Sunday, August 22, 2010

Marion's Report from the Techno 293 World's

This year’s Techno 293 World Championships was one to be remembered. There were over 400 competitors and winds ranging from 0 to 55 knots. I was eager to see how much I’d improved since last year’s Worlds, and I’d set myself a goal to finish in the top 10. I met the US team in Martigues on Saturday evening, and there were already 40 knots; I was thrilled. The following day we registered, and got our charter gear together. On Monday, we had our equipment inspected, and then we went out on the water at around 1: 00 pm. The wind was great with +20 kts. Unfortunately, around 2:30 p.m. the wind started picking up to the point where I was just getting myself exhausted; so I came back in, which was not an easy task as there were about 400 people there trying to launch at the same time. I ended up missing the practice race, but since more than half the fleet did not do it either, I did not mind. In the evening there was the opening ceremony followed by some Tahitian dancing.

Tuesday was too windy to race, so we had our first races on Wednesday, and we got out on the water at 6:00 pm. I finished 12th and 22nd, the latter one being raced in very light wind. I had the most trouble with my starts because I couldn’t figure out how to sight the line properly. I did better on Thursday, finishing 9th, 13th, and 8th because the wind was more consistent, blowing about 15kts. This made it easier for me because less pumping was involved, and since I could point higher than most girls, I was able to recover from my bad starts and move up to the top of the fleet. On Friday the girls did not get to go out because the race committee believed it was too windy for us. Unfortunately, Saturday was very light. In our first race, which had about 5 to 10 kts, I finished 31st, and we all had to be towed in because the wind disappeared after we finished. Surprisingly, my best race was the following one in the afternoon in which we also had very light winds. I had a terrific start because I port tacked the entire fleet, so I was ahead of everyone for a few minutes. Unfortunately, this didn’t last long because other girls pumped better than me, so they ended up passing me. I ended up finishing 7th in that race. In the end, I finished 11th, and just one point behind tenth place.

Overall, I had a great time. I met a lot of people, learned a lot, and I now know what I need to work on if I want to make it to the podium next year. I have to say that I was disappointed that the girls did not get a single race with the centerboard up, but I did get to see how well I’d improved in my light wind sailing. This was a great event, and I’m looking forward to competing at the Worlds again in San Francisco next year. Hopefully they will let girls go out when the wind blows above 20+ kts which does not seem to be the case in Europe...
A great thanks to my parents, my grandparents, Britt, and the St. Francis Yacht Club Foundation for all of their support.
-Marion Lepert

Monday, August 9, 2010

Junior Racers at the 2010 Nationals In San Francisco

Alyson Fromm sent the following report from the Nationals in San Francisco where she raced in both the Formula and Slalom classes:

It was July 20th at 8 AM and I was wide awake with anticipation to rip up San Francisco Bay for Nationals. I was excited , but scared at the same time, because I had only sailed on the bay a total of 45 minutes the day before. Then if you add in my major fear of sharks and huge boats, my mind was pretty occupied. When we roll into the parking lot at Crissey Field I saw people starting to rig from all over the world and I knew from then on that it was going to be an intense, but fun, week. After two races, I was exhausted, because each race was two laps around this huge course which was about 12 miles per race. Trying to get to the windward mark on an incoming tide was really hard! I underestimated the mark and had to tack a couple of extra times! During the break we were told that the junior sailors with 8.5 sails and smaller, would only do one lap from then on. What a relief that was! With that change, the four juniors in that fleet were able to finish the course before the men made it around twice. That went on for the two days. Then the last three days we did formula in the morning and slalom in the afternoon. I have to say that slalom is more my thing. I love it!

Throughout the whole competition I had some problems with equipment and learning how to deal with the floods and ebbs, but after a while everything finally came together. Phil McGain led a small clinic and gave us some advice on how to get better starts and deal with the currents. I followed his starting advice and claimed my position right at the front of the charging, world class racers. Unfortunately, my start was a little too good, and I was over early and didn’t realize it. That was one of my better races, but I was disqualified.

It was on the second to last race of formula , as I was going up to the windward mark that I had my most memorable race. I was being followed by a pod of porpoises and they were jumping and swimming right next to me the whole way! It was really cool to be able to share the water with one of my favorite animals. That ended up being one of best races in formula. Thank you porpoises!!!

I have to say the biggest challenge was dodging all the tourist boats, fishing boats and huge tankers, because let me tell you, they don’t care about the SPLATS(aka windsurfers in their way). They mean business! Luckily, the committee boats were out there watching us and making sure we stayed clear of the biggest tankers and cruise ships. The tourist boats are another story. They fly along until they slow down to talk about the windsurfers in the bay and try to get you to wave to them. Then they jet off leaving this huge wake behind them. I know I definitely went flying off a good handful of those confused monster waves. I think my mast met the board on one of those.

After 5 days of rigging and derigging the same 3-5 sails every day, and racing non-stop, I was pretty tired. I loved windsurfing in the bay though, and it was great being part of the Windsurfing Nationals in San Francisco. I would totally do it again. Now, I can’t wait to show off what I learned at the last two Gorge Cup races in Hood River, because I feel I made a huge leap forward in my sailing. If you are a Junior racer who didn’t go the Nationals this year you should definitely try to go next year, because you get to race with some amazing talent from around the world and you learn a ton.
See you on the water!

Techno 293 2010 US National Championship

The Techno 293 East Coast Championships and US Nationals took place in Vinyard Haven last week. 15 races were run over 3 days in perfect racing conditions! Jean Sebastian from Quebec, Canada took the top spot, with Raz Sayre and Chris Waldo finishing behind him.

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Techno 293 Worlds Video!

We're so proud of the performance of our US Team at the Techno 293 World Championships that just wrapped up in Martigues, France. Ian Stokes, Marion Lepert, Jack Lundquist, Charlotte Samson and Margot Samson (allong with coach Britt Viehman)raced hard all week. And you can see them in the below video inviting everyone to San Francisco for the 2011 Worlds!

In the fleet of 80 girls, Marion Lepert of San Francisco finished 11th and Margot Samson of Clearwater, FL finished 49th. In the fleet of 160 boys, Ian Stokes of Virginia finished in 68th.

Check out for more videos and results.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Bic techno 293 world championship 2010

Check out this video from the Techno 293 World Championships, where Margot Samson, Charlotte Samson, Marion Lepert, Ian Stokes and Jack Lundquist are racing for the USA this week!

Friday, July 23, 2010

Juniors Ripping at Nationals

The following is excerpted from, check it out for lots more coverage of Nationals and other windsurfing, kiting and sailing events!

San Francisco Bay is known for chewing up and spitting out some of the most seasoned sailors. The fleet of junior sailors at this year's event however came prepared and are dishing it right back. Starting on the same line as the rest of the fleet they are showing that the future of American Formula sailing is a bright one. Just finishing races in these challenging conditions is a serious accomplishment and these kids are not just finishing they are excelling.

In the Junior 8.5 max sail division Ben Grodner (USA 1618 Salt Lake City, Utah) is sailing a near perfect regatta with 7 bullets in 8 races. Perhaps even more impressive is the performance of the divisions two girl's entries Alyson Fromm (USA 015, Seattle, Washington, pictured at right) and Fiona Wylde (F 11, Hood River, Oregon,pictured at right) both of whom have finished every single race and are engaged in a battle that has them separated by only one point after seven races. I can testify first hand that these kids are legit contenders. In one race I wass lit up on port tack and locked in battle with Mike Percy (USA VYV Hansen Sails also an event sponsor, pictured below). We are both pushing as hard as we can to the finish line and that's when I hear a fierce, albeit high pitched, "STARBOARD"! As I peer to my right I here comes Fromm who had called the perfect lay line to the finish and she has me totally covered. I am forced to take her stern and it hands the race to Percy. Nice job Alyson – that's racing!

In the Junior division Chris Gardiner (7, St Petersburg, Florida) is mixing it up with the big boys. Day 2 saw Gardiner post three straight top 20 finishes 17-17-16 to lead the division and has him sitting in 21st place overall. Cullen Ahern (USA 163, Clear Water Florida,) also got in the action posting a 19th place in race 6 and sits in second place while Jay Watermeyer (US 45,Hood River, Oregon, pictured below body dragging) is in third. With talent this strong the adults better be watching their backs the remainder of the regatta as it's likely these three running them down.

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Gorge Groms

Often the biggest obstacle for kids to become “a windsurfer” is access to gear and having friends who participate. To fill this gap, CGWA is starting Gorge Groms, a youth windsurfing club. Our goal is to build community and camaraderie amongst kids who windsurf in the Gorge. When you sign up to become a Gorge Grom, you receive:

■Unlimited access to a full quiver of gear for use at the Hook
■Participation in all Gorge Groms clinics with local and visiting pros and qualified instructors. Clinic schedule available here.


Registration for season passes will take place in person at set dates & locations. If you cannot make these registration times, please contact CGWA to set up a time ( 541.386.9225 541.386.9225;

Registration dates:

■Sunday July 18th, at the Windance swap meet, 9-11am
■Monday July 19th, at the Hook, 9-11am
■Friday July 23rd, at the Hook, 9-11am
**A legal guardian and all kids participating in the family’s season pass must be present to register. Payment accepted by credit card, check and cash (please bring exact change).


A family season pass to the Gorge Groms program is $100, which includes the cost of a family membership ($35) and covers participation for all kids in one immediate family. The season pass is valid through September 11, 2010.

■If you are currently a CGWA member and contribute $100 or more, the cost of the program is waived.
■If you are currently a CGWA family member at $35, the season pass costs $65.
■Memberships must be valid through the end of the season.
■If you are not a Gorge Grom but would like to attend a clinic, the cost is $20 per person per clinic.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Clinic wrap-up from San Francisco

The St. Francis Yacht club has been hosting a very exciting youth Windsurfing clinic with Olympic Windsurfer Ben Barger.

In preparation for the Techno 293 World Championship in France and the US Windsurfing Championship (at the St. Francis), Ben has been on a Techno Windsurfer himself teaching kids how to go faster than they ever have gone before. Focusing on advanced high wind techniques in the afternoon and lighter air techniques in the lighter breeze of the AM, the stoke has been high as the skill levels are launching into the air (literally during a fun jumping session off some freighter's wakes yesterday :). Ben has been putting the kids through some awesome cardio workouts on the rowing machine at the St. Francis as well as on the water in the famous breeze that is San Francisco Bay. He's been following up with advanced chalk talks at the end of each day. After taking hot showers in the endless hot water supply at the club, these kids are pooped till the next day where they charge it again.

Ben kicked off the clinic by presenting an inspirational Olympic story at the St. Francis Wednesday yachting lunch. The kids were present at this lunch and enjoyed listening to Ben juxtaposed with the adults and press (as well as the very tasty desert table at the club :). Key support has been given by Windsurfing Task Force member, Nevin Sayre, club members Paul Heineken, Dennis Deisinger, Mike Kalin and others.

Thank you St. Francis yacht club for your amazing support!

Respectfully submitted,
Bryan McDonald
Windsurfing Task Force Chair

Friday, June 25, 2010

Junior Windsurfers at Pistol River Wave Bash!

The junior fleet at the Pistol River Wave Bash was full of talent! Zane Schweitzer and Bern Roediger from Maui took the top two spots respectively with their talented performances that showed their years of experience in the waves. Morgan Noireaux (who also lives in Hawaii, but is from France) rounded out the top three. The sole junior girl entry was Fiona Wylde from Hood River. Here is her story:

When we arrived at Pistol River it was howling! The pro's were on 3.7's and saying they could be happy on a 3.0. My good friend Ben Grodner had never sailed in the waves. The waves were not all that big, but big enough to definitely get pummeled and have to swim after your gear. We arrived and we saw Ben's mother Linda, running down the beach with a nervous look on her face. She was running after Ben who's gear got away from him and he couldn't get to it. I knew Ben would be ok, but this was not the introduction I wanted my mom to see about sailing there.

The next day there wasn't any competition so we were able to go sailing and learn how the waves work there. It was still probably blowing 25-30. I thought I got the hang of it my first try. I made it out, got some jumps, and sort of rode a wave back in. I was super happy that hadn't gotten washed! I went out again. My second try wasn't as glamourous as the first. I got over two waves and then the third waved mushed me. I went swimming! My gear was a ways in front of me and I just had to keep swimming. I am not sure if I mentioned it, but the water was about 45-50 degrees F. It was so cold! Later that day I went out a couple more times and we called it a night.

The next day was the first day of competition. I was in two heats the Junior and the Women's heat. In my first round of the Junior's, I made it out, got some jumps and rode some waves! I was super excited, and I became even more excited when I advanced to the second round! I was so happy because it was my first wave competition and I advanced! Then I had a Women's heat and I did ok. In the women's heat there is no elimination because there was four of us so we just ran heat after heat. In the next heat of the juniors I got washed and I spent the whole heat swimming. I was also up against two boys from Hawaii, I don't think that helped all that much. By the end of the day I sailed 2 heats of the juniors and 3 heats of the women's so I was pretty tired.

The second day of competition I got to sail with the Juniors again because of the double elimination. Double elimination means everybody gets two chances to move on. My first heat was With the Juniors and I didn't do so well. I went swimming after my gear, again. I was out of the Junior for the rest of the competition. In a way I was ok with not having to sail so many heats. In the women's division we sailed three heats and I came back to the beach where I started in all of them but one. I did not place but I had an amazing time, and I learned a lot about wave sailing! I am hooked!

~Fiona W. Wylde

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Calema Midwinters/T293 North Americans

Kids from Canada, the US, Mexico, Puerto Rico and Guatamala are all waking up in Florida this morning ready for the start of the 2010 Calema Midwinters and Techno 293 North American Championships. This is also the qualifying regatta to determine which four kids from North America get to attend the 2010 Youth Olympic Games in Singapore in August!

5 US kids and 5 Canadian kids have spent the last few days at a training camp at Banana River Resort sharpening their skills and tuning up for the regatta. Racing starts tomorrow and we can't wait to see which two countries end up getting to attend the Youth Olympics.

Regatta reports and pictures starting tomorrow night!

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Team USA in the News!

Junior windsurfers have been getting lots of press lately. The Clearwater Gazette recently published a story about the kids who sail out of the Clearwater Community Sailing Center. You can find the story by going to the Clearwater Gazette website and then scrolling down to the headline "windchasers" under the sports heading.

Cullen Ahearn got his picture up on the Clearwater Yacht Club website after winning the Youth World's qualifier in January. He was also profiled on ! Also on you can read reports from Cullen and Austin Emser from the Miami Olympic Classes Regatta that took place just last week.

Friday, January 22, 2010

Team USA in Miami

A handful of Team USA kids were lucky enough to get to race in Miami at the Alex Caviglia Bluewater Classic last weekend. Kid's were racing in the Kona class and the Techno 293 class (getting in some training time before the Youth Olympic Games Qualifying regatta next month!) and a few in the Formula fleet as well. A race report from one of the kids will be up soon! Til then you can check out the race results at and pictures at

Monday, January 11, 2010

NEW! Youth Development Windsurfing Team!

US WINDSURFING announces the new Youth Development Windsurfing Team, Endorsed by the US Olympic Sailing Committee

Applications are now being accepted for the 2010 Youth Windsurfing Development Team (YWT) -- a new, youth pipeline team endorsed by the US Olympic Sailing Committee (OSC). With an expanded emphasis on the development of talented sailors competing at an international level in the RSX and Techno-293 Classes, YWT was created for young athletes who have been identified as Olympic Windsurfing prospects.

Those selected as part of the Youth Windsurfing Development Team (YWT) will receive experienced coaching, guidance, and mentoring to build the necessary skills to compete at the Olympic level. The YWT athletes will be required to participate in the following activities during the calendar year 2010, in pursuit of Olympic competition:

1. International Regatta: At least one (1) international regatta
2. US Regatta: At least three (3) national level windsurfing regattas
3. Windsurfing Training Camp: At least one (1) windsurfing training camp
4. Supervised or Independent Training*: At least forty (40) days of on the water training, documented in a training log
*Note: Competition days are not included in the count of training days

The YWT is seeking a total of 8 to 15 sailors who are ages 12 through 23, as of January 1, 2010. Applicants will need to provide a resume of their sailing/windsurfing capabilities, results and parental approval for those under age 18. Important criteria which will be considered for selection on YWT includes:

Documented ranking in windsurfing and sailing competitions
• Demonstrated skill and independence
• Willingness to work with a team
• Commitment and desire to train for the purpose of competition in the Olympics
• Referral from an experienced sailor
• Minimum “C” grade point average or equivalent

Based on applicant resume, the Windsurfing Task Force (a task force named by the Board of Directors of US Sailing), will choose qualified candidates up to a maximum number of 15 sailors for the following classes:
• RSX Class
• Techno-293 Class

The Youth Development Windsurfing Team (YWT) is affiliated with Team USA Windsurfing. For additional details regarding Training Camps and Regattas, please refer to the Team USA Windsurfing site:

Applicants must be current members of US SAILING and US Windsurfing.

Sailors interested in the YWT team should apply at:

In addition to the application, sailors are required to send a resume to the following address:

The deadline for the first round of applications is February 15, 2010. YWT members will be announced in March, 2010.

Friday, January 8, 2010

Christmas Cocoa Beach Race Camp!

Report by Margot Samson:

Sing we joyous, all together,
Heedless of the wind and weather,
Fa la la la la, la la la la!
By Margot Samson

Ah! A junior race camp in the warm waters of Florida’s Central Coast, at a time when windsurfing gear elsewhere in the country is encased in five inches of ice – brilliant! For the second year in a row, top junior racers from across the U.S. and Canada headed to the Banana River Resort in Cocoa Beach – just south of NASA’s Cape Canaveral - to cure their post-Christmas blues. You know, the letdown that comes with realizing yet again that Santa doesn’t windsurf.

National coaches Karen Marriott, Dominique Vallee and Britt Viehman rounded us up for four days of intense physical training and on-the-water practice on Techno 293 and RS:X - the rigs used in international competition. Every day started with a jog on the beach. I realize this doesn’t sound too bad: a jog on the beach, watching the sun rise over the Atlantic, in December, dude, where do I sign up? But it was still cold, 40F or so, and you had to do push ups in the surf if you fell behind. Well, not really, but there was the threat of doing push ups in the surf if you fell behind, and that threat was enough to make many of us fall behind. Actually, mostly me. You know what, let’s talk about sailing!

Over the course of the four days, the wind went like this: WHOOSH – Whoosh – Hush – Zip – BANG! Not very consistent to say the least, but that was perfect for us to learn and test new skills in a variety of conditions. The first couple of days (whoosh) were brutal because of the cold but the wind, sustained above 15kts, kept us on the water from dawn to dusk. When the wind hushed on day 3 and the temperature broke 60F, we thought ‘ah, easy.’ Of course, the coaches had us pumping most of the day and we’re not going to be looking at a light air day with the same innocent eyes ever again. On day 4 the wind died completely – zip. Fortunately, SUP extraordinaire Girard Middleton was on hand to teach us the fundamentals of paddle-boarding and we headed ocean-side to try our luck in the Cocoa surf. I still don’t know how you carve or even think about cutting back on that mammoth board. There must be a rudder somewhere.

Many of us knew each other already, but we hadn’t been together in some time and the camp was a great opportunity to rekindle the friendships. After all, there’s only so much that can be shared on Facebook – at some point, you’ve got to get together with your friends and have a bonfire! Magically, two dozens discarded Christmas trees found their way into a pit on the beach on New Year’s Eve and burst in flames for everyone’s enjoyment. That was quite a show. Looked like the Space Shuttle taking off, if you ask me.

And then came day 5. The forecast looked promising and most of us stayed an extra day to enjoy the conditions. The fact that there’s a ‘day 5’ in a 4-day race camp should tell you something about our level of enjoyment, but also about the graciousness of the coaches who subjected themselves to an extra dose of pranks and mischief and would most certainly have preferred to celebrate the New Year between adults. But we all got treated to a great session. Take a look at the pictures: it’s cold – again -, foggy, rainy and gusting to 30kts. BANG! Happy New Year!