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Scuttlebutt: Video of the Week

(October 20-24, 2008) The Windsurfing Task Force was established by US SAILING Spring in March 2008 to foster youth development in windsurfing with long term goals of the 2012 and 2016 Olympics. This week's video is from the East Coast Junior Windsurfing Championship at Vineyard Haven Yacht Club, which is part of US SAILING Junior Olympic program with Under 19, U17, U15, and U12 age groups. Using the Techno 293, the intention was to provide a really fun event to begin raising the level of junior windsurfing in the U.S.

Said Nevin Sayre, US SAILING's newly formed Windsurfing Task Force:
"The Techno 293 is the ISAF approved and world-wide accepted One Design board for junior windsurfing. Over 200 competitors under age 17 competed in Poland for the World Champs. Not one American competitor in 2008, but we hope to send a US development team to the 2009 Worlds in Weymouth. In North America there are now over 50 Techno 293 fleets, concentrated primarily in Long Island Sound, New England, Canada, Mexico, and growing in several other areas. Other National Sailing Authorities are putting a lot into the Techno 293 class because, A) it attracts kids we normally lose from sailing, B) it develops future Olympians, and C) it is the most cost effective/low maintenance/most accessible form of sailing. From the Techno 293 kids transition into the Olympic class (RS:X), Formula Class, other classes in their home country, or other dinghy classes.

"Internationally, Techno 293 uses ISAF approved One Design rigs (7.8m & 6.8m sizes) for U17 and U15 age groups. While we are building the class in North America, we allow different manufacturers rigs with size restrictions depending on age group. That way a kid can snap on the rig from his/her uncle's garage and go race with the One Design board from the local junior sailing program. Very low cost. We also have additional U19 and U12 age groups in North America. Based on the success of their junior windsurf program, St. Francis already submitted a bid to host the T293/RS-X Youth World Champs for 2010. One Design rigs will, of course, be required at the Worlds.

"In 2008 there was one major junior championship on T293 (the East Coast Champs). Thru the efforts of the Windsurfing Task Force and US Windsurfing, the 2009 calendar has already expanded to three major events (and other minor ones) - 2009 US National Champs in Hood River, OR, 2009 North American Champs at St. Francis, and 2009 East Coast Champs (likely at Chatham YC, MA). We hope that top competitors from the North American Champs will receive partial funding to the Worlds in Weymouth Aug 22-28."

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