Swedish Formula Windsurfing Championships: Robert is surely blond

This year's Championship was located in Getskär, just south of Gothenburg.

The forecast for the weekend looked promising. A gale just outside the coastal zone would give good weather. The fleet also included sailors from Norway and Estonia. There 27 competitors for the Formula Windsurfing class and 10 in the Techno 293 class.

On Saturday, skipper met a lot of wind and massive rain in the morning and many spontaneous complaints were heard over the course of the unstable winds and lost places. Nevertheless the conditions, defending champion Robert Åberg SWE-13 was in the lead after the first day.

On Sunday, the wind direction was more southerly and much better in direction than on Saturday, but still gusty. Robert was really hungry and wanted to defend his championship title. He sailed safely and won the first race.

Race two and three went directly back-to-back and Robert nailed them too. In the short course also there are many sailors in a small area, so control is needed not to collide.

With 18-25 knot winds, Robert and a few were flying on 12 and 12.5 sqm. A lot of spectacular crashes on the course occurred when the sea started to build choppy. After nine races, we had a crystal clear superb champion.

1st Robert Åberg SWE-13 (Stockholm)
2nd Per Boström SWE-92 (Åmål)
3rd Johan Ekstedt SWE-64(Stockholm)

Freewave, New Zealand: Kiwis are great windsurfers

The Freewave returned to Plimmerton for round two of the 2010 series. Conditions were superb and the action was hot. A strong north westerly from the Tasman kindly whipped up good punchy waves for the sailors to launch off and shred to pieces. The sun bore down on those on the shore and an epic round was in the making.

Same format as last round was run. Two expression sessions saw the top eight sailors advance to two semi-finals. Surprise advancer was Merel Rip advancing through to semi with a few sweet waves rides putting her above the guys. Sailing well in the semi she managed to make a very credible 5th equal placing representing the girls with style.

Outstanding performers in the semi one were James Court and Tom Taylor. Taylor fresh from the freestyle nationals was eager to impress in the strong winds that he is so used too. With a myriad of forwards and solid wave rides he secured a place in the final. Court equipped with some slick looking new Neil Pryde Combat sails came out firing throwing big push and forward loops. Really stepping up his wave riding in the onshore conditions he took top spot in the semi and his place in the final.

Semi two saw round one winner and Wellington Wave Champ Clayton Dougan come out pumped. However it was no easy sailing for the on form Dougan pushed hard by Klaas Stijnen. Stijnen kept Dougan honest with an intense aerial display of forward loops. The words “he ain’t no slug” were heard on the beach as Stijnen nailed one of the biggest end over forwards of the day recording plus-plus status on the judges’ card! Dougan impressed yet again with variety in the air sending him through to the final with Stijnen.

Conditions for the final were the best seen for years with primo waves and wind making it all the way to the inside to the delight of both spectators and the judges alike. The fifteen minute final saw the best action of the season so far.

All sailors kicked off proceedings with forward loops with Court taking the early advantage going huge first up. Dougan hit back with a big back loop to bring things back in to perspective for Court. Taylor and Stijnen were going tit for tat with forwards off the back of the wave right in front of the spectators.

All sailors were making most of the ample waves connecting backside action with crossed up down the line rides. Stijnen again impressed with outstand onshore wave riding skills managing to get backside air launching right out in front of the wave. Court had himself flicked the onshore wave riding switch connecting the longest wave rides of the day getting into the bowl of some of the more punchy sections.

With Dougan charging across the waves into his jumps like a man possessed, Court stepped up his game. First came a nice clean “JC special” push loop. Dougan responded with a “floaty” vulcan off the wave to mix things up and finished with another big back loop. Court still had more to give. Boosting high in a gust he stalled a very stylish tweaked forward. He then followed this up with the cleanest cheese roll ever seen at Plimmerton in recent time.

A hard decision was calculated carefully on the beach and Court was given top honours on the day with Dougan a very close second. Stijnen managed to pip Taylor with superior wave riding to take third. Congratulations James Court!

Overall that leaves Dougan on top of the overall standings on 3 points with Court in second with 5 points. Taylor third on 6 points sits above Stijnen in fourth on 10. With the final round set for 6 November 2010 the freewave champ is in the making. The third and final round is to be of the freestyle format.

Xavier Ferlet: beated windsurfers and kitesurfers

UKWA Racer Xavier Ferlet won the CalCup this weekend in Berkeley near San Francisco. In second place was veteran racer Steve Silvester.

Xavier also won the overall competition between Kitesurfers and Windsurfers. San Francisco is one of the Formula hotbeds in America, the conditions there are usually rough and windy.

The first regatta of the series in May didn’t go well for Xavier who finished 10th. The following two events proved more successfull with two first places. The last two events of the season were dominated by the Veteran Racer Steve Silvester. Steve showed everyone how to do it in strong winds including racers who were about half of his age!

The Kiters have been going fast this year specially in light air but the boards were faster in stronger winds. The competition occasionally attracted top racers like current World Champion in kite course racing. No doubt that this trophy will be fiercely contested next year.

This concludes a successful season for Xavier’s first year in America. Other results include first place in Elvstrom Zellerbach Regatta, third place at the Bay Classic and first Master at the US Nationals / North American Championship.

California is a great place for Formula with great sailing conditions in San Diego, Los Angeles and San Francisco. Next Championship is the Formula Masters Worlds in Rio, Araruama, Brasil starting on the 11th of October. Hopefully more British racers will turn up to represent the UKWA.