27th of September 2010

Steve Bodner Wins St Francis Yacht Club season series

The St Francis Yacht Club's (StFYC) Friday Night Windsurfing racing season wrapped up in spectacular fashion this past September 24th capping what was an exceptional Formula Windsurfing season on San Francisco Bay.

With 80 degree weather blowing warm winds under a cloudless sky the 13th and final edition of the series was ready to kick off and 11 sailors showed up to partake in all the bay had to offer. With the kiteboards racing the day prior and only getting one race off it looked as though the night may be a short one. Most racers grabbed their big sail, which in San Francisco is an 11.0, and headed out to get at it.

With a heat wave looming over the Bay Area it was a rare treat to still have a nice 8-15 mph breeze filling most of the course. While the windward mark was sitting in a bit of a vacuum the outside of the course was actually a solid 15-18mph of breeze and with a 3 knot ebb tide moving in the opposite direction of the wind getting to the windward mark was no problem. After a general recall for the first sequence Eric Christianson and Al Mirel lead the fleet around the windward mark with Steve Bodner looming just in range to strike. As they headed for the leeward mark both Mirel and Christianson over stood the lay line while Bodner proceeded to call it perfectly. Rounding the leeward mark with Bodner in the lead the 3 sailors tacked early to get back out in to the tractor beam of a tide. In a bit of foreshadowing on how the season series would wrap up Bodner took the win. Eric Christianson came in second place while Al Mirel took third.

Unfortunately with all the sail pumping going on some carnage was inevitable and Tom Purcell happened to be the unlucky victim as his mast broke on the first downwind leg. Warranty? Special thanks to Streetsailing's Jean Rathle who stopped his race and towed Tom back to shore.

Race 2 again saw the fleet sailing the same windward leeward course to be featured on all 3 races for the night. Al Mirel surged to the front with Eric Christianson working hard to track him down. I was sitting just behind Christianson pretty much just trying to hold on to third as the 3 of us had exited the windward mark on a puff the others were not fortunate enough to grab. Marion Lepert was sailing extremely well on the night showing the boys just how to properly pump the sail. Her recent Techno training was showing its dividends in spades. Mirel tacked immediately at the leeward mark to go back out in to the flood and Christianson and I followed. Mirel tacked to go for the finish while Christianson figured he need more in the bank to make it – he however put too much in the bank allowing me to steal second place from him. Notably Lepert took a fifth place in the race tying her best single race result ever! (pictured below Marion Lepert heading out to the start)

Race 3 went off under the dying sunlight of the ever shortening days of fall and Chris Radkowski was determined to finish his season on a high note. With the windward mark a near parking lot getting in and out of the zone quickly was critical and Radkowski did just that taking Christianson and Bodner with him. Lepert was again showing the boys that any mistake would be a fatal one calling perfect lay lines and pumping her sail so well any Olympic RSX sailor would be envious. Radkowksi took the Bullet with Christianson in second and Bodner in third and with that another season was in the books.

Eric Christianson won the night posting his first win of the year in a season that saw 6 different sailors take down the nightly prize. Bodner, Christianson, Wells, Mirel, Besse, and Radkowski all sharing in a taste of victory at least once over the course of the series. The year however would belong to Bodner. Who in an impressive display of sailing consistency never finished a night lower than 4th place while winning the contest outright on two separate occasions.

Congratulations to the 2010 StFYC Friday Night Season Series Champ Steve Bodner!

The entire fleet of windsurfing racers would like to extend a huge thank you to the StFYC and all its members and directors. Also a special thanks to Melanie Roberts and John Craig of the StFYC Race office for all their support of the sport of windsurfing.

Steve Bodner, Al Mirel, Chris Radkowski

Anyone interested in giving Formula Windsurfing a try over the course of the fall season it's the perfect time to get your feet wet. With gentler winds and warmer days I'd be happy to give you taste just reach out to me via email at editor@waterhound.com This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it . If you're already packed up for the year make sure to consider the CalCup Racing Series in the east bay that features a lending library of equipment and will start its season in April 2011. And on a parting note don't forget the San Francisco Bay once again will be hosting the US Windsurfing National Championships July 11th-16th out of the Berkeley Yacht Club.

Top 3 for Sept 24th

1. Eric Christianson

2. Steve Bodner

3. Al Mirel

Top 3 Season Series

1. Steve Bodner

2. Al Mirel

3. Chris Radkowski

Join the discussion

Aurelien | 28th September 2010 (23:12:30)

Congrats ...

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