Friday, March 14, 2014

WISSA 2014: President's Memorandum

WISSA 2014 was one for the record books. As the longest running international competition in the history of Windsurfing, Wing and Kite sailing, WISSA has seen its share of difficulties. All along we have maintained the following principles:

  • Be open and welcoming to all competitors and new technologies.
  • Maintain the highest possible standard of racing 
  • Racing takes place on prevailing conditions. Snow, or ice, skis or blades - it is the competitor's choice. 
  • At least 5 countries are required to make a World Championships
  • Course racing is top priority, speed trials, and marathon are secondary (in case of no wind)
  • Encourage innovation in design, sportsmanship in competition, and friendship over all

The WISSA Ice and Snow Sailing World Championships have witnessed many things:

  • The first international competition for ice and snow sailing sleds powered by windsurfing rigs
  • The earliest communication between "Eastern" and "Western" countries on the subject of snow sailing
  • In 1991, at Kabli, Estonia, "Western" sailors from Europe and North America met "Eastern" sailors from Russia, Estonia, Ukraine, Poland, Latvia, Lithuania for the first time in history
  • In 1992 the Hand Held Sail Class [later to become wing] was accepted into WISSA. "Eastern" sailors made the improbable trip to Canada.
  • In 1993 in Choinice, Poland, Kites were on the start line for the first time. U.S and Canadian teams came to Poland. 
  • In 1995, the USA hosted the WC in Madison, Wisconsin. Russian mono skis dominated course racing in the sled class. Kite and Wing Classes had large numbers. A team from New Zealand took part.
  • In 2002, sleds, wings, and kites were present in equal numbers on black ice on Lago de Recia in Italy
  • In 2005 WISSA celebrated 25 years of racing at Sakyla, Finland. Russian kite sailors dominated. Polish sled sailors shared the podium with the Finns.
  • In 2008 a proposal to incorporate Short Track Slalom [STS] into the Sled Class was accepted at Val Brilliant, Quebec
  • In 2013 at Kalajoki, Finland, - one of the best WISSA races ever - a proposal to host WISSA 2014 in Temmascouatta, Quebec, was accepted.

The organizer in Quebec pulled out unexpectedly,leaving WISSA without a venue for 2014.
Then came our loyal friends from Russia with an offer to host an event in Pereslavl. They had their own set of troubles, but managed not just to recover, but to create a hugely successful event which was relocated to Saint Petersburg.

Congratulations to:

  • The organizers and sponsors
  • All competitors who took part
  • The champions, and their sponsors

The success of WISSA, the fact that it (WE!) have outlasted all other international competitions in each of the disciplines stands testament to our commitment, flexibility, and respect for one another.

May the WISSA family continue and prosper!

William Tuthill, Rhode Island, March 2014

No comments:

Post a Comment