Wednesday, December 14, 2011

2011 FORMULA WINDSURFING NORTH AMERICAN CHAMPIONSHIP

16th to 18th December 2011
Rickenbacker Causeway, Miami, Florida, USA
www.windsurfingtour.com

Monday, October 24, 2011

Virginia Key Race recap:


Time flies and from what I recall it’s 4th year ‘Alex the Movie Star and Co’ had organized slalom
action at VK in the end of October. This year, unlike the past, solid winds showed up only
the last possible minute and saved the regatta with at least 7 races in each class on Sunday. When
NE winds pick up at Virginia Key it’s the best place on earth to race, flat on the inside, small white caps and rollers on the outside (where the outside buoys were set) and close enough to the shore for spectators to observe speed, crashes, pile ups, etc…
54 participants,  7 fleets… We had four world class slalom racers from Europe, Australia, Brazil and US,
kids from Puerto Rico, Aruba, Curacao, Dominican Republic and US, wow!

From our ‘causeway’ gang we had only small group: me, Ahmed, Stacey and Ludovico – all had great time.

FYI: for local formula hot shots, although this is a slalom race, there was an open class that allowed for any board/sail that was won by Ron Kern on formula board.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Water Sports Swap Meet October 29 10am-1pm



One more time an opportunity to trade, buy or sell equipment. We will start at 10am until around 1pm, please keep roads clear and be nice to the cops and the sea grasses. No commercial vehicles or large trailers permitted. Adjacent to Sailboards Miami's site.
More information coming up, save the date!

Up close and personal at VK

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Rec Race at the Alex Caviglia Bluewater Classic

Organizers for the ACBC are considering adding a fun or recreational race. Various options are being discussed regarding location, types of equipment, how many days (could be 1 or 2), but they need some feedback to get a feel for how many people might attend.

Assuming it is open to any type of windsurfing equipment other than formula or full-out race gear and realizing that it is a fund-raiser, who would be interested in attending? Keep in mind, registration would include the famous Friday (or is it Saturday?) night party.

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Sad news about one of our own.

August 31, 2011

Friday, August 19, 2011

Fall Racing Season


 The event will be held in Virginia Key ( Miami )  from October 21-23. 
IFCA North American Championships 2011.
www.windsurfingtour.com for more info...


Thursday, August 4, 2011

Ride the wave, my friend.

Just got the news and felt to pass it on to all of you Miami windsurfers. Our snow bird water brethen from Canada never failed to have a good windsurfing session, he will be miss. The article is in French

Hi Ovidio,
I am writing you this email to inform you that our friend Mark Munro passed away today of a hearth attack while windsurfing in his home town of Quebec City.
Our windsurfing community is in shock. If you want to pass any messages to Germaine his wife, I can do that on your behalf.

I do not remember if you can read French but this is the story:

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Fourth Day of the FW Worlds

I'm back stateside, so I wasn't able to watch the last few races, but I found this video by Miguel Rodriguez, a windsurfer from PR that was helping with the organizing and photography. The video shows the craziness that happens during a FW start- it really puts the difficulty of winning one of these races into perspective and the nerves of steel required for one of these starts!



Friday, July 8, 2011

Third day of FW Worlds

The third day of the FW world championships had rainy weather and even though the organizers and the competitors tried to get a race going, the wind didn't cooperate and it had to be called off. So instead of videos, I scoured the internet for some related stories and pictures. Here's the story of the aftermath of Casper Bouman's (NED-52) accident at the starting line during the first day as related by Sean O'brien (AUS-120)
http://www.seanobrien.com.au/regatta-reports/2011-fw-world-championships-puerto-rico/

A bit of back story… The startline is pretty short here and a lot of the guys are starting on port. After the first race, we’d worked out the port start was pretty favoured. Normally I’m not such a big fan of port starts; but I went for it. We were all coming in on port to the pin end with a big group of guys – Antoine, Micah, Dennis, Paulo, some Frenchies all together coming to the pin looking for gaps sailing at half speed. The signal went and I couldn’t find a space, then a couple of guys got through. I was in the back going halfwind towards the guys on starboard… still no space…

Then I rounded up to go upwind and a Filip Korczycki (POL-555) who didn’t have a good start was dogging and as he crossed in front of me I went over a wave and went upwind and he seemed to falter… I could see a collision was about to happen and I bore away a bit to try to avoid it. I went over this wave as I bore away and thinking I would clip his boom in my FACE I ducked under my front arm and the boom to shield my face from his boom and as this happened the backend of his boom sliced my forearm clean to the bone.

I think Filip had maybe modified the backend on his Gulftech boom? Which had razor sharp carbon edges protruding from the tailpiece where it had been modified. When you’re going upwind your front arm has a lot of tension as your squeezing the boom so the muscle just opened as it sliced. The impact wasn’t actually very hard at all because neither of us crashed. I basically just brushed the backend corner of the boom which made the cut.

As soon as I saw my arm sliced open to the bone I knew I had a big problem. With one arm I sailed to the beach instantly (trying to keep my cut arm out of the water). Luckily some guys on the beach saw the trouble and helped me with my gear as I couldn’t lift anything… I went back to the gear tent where the medical team were. As I crossed the street to walk to the tent everyone who passed me on the street had to look away! I couldn’t see the extent of the cut because it was on the outer side of my arm but that’s when I knew it must have been pretty bad!!!

The medical team at the tent came quickly with clear water to wash the wound and put big bandages around with people to hold it to keep the wound together; off to the hospital then!
Cecile (the wife of the organiser, Jose) decided the ambulance would take too long so she drove me to a nearby Medical Clinic – still in my boardshorts! It took an hour to get help waiting in the emergency room, I don’t think they realised how bad the cut was, which was a bit annoying. Luckily for me there was a very experienced doctor (maybe they are used to cuts like this here!) at the surgery to stitch me up.

40 stitches in total later; 10 stitches in 4 layers starting by repairing the muscle tear internally, 10 more in the fissure outside the muscle, then 10 inside the deep tissue skin and then another 10 on the top of skin outside. It took over an hour stitching me up! The doctor said I was lucky – if it got sliced even further, it would have gone through my nerves in my arm it could have meant I lost movement in my fingers. Talking to my doctor in Holland it looks like I will be out for 2 months minimum, and I may not have the same power again in this arm when I get back on the water again. I’m still keeping fingers (on my other hand) crossed that I can still compete in Latvia for the Europeans. I’ve never had a serious injury like this before from hitting somebody and maybe it’s a bit sad that it takes an accident like this to highlight the design of these square backend booms can be this sharp when we’re travelling at these speeds.”



On a separate subject that is unrelated to the above incident, check out this picture by Miguel Rodriguez (the real photographer and videographer for the event) on the first day of racing. I guess you shouldn't mess with BRA-999!

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Second day of FW Worlds

Today was as good as yesterday: Windy and sunny, up until 12PM. The first race had a squall come through which made the wind flukey, but it was still fun to watch. The second race had Gonzalo Costa Hoevel hot on the heels of Antoine Albeau at first, but in the end Antoine pulled away decisively; it seems almost unnatural how fast he is compared to everyone else.

I put together a few minutes of the video I took between yesterday and today so you can see what's been going on down here: Excellent conditions combined with world class competitors and great organizing for the first time in this hemisphere. I hope this is more than a one time thing!

Remember, results are here.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

First day of FW Worlds






Greetings from sunny and WINDY Puerto Rico! I'm hugely impressed by the ability of professional windsurfers to hold on to 11 and 12 meter sails in 20-25 knots of wind. On the 4th of July, I went out on a 5.8 and 111L board and felt my board was way too "big" while these guys were screaming up and down wind on Formula boards and 11 meter sails. I honestly don't know how they do it.

Today I was fortunate to spectate from a boat for the first races of the world championship and I managed to get some pictures and video. Right now all I have is raw video that needs to be edited, but here's a couple of pictures so you can see what's been going on. Looking at the video, it is hard to see the mayhem that ensues when the racers that started on starboard tack converge with those that started on port tack. These starts were action packed and full of crashes and trashed gear, but the camera got none of it because of the movement of the boat and my less than steady hand. Crazy fun stuff to watch though!

Results and links to official pics at http://www.formulawindsurfing.org/


Sunday, June 5, 2011

Never fails to impress me

VaKation

What a week I've had. Six out of eight days at VK in great, great winds. I learned more this week than I have in six months, once again proving my axiom, Windsurfers Need Wind. I saw nary a shark, but several 3-foot brown rays. I had my whole quiver with me and used every bit of it: 5.0, 6.3 & 8.5 sails, 140, 112 & 86 ltr boards. I learned a lot about my own equipment. I nailed down yet another step in my now two-year quest for great jibing.

The highlight, though, was the waves. This was the first time I really played in breaking waves. What a blast. It was like discovering a whole new world of windsurfing. I finally felt comfortable enough to really "use the real estate" and pick how I would approach and handle each wave. Surfing down them I could hear the Hawaii 5-0 theme song playing in my head. only wish the wind were a little more from the east so I could stay in them longer on the starboard tack.

Pray for Wind!!!

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

No windsurfer left behind

 I was just thinking (Boy, do I do allot of thinking), I had a great time yesterday and the day before during the evening sessions, If we can coordinate a group of windsurfer formula sailors to stick together going in the water, on the water and out of the water.

 On East Winds
  1. Start from Ovid's place 
  2. Check your lines, mast track, etc.
  3. Shoot upwind to Bear cut (close to channel marker). (10 min run)
  4. One man leads the run.
  5. Set a time, to make it to the first mark.(if you cant make it to the first mark on time, we take it as non-participant)
  6. Keep a distance between sailors (15 feet) and don't over take your partners wind.
  7. Straight down wind (10 min run)
  8. Back upwind starboard side  (10 min run)
  9. Repeat route
 
      
"Windsurfer Triangle"


        Of course this is all wind direction dependent, but on the ground prior to rigging we can take 5 min to plan out the course. After a few sessions, we would get the course and wind correlated in harmony. The whole idea is to run a triangular course, the course should be isometric. One person leads at each tack, then switch over to the next leader, everyone in the group gets a chance to lead. Very important: We wait on your sailing partners at all times. One sailor should carry an phone for emergency purposes. The key is to become more proficient with the basic skills (Early Plane, Speed, Gibes, Tacks, Fin cleaning). The competitive attitude should wait until the fun race events (Wednesday and Sunday), but during practice runs the attitude should be just for fun. I think this approach would benefit everyone, and we are able to reach more ground, water time, stamina and most important experience with proper group planning. Eventually, we can build enough stamina and proficiency to explore the entire bay as a group and even venture out to Stiltsville and beyond. Just my 2 cents.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

The $100,000 backloop?

Here's a new way to get motivated to try a backloop: Apparently two guys attending the Pritchard wave camp bet each other $100,000 to stick their first backloop. Whomever of the two sails away from a backloop first wins.


I wonder if anyone won the bet?

Monday, May 23, 2011

Out with the Old, In with the New...

As some of you know I finally got my new slalom board!!! So it 's time to part with my old one
(the one to the right), so here it goes, for sale:
Naish Pro Slalom 105, B+, 229cm X 65cm X 105L, 38cm fin, $299 OBO
Hawaii Proline Boom, 160-210 Alum, B+,$129 OBO
North Silver Boom, 180-230 Alum,B+,$129 OBO
For more details email: miami.windsurfer@gmail.com

Monday, May 16, 2011

No Kiteboarding signs are up!



For anyone who hasn't seen the new signs at Hobie beach and soon coming up on Windsurfer beach. Kiteboarding as well as other activities have been banned from the causeway.
Due to the posting, police now will be able to enforce rules by fining or arresting anyone not following basic courtesy.
If we don't patrol ourselves, government will do it for us.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

FW racing in the bay (plan B)

Although all agreed it would be great to support Shake-A-Leg racing series, everyone also agreed that it doesn't work for us logistically, location and timing is just not practical to have a good FW race weekly. So, with that in mind, new plan emerged, we're going to pick one day midweek and one over the weekend(depending on wind forecast, etc.), race start 5:30 p.m. (midweek) and 2 p.m. (weekend),
location - causeway, starting marker - last beach buoy near the bridge, and using the channel marker by
the sandbar as a second buoy, will use it as a upwind or downwind marker depending on the wind direction, one or 2 laps. First try, this coming Sunday - see you at the beach!
Let me know who's in

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Shake-A-Leg Wednesday night race series- part II

It's only the second time we had the race and already we have a big dilemma (welcome to Miami:))
First, organizers do spend money on the event (boat/gas/logistics/etc/ and a grill/food/beer),
by launching from the causeway we are not paying $10 they want us to donate per each race.
Second, race starts close to 7 p.m. just as the wind is starting to die...
And the last issue, they do prefer for us to use Shake-A-Leg as launch so they can coordinate things better.

Soliciting ideas on how we can find a solution here....

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Race1-Shake-A-Leg Wednesday night race series

I arrived just after 5 p.m., Jim was the only one present from 'windsurfing group', but he decided to use some weird canoe/catamaran contraption and was assembling it. Alex showed up few minutes later. Due to perceived lighter winds few people bailed out on the race. As I was getting ready to launch, Fernando drove in and started to rig. It took me few minutes to get out out of the channel, Jim managed to capsize
and he and Alex saw a larger bull shark in the area, so Jim was pretty nervous about swimming while getting his vessel upright. By the time we got to judge's boat, participant's number increased,
Albert, Angel, couple of RSX, some guy on an old course Mikes Lab, Alex,Fernando and myself were the  windsurfing fleet, 3 kitesurfers showed up with boards that look like super short slalom boards with
multi fin configuration, I overheard that Kent said that his fins are 42cm! Winds actually were within perfect
formula range 12+ knots. From what I could see, Fernando just blew everyone away.
With his 12 m2 sail he was effortlessly blasting even through the 3rd race when the wind finally started to drop off. Overall it was great times! For $10  we got a to race plus a BBQ/beer/snacks waiting for us.
After race Alex was discussing with committee how to improve the course for next time, we had too many close calls with boats. Hope more people show up next time... See ya

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Miracles Do Happen


Karma works in mysterious ways, typicaly windsurfers are known to be honest, gracious, respectable people. Yesterday afternoon I received a text from Ahmed, "Congratulations.... Lost but not forgotten" I was like "Do you know something I dont?", I received another text "Falcon board for u $40". I was like woah, I can believe this is true. I was like a kid waiting to go to ToyRus after dad promised him a toy. Little to be hold it was true, I headed to the bay to pick up the board. Our fellow windsufer "Pedro" was kind enough to buy the board from an unamed mariner individual and brought the board to the bay. The board had a small crack near the nose of the board, the brass nut that holds the mast foot to the board had split in two pieces in the mast track. I took a picture of the culprit that could have taken my life. I owe it to the gentlemen that recoverd the board and the great winsurfer friends. Many thanks to everyone!