WISSA 2008 was the 28th anniversary of the longest running contest in the history of windsurfing, wing sailing and kite sailing. The conditions were epic!
With two years to plan, the organizing committee was ready. They had secured funding from the government of Canada, as well as a host of local sponsors in advance of our arrival. When not racing, competitors were treated to local delicacies, and cultural experiences such as music, food, drinks, and games. The night time distractions made it hard to find time to wax skis.
For the first time, the Kite Class had its own separate race course, while the wings and kites shared a common starting line.
12 course races in an “up - down” configuration with 3 throwaways.
Speed Trials and a long distance marathon.
Nearly a meter of snow fell during five days of competition. Winds ranged from moderate to gale forced with temperatures never coming above –10°C. On the last day the temperatures hovered around –20°C and wind chill values were around -40°C.
- A new ice sailing sled from Latvia won the Best Design award. The manufacturers successfully pitched the “short track” concept for next year’s event in Riga, Latvia.
- The all new Windski Carve was on hand for demo and testing.
- Marcel Bradette and Langis Caron from Quebec raced on their remarkable winter windsurfing skis.
- Team Poland raced on sleds provided by Janusz Butylkin (Poland) and Igor Renkas (Ukraine)
- Juha Mannermaa of Finland easily won the W.C. title. Teammate Feodor Gurvits has a new sled design which he will make available through wissa.org
- North American distributor Velum Gravity had a fully staffed booth on he ice featuring demos and sales of all Kitewing products.
- Amazing wing sailor Claude Chasse of Quebec finally took the world title. Where is Vesa Leskinen now?
- Welcome to our new friends – the P Riders from Belgium. What a great team!
- Virtually every major relevant kite manufacturer was represented at www.wissa2008.org
- All types of kites were put to the test. Inflatable water kites raced foil and flex kites under demanding circumstances.
- The Coupe de Quebec joined forces with WISSA to make a super kite event www.kitezone.ca
WISSA2008 will be remembered as one of the best events ever. The organizers did a great job, the conditions were challenging, and the place was extraordinary. The torch has been passed to Latvia for WISSA2009. Get ready, get psyched, the adventure continues!