The 2018 US National Windsurfing Festival was held April 26-29 in Yorktown, VA. As the home of longtime windsurfer and fin-maker extraordinaire Dave Kashy and his amazing wife Melissa, it was a watershed moment for windsurfing on the East Coast.
Pros and amateurs from as far as Los Angeles, Hood River, Toronto, Montreal, Corpus Christi, Florida, and even Martinique and Brazil converged on the York Point peninsula (the birthplace of the nation!) for fun, action, and gear testing.
The wind was fickle but no less than 40 races were contested across all fleets in breeze that varied from 4 to 25 knots and in all sorts of confused sea states. The Chesapeake Bay kept everyone on their toes!
We had a day with two winds blowing 20 knots in perpendicular directions (one SE and cold, the other SW and warm) at exactly the same time and 500 yds from one another. They call this area the Historic Triangle (Williamsburg, Jamestown, Yorktown), but it was the Bermuda Triangle that popped up in our collective consciousness that day!
With competition in 11 disciplines, Brazil's Mateus Isaac dominated in Windfoil and Slalom. Florida legend Steve Gottlieb did what he does best in the Kona fleet, while Baltimore-area Steve Uhthoff and Christophe Waerzeggers showed their grit and local knowledge to win in Raceboard and Formula, respectively. Long Island's Pete Roesch got the crown in the Open fleet and Maryland’s own Warren Evans won the title in the Sport Fleet.
The week wrapped up with a fun figure-eight race for all participants right in front of the docks, and there were almost as many drones in the air as there were racers on the course! Well, not quite, but there was a definite buzz in the air!
And that pretty much sums up what the week was all about: a buzz in the air, and a local windsurfing community that delivered a grand event and will undoubtedly capitalize on this outstanding success to spread the stoke up and down the coast in the months and years to come.