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!