Advertisement
  1. Business

World windsurfing championships coming to Clearwater Beach

Charlotte Samson, 17, of Clearwater will be among more than 100 windsurfers from around the world who will compete in the RS:X Youth World Championships out in front of Pier 60 on Clearwater Beach. The event will run from Oct. 18 to 25.
Published Sep. 4, 2014

CLEARWATER

Thanks to the turmoil on the Gaza Strip, more than 100 world-class windsurfers from all over the planet will soon head to Clearwater Beach to compete for an international championship.

The RS:X Youth World Windsurfing Championships were scheduled to be held in Herzliya, Israel. But organizers have decided to move the event due to the continuing unstable situation in that country.

The competition's new location: Out in front of Pier 60 on Clearwater Beach. The event will run from Oct. 18 to 25, beginning on the annual Clearwater Jazz Holiday weekend.

"We had some other options, but Clearwater's solution was most attractive as it was well prepared within a very short time," said Andrus Poksi of Estonia, the executive secretary of windsurfing's youth division. "Clearwater is a perfect venue for windsurfing events."

Last year's youth windsurfing championships, held in Italy, attracted 122 competitors from 17 nations on four continents. In 2012, the championships were held in Taiwan. Next year they'll be in Poland.

"It's truly an international event, and it's the first time it's being held in the Americas," said Jerome Samson of Clearwater, president of U.S. Windsurfing.

More than 100 domestic and international athletes are expected to compete, including Samson's 17-year-old daughter, Charlotte. All of the competitors are 18 and under, and many are aiming for the 2016 or 2020 Olympics.

The Clearwater Community Sailing Center on Sand Key will be the base of operations for the event. Action throughout the week will take place in the Gulf of Mexico right in front of Pier 60, promising good views for beach spectators.

"Our intent is to run the races very close to the beach," Samson said. "Each race can last anywhere between 20 and 45 minutes, and the plan is to run three such races each day throughout the week. It's very demanding physically, and spectacular to watch."

The racing fleet will be divided into groups of up to 60 competitors. They all start together and race around a set number of buoys along the course, upwind and downwind. A commentator will help explain to spectators what's happening on the water.

Local restaurateur and philanthropist Frank Chivas, who's on the Sailing Center's board of directors, is lining up sponsors and local government support for the event.

Local windsurfing enthusiasts approached him after it became clear that this year's youth windsurfing championships needed a new home. A few years ago, Chivas helped lure an annual offshore powerboat race to Clearwater Beach after he saw a Key West race and thought it would be a good fit for this area.

"We believe that Clearwater is one of the best sailing areas in the world," Chivas said. "This is good exposure for Pinellas County."

ALSO IN THIS SECTION

  1. West Port Colony apartments in St. Petersburg C2 Design Group Inc, Chris Stevens
    The complex off Fourth Street N is convenient to both Tampa and downtown St. Petersburg.
  2. According to a forecast by PNC, business leaders feel sunny about the coming six months.
  3. Lithia Motors Inc. has acquired three dealerships from the Williams Automotive Group including Wesley Chapel Toyota near the Interstate 75 and State Road 54 interchange in Wesley Chapel. [Times (2007]
    Wesley Chapel Toyota, Wesley Chapel Honda and Tampa Honda dealerships change hands
  4. Tampa-based consumer data company Bridge is working to solve a specialty retailing problem that goes back to the end of Prohibition, and it’s getting help from venture capitalists at Florida Funders.
    Bridge specializes in providing detailed consumer data that helps producers of liquor, beer and wine target their advertising.
  5. Florida gas prices are down slightly over the week, according to AAA, the Auto Club Group. Pictured is a man filling up his car in 2017 in St. Petersburg. [DIRK SHADD   |   Times  (2017)] SHADD, DIRK  |  Tampa Bay Times
    Diminished demand and higher crude oil availability pushed pump prices lower.
  6. Cigar aficionado Kellan Webster, 48, from Conway, S.C., visits King Corona Cigars Bar and Cafe in Ybor City for the first time. The historic spot will now soon have a sister location at International Plaza. [Times (2017)] Tampa Bay Times
    The Ybor staple has been under new ownership since 2017.
  7. Joseph Erickson, 53, won a foreclosure auction for a condo at Happy Fiddler Condominiums in Indian Rocks Beach last year only to have a man claim he is the true owner of the property and should get the  $350,000 that Erickson has already paid for the condo. JOHN PENDYGRAFT   |  Times
    A Land O’ Lakes man had already spent money on renovations when he got two shocks about his new condo.
  8. Florida had 381,300 jobs in the manufacturing sector in September. [Times 2016]
    No matter how many times you hear that the country doesn’t make anything anymore, don’t believe it.
  9. The pool area at ICON Harbour Island RICHARD LUBRANT  |  Related Group
    ICON Harbour Island is adjacent to the $3 billion Water Street development.
  10. Port Tampa Bay chairman Steve Swindal owns Marine Towing. Swindal is not seeking reappointment after his current term expires in February, so a port nominating committee is seeking applicants with maritime experience to recommend to Gov. Ron DeSantis, who will make the new appointment to the port's governing board. (Times file photo)
    Swindal, appointed to the port’s governing board by three different governors, is not seeking reappointment after his term expires in February.
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement