How I almost got ran over by a trian while windsurfing

I made the trek to the north bay against my better judgement, leaving a good wind at crissy field for an unknown wind 45 min away and breaking cardinal rule of windsurfing- never leave wind for wind!

The wind was dying. 20k+ on the outside but a shlog to get there.
I hedged my bets and made the trek in with 4 kiters to Zaijeck beach.
The sign at the trail head should have been the first warning but went right on by.

Honestly, I had more on my mind- with the excitement of a brand new lightweight slalom board!

A 10 min hike in down an access trail, down a dirt trail, through a locked gate, across the railroad tracks, back up the hill & finally down the bluff to the beach.
At least I had my flip flops!
My gear fit nicely in a board bag that I carried over my shoulder.
Its all about the journey I thought to myself.

The  shlog out to the wind line was like a graph of diminishing returns.
The further I got from shore, the further the wind line receded.

The kiters on their race boards and 11m kites were wizzing past me and I could hardy break onto a plane in 8-10k.
If there was any way to covert me to kiting, this was probably it.

I decided to pack it up and head back before loosing any further ground as the wind was switch more east. I knew I would be downwind of the launch but there was no real good exit from water.
The low tide exposed some nasty rip rap with exposed rebar, razor sharp shells and oh, I forgot the 10 min minute walk up to the beach in the calf deep mud- sinking with every step
All I could think of was climbing out of a power deep day at Tahoe but this was no powder- just mud and I had no epic runs, Just a shlog.

It looked to be about a 1/4 mike walk back along the train tracks.
Did I mention my feet were already cut up from the climb up and down the rocks?
I looked around- a path of thorny bushes and poison oak to the right or the train tracks.
I opted for the latter and was actually enjoying the trek getting a nice soft massage on my feet with every step on the wooden planks of the rail track.
That was until I head the train whistle from behind  and looked back to see an Amtrak train coming around the bend at full speed.
My first reaction was to drop the gear and jump out of the way.

A split second went by and I imagined my new board, carbon mast and boom all getting run over my the train.
I hobbled down the bank with about 10 seconds to spare- rig and board balancing between my arms.
The rush of wind in front of the train nearly knocked me over.
I could see the conductors face looking down at my nearly 2 stories above on the double decker train wondering who in the world is walking on the train tacks in a wetsuit carrying what looks like a surf board and a rolled up sail.
The again, This was Pinole. Stranger things have happened.
As I waited for the rest of our group to derig and drink an few beers on the deserted beach, I thought – it probably could have gone a whole lot worse.
Cut up and bruised feet sure beat a pile of carbon and styrofoam splinters along the edge of the train tracks.

Steve Bodner

Full story at

College Windsurfing Nationals

For the first time in years college kids had the chance to race against each other and represent their schools at an inter-collegiate windsurfing race!  The event took place in St Petersburg, Florida and was hosted by the University of South Florida, St Pete and was raced on Kona’s.  The event was small, with only four schools represented, but the hope is that this will become an annual event and participation will grow.  Chris Gardiner from University of Florida took first place, with Solvig Sayre from Eckerd College in second place and Justin Ahearn from University of South Florida, St Pete in third.  The windsurfing team from St Mary’s College also made a strong showing. 

If you are interested in competing next year, or would like more information on how to start a windsurfing program at your school, contact us at

Wave Sailing!

Junko Nagoshi

Maui Makani Classic women’s winner, Junko Nagoshi

The Maui Makani Classic, held at Ho’okipa Beach Park was the last event of the 2011 American Windsurfing Tour.  You can see the final results and daily reports at .  This was the last of the four event tour (five were planned, but hurricane Irene kept the stop in Hatteras from taking place) and planning for the 2012 Tour is well under way.  So work on your moves this winter – you can be part of the tour next year!

The Florida Wave Challenge is planned to take place on one of the next few weekends in November in Cocoa Beach, Florida.  Conditions are looking promising for November 5 & 6 – so get all the details at and head on down to participate in this grass roots wave contest!

World Ice & Snow Sailing Championships come to the US!

wissa 2012With winter on its way in many parts of the United States…’s time to start thinking about ice sailing!  And in February of 2012 (just 4 months from now) the World Ice & Snow Sailing Championships will be held in the Upper Penninsula of Michigan in the town of  St Ignace.  There will be classes for windsurfing rig powered, kite powered and hand held wing powered ice craft.  For more information check out  Get your friends together and make your plans – let’s have a big turn out from folks from the US!

Intercollegiate Windsurfing Regatta!

College windsurfing is back in the United States!  The University of South Florida, St Petersburg is hosting the 2011 ICSA Windsurfing Fall Invitiations on November 5 & 6.  College students attending a school that is a member of the ICSA are invited to attend and racing will take place on the Kona One-Design board and rig.  Put your college on the windsurfing map!





This is an open event with a limited number of entries therefore registering early is utmost important. The regatta will be governed by the ICSA Rules, the ISAF rules and the Kona Class Rules.

DATE:  November 5-6, 2011

RSVP:  Please RSVP as soon as possible, but no later than 5:00pm Friday, October 21, 2011 to Gonzalo Crivello at

HOST:  University of South Florida, St. Petersburg, FL

REPORT TIME:  9:00 am


BOATS:  Kona Windsurfer

ROTATION:  Rotations will be distributed at the skippers’ meeting.

FORMAT:  Will be distributed at the skipper’s meeting.

LUNCH:  All teams should come prepared with ample food for the day.

Teams should be prepared to be on the water all day and away from shore for the duration of the day.

NOTES:  All competitors must be registered with the ICSA individual Directory.

                ICSA Eligibility Requirements are in affect

                Bring a Nalgene bottle. We will have water coolers on the water for you to refill.

                Do not bring plastic water bottles from the supermarket.

                If you bring Gatorade, bring 1-gallon jugs that you can use to refill a Nalgene.

DIRECTIONS AND PARKING: Directions can be found on the college website.

                There is ample parking available at the College of Marine Science, east of the Waterfront.

CONTACT: Gonzalo Crivello 727-415-0038 cell,

Slalom Wraps up in Maui, Waves kick off in Baja!

The 2011 Maui Slalom Series had great racing and great wind!  You can see the full results from the 2011 Maui Slalom Series at and read the full report from Maui Sails team riders at .

The American Windsurfing Tour Cactus Cup kicked off a couple days ago in Baja.  It looks like the competitors are getting great conditions and having a blast!  You can see pictures and results at and check out competitor Tanya Saleh’s blog for a first hand look at the event at

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