I've just returned from the 2006 US Open in Corpus
The regatta was held in conjunction with the Velocity
Games- combining freestyle skateboarding on ½ pipes,
kite-boarding, formula windsurfing, slalom windsurfing
and speed sailing. It was a unique way to promote our
sport- in conjunction with action and excitement of
other 'board sports.' There were several thousand
people on the beach and board walk just south of
downtown Corpus Christie watching the different venues
throughout the day.
Six sailors from San Francisco attended (Mike Z, Steve
S , Mike P, Ivan, Seth, and myself) with 5 in the top
11 spots in the most competitive formula fleet-a good
showing for our local SF Formula fleet as well as
several other US Sailors taking the top spots! I would
guess there was close to 40-50 sailors in the formula
fleet with 7 international professionals attending.
There was enough prize money to keep most of the pros
happy and even went into the amateur fleet. We got 3
races in on Friday and 4 more on Saturday before the
weather became too much on Sunday and the regatta was
The formula races were run in the late morning before
the breeze picked up- even then the 10.0 was almost
too much to handle in the choppy Corpus Bay. Steve S.
proved sometimes you don't need to go big to win-
making the most of his 9.0 slalom sail every race to
finish 7th overall. The event was won by professional
Jimmy Diaz followed by Gonzalo Costel-Hovel in 2nd,
Devon Boulon in 3rd, Wilhelm Shurman in 4th, Phil
McGain in 5th, Seth Besse in 6th, Steve Sylvester in
7th, Mike Zajicek in 8th, BRA 25 in 9th, Mike Percy in
10th and Steve Bodner in 11th.
In the mid afternoon on both days we had an hour break
before switching to high wind slalom sailing. The wind
was side-onshore so the marks could be set close to
the shore with the finish line off the beach- making
it exciting to watch! Not everyone had slalom
equipment but enough was there on the beach so
everyone who wanted to sail could. I borrowed a board
from the a sponsor but after just 2 races- it snapped
in half making it rather difficult to finish- even
making a swim in - holding 2 board halves and a rig
rather amusing! Phil McGain went onto win the slalom
discipline after 2 days of racing with Jimmy in 2nd,
Gonzalo in 3rd, Wilhelm in 4th, Seth in 5th, and Devon
in 6th. There were 6 other locals competing rounding
up the rest of the fleet.
In the early evening, the excitement was moved over
the marina where a speed course was set. All that
separated 4-6' gnarly chop with 20-25k in the outside
bay and a smooth speed course inside was a 5'
break-wall- making ideal conditions for a speed venue.
You couldn't ask for anything more! The course was set
on beam to broad reach with no distant limits except
the extent of the marina. Arm mounted GPS units were
provided by the organizer and each sailors' top 2
speeds were averaged for their score. You could take
as many runs as you wanted- the only requirement was
to show your speed at the beach and clear the GPS unit
for your next run. Most guys were getting in the
33-38mph on their first runs on small slalom boards
and 6.3-7.6 slalom sails. The top speed was set by
Jimmy Diaz with 40.5 mph. I managed a top speed of
36mph with a few runs but was outpaced by the pros who
were hitting 39+ mph on each run.
Overall, it was great event that showed windsurfing is
still alive and healthy and when held in conjunction
with several other disciplines can be a great
spectator event as well.
Further race reports and photos can be found on my web
page at www.stevebodner.com and results at the event
website at www.velocitygames.us. Some nice aerial photos of the event here.