Home of the Baltimore Area Boardsailing Association.
‘Formula windsurfing’ is the high performance competitive course racing format of the windsurfing world. These boards have a massive wind range that enables racing in very light winds from 7 knots up to 35 knots and are capable of reaching speeds of over 30 knots.
The International Formula Windsurfing Class is controlled by the International Sailing Federation and was launched in 1998. This class introduced rules that restricted competitors to one board with a maximum of 3 sails and 3 fins (changed to 2 fins in 2011). This led the designers into creating boards with a very wide wind range coupled with excellent upwind and downwind performance.
Formula boards are much wider than conventional boards and their length is considerably shorter. Formula boards have now been restricted to 1m wide with fins up to 70 cm long and maximum sail sizes of 12.5m^2. By changing the fin length, type and stiffness as well as the sail sizes these boards can be tuned for a wide range of wind and water conditions and suit a variety of different sized sailors.
BABA racers and Meet at the Beach inspired windsurfers scored a big weekend at Mayo for the East Coast Championships on September 21 and 22.
We’ve got lots of pictures and words to share, but in case, dear reader, you don’t make it through the entire post, I’m going to take this opportunity to thank all the volunteers who pulled together to put on the regatta. As Myles Borash said when asked why he traveled all the way from Boston to compete – he makes a great effort to travel to our regatta because BABA still cares about racing and has volunteers who will work to put on an event, while his local windsurfing community gave up long ago.
The bay gave up another good day, but team Mayo was reduced to me and G today. It was time to get back on the Formula gear with the Kashy fins race only a few weeks away, I rigged the 9.4m with winds in the low 20 knot range, G-man chickened out and sailed his 5.6 and custom board. The gust seemed like mid 25 knot range.
My 9.4 has turned into my go to sail for Formula when wind are over 20 knots on average. The North Formula warp 2012 may be the best Formula sail I’ve owed in many years of Formula sailing.
April 22 – Formula vs Slalom
Gman and I had an interesting experiment this evening running some upwind downwind legs as we had ENE wind. Now we both know the formula board would run deeper downwind and higher upwind, but what if the Formula board sailed angles closer to a slalom board angles?
Gman sailed 8m and Starboard 112 isonic which is a very fast slalom board. I sailed the Patrick Formula race and 9.4m, the wind speed was 18 knots with a few lulls and a few higher gust….long story short my asumption was the Formula board would fall behind the slalom board if we ran angles more typical of slalom boards on the upwind and downwind. But in these conditions with 1-2 foot swell and 18 knots, the Formula board was just as fast even on a reach. No advantage to either board–a draw.
The Formula boards continue to amaze with huge range. It’s really a shame more windsurfers dont take advantage of the wide style boards Formula like boards. Anyhow that’s 3 out of the last 5 days lit up on the cold cold bay.
It takes a village to put on a regatta, along with a dedicated Commodore, and BABA has all that and more! We had 2 days of beautiful weather and WIND for the 2012 East Coast Championships Regatta, part of US Windsurfing’s National Race Tour. The first race started around noon on Saturday, September 22 but there were many hours of planning and organization ahead of the horn’s blare.
Big thanks to Commodore Tomaso for bringing all the pieces together and running a great regatta. We’d also like to acknowledge Anne Arundel Recreation and Parks for co-sponsoring the regatta, and park manager Dary Lofgren.
Jeff and Darlene Forte spent Friday night on their sailboat Something Special, a 1973 41 Tartan sloop at the marina on the West River where it is moored. It took them about an hour to motor over to Mayo on Saturday morning where they anchored in position to serve as committee boat for the regatta – a much more luxurious committee boat than BABA usually experiences! Thank you Jeff and Darlene.
Albert Pritchard and Tom Caswell brought out their motor boats for the regatta – Tomaso and the committee would not have been able to put together such a great course if they didn’t have a boat. The smaller boats also served as safety boats to rescue befallen sailors, including Amber who broke a mast far from shore and appreciated the ride. I hope her string of bad luck has ended. Thank you Albert and Tom C.
Jeff and Darlene, and Dave Iseri and his daughter Jasmine ran the racing from Something Special under the tutelage of Commodore Tomaso. They ran a tight series over 2 days with excellent starts and undisputable finishes – some camera ready.