get through any bad air.   We tacked and were overlapped heading into the finish with CRad edging me out by shooting the line at the just the right moment.

Race 2 started with a true sportsmanship from our fleet. Rather than start with just 3 guys we abandoned the sequence in order to wait for the guys who went to rig down in the building breeze. Im not sure- Ive ever seen this happen but it sure is a lot more fun to win when you’re racing against all the competitors.

Seth and I were close midway through the race. I tacked just below him on the 2nd beat up thinking I would be able to squeeze him out with better angle from below but he had enough speed to roll right over the top of me.

Ouch! Speed kills. No strategy required.

In the high speed racing we do on formula boards, its not often you get more than 1 or 2 chances to make a move on the course. You’ve got to see it coming and when it happens capitalize on it immediately. When racing is tight, you’ve got to be able to utilize your best asset otherwise its waiting for the guys in front of you to make a mistake.

Race 3 saw more of the same in a building 18-22k breeze. All of the fleet was on the 9.5 or 10′s as the ebb increased and racing took it’s toll.   Consistency  paid off for Seth as he scored another bullet with Al and I rounding the top 3.

Day 2 saw 3 more races for all fleets + the chance to sail in the flood tide before the ebb really kicked in strong at 2pm. The usual pecking order established itself quickly as Seth got out to an early lead again with great speed. I had 2nd all but wrapped up again in front of Al coming into the finish line but had to duck below 2-3 lasers and barely eeked out across the line salvaging 2nd in what could have been disaster.

Race 5 saw the tide switch and the committee board swing from straight downwind to straight upwind despite a fresh 18-22k breeze I realized what was happening but failed to take into account the relationship of the starting line. It was now a slalom start and I was over early. Clearing myself I decided to get some separation from the fleet to get any advantage I could. When your behind, you really don’t have too much too loose and your risk can be bigger. I separated form the fleet during the next 4 legs and clawed my back but charged a bit too hard and went swimming on my last gybe to the leeward mark.

Total yard sale!

Race 6 started in 22-25k and a big ebb. All of the fleet was on either 9.o’s, 9.3′s or 9.5′s and 64-67cm fins. Anything else was just too big to handle in the chop and breeze.  Control was the name of the game. Seth jumped out to an early lead while I got buried at the start.  I kept going despite the bad air and made my moves when I could, finally powering over CRad on the final downwind to get another 2nd.

Overall another  great weekend of racing on the San Francisco Bay!

Steve Bodner


Techno 293 Charters for 2011 World Championships in San Francisco, Ca

For any junior sailors who are on the fence about coming to the T293 World Championships this summer in San Francisco- act quickly as there are only 20 of the 150 charter boards left.
April 15 is the last date for National Teams to reserve charters and then it opens up to individuals on first come/first serve basis.
There is also the option to purchase new gear at discounted price delivered to StFYC.

More information is available at

Windsurfing Magazine’s Board Test, Cape Hatteras

I’m here for the second week of the Windsurfing Magazine Light Air Board Test and will share some existential thoughts on the matter, some photos and some links.

Home Sweet Home

We have over a dozen windsurfers testing more-than-a-quiver of short boards designed for use between 10 knots and maybe 20 kts.  I say maybe because of the different role each board might play in the hands of the sailor who buys one.  All of the boards offer high performance, but not all fall into the same traditional categories of use.  For example, I sailed the new Angulo Magnum 112 and immediately swtiched to the Quatro Free Ride 110.  Though only a nominal difference in volume, the boards couldn’t feel farther apart in performance.  The Angulo is a full-blown slalom racing machine.  It feels very responsive underfoot and requires a certain degree of attention when sending it downwind for speed.  The Quatro is not a race board but intended to be a very friendly ride; one that is easy to plane and that keeps its nose nicely planted in chop.  Both board go fast, have good upwind angle for making it home and feel very positive when sailing. So what’s the diff?  Who buys one or the other?  Yesterday’s conditions might answer the question.  We saw wind spiking deep into the 30+kt range causing the water on the Pamlico Sound to achieve a state something akin to popping popcorn.  Very short and steep chop with just a few small ramps moving through.  Good enough to jump, not big enough to cause big problems for all but the largest free ride boards. At least that’s what I figure, because the most used boards tended to be the smallest of the bunch and were better matched to the 4.5 – 5.5 sails.  And that brings me to my personal view on what makes a great light wind short board:  control.  Slalom racers have the same control needs as the person who sails for fun on the weekends, but not for the same reasons.  I think (not researched, needs data) that people who buy light wind freeride boards may only own one shortboard or, at least, own a rarely-used high wind board.  These windsurfers have no board to switch down to when the wind starts cranking and generally opt to rig down to keep the day fun.    A large freeride board must offer gobs of control and needs enough nose rocker to instill confidence -even though the rocker lines on all the boards are pretty much sussed out.  That itself is important as very few windsurfers who purchase a larger freeride board know a lot about tuning the ride when it doesn’t feel quite right out of the box.  Control in conditions outside the ideal wind range is the end-all be-all for these boards. OK, early planing has a lot to do with it, too, but intermediate to advanced windsurfers don’t just want a board that will plane in the lightest breeze.  Otherwise, Formula boards would rule the roost at every windsurfing spot!  These boards must instill confidence at the upper end in order to be considered a success.  So the conditions we experienced yesterday made easy work of determining what boards were more fun quite easy.

Last, but certainly not least, East Coast freestyle guru Mike Burns sailed with us for a few hours. His enthusiasm for windsurfing pairs nicely with his willingness to show us how to toss the latest and greatest freestyle trick.  Below, Mike pops into a move I cannot identify.

Please check out for more reports and links to James Douglass’s blog that includes coverage from week one.