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Old 2nd January 2007, 10:39 AM   #5
Del Carpenter
Join Date: Aug 2006
Posts: 105
Default RE: starting up windsurfing interest ..again

Thanks to you and your friend, Guest, for trying to welcome beginners into windsurfing and racing.

In Miami they include sailboats racing at the same time on the same course as their Wed Nite series. That might help make the races interesting to a wider group. The info is from their website:

People new to racing need a lot of practice with starts and turns so make the courses very short, really very short. That might increase racing interest among more experienced windsurfers too. Whatever part of a race is boring for anyone is greatly reduced by having a shorter race.

Keep the start and finish lines as close to the possible spectators as possible. If you want to attract spectators run the races for the spectators. (In my not very humble opinion windsurfing races are way too long and way, way, way too far away from possible spectators.). If 21 ft yachts are not in the race then do not run a course that would be easy for a 21 ft yacht to complete.

Regarding a board to use as a one-design class I think a school of Gemini's, each piloted by one experienced racer and one beginner, would be loads of fun. Mixing the teams all the time would be a good way to keep the focus on expanding the sport. I'd guess you don't have a sugar-daddy willing to buy a Gemini fleet..but dreaming is free. If Gemini's can't be the answer I suggest a broad class limited to boards intended as beginner boards, such as Starboard Start, Exocet Cruiser, Bic Nova, AHD Zen, F2 Discovery, Hi-Fly Motion/Mambo, etc. An alternative is to limit the boards by weight, such as must weigh at least 30 lbs so boards like a Mistral Prodigy would be included. A class limited to beginner type boards may mean some experienced racers need to get a beginner board so they can race.

Race as teams with the same number of beginners on each team. Or have an on-course coach for every beginner. Mixing the coaches-students each event or each race would reduce the effects of any bad matches..and spread around the best coaching. Give significant points similar to racing points for each instance of coaching.

Except for the first paragraph I don't know of any organization that has tried these suggestions. I did see Scott Snoddy give Lisa Kremer on-course coaching that really helped her get started in racing.

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