2009 PWA Gran Canaria 

15-year-old Philip Köster (Starboard/NeilPryde/Dakine) has proven that he has what it takes to be the next big name in windsurfing by winning the 2009 Pozo wave event in a convincing style. Daida Ruano Moreno (North Sails) retains her title, and is on course for the number one spot in the overall rankings.

The atmospheric final day in Gran Canaria demonstrated the incredible new level that Professional Windsurfing has reached. A solid swell peeled into the bay, and a 50-knot wind ripped through the contest zone throughout the day. The final day of the Grand Slam proved to be everything we had hoped for.

After an epic fight in the double elimination, the stage was once again set for the ultimate show down between the event’s two dominant challengers. Philip Köster (Starboard/NeilPryde/Dakine) and Victor Fernandez (Fanatic/North Sails/MFC) went head to head, once again, to decide who was going to take the crown as the King of Pozo.

In a breathtaking heat, Fernandez opened well with a routine of high scoring jumps, and a smooth wave ride. Köster responded brilliantly with a massive forward, and a one handed backloop. Both sailors were getting incredible height on their jumps – often above the line of the horizon, and jumping for six seconds before they started a rotation. The crowd cheered as these two incredible men matched each other evenly.


2009 IFCA Slalom Bonaire Worlds

What a difference a day makes. The sun was shining brightly and the winds were blowing creating a nice day of sailing. Heats were postponed when I left at 4:30, to change the course. The winds kept shifting creating some challenges the marks.

Twice today the committee members moved buoys around. Luigi Romano, from Italy and Nicole Van de Velden, from Aruba both expressed frustration on the course. Nicole also had some gear issues impacting her heats.  The winds kept squirrelling around making it a challenge for riders and committe members. The IFCA officials did a great job running the heats for day 4.

In the Master’s Division, heat 1, afternoon session,  Argentinian Sergio Mehl had a great day of sailing. Diego Domenianni sailing for the US , raced well placing third in this heat of the afternoon. In the heat 2 group, Marcus Poltenstein took first and Italian Thomas Fauster blazed a close second. Former Olympian Patun Saragoza followed a close 3rd. Event organizer Elvis Martinus took to the course after a long day of work and organization.

Enes Yilmazer, a Turkish student studying in Corpus Christi continued to reign today in the afternoon heats. Malta Reuscher from Italy commanded the heats and came in second in heat 2 this afternoon. Richard Jones, despite a heavy night of dancing and partying was rising to the occasion placing third.


2009 Ronstan Bay Challenge 

40 Formula Windsurfing and kite boarders took to Saturday's long distance marathon, charging downwind in the 3k flood tide to round the Berkeley pier and back to a finish in front of the St. Francis. This year, the formula boards held the record with East Bay local Ben Bamer blazing the course in 1 hour, and sixteen minutes.

The top kiter, Sean Farley, finished 10 minutes back. For those not lucky enough to survive Point Blunts raging winds and current, there was a safety boat collecting sailors, their broken equipment and lost dreams!

Sunday's windward leeward course, set along the city front had the formula boards racing in the morning light and shifty breeze. Those sailors smart enough to have the 11.0m2 rigs on the water got around the course the fastest. Finally by mid afternoon, the wind pumped up to 20-25 with the boards and kites taking the course for 2 more exciting races.

The two fleets continue to merge and kite board designs are becoming more and more similar to the Formula Class design.

With the 1st World Course Racing Championship in San Francisco next month, the kite fleet is really pushing the envelope.