Friday, June 25, 2010

2010 US Windsurfing National Championships is the official website for the upcoming 2010 US Windsurfing National Championship and Formula North American Championship.
The regatta will be hosted by the St. Francis Yacht Club from Tuesday July 20th to Saturday July 24th.
Disciplines include course racing, downwind slalom, long distance and freestyle all at Crissy Field on the San Francisco waterfront.
Registration, NOR and a who's coming list has been posted.
Don't say we didn't warn you....
It's gonna be EPIC!

I remember my first US Nationals like it was yesterday-1994 Lorain Ohio- 2nd place in the IMCO heavyweight division. A right of passage!
Every year, a different location.
Always a great time.
Ive always tried to make as many as I could- each year gaining a few spots in the ranks
We had at least 1 Nationals in Georgia in prep for the '96 Olympics- huge swell as I recall.
Kent with his flaming booms! Long-boarding was still king
'98 was the first year I sailed in SF at the Nationals.
Rounding Alcatraz in the long distance race seemed like a huge feat!
3 years later I was here permanently!
After 2003, the formula class gained momentum with some unbelievable racing at the nationals in Corpus Christie, the Gorge and SF.
2004 saw 80+ formula boards on the line in SF with classic conditions.
2005 was epic in the gorge. Slalom at its best!

2006 saw the US Nationals In Maui in 30-40k. 5 of us ran formula in 30-40k w/ 7.0 slalom rigs. Somehow I took the bullet

2007 was the last time we had the nationals in SF. Besse cleaned up. I held onto a respectable 2nd.

2009 saw great racing in the Gorge with local Bruce Peterson claiming rights to his river!
2010 is shaping up to be huge with several top international pros coming to SF for the first time.
Freestyle is back on venue with Wyatt and crew putting on the show at the beach.
Doc Doolittle will be back as the announcer.
You wont want to miss this one.

Monday, June 14, 2010

Day 2 Ronstan Challenge

Day 2 of the 2010 Ronstan Challenge saw another day of epic San Francisco conditions for the the 16 board formula fleet and 12 board kite fleet racing on the San Francisco city front.

If racers felt cheated from the lack of a full long distance race on Saturday, the course more than made up for it on Sunday with the windward mark set near the presidio shoal buoy and the leeward mark set off Pier 39.

3 races were run for each fleet with no throwouts- meaning everything counted!
That didn't bode so well for me as I came barreling into the first start only to land in a heap above Al Mirel as the gun went off. Not a fast way to start the series!
Al however recovered quickly and followed the fleet left to the shore and caught the inside lift up the course and kept 2nd to the finish.
After spinning my circles, I reviewed my options and went right concluding better odds than following the fleet from behind.
In the middle with 3 other racers, the water was clearly greener- a clear sign of the flood tide. Not somewhere you want to be when going upwind.
9/10 times when racing on the city front you want to take advantage of the lift at the shore when you've got the chance. When there's an ebb there- you go there no matter what!

The video shows the example well with the ebb tide starting near shore and building later in the day in the middle of the Bay.

Looking back I made the mistake all weekend while the leaders constantly played the inside.
Downwind was a wild ride through the tide line as the breeze freshen up to 20k+.
Seth had a huge margin of victory in race 1 extending his lead around the course with Al and Crad putting in solid performances in the top 3.

Race 2 saw the breeze building even more with most of the fleet on 9 and 10m rigs
This time though, a more conservative start on my part in mid line.
Unfortunately sandwiched between Besse and Crad.
The speed demon and the pincher.
I found myself immediately ducking below and going for speed to the wall.
The NP 9.5 and 67 kashy fin seemed to go well in the breeze but I never really managed to put it all together this weekend. For one reason or another I was out of the top pack.
Choosing the wrong sides of the course- certainly doesn't help!
The rest of the fleet has sure stepped it up a notch with Eric, Sylvester, Crad, Al, Besse and Purcell all going extremely well in the big breeze.
One mistake and you were shot out the back.
The long down winder was brutal flying over the short steep chop at 25K+.
If you could just hang on it was all good.
I kept the pace with Sylvester deep in the double chicken strap all the way to sea wall near the Pier 39 making the last gybe and the final beat to windwind. We were well matched upwind but I let him tack and take advantage of the inside while I worked the outside.
Even with 2 more tacks, he came ahead proving the inside was the way to go.
I rounded out the top 5 with Besse taking another bullet, Al in 2nd, Eric in 3rd and Sylvester in 4th.
By race 3 the wind was up to 25-30k with most of the guys on their 9.0s or 9.5s.
Upwind on port tack was viscous going right into the chop.
If you could settle things down for the long haul you could make some gains.
After the first tack at the seawall, Crad, Sylvester and myself all were lined up well.
It wasn't until the last minute of the beat till I was able to pull ahead squeezing them out but at that point, we were at the layline already.
If you're going to put the kabosh on someone- do it early in the leg!
Downwind was another wild ride.
I gybed with the top pack but immediately went over the handle bars as I accelerated right into San Francisco finest voodoo chop!
I lay spread out like a yard sale in the middle of San Francisco Bay.
I slowly picked up the pieces trying to uphaul, then water start.
2 minutes later and the leaders were gone.
The final beat to windward was a real test.
I saw Jean's 200lb+ body getting tossed like a rag doll as he exploded ahead and the leeward.
Jean's video captures the spirit of the racing pretty well- not to mention my crash with Al in race 1- Brilliant!

Besse again took the bullet with Eric showing some brilliant form downwind through the chaos to take 2nd.

Overall a good weekend of racing.
Sometimes even with a great set up, you can go fast in wrong direction!

Thanks to the StFYC for running a great series and Ronstan for the awards.

Saturday, June 12, 2010

2010 Ronstan challange

The Ronstan Challenge is billed as a comfortable tour of the SF Bay taking the formula windsurfers and kiteboarders down to Berkeley and back to the SF city front.
Unlike its older- the SF Classic- it's a straight shot downwind and back.
The biggest thing you need to take into account is the current.
Line them up correctly and you could be riding a magic carpet straight to the finish while your competitors fight it out in the flood tide.

A 12:30 skippers meeting saw the 1st possible start delayed till 2 and shortened course to Treasure Island vs the full deal to the Berkeley pier and back.
With this in mind, I switched to the 10.7 and Z fin just moments before heading out.
After a rather strange morning in SF with 70 degree temps and a raging north wind, things settled down a bit and the wind switched left. The RC set the line further upwind to accommodate for the lighter winds- which caught a few people by surprise as there were only 4-5 making it on time with the rest of the fleet struggling to get going in the light stuff.
I lined up for a port start thinking there would be more wind in the middle as the inside looked light.
S3 and Xavier got the jump on starboard while Eric and I started on port.
The rest of the fleet sat park below the line in a very light 8-12k
I rounded topark in 4th with Xavier on 9.5, Eric on 11 and S3 on 11 in front.
Quickly I gybed to get control of the outside. Mid bay I gybed back finally overtook s3 below Alcatraz with better speed. Coming into TI I called the layline perfect and pumped into the leeward mark- while Eric, S3 and Besse on 9.5 all had to double gybe to make it.
Thanks to Chris Ray for the great shots on Saturday!
I lead upwind on port tack to Angel Island but tacked too late to cover the fleet behind me. On the beat back to starboard, I collected so many weeds my angle and speed were off significantly. I lost S3 from behind & Eric and Seth to leeward.
In hindsight, I should have back down to clear myself but kept forging ahead in hopes the weeds would clear themselves- wrong move!
All I could do was head back out to mid bay while the 3 leaders played the cityfront.
I never found the groove up wind.
And now I know why.
Sailing to the wrong side of the course and not taking advantage of ebb tide really put me at a disadvantage. S3, Eric and Besse battled it out to the finish and 4th was all I could salvage.
S3 sailed a brilliant upwind in front claiming the gun.
44 consistent as ever - claimed the no 2 spot while Seth- just falling short to take the bullet managed 3rd.
Overall a good day!
Can't get too upset over weeds as it's all part of the game.
Meanwhile the kiters started 25 minutes behind us in a fresher breeze and leader Andrew Koch took the line honors with an elapsed time of 49 minutes and 35 seconds- almost 6 minutes faster than the formula fleet.

Sunday 2pm start w/ 3 course races scheduled.
Thanks to Shawn Davis for the photos- be sure to check out his gallery at

Friday nite series June 11

New NP9.5 & 490 x9 arrived today. Just in time.
Thanks to Shawn Davis for the photo

Booms as high as possible
Tack strap tight to give bottom deep shape
Good upwind drive and angle w/ kashy 70 and mast at 44"
Started low on the line as windy looked iffy on inside.
Race 1 rounded 4th behind Crad, All and Seth all going deep to B.
I stayed out of the harness pumped and got around B in 1 gube w/ Seth
rounding wide.On the exit, I got the jump and was off to X
NP accelerates nicely. Rotates with ease.
I rounded bottom mark with Seth just behind but let him call the layline and he just beat me.

Race 2 saw similar but fading conditions on inside. I went for mid line start again. And overstood top mark to accomdate for flood. Good choice as other had to double tack.
At leeward mark I rounded behind Seth and tacked immedialy as it was dead and flooding hard inside. As we tacked Jean Eric and others came around leeward marknin cluster. I pumped off well below Eric and went for speed and I looked like I would get the win as I tacked to make
the pin and crossed Seth but the flood shut the door as he and others overstood and came down with speed and hooked the finsih.

Race 3 saw just a few get off the line. I was mid line while Crad got the jump at B and the inside lift with Seth behind.
Downwind wind was still squirly and we had to make 4 gybes down to X. Sailing in close proximity to Seth I felt new sail performed well- very easy to handle, draft stable.
I should have pulled off a 2nd but again didn't line up the finish line and got pushed down in the flood.

Overall 3rd behind Crad and Seth for the evening as the wind line was just far enough out to make 2 more races nearly impossible.

After 3 races Seth and I sailed up to GG bridge. Testing angle and speed.
Well matched.
Downwind sail lacked the grunt of north 10 and was a bit higher in the lulls.

Still time to work on this!

Frustrating Finish 6-11-2010 Friday Night Formula from on Vimeo.

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Knowing the limits...

Sometimes knowing the limits of your equipment is more important than the equipment itself. I found this lesson out the hard way at this w-end Calcup.
Soheil and I decided to sail down from crissy field to the Berkeley cal cup in order to get some long distance runs in prep for next weekends Ronstan Challange.
Choosing to commit to a sail and fin for 4 hours on the Bay can be a daunting dilemma.
The SF Bay can seriously kick your ass if you are overpowered on formula gear.
At 12.30- the golden gate was still socked in with fog with westerlies at 10-15k and the forecast not expecting anything too much greater.
I chose my NP 10.7 rig and most powerful Z 70cm fin.
The downwinder to Berkeley went well with nothing more than 15k and some good ebb chop.
We made it down about 35 min and were the first sailors on the course with the RC still setting the marks.
As we lined up with a few more sailors, it quickly became apparent the conditions were changing.
10-15k quickly became 15-20k with some bigger gust rolling throughout the day.
The majority of the fleet was on their 10.0's
Berkeley's shallow water make for a short and steep chop- especially on port tack taking you almost directly into the waves upwind.
I was having a hard time keeping the hammer down upwind always having to adjust for the chop. The Z fin works especially well if you can find the groove and lock it in- something I wasn't able to do easily.
The only redemption came as things lightened up in race 2 and 3 and I was able to get things into 5th gear and keep them there and make some good gains both up and down for a 2nd and 3rd place finish.
Otherwise it was damage control- trying to salvage 4th in the other 2 races behind Xavier, Al and Eric.
Race 1 saw some confusion downwind as the leeward mark drifted almost to the far end of the Basin. Al took a good lead with his new BB 67 fin with Xavier and Eric in tow and me following closely behind. All it took was one mistake and the positions changed just like that. Al, Eric and Xavier all swapped for the lead- grinding it out upwind in close quarters for a great battle till the end.
Race 2 saw the 4 of us off the line again but with Tom Purcell to leeward showing some great upwind form. He managed to squeeze me off as I couldnt quite keep things locked down in the chop. Over standing the top mark again was torture knowing I could have made some serious gains and even worse trying to man handle the 10.7 and powerful fin reaching into the top mark.
I managed to stay in the hunt and finally passed Al to move into 2nd as the 10.7 really motored downwind as wind was down to 15k.
Race 3 saw similar conditions with Xavier getting the jump and staying in front the whole race.
There were a lot of holes around the course which provided for some opportunities to gain or lose. I managed to just get Eric at the finsih as we both sat parked near the line in an anti-climatic finish - shlogging across the line.
Race 4 saw the wind up near 20k with the gust coming in stronger. It was damage control from the start for me as I was feeling the pain of my legs absorbing all the days chop. Over standing the top mark again felt like adding insult to injury as reaching down to fetch the mark was torture on the big gear. I made it around in 4th but the real test was what was coming ahead.

As Soheil and I began the upwind beat back to San Francisco, it quickly became apparent the conditions had changed rapidly. What was manageable, now became almost impossible.
The wind was a steady 25k with gust closer to 30. The chop stacked up like rapids with the swell breaking as we punched through. I got knocked down several times before we even made it up the barges. Contemplating the hour journey ahead, we took refuge at the cove at Treasure Island and decided to wait it out. An hour later conditions hardly changed and I decided to take the safe route home- getting a ride back to Crissy with some SF sailors who decided to sail at TI for the afternoon.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

formula and slalom equipment for sale

Every windsurfer knows you can never have too much windsurfing gear.
There's a sail, board and fin for every condition.
Maybe one here for you....

2007 North Warp 6.3 slalom sail (available w/ or w/out mast) B condition

North viper 430cm

Booms: HPL formula & slalom booms, Maui sails formula boom
(available w/ or w/out adjustable racing rigging)

Boards: F2 sx 105l medium slalom board + 36 cm fin B condition
F2 sx 125l large slalom board + 42cm fin A+ condition

If there's something you dont see and want, just ask, its probably in my garage somewhere.

contact me @ bodnersp @ gmail . com for more info