Tuesday, March 06, 2012

WISSA 2012: Wrap-up

The 2012 WISSA Ice & Snow Sailing World Championships wrapped up last week in St. Ignace Michigan - huge props to the organizers for being agile and flexible.

The Straits of Mackinac – recognized by some sailors as the last stretch of the iconic Chicago-Mackinac Race - are also known as the International Ice Bridge in winter.

Despite getting nearly twenty feet of snow each year, the ice in the straits is generally clear of snow because of constantly howling winds - perfect for a WISSA World Championships! Except that this year for the first time in recorded history, the ice never came.

Racing moved to nearby Chain Lake, which was not big enough for all three classes to race at once.

Kites used the snow covered course whiles sleds and wings ran Short Track Slalom (STS) on a plowed area of ice – again - props to the organizers and volunteers who made this possible! Winds on Chain Lake were a fraction of what was expected, but competitors from Finland, Canada, Sweden, USA, Latvia, France, Russia, Switzerland, Cuba, made the best of it.

Results are found at wissa2012.com/results

The WISSA Ice and Snow Sailing World Championships are the longest running international competitions in the history of windsurfing, kite sailing, and wing sailing - ironic given that at least two of those are perceived as water sports.

Next year’s contest will be in Kalajoki, Finland, and 2014 will be in Quebec.

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