Ozone Dominates North American Course Racing Championships
66 of the best Kiteboarders and 23 of the best Formula Windsurfers in the world arrived in San Francisco to race at the North American Championships hosted by the St. Francis Yacht Club. As a local, I’m confident in saying that we were graced with the best summer weather anyone could imagine, lots of wind and sunshine! The fleet used kites ranging from 15m to 7m, but for a majority of the event we were all on our smallest gear. We all fought our hardest to finish in the top half after the 3 days of qualifiers, moving them into the Gold Fleet for the final day of racing.
Going into the finals, we had sailed 9 races and were only allowed 1 dropped race. The top 4 men — Johnny, Adam, Bryan, and Riccardo — were essentially tied going into the final 4 races on Sunday, so when Johnny walked away with 4 bullets, it proves that he deserves to be the North American Champion. Besides being a member of the St. Francis Yacht Club and this being my home, I particularly love participating in their kiting regattas with all my friends in the local fleet. Not only all all the Race Committee helpers volunteering, but everyone is knowledgeable able the SF Bay and sailing. This YC has the reputation of running fair regattas, and to also make sure everyone has a great time. From the impressive Race Committee support during the days, to the steak dinners and musical entertainment from local kiters and windsurfers in the evenings, everyone felt at home.
From the perspective of a female racer, I’ve found that when I travel to kite events I sometimes feel as though I’m treated differently than the guys. At the StFYC, all racers are treated equally, which means we’re able to gauge our performance across the charts. For example, at this event, we were never divided on the race course or on the score sheets, by gender or class (open or production). I was the only female to make the Gold Fleet, which solidified me taking home the North American Championship title. I finished 23rd overall, whereas the second place female finished 47th (who was on a surfboard-like raceboard from 2009 and beat out 7 other women, most of whom were on production boards). Brian Kender (USA) finished 11th overall on a homemade raceboard! I thought that was a pretty big accomplishment, while racing amongst a fleet of the pros.
I’d have to say, the Ozone team spirit felt really strong during the event. Johnny (USA), Adam Koch (USA), Riccardo Andrea Leccese (COL), Adam Vance (CAN), Chip Wasson (USA), Matt Taggart (NZ), Alvaro Jose Cadena (COL), and I put in a solid performance, finishing 1, 2, 4, 8, 9, 12, 16, and 23 respectively. I look forward to the World Championships in October, which is the next time we will all be together in Sardina, Italy.
Full results, photos and daily videos can be found HERE