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Windsurfing competition is on the
way up again!
Last year, Formula Experience was introduced. An
initiative of BIC, Starboard, the French Sailing Federation
(FFV) and event organisers in Europe (North Sea Cup
The basic idea was to create a world wide grass root level
class for easy entry into competitive short board
windsurfing. Similar to the Optimist class in sailing and the
activities of the Aloha class in Europe for long boarding.
Unlike the Optmist or Aloha class however, Formula
Experience is not limited to juniors and youth only but is
open to seniors as well.
After its successful maiden event, the Formula Experience
Europeans in Brest, France (August 2002), the class has
really taken off. It is clear that many were waiting for a
class that gives the thrill and pleasure of modern wide
board racing at a fraction of the cost of full Formula type
board racing.
The use of durable ASA boards, a retail price limit of 1000
euro for a board and rig limitations makes Formula
Experience also attractive for junior and youth programs by
clubs and national associations.
Position of Formula Experience.
Racing in windsurfing can be divided into two distinct
concepts. One Design classes and Open (full development)
classes. Formula Experience combines the advantages of
both concepts while avoiding the disadvantages.
Multi-manufacturer. No monopoly; guaranteeing high
quality and lower prices due to the healthy competition
between the manufacturers. At the moment BIC and
Starboard are the main players but other manufactures have
shown interest and can propose ASA boards as well.
Stability & development. The board list is fixed for several
years. The present boards of Bic and Starboard will remain
unaltered up to and including 2004. At which point the
manufacturers may update their equipment, followed by
another closed period of 4 years. The present boards remain
class legal in the next cycle. This way, equipment stays
competitive unlike in full development classes where new
designs emerge every year. At the same time, Formula
Experience avoids the trap of fully outdated concepts like
e.g. the present Olympic O.D.
Formula Experience aims at the grass root and medium
level competitors of all ages.
What is windsurfing?
As the name implies, windsurfing is a sport that uses the
wind as its source of propulsion. Without wind,
windsurfing is not possible. Air-rowing (pumping your
heart out) is clearly not what our sport is about.
Formula Experience therefore has flexible course lay outs
to take maximum use of the wind and weather situation and
to avoid a pumping contest.
Charter Equipment
Travelling around the world with windsurfing equipment is
not always easy. Therefore, major Formula Experience
events like continentals and other important events (e.g. the
famous Midwinters in Florida, contact Tinho Dornellas, have charter equipment. Another
Formula Experience event to happen soon is the Cercle
Nautique de Schoelcher on the island of Martinique in the
Carribean. Notice of race available on the class website.
Legal Status
Formula Experience has applied for ISAF International
status. Several sailing federations have already indicated
that they will support this initiative. With International
status, ISAF grants the right to hold official World
Championships. It is the intention to organize one in 2004.
For more details on equipment see http://www.formulaexperience.
sponsored by Câmara Municipal de Almada (Almada City
Hall). (12-17 August 2003) near Lisbon, Portugal will be
to all appearances more like a World Championship.
Competitors from all over the World have announced to
participate. There will be for example a team from the
USA and Canada and teams from South America and Asia
Of course, many European countries will be present too.
Charter equipment from both Starboard and BIC will be
available. A pre-notice of race can be found on the class
Practical info for the Europeans:
From the organisers, Club Overpower: Interesting for
teams: the Youth Hostel in Almada at 10 km from
Caparica with a panoramique view of Lisbon. It has
excellent prices and is very comfortable. Competitors can
make the reservations on line.
English version available. Don't wait too long as it is high
season. It is possible to camp (tents, caravans and
campers) close to the beach. Hotels can be found in
Caparica (+/- 5 Km)
There are buses from the beach to the hotel. The
organisers will try to arrange special transport for the
Competitors, coaches and family provided by the City
Hall. Overpower Club can also provide free transport from
and to the Airport for Competitors and Equipment.
Coach boats can be rented on site.
There are special prices for car rentals as Europcar is a cosponsor
of this event.
You can contact the organisers at:
are scheduled for 5-6 July. Host will be the well known
international regatta venue CORK/Sail Kingston (Ontario,
Canada). The event is in conjunction with the Central
Canadians and a visiting USW NRT event Charter boards
will be available. More info: John Darling, Chair
Windsurfing Canada,
Vittoria, Brasil (probably September 2003)
The Asian Championships are scheduled for early
December in Jomtien/Pattaya in Thailand. Wind conditions
10-20 knots, air temperature 30 degrees, warm water, cheap
flights from Europe and the USA, excellent
Contacts: Patis Wajong of the Windsurfing Association of
Thailand, and Tor Bakke,
May 31-June 1
W.C. Championnat québecois de formula/Le Défi du Lac
St-Pierre==Quebec Formula Championships/Lake St.
Pierre Challenge, Centre Nautique de Francheville
(Formula, Formula Experience TBC, longboard, Slalom et
freestyle), Lac St-Pierre (à Point-du-Lac, près de Trois-
Rivières/10 min. from Trois-Rivières. Info:
or Windsurfing Canada.
June 7-8
W.C.Tropical North Ontario Formula hampionships/Barrie
Windsurfing Weekend (Formula, Formula Experience
TBC, Raceboards & Slalom), Barrie Ontario Info: 705-725-8888 or Windsurfing
*July 5-6
W.C. Central Canadian Windsurfing Championships/US
Windsurfing N.R.T. event, and Formula Experience North
American Championships (Formula, Formula Experience &
Raceboards), at Richardson Beach, Kingston; Info: Register on-line: Ross
Cameron 613-545-1322 or Windsurfing Canada.
*July 24-26
Windsurfing.R.T. event (Formula, Formula Experience,
Slalom, Freestyle & Raceboards), Squamish B.C. 604-683-2919N
*Aug. 2-4
WIRED (Formula, Formula Experience, Slalom &
Freestyle)/USW N.R.T. event (Formula, Open), Nitinat
Lake, Vancouver Island, B.C. Paul Betts 250-386-1308
* = clinic plans before or during the event (tbc)
FW) by : Ricardo Guglielmino.
The South American Formula Experience and Formula
Windsurfing championship started december 7th with a
very nice opening ceremony and a Peruvian music and
dancing show. The first racing day was monday, with winds
between 8-12 knots we had 3 races with Gonzalo Costa
leading all of them followed by Paulo from Brasil. On
Tuesday we had the fourth race with very light wind
conditions and Gonzalo still was first followed by Ricardo
Guglielmino and Paulo while Nicolas Schreier was first in
Youth, Valeria Matuck in Women and Oliver Tom in
Juniors. Next day (wednesday) we had no wind so the
organicers decided to move the next 2 day races to Paracas
(in the South of Lima) to assure more races for the event.
So Thursday in Paracas we had 3 more races with winds
between 10-15 knots. All the people was very happy with
the conditions and next day (Friday) the day started with
good winds and we had the first race of the day with about
15-18 knots that quicly picked up to 20 knots for the
second and in the third race we were over 25 knots. The
fourt race of this day the wind was picking up to 28 knots
so judge decided to send juniors to the beach for security.
This race was won by Wilhelm Shurmann from Brasil
because Gonzalo was overpowered and unhopefully
without the chicken strap. Then the last race of the day
Gonzalo won once more. The judge decided to cancell the
fourth race of the champ due to "non suitable conditions"
for racing so the results finished with Gonzalo Costa (ARG)
winning, second Wilhelm Shurmann (BRA) and third Paulo
Reis de Souza (BRA). The winner in women was Valeria
Matuck, the winner in Youth was
Nicolas Schreier, and the winner in Junior was Oliver Tom
Schliemann from Germany (in Open) and Alfredo Torres
between the South Americans.
The prize giving ceremony on Saturday was very nice, lots
of people, very good Peruvian typical food and a good
Setting up a Formula Experience organisation in your country, new or as part of an existing windsurfing
Contact us for more info on how to get cheap equipment for your members. FORMULA EXPERIENCE CLUB
PROGRAM: Both BIC and Starboard are fully behind the Formula Experience class. To promote the class, BIC
Starboard are offering boards to clubs and clubmembers at very low prices. Well below the 1000 EURO retail price
for the Euro zone set in the class rules. National Formula Experience classes interested in setting up such an
program can contact Matthias Regber at for more info on how things are handled in Germany.
to differences in taxes and distribution networks, details may vary from country to country.
More information?
Visit our website: Event info, notices of race, the 2003 class rules and much
For questions or exchange of information, use our Formula Experience forum. You can find the link on our
Class associations, in particular those aiming at juniors, youth and in general less experienced sailors have to do
more than just
organise some events. That also applies to Formula Experience:
- An example of other activities are: Clinics in which top competitors give useful tips to all interested sailors. Clinics
planned for :
- Canada (contact Carrie Strangway ( and Philip Soltysiak at for more info
see also the Canadian events list),
- the USA (Contact Charles Ivey for more details)
- France: The French Sailing Federation (FFV), started in 2000 with Funkids (Techno 283 Class) for the juniors and
youth sailors. It is now under the heading of Formula Experience. The FFV organises Clinics and the French
Championships. This structure is very important for the development and the preparation towards the best level.
These clinics are open for all members of the association. If you like to know the program, contact:
- European Championships. This last one will be given by the Formula Windsurfing World Champion in 2000,
- Events. Formula Experience promotes that in two ways:
1. By having charter equipment at major events so you do not have to drag wide boards through airport security and
2. Teams. One of the big advantages of sports is meeting people from other countries and continents at international
giving assistance to teams going to events on other continents.
The Formula Experience class is forming a TEAM EUROPE to compete at the Formula Experience ASIAN
Championships in Thailand (December 2003). Sailing in tropical waters in December in friendly Thailand is
worth competing for.
How to join? Do well at the Europeans in Portugal. The top finishing juniors and youth in Portugal will be invited to
join the team and will receive a travel grant. In Thailand, the team will be in the capable hands of Team Captain
Wojtek Brzozowski.
Should you not make the team at the Europeans you can still join. The organisation will come up with an attractive
package with flight tickets and accommodation. An event not to be missed.
USWA is setting up a team to go to the Formula Experience Europeans. Coach of the team will be Charles Ivey.
USWA is taking care of some travel grants and team clothing. The team is growing fast but more places are
Anyone living in the USA wanting to take part in this event, please contact Carolyn Boersma of USWA at and/or Charles Ivey at
TEAM CANADA Report from Philip Soltysiak
CANADIAN FORMULA EXPERIENCE RACING TEAM. The objective of this formula experience racing team is to
promote and develop junior and youth formula racing across Canada. For the beginning of our 2003 racing season
will be a group of 5 sailors ranging between 14 and 17 years of age. During the season we might expand to a
maximum possible of 10 young sailors to form our team. We are a nationwide team and so far have plans to
at the 2003 Calema Midwinters, FE North American Championships, FE European Championships, and many
inside Canada including the Canadian Nationals and the Nitnat WIRED event. We are sponsored by STARBOARD
through our national distributor, Trident Performance Sports.
If you would like to support the Canadian FE team by making a tax deductible donation to help the team with travel and team
development expenses, please contact Philip Soltysiak
- LADIES EVENT: 50% of the world population is female! Alas, not so in windsurfing. This is really a pity as
windsurfing is a sport well suited for women. Special events at suitable venues may help to promote windsurfing
women. Formula Experience in cooperation with the Windsurfing Association of Thailand, Starboard and Bic will
organise a special ladies event just after the Asian Championships in Jomtien/Pattaya, Thailand. Two major events
for the
price of one. Warm water, medium winds, 30C. Charter Equipment available. Ladies, do not miss this one!
Contact: Tor Bakke.