Sunday, March 28, 2010

Good News in Windsurfing

I think the greatest strength of windsurfing is its connection to sailing. On a windsurf you can cruise, explore, and race just like on a sit-down sailboat, and you can do it all faster for less money on a more simple and portable setup.

When I was a kid I did day-camp with laser sailboats at the Olympia Yacht Club. It was shortly after I had learned to windsurf, and I remember thinking, "This is pretty fun, but it would be a lot cooler if we were all on windsurfs".

Well, some folks at US Sailing, the main organization that puts together sailing racing and instruction in America, have been doing the sensible thing and heavily incorporating windsurfing into their youth sailing and racing programs. Check out these two videos by Bryan McDonald that highlight recent activities of US Sailing's "Windsurfing Task Force" (wtf)...

This second video is pretty good, too, except there's some crappy Florida formula sailor mucking it up...

One little thing that US Sailing did that I think could be a big help for windsurfing was shortening the instructor course from four to two days, making it possible to do in one weekend. More trained instructors means more windsurfers will get a good introduction to the sport.

Another random, cool thing that just happened in windsurfing was the Formula World Championships at a weird big lake in the Argentinian Andes. I was following American Olympic Class and Formula Class windsurfer Farrah Hall's reports on her blog, and was stoked to hear that she made the international podium with a 3rd place. The men's winner (by far) was French pro sailor Antoine Albeau, who has dominated everything for the past couple years.

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