War of the Windsurfers

Darrell Jones/courtesy Of Mistral

The 2002 US Windsurfing Tour will give amateur windsurfers a series title to shoot for, but the most intriguing competition may have little to do with who is quickest around the buoys.

Among the classes included in the 13-event tour are four one-designs or formats vying to be the sport’s premier raceboard. The bulky Olympic IMCO board currently holds the top position, but there’s a growing sentiment to replace it. To this end, the other three classes, the Techno by Bic, Mistral’s Prodigy, and the Formula class, are all shorter, wider, and—according to most everyone—more fun to sail.

"This is going to be a showcase for the new equipment," says Nat Siddall, the tour coordinator. But, he adds, that’s not its main goal. Windsurfing has long needed a strong development program domestically. Entry-level clinics, novice racing classes, and freestyle contests will be a part of each tour stop.

"It’s essential that someone do the work to get a community of racers together," says Siddall. "I think this is a first step."

2002 US Windsurfing National Race Series

April 13-14 WET Spring Regatta, Hampton Roads, Va.
May 17-19 Newport Funcup Windsurfing Pro-Am Regatta, Newport, R.I.
May 23-27 US Open/US Windsurfing Nationals, Corpus Christi, Texas
June 1-2 Toledo Championship, Toledo, Ohio
June 22-23 Hoyle Schweitzer Course Race, Kanaha, Hawaii
July 22-29 Pan-Am Cup, Puerto Rico
Aug. 10-11 Gorge Cup, Hood River, Ore.
Aug. 17-18 San Francisco Classic, St. Francis Yacht Club, San Francisco
Sept. 7-8 Toucan Open, Lake McConaughy, Neb.
Sept. 21-22 Wind Power Championship, Fond du Lac, Wisc.
Nov. 2-3 Fleet 12 Regatta, St Petersburg, Fla.
Nov. 7-10 Islamorada Pro-Am, Islamorada, Fla.

For more information, www.uswindsurfing.org.