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Unregistered 22nd August 2008 05:13 PM

Age in windsurfing
Hi all,
How old is too old to race in Formula Windsurfing Class?
BTW, I'm 45 now and sailing for many years.
Thanks, good sailing.

G-42 22nd August 2008 09:07 PM

In the San Francisco Bay Area formula fleet (which is arguably the deepest, most competitive in the US), Steve Sylvester (at 61, I believe) consistently gets top three finishes. This is in a place with lots of wind and sometimes pretty chaotic water. Other guys there who consistently whip the young guns are Mike Zajicek (late 40's, I would guess) and Mike Percey (in his fifties and a grandfather). There are a handful of guys in their twenties who can hit top 5 finishes there, but not a whole lot.

In the Gorge fleet, the top racer is Bruce Peterson at age 44. In the overall standings for this season, the top four were all masters; fifth place was the first men's competitor (who should hit 35 in the next couple years).

You could argue that in amateur racing, age groups seem a bit like affirmative action for young guys. Experience seems to play a huge role, and while physical fitness is a highly important part of being competitive, the sort of fitness required is well within reach of people into their 30's, 40's, 50's, and (as Sylvester proves conclusively every day on the bay) 60's.


Ken 23rd August 2008 02:59 AM

I am 63 and have been racing formula for over 6 years. I have been windsurfing and racing for 24 years. I find formula challenging, but it also provides a lot of fun and excitment. It keeps me motivated to stay in shape. I have raced against Steve Sylvester on a few occasions and he is extremely proficient for his age. He is in a class ahead of me, but he probably has double the time on the water that I have.

I find that at my age, I don't carry the large sails in the winds that most formula racers do. Whatever they are on, I am usually on something 1-2 meters smaller. I do race with 11.0, 9.2, 8.4 & 7.6 race sails. I have even been on a 6.6 in 25 to 30 knots, so I do what I have to to have fun.

I weigh 79 kg.

Go for it - you will get a lot of bang for the buck.

fran4065 25th August 2008 12:36 AM

Hi guys,

I am 55, and

With your age, I guess you have tried all the aspect of windsurf history!
I was racing in the "open" period (Dufour, Crit, etc...), a little in the begining of slaloms, and finally got passioned for wave riding.
I came back for racing on Laser boat, and right now I want to come back racing on windsurf.
I really don't know which way to go...Formula or Raceboard????
You three are on Formula, but maybe also on raceboard.
Any way, what do you prefer, and why?

I am tempted by the Formula performance, but I hate the idea of being stucked in lower than 10 knots wind.

Egor 26th August 2008 05:44 AM

I would go with what is most popular where you sail

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