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Crissy Field Slalom Series (CFSS): Sex on the beach
It's not rocket surgery. Seriously. Take something tried and true and repackage it in a slightly different format and watch what happens!. So is the case with windsurf racing on the City Front, as a small group of long term Cal Cup sailors presented a new twist to the old course racing formula which was dying a slow death. With defections to kite boarding and foil boarding taking it's toll, combined with many sailors finding the cost and time expenses involved with formula windsurfing gear and the mountain of gear needing constant updating prohibitive, the numbers showing up for the same old same old, it was time for a shot of adrenaline.

It's been some time since slalom racing has been incorporated in to the local scene, the most recent being during the Windsurfing Nationals a half decade ago. And while the pro-s and semi pros were blasting along a tight downhill course stretching from Anita Rock down to the St Francis, folks began to lined up along the breakwall and take notice. Running heat after heat, pack of 6 would charge the course at breakneck speeds, inches apart, hearts pounding, spray flying, so close you could almost reach out and touch them. The local non racing recreational sailors postponing their own sailing session just to observe. This was da chit!

Fast forward to the 2015 season and inject those recreational sailors into the mix and you have a hit. " We were really amazed at the turnout, says Steve Bodner, who along with Jean Rathle and Soheil Zahedi, brainstormed up the idea to inject to blood and excitement. Part of the Cal Cup Windsurfing Series there are 4 such races slated for Saturdays this summer, which will follow on the heels of the Friday Night Slalom series hosted by the StFYC. The Crissy Field Slalom is completely grass roots and was prompted via a crowdfunding page which has raised 161% of it's original goal in less than 2 months and attracted a bundlle of smaller sponsors to the mix.

But the biggest surprise of all was the numbers of sailors who signed up to sail. 21 for division A, the mostly experienced course racers of years past and 19 in division B, which caters primarily to the recreational crowd that have avoided the course racing scene and just enjoy competing with the fellow rec sailors on big wind blasts about the bay. " Our emphasis was the B fleet and getting them excited about the concept," say Steve" And after two days of racing, its mission accomplished.

Instead of the traditional long ass triangle marathons, The Slalom Series is all about the off wind start with 20 some sailors blasting towards the 1st mark, motocross style, in a balls out, snot flying. ear to ear grinning massive scrum that brings out the pure joy of speed, risk, timing and balance for a couple minutes, with 5 mark roundings and a Hollywood finish and your done, Simple! Another benefit is you run what you brung. That slalom gear in the basement that's been collecting dust for a decade? Bring it. That 8'6" ASD custom package with WindWing 1998 full camber sail you picked up at the swap for $100.00? Bring it. Its an opportunity for many to get back in the game and a chance for those sitting on the fence to jump in with both feet!

" The beauty in this style of racing " Says P.R.O. Robbie Dean "is everybody is in the same place at the same time, even the back of the fleet starts and rounds with the top dogs, and the camaraderie on the water and on the beach is fantastic. This Saturday we had a pile of extreme pizza's delivered for the apres sailing festivities, cold beer and everyone mixing with everyone. Full stoke"

The Crissy Field Slalom Series continues next month with races June 26th and 27th, July 24th and 25th and concludes with races August 21st and 22nd. Race one event or race them all and bring the family and friends, there is room for everyone! This being the grass root program that it is, volunteers are also welcome to help where and when they can. Jobs include mark setting, results compiling, set up and tear down,


Results: http://www.calcupevents.com/Results/2015/15_CFSS_1.html

Photo : Crissy Field Slalom Series
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