Please select your home edition
Edition
Southern Spars

Summer windsurfing bender comes to an end

by Steve Bodner on 16 Jun 2014
Steve Bodner www.stevebodner.com
USA 4 Windsurfing Campaign - Eight days and 32 windsurf races later this summer windsurfing bender comes to an end. We completed eight formula races and 12 slalom heats at the US Windsurfing National Champs in the gorge this week (and for those you following- that was after a five day Formula North American champs in SF last week).

Going into the last two races my energy level was just about depleted. My muscles ached, my feet were cut, my Ronstan watch was even giving me a blank face, not with its usual count down but with a WTF are you doing look!


I think the thing that got me was starting formula races at 9:45 in the morning.

Darren Rogers saw 'the cloud in the hole,' which meant accelerated breeze down the gorge corridor for the last day of racing.

I had gotten a good jump on the first race of the day finishing third but Xavier was fifth so that meant we were tied going into the last race. The breeze was 16-18k and I was having good speed and angle on my Avanti 10.0 and zf71 fin in my starboard 167. I arrived in a pack at the top mark with five other racers and gybed early following Bruce back to the middle of the river. I've learned that lesson well- don't split tacks with the undisputed king of the river. At the leeward mark I had a clear lane back up the port beat upwind. I held my own with Percey in tow. We split tacks downwind and I was able to sneak into third.


Going into the last race I switched down to my 64 fin as the breeze was up to 18-22k. I tried to protect the left side of the course as the breeze was sw but alas Phil and Xavier got an early jump on me in the stronger breeze in the middle of the river. Xavier just edged me out by one point to take second in the formula fleet but thus is the closest I've been this season. Phil was in a league of his own making the Maui Sails look very fast and took every bullet of the series except where he was dsq'ed for a port/starboard incident on day two.

The call was made to switch to slalom with a 11:30 start. I hadn't even had my morning coffee yet and I was rigging my fourth sail of the day. I went with what was working best- the ml 70cm slalom board, 44cm fin and 7.8 north warp. The board comes out beautifully from the gybes and is effortless to sail.


I know I didn't have the top speed as the top 2-3 guys in the fleet as I don't get to race slalom as much as formula but I knew I could be consistant. I had 3s and fours from the previous days and was sitting in fifth overall for the slalom out of 44 racers.

First race I hit the start perfect coming into the first mark in the pack but climbed right over then and was comfortably in third behind Bruce and Phil 1/2 way through the race. I fell on one gybe but minimized the damages by only letting one guy pass me and finished a strong fourth.

Next two races I was doing well but not in the top hunt as I was getting a bit OP'ed with the 7.8 in 22-25k. Normally I would have switched down to the 7.0 but my mast snapped the previous day leaving my luff sleeve with a pretty impressive 6' tear.

Ouch! Run with what you've got.

One more round of slalom with three races. For each fleet. I went down hard the second race but just held it together with a top five finish in the last race to take the men’s masters division title (just in front of Xavier!).

Bruce had a strong slalom showing so that bumped him up in the overall for second behind Phil who killed it again in slalom. Tyson Poor was the only one to properly challenge him tying him in points but Phil won the tiebreaker.

In third place overall Xavier and I tied for points but I was able to win the tiebreaker with the better throw out from the formula and slalom series.

Third overall, first in men's masters slalom and third in formula was how I ended things. I couldn't be more stoked. I gave it my all and came out well.

There's still some things to improve on but with Phil the great grand master still kicking my ass I think I'll have plenty of time to get it right.


Overall a great regatta with the AWT stepping up to run the event.

Thanks to all the volunteers who made it happen.

Related Articles

From Olympic flag to Olympic Gold and maybe another
The Sydney Olympics was a Sailing double 470 Gold event for Australia. Having won the 420 World Championship in 2000, the feeder class to the 470, while still at school in Australia young Matt Belcher was given the honour of carrying the Olympic flag during the closing ceremony of the Sydney 2000 Olympics.
Posted today at 7:26 pm
The Road to Rio now 99 days short
The Road to Rio 2016 still has a few curves, bumps and potholes for teams battling to win. The Road to Rio 2016 still has a few curves, bumps and potholes for teams battling to win in Hyeres, at some World championship events and Weymouth World Cup but for many crews: 'It's 106 miles to Chicago we got a full tank of gas, half a pack of cigarettes, it's dark and we're wearing sunglasses.' Whoops wrong movie.
Posted today at 3:09 pm
America's Cup - Oracle Racing win in Court but with collateral damage
Oracle Racing have had another claim against them by a former crew member dismissed. Oracle Racing have had another claim against them by a former crew member dismissed. Mitchell focussed largely on the circumstances of the matter and introduced into the public arena some interesting documents to support his claims.
Posted on 23 Apr
An interview with Jake Beattie about the 2016 Race to Alaska
In 2014, Jake Beattie and a few friends envisioned the Race to Alaska. Now, it’s time this wild race’s second edition. In 2014, Jake Beattie-the executive director of the Northwest Maritime Center in Port Townsend, Washington, and a few friends hatched the bold idea of a human-powered race to Ketchikan, Alaska, took flight. They decided that their human-powered race would start in Port Townsend, Washington and run to Ketchikan, by way of the inside passage between Vancouver Island and British Columbia.
Posted on 14 Apr
Children of the Internet, Rio and Hong Kong
I have four daughters, the youngest, who in her mid 20's is a true child of the Internet. I have four daughters, the youngest, who in her mid 20's is a true child of the Internet. The kind of conversations I have with her run along these lines.... In the olden days we did not have television until I left school and they had a thing called print magazines, that reported events between two weeks and four months after they happened. And her sceptical response... Hoh! Daddy, Hoh!
Posted on 14 Apr
Go fast girls - 49er FX sailors Paris Henken and Helena Scutt
Paris Henken and Helena Scutt will be representing the USA at the Rio 2016 Olympics, which will be their first Olympiad. American’s Paris Henken (20) and Helena Scutt (23) recently won a berth to represent the USA at the Rio 2016 Olympics in the high-performance 49er FX skiff, a goal that the team has been working on for almost three years. While this is their first Games, writing them off as Olympic newbies would require ignoring their recent results and their strong teamwork.
Posted on 13 Apr
World Sailing Cup V3 - A Dead Rat in a Shoe or Spring Daffodils?
While a host of major sailing events go from strength to strength, the Sailing World Cup has very major issues. Last night my Irish better half was sitting beside me on the sofa watching an Australian version of the popular TV Cooking Program My Kitchen Rules on a tablet with her headphones while I was watching Diehard II for the seventeenth time (it’s a boy thing) on TV. She suddenly spluttered and laughed, took off her headphones and motioned for me to mute Diehard. (Seriously!!)
Posted on 9 Apr
Volvo Ocean Race appoints stadium racing pioneer as new CEO
Sail-World forecast the appointment of Mark Turner as Volvo Ocean Race CEO a month ago. We profiled Turner at that time. Sail-World forecast the appointment of Mark Turner as Volvo Ocean Race CEO a month ago. We profiled Turner at that time. Today his appointment has been confirmed.
Posted on 31 Mar
Large spectator fleet heading north for boat watching season
I’m absolutely not going to lay claim to the phrase, but it is insanely apt and hilarious all at the same time, however. I’m absolutely not going to lay claim to the phrase. It is insanely apt and hilarious, all at the same time, however. Well then, boat watching season is definitely upon us once more. The whales will soon be gathering again off the coast of Queensland to observe all manner of racing and cruising craft as they head North for a Winter in the sun.
Posted on 29 Mar
Laser creator Ian Bruce passes away (1933 - 2016)
Ian Bruce, driving force behind the Laser dinghy, sadly passed away at his daughter's home on Monday March 21 2016. Ian Bruce, driving force behind the Laser dinghy, sadly passed away at his daughter's home on Monday March 21 2016. His legacy to our sport, Canadian sailing and his beloved Royal St. Lawrence Yacht Club will be praised and honoured for years to come.
Posted on 24 Mar
NaiadKilwell - 6North Technology - Southern Spars