Formula Windsurfing Baltic and World Championships

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I arrived the day before the competition having successfully navigated a succession of ferries and driving hazards to arrive at Liepaja in Latvia.

The conditions offered very light winds with a fairly large sea by comparison to the wind strength. There were 84 competitors registered which would make this a much more challenging event than the previous event in the UK.

In the first race, the competitor ahead of me gained the finishing place of 30 although I was just outside of the time limit and so received no score along with the remaining 53 competitors who did not manage to finish that race in time. The remaining 5 races were all fairly light conditions which saw us upon occasion waiting out on the water for some time to see in the wind would fill in sufficiently to allow racing to go ahead.

It was great to see that the Race Committee were handling these conditions well in making strong decisions which would allow fair racing.

Overall I finished in 32nd place for this event. This was the first real test for my new larger Point-7 sail for the season, it was looking positive. By this stage, I had become more used to the Starboard 167W although was yet to experience how powered rough conditions worked with this board.

Lativa, Liepaja, James Briggs, GBR-91, Point-7, Starboard, Beach, Formula Windsurfing, Windsurfing

As a warm up event, the results from the Baltic Cup were encouraging. However, the FW Worlds were a trickier in that the first four races I performed poorly on the start line.

Once assigned to the Silver Fleet, I was determined to make the most of the opportunity to develop skills and made the most of the additional starts, picking up one OCS from pushing too hard on one start and managing to cross the entire fleet on port in another start. So, the approach to the start line was definitely much more aggressive for me in the second half of the event.

It is fair to say that lack of practice within the competitive environment was showing here as numerous tactical errors were made through the event; initially with starts and later with course choice once I was actually clear of the pack through aggressive starting.

Overall I finished the event in 16th place in the Silver Fleet. There were 54 in the Gold Fleet which notionally put my overall place at 70 out of the 107 competitors. This was disappointing as I had hoped to be able to be competing in the Gold Fleet with my slow start to the event costing me many places.

Hosting of the event was superb with the large tent providing the ideal place to shelter from the sun or storms depending on which day it was.

Lativa, Liepaja, Beach, Tent

Lativa, Liepaja, Beach, Storm

Lativa, Liepaja, Beach, Storm, Formula Windsurfing, Windsurfing

Lativa, Liepaja, Beach, Storm, Formula Windsurfing, Windsurfing, Flags, Competitors

Lativa, Liepaja, Beach, Formula Windsurfing, Windsurfing, Flags, Competitors

Lativa, Liepaja, Beach, Formula Windsurfing, Windsurfing, Flags

Lativa, Liepaja, Beach, Formula Windsurfing, Windsurfing, Flags

Racing was cancelled on one of the days as the wind was too strong; a storm had come through overnight delivering with it some fierce onshore swell. So, once again I managed to get out on wave equipment at Liepaja to enjoy some non competitive sailing.

There was quite a good amount of video footage from the event and this day in particular, one part as shown in this link which was later seen on national television as part of a roundup of the event.

Lativa, Liepaja, Beach, Storm, Windsurfing, Point-7, Starboard

Lativa, Liepaja, Beach, Storm, Formula Windsurfing, Windsurfing, Point-7, Starboard

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