Monday, January 2, 2012

Welcome 2012

This is the second year for the Lord of the Wind Showdown at Los Barriles, Baja on the southern coast of the Sea of Cortez. $20,000 of prize money awaits the competitors for their efforts from January 12 - 18. Last year, Kevin Pritchard won the Kite vs.Windsurfing Long Distance Race earning the winner take all prize money and some serious smack down bragging rights. Last year's inaugural event made it to television via the the Comcast Network this recent October. The Travel Channel will be there to shoot an episode from this year's event. For those who can't go, you can watch on your computer via the live webcast. Check the website.

Recent Training Camp - BRR, FL
The U.S. qualifier for the ISAF Youth Worlds, Jan 13 - 16 in Long Beach, CA, will select the 2 best finishers from the BIC Techno 293 Fleet to compete in the 2012 Youth Worlds, July 12 - 21, in Ireland. About a dozen juniors are expected to go to Long Beach. The 2 winners, one boy one girl, will have qualified in Long Beach on the T-293 and then must compete in Ireland on the RS:X. This could be a big jump in sail size for the lightweights. Juniors use to the T-293 7.8 max sail size will have to make adjustments, especially in winds over 18 knots, for the larger 8.5 sail used in youth RS:X. Also, the larger RS:X board will take lots of practice to get dialed. The Long Beach event will also factor into the decision for the selection of 4 members to the new U.S. Sailing Youth Development Team. More on the team here.

Bob Willis
Florida usually starts the winter race season with The Alex Caviglia Blue Water Classic in Miami. This regatta is traditionally held the weekend before the OCR. However, organizers reported on Dec 20: "Due to conflicting activities on a very busy weekend on the water and the Orlando Surf Expo (Jan 12 - 14), we are postponing the regatta. Stay tuned for the new dates announcement..." The Rolex Miami OCR  set for Jan 22 -28 is the only western hemisphere stop on the Olympic Class World Tour. expect to see a rather small field of competitors in the RS:X Class. Performance at this year's Miami OCR will factor into qualifying for the 4 RS:X members on the new U.S. Sailing Development Team.

Farrah Hall
Bob Willis and Farrah Hall are the recently qualified U.S. Olympic Team members for the RS:X Class. Congratulations !! Bob also qualified the U.S. for the 2012 Olympics at the 2011 Worlds in Perth, Australia. Farrah will have to finish in the top 7 of the as yet unqualified countries at the 2012 RS:X Worlds at Cadiz, Spain, March 20 - 29, to seal the deal for an Olympic berth. For the first time ever in the history of the class, Neil Pryde is putting up $50,000 prize money for this regatta. Adding to a big year for the RS:X Class, now focused on the 2012 Olympics in England, is a looming decision in November to pick which classes will compete at the 2016 Olympics in Brazil. There has been a lot of speculation that kiting could replace windsurfing.

The Calema Midwinters returns this year, March 1 - 4, at Kelly Park, Cocoa, FL. This event is also hosting the Kona Class National Championship and the North American Techno 293 Championship. Traditionally held the week before the Midwinters on the west coast in Sarasota, FL, the Island Style Classic continues their annual event Feb 25 - 26 . Last year's replacement for the Midwinters, the Banana River Regatta, will not be held because event organizer, Dominique Valle, will be in Cadiz, Spain training for the RS:X Worlds. However, expect to see this event return in April 2013. Speaking of April, will there be a race in Jacksonville this year?
Finishing out 2011, Dec 28 - 31, the Banana River Training Camp in Cocoa Beach, FL (T293, Formula & RS:X) has become an annual get together for a group of young Americans and Canadians. The camps are focused on racing skills but work on everything related to windsurfing plus SUP-ing when there is no wind and suitable surf. The event was taught by Dominique Vallee, Britt Viehman and Karen Marriot. Many of the participants will now head to Long Beach in a few weeks.

DaNews is now published 3 days a week on M W F. I'm trying to focus even more on North American content and the first quarter of the year usually has a lower volume of news hence the abbreviated schedule.

The Calendar last year covered events in North America. Still looking for better sources for events in Canada and will try to include more South American events this year.

The Learners guide to windsurfing has updated all the Disciplines pages with new material; added a new page by Simon Bornhoft linking up 30+ articles; added a new page with links to the complete Jem Hall's Wannabe a Wave Sailor series; and increased the size of all the video players. More to come...

1 comment:

  1. Great work Clyde! Looking forward to staying on top of Da News in 2012.