Formula windsurfing has developed over the last 15 years in order to facilitate high performance competition in light and moderate winds. Formula is now a class of windsurfing boards controlled by the International Sailing Federation that have the principal characteristic of a maximum 1m width. They have a single fin of maximum length 70 cm and carry sails up to 12.5 m². Class rules allow sailors to choose boards produced by multiple manufacturers, as long as they are certified as Formula boards and registered with ISAF, and use fins and sails of different sizes. With the sail, fin and board choices, the equipment is able to be tailored to suit sailors of all body shapes and formula windsurfing presents one of the fastest course-racing sailing craft on the water. Formula Windsurfing is popular in many locations around the globe with predominantly light winds and flat water.
Large sails in combination with the 'wide-style' design allow planing in very low wind conditions as well as control and usability in high winds and bigger sea conditions. Non-planing sailing is very difficult with this design and racing is only conducted with a strict 7 knot wind minimum in place. Formula boards are used on "flat water" as opposed to coastal surf; but racing is still held in windy conditions involving swell and chop. In 2008, a Formula Windsurfing Grand-Prix World Tour began, with events in Europe and South America complementing the single-event World Championships as a professional tour for the Formula class.
Formula boards have excellent upwind and downwind ability, but are not as comfortable on a beam reach unless fin sizes are reduced. This explains why the course is usually a box with longer upwind and downwind legs, or just a simple upwind-downwind return course.
Speedsurfing takes place in several forms. The ISWC (International Speed Windsurfing Class) organizes (under the umbrella of the ISAF) competitions in various locations around the world known for conditions suitable for good speeds. The events are made up of heats sailed on a 500m course. The average of each sailor's best 2 speeds on the 500m course, which is typically open for 2 hours per heat, is their speed for that heat. As such it is possible for the sailor with the outright fastest time not to win the heat if his second best time pulls his average down. Points are given for the placings in the heats and the overall event winner is the sailor with the best point score (again not necessarily the fastest sailor). Likewise points are given for places in the events and at the last event a World Speedsurfing Champion is crowned.
On record attempts controlled by the World Speed Sailing Record Council (WSSRC) competitors complete timed runs on a 500m or 1 nautical mile (1,852m) course. The current 500m record (for Windsurfers) is held by French windsurfer Antoine Albeau, ratified at 52,05 knots (96.34 km/h – 59.9 mph) on Luderitz Canal in Namibia in Nov 2012. The Women's 500m Record is held By Zara Davis, from England, also in Luderitz. The Men's nautical mile record is held by Bjorn Dunkerbeck and the women's mile record is held by Zara Davis both set in Walvis Bay Namibia
With the advent of cheap and small GPS units and the website www.gps-speedsurfing.com, speedsurfers have been able to organise impromptu competitions amongst themselves as well as more formal competitions such as the European Speed Meetings and Speedweeks/fortnights in Australia. With over 5000 sailors registered it is possible for windsurfers all over the world to compare speeds.
Slalom is a high speed race. Typically there are two sorts of slalom courses.
Slalom boards are small and narrow, and require high winds. Funboard class racing rules require the wind of 9–35 knots for the slalom event to take place.
Raceboards are longer windsurf boards with a daggerboard and movable mast rail allowing the sailor to be efficient on all points of sail.
Excellent upwind ability is combined with good reaching and even downwind ability typically sailed in an olympic triangle course. Whilst in decline in manufacture since the advent of shortboard course racing (which evolved into Formula) there remains some models in production and most notably the IMCO One Design remains popular amongst amateur racing clubs.
Wave sailing is commonly held to be the pinnacle of windsurfing with those windsurfers capable of riding the biggest waves being seen as the leading figures in the sport.
Bearing some similarities to freestyle, wave sailing has been part of the sport for much longer (indeed, modern freestyle started off, in essence, as wave sailing without waves). Wave sailing took off during the rapid development of windsurfing on the Hawaiian islands of Oahu and Maui. It can be seen as comprising two distinct (but related) parts, wave riding and wave jumping.
Wave jumping, as with freestyle, involves stunts of varying levels of difficulty which are performed after the rider has jumped from the peak of an unbroken wave (having sailed towards the wave, thus using it as a ramp). These are commonly referred to as aerial moves and include both clockwise (forward loop, cheese roll) and anti-clockwise. The rider and his equipment rotate, doing single & double rotations and jumps where the sailor contorts his or her body and equipment (table top and Crazy Pete, etc.).
Recent innovations have included combining moves whilst airborne (i.e. the pushy-forward – a push loop followed by a forward loop) and one professional sailor, Ricardo Campello, has made attempts at a triple (three complete rotations) forward loop during a 2008 PWA competition.
Wave riding, by contrast, is much closer to surfing in style, and involves the rider performing a series of top turns and cutbacks whilst riding an unbroken wave back to the shore. Unlike surfing, the rider does not utilise any sections of the wave that have started to barrel – although top wave sailors are able to incorporate aerial moves into their wave riding and will use overhanging lips to launch themselves out in front of the wave as part of this.
Amendment to the Constitution
Windsurfing South Africa (WSA)
Clause 8.1.3 of the WSA Constitution has been amended as follows.
8.1.3 Sailing Officer
The Sailing Officer shall:
1) Serve as chairman of the sailing committee and manage and control all sailing functions/regattas falling under the umbrella of WSA.
2) Act as, or approve selection of, principal race officers for all WSA and regional events.
3) Identify and submit recommendations for change of the WSA class/discipline instructions, as needed, to the WSA Executive Committee on behalf of WSA Members.
8.1.3 Tour Director of Sailing
A Tour Director of Sailing may be elected for each discipline, as defined in clause 5, who’s duties shall be to;
1) Serve as director of the sailing committee for the relevant WSA Tour discipline.
2) Manage and control all sailing functions/regattas falling under the umbrella of the relevant WSA Tour discipline.
3) Act as, or approve selection of, principal race officers for the relevant WSA Tour event discipline.
4) Abide by the rules of the WSA Tour Championship Rules.
5) Identify and submit recommendations for change of the WSA Tour Championship Rules, as needed, to the WSA Executive Committee on behalf of WSA Members.
The WSA Executive Committee