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2013 Ronstan Bridge to Bridge race
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usa4



Joined: 30 Mar 2009
Posts: 51

PostPosted: Fri Sep 13, 2013 4:50 pm    Post subject: 2013 Ronstan Bridge to Bridge race Reply with quote

Run with what you've got and as fast as you can!

It what has become a uniquely San Francisco sailing competition, the Ronstan Bridge to Bridge race pits kite boarders, windsurfers, skiffs & cameramans against each other & mother nature in an epic 7 mile downwind sprint from the Golden Gate bridge to the Bay bridge. It's a celebration of high performance sailing that never stops innovating.

This yearís running was no exception with foiling kite boarder, Johnny Heineken taking the line honors in front of 69 other sailing craft and shaving almost 2 minutes off last yearís record run.

It what may be the only trickle down we see from the Americas Cup, foiling is finally coming of age!

You may not even recognize it as sailing with the riders levitating almost 4' above the water & being pulled by a kite 25 meters away but that's the reality of high performance sailing today.

In what started, almost 15 years ago, the Ronstan Bridge to Bridge race has evolved from a 27 minute downwind run set by Charlie McKee & co in a 49er to Micah Buzianis' long time record on a formula windsurfer and finally the Aussie 18's holding dominance for several years. More recently, the kite boards have surpassed every craft out there in terms of down wind speed. Foiling is just a further extension in the evolution of kiting and sailing
Itís a free for all on the starting line with a fleet spectator boats, upside down skiffs, kites and windsurfers all charging downwind to cross the starting line set just outside the Golden Gate bridge.

I chose the fastest set up I had- a custom mikes lab 89cm slimmed down version of a formula windsurfer, 61 cm kashy fin and avanti 10.0 rig. That kept me on pace with the front of the pack as I ducked in between skiffs and kites moments after the start.

Everyone has different angles so it takes a few minutes after the start for everyone to settle into their groove and avoid any major collisions.

Windsurfer, Soheil Zahedi had a close call with the 49er who nearly took of his head but somehow escaped unscathed as both crafts charged on downwind without missing a beat.

I errored on the side of caution ducking a few sterns so as to just stay alive and make it to the finish.
Mike Percey, longtime Bay area windsurfer was just ahead of me 1/2 way down the run as we made our way through the boiling waters between Alcatraz and Pier 39. I could tell he was a bit more comfortable on his 57cm fin and similar 89cm mini formula board as he was able to go just a bit deeper with every puff and slowly walk away.

I made one more gybe as we approached the bay bridge and the pressure was dropping and came in hot to a line starboard tackers of skiffs, kites and windsurfers on the layline to the finish.

A quick gybe back put me just shy of making the finish line but I was able to get out of the harness and pump for the last 30 seconds and squeeze into 2nd behind Mike as we rounded out the top group.
As expected, the kites dominated with 9 out of the top 10 spots and foilers taking the top 2 spots. Tom Siebel's MOD 70 Orion was the only multi hull to keep pace with the kites finishing an impressive 5th while Smart Recruiters, an Extreme 40 catamaran and YAMAHA, an aussie 18 skiff just edged Mike and I out and the rest of the windsurfers who took 13-19th place.

Overall- one of the funniest races of the year with a great awards ceremony at the St. Francis Yacht Club following the race to a full house of sailing enthusiast.

A huge thanks to Ronstan and Alan Prussia for putting on the event as well as the race crew at the St.FYC. And the biggest thanks of all to our local board builder- Mike Zaijcek who has built almost everyone of the windsurf and kite boards in our fleet. In the last few years, his boards have won almost every major windsurfing and kiteboarding competition, including the bridge to bridge, world championships, speed championships and now open foiling championships.

In Mike we trust!



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dvCali



Joined: 23 Aug 2007
Posts: 463

PostPosted: Fri Sep 13, 2013 7:27 pm    Post subject: Re: 2013 Ronstan Bridge to Bridge race Reply with quote

usa4 wrote:

It what may be the only trickle down we see from the Americas Cup, foiling is finally coming of age!

Well maybe, but hydro-foils have been around for much longer than the AC72s, and much more successfully. Small, Moths, Windsurfs, Kites, and big. Big ones have been doing trans oceanic races for decades, Hydroptere holds what was until recently the nautical mile record at 50 knots and change. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dFGS7YCDk3Y (in open waters!). And than there is Sail Rocket with its crazy 64.78 Kts, 500m record (that is about twice as fast as an AC72) and 55 knots on the nautical mile.

The AC72s? They have quite a long way to go: right now they cannot be sailed safely above 20 knots of wind: they are light wind, $100,000,000 a pop, toy machines.

Having said that ... I watched an Hydrofoil kite last year in La Ventana and it was very cool but looked almost anti-climatic. Everybody up and down and jump and here and there, and there it was: apparently as placid as a swan on a lake (was just sailing back and forth across the wind, but still ...)
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zirtaeb



Joined: 03 Jul 2009
Posts: 2444

PostPosted: Sat Sep 14, 2013 11:37 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I've watched a foil board, kiteboarder go from LasMarias to Condato and back upwind, about 3 miles, in less than 45 minutes. The Formula guys at LasMarias were quite impressed.
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summertime



Joined: 16 Jun 2006
Posts: 65

PostPosted: Sat Sep 14, 2013 11:38 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Why aren't there foil windsurf boards?
What are the times for the top kiters and windsurfers on this race and where was the finish exactly?
Do the catamarans sail back upwind to the start? If not where do they get out of the water? Where do the windsurfers get out? Berkeley Marina? I presume kiters get out in Emeryville. (?)
I happened to be on the GG bridge on my bike and saw the start. It was an amazing sight seeing all that action out there!
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KevinDo



Joined: 02 Jul 2012
Posts: 423
Location: Cabrillo Inside

PostPosted: Sat Sep 14, 2013 12:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

AHD makes a foil windsurf board

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_dmLJklKeVE

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usa4



Joined: 30 Mar 2009
Posts: 51

PostPosted: Mon Sep 16, 2013 3:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

@summertime- still waiting on times but suspect top 2 kites were several minutes ahead of the nearest windsurfer.
Here's the winning times of the history of the race:

1998 McKee brothers- 49er 27'18"
1999 Bill Wier- windsurfer 25'20"
2000 Vlad Moroz Windsurfer 21'20"
2001 Rob Hartman, Windsurfer 20'20"
2002 Chip Wasson, Kiteboarder 18'04"
2003 Micah Buzianis, Windsurfer 16'12"
2004 Seth Besse, Windsurfer 27'10"
2005 Anthony Chavez, Kiteboarder 17'54"
2006 Jeff Kafka, Kiteboarder 20'28"
2007 Chip Wasson, Kiteboarder 16'30"
2008 Howie Hamlin,Mike Martin, Paul Allen, Aussie 18 22'25"
2009 John Winning, David Gibson, Andrew Hey. Aussie 18'19"
2010 Michael Coxon. Trent Barnabasa, Aaron Links Aussie 18 19'41"
2011 Bryan Lake, Kiteboarder 16'15"
2012 John Heineken, Kiteboarder 14'14"
2013 John Heineken, Kiteboarder 12'00"


All the skiffs, kites and boards sail back upwind to their launch at crissy or the ac park. Cats go back home where ever they came from-where ever that may be on the sf bay.
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zirtaeb



Joined: 03 Jul 2009
Posts: 2444

PostPosted: Mon Sep 16, 2013 3:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Foil boards seem slow, but can have extreme upwind and downwind advantages.
One of the problems is you can't lean out to counter the load of a windsurf sail, so you're essentially sailing underpowered the whole time out there.
Foils should be similar to efficient airplane wings, straight lines, hard edges, and NACA foils, or something that spelling.
Foils are ATTACHED to the board, so it's not a board company, it's the foil designer's company.
And foils need tuning once under way, unlike airplane wings with variable motor power.
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DanWeiss



Joined: 24 Jun 2008
Posts: 1979
Location: Connecticut, USA

PostPosted: Tue Sep 17, 2013 4:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

zirtaeb wrote:
Foil boards seem slow, but can have extreme upwind and downwind advantages.
One of the problems is you can't lean out to counter the load of a windsurf sail, so you're essentially sailing underpowered the whole time out there.
Foils should be similar to efficient airplane wings, straight lines, hard edges, and NACA foils, or something that spelling.
Foils are ATTACHED to the board, so it's not a board company, it's the foil designer's company.
And foils need tuning once under way, unlike airplane wings with variable motor power.


I'm sorry, but you assume a lot in several of those statements. With foils at 90 degree to the root, you are correct. A foil that is 90 degrees (very much more or less) to the windward rake of the sail will allow a rider to control power by raking the sail to windward.

Foils that are not merely planks set at 90 degrees to the root exist all over the sailing community, including in the AC 72 and NACRA cats.

Foils need tuning, true, but one can do it with a fixed foil by changing the pitch just like the AC 72s.

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summertime



Joined: 16 Jun 2006
Posts: 65

PostPosted: Tue Sep 17, 2013 5:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Wow that's amazing the ws ers and kiters sail back upwind to Crissy! Also amazing the kiter made it in 12 min! Interesting that kites and boats have won on and off but no ws'er since 2004.
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zirtaeb



Joined: 03 Jul 2009
Posts: 2444

PostPosted: Tue Sep 17, 2013 5:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Dan, have you ever seen a foil that was 90 degrees, perpendicular, to the rake of the MAST?
I've seen kiteboard foils, single and twin.
I've seen windsurf foils, single root, two foils fore and aft, or double rooted foils, ALL attached 90 degrees to the board
Same with the foil kiteboard of the guy in LasMarias, PR.
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