Windsurfing's Junior National Team -News, Events and More!
Thursday, January 15, 2009
Jay Watermeyer's Peru Report
Formula Festival World Championships – Ancon, Peru
By Jay Watermeyer
I first found out about the Formula Worlds from a fellow teammate on Team USA, Todd Selby. Because of the location in Peru, it sounded like an exotic and a fun place to gain some new race experience.After doing some research on the bay where the event was being held, I quickly found out it’s a perfect place to race.My dad and I left Seattle on a snowy, white Christmas morning and arrived in Peru at midnight.
When we first entered the terminal in Lima, the airport was hectic.There were about 100 people holding placards with travelers’ names on them.My dad and I could not find our own name, despite looking around carefully, and eventually found a sign with our name on it leaning up on a wall, with a gentleman standing next to it.
Our journey from Lima to Ancon was an adventure.Both my dad and I knew little Spanish, and had a hard time communicating with our friendly driver.Despite the posted speed limit, our driver drove in the middle of two lanes going as fast as he pleased for the 50 KM journey. It felt like we were playing X-box live. We stayed at a friend’s apartment (who previously sailed with us in HoodRiver) which was roughly ¼ mile walk by beach to the Yacht Club.They extended me a warm, Peruvian welcome and introduced me to some of the local kids.
The first day we were in Ancon we participated in successful practice races in perfect Formula conditions.Many of the other Junior and Youth racers from around the world were very friendly, and we soon got to know each other very well.The first day of the competition, however, there was no wind and the races for that day were cancelled.Some of my Peruvian friends and fellow competitors, Sebastian Aguirre & Mario Romero, took me, Connor Baxter, and Zane Schweitzer to a local surf spot called Pasamayo, which was only a 15 minute boat ride away. We had fairly decent waves and thoroughly enjoyed the surfing experience.We appreciated the graciousness of the Aguirre family for taking us there.
For the next couple of days the races were cancelled due to no wind.On December 31st, one of the local sailors knew of a place that would have wind, and it was only one hour bus ride to the north, further into the desert.So the next morning at 7 am, all of the competitors put all of their gear into the back of a semi truck, and loaded themselves onto a Grayliner coach.When we got to this beach, the wind was 10 – 15 knots and picking up.It was perfect!I had a great couple of races and everyone was stoked!
After three races, the race committee decided to call it for the day and we went back to Yacht Club in Ancon to celebrate New Year’s Eve.The party was a lot of fun because everyone was dancing and singing and having a good time.Many of the local neighborhood kids purchased fireworks at the local market and the streets were lit up the whole night with fireworks and bottle rockets going off.
On New Year’s Day, everyone was hopeful we’d race, but the wind in Ancon did not cooperate.Since we achieved our three races to make the championship legal, the race committee gave us another day off.The final day of the competition was roughly 10 – 13 knots in AnconBay.The bay was a little tricky to sail in.Out in the middle of the bay was light and unbeknownst to me there was a lot of floating trash and debris close to shore.I had some pretty good racing until I hit a piece of a submerged mattress and lost my lead.I was still able to catch up, but I wish we had more races in the championship to make up for less successful races.
I was stoked to be able to participate in such an important regatta and excited to meet kids from around the world who love to windsurf as much as I do.Hopefully I will get the chance to compete in the 2009 World Championships in Cadiz, Spain, where I will see most of these friends and fellow sailors from around the world who participated in the 2008 Formula World Championship.
Jay finished 7th in the Formula Experience fleet and Team USA was also well represented by Conner Baxter in 9th and Zane Schweitzer in 11th.
Aug. 3-5 - East Coast Junior Windsurf Champs in Vinyard Haven, MA (T293) www.vhyc.org
What is Team USA?
Team USA is for all junior windsurfers who are interested in competing at windsurfing. Currently our efforts are focused on racing (mainly course racing on Techno 293, formula, FE, Kona, etc.), but we hope to add freestyle and wave sailing components in the future. Training camps are offered for those who want to learn how to race, you will improve your windsurfing skills and learn racing skills - that makes racing more fun! You will also be exposed to different types of gear and conditions so you will become a more well-rounded windsurfer. You will also be able to get a better idea of what class of board you might want to race.
Who is on Team USA? The team is made up of all junior windsurfers that can attend a few events (races or training camps) each year. You don’t have to be an expert windsurfer or already have racing experience. To get started, just contact us and we can help you find a place to learn to windsurf, and then teach you how to race. Racing will improve your windsurfing skills and give you all kinds of cool opportunities to travel and meet other kids who windsurf from all over the world! If you are an expert with racing experience, that’s great! More information later on programs just for you. There are several requirements for being on Team USA: 1)Good Grades 2)Be ethical, honest and polite 3) Have a desire to improve.
How do I find out about Team USA events? The Team USA blog and e-mail newsletter are the best ways to keep track of future races and training camps. You can also e-mail Britt Viehman (the coach of Team USA) at firstname.lastname@example.org if you have questions.
What are the Youth Development Teams? We are currently working on having two more specialized teams within Team USA. One would be combined with the US Sailing team to develop a youth windsurfing development team for junior windsurfers who are talented, hard working and have their sights set on future Olympic competition. This would be an Olympic track for those who have their sights set on an Olympic journey. We are also working on a Formula Youth team for those who would prefer to compete in Formula or Formula Experience. These would be more serious, focused, smaller teams than Team USA.