Santa Cruz Windsurfing Festival 2015 cursed by lack of wind

June 8, 2015 | Windsurfing
Harley Stone: riding when the wind was still up | Photo: Lucky Beanz/AWT

The wind didn't show up for the Santa Cruz Windsurfing Festival 2015, at Waddell Creek Beach, and only the Youth, Women, and Grand Masters had final results on the sheet.

Sometimes it just happens. Despite the good waves throughout the weekend, windsurfers only had light wind on the first day of competition, a 12-hour wave sailing marathon.

Sarah Hauser, Carmen Hsu, Ingrid Larouche and Tanya Saleh reached the finals of the Women's fleet. Hauser would steal the victory, leaving Hsu in the runner-up position.

The Grand Masters saw the return of Scott Shoemaker, after a 30-year hiatus. His last competition was in Hookipa, Maui, in 1985. The sailor from Lahaina, Hawaii, finished in a very respectable third place.

Reed Nelson conquered the judges with a stylish approach, speed and flow through the waves while Joe Ray used his local knowledge to ride perfect peeling waves and carve clean lines. He was second.

The young guns had the opportunity to spread their skills in the Santa Cruz line-up. Despite the tricky conditions, Harley Stone and Franzi Fix managed to reach the super final. The clash didn't come to a close because the wind quit half way through.

“Windsurfing is a frustrating sport! For me, it is about learning things new, visiting new places and challenging myself against the raw elements," concluded Chris Freeman, head judge at the American Windsurfing Tour.

"The ocean is not somewhere I feel naturally at home. It scares me when it unleashes its full force. There is no better test of human endurance, or greater opportunity to overcome rational and irrational emotions."

The next stop on the 2015 American Windsurfing Tour is the Pistol River Wave Bash, in Oregon.

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