A NEW ERA IN WINDSURFING
Three very important new developments have happened in windsurfing:
1. New technology allows seven to seventy-seven year olds to sail on the same board in all wind speeds.
2. ISAF selected one of these new boards, the RS:X, as the new Olympic board for windsurfing.
3. ISAF and U.S. Sailing (through U.S. Windsurfing) have selected the Bic Techno 293 as the approved One Design board for Junior Sailing Programs and Junior competition.
Both RS:X and T293 represent the latest in windsurf technology and allow sailing with the same board in 2 to 30 knot wind speeds. Both are attractive to young sailors who want to ride like the pros. Both designs have centerboards, mast tracks, and the latest developments in early-planing hull shapes making them fun to sail in all conditions.
The RS:X was chosen for its hi-tech construction and performance for Olympic level athletes. The Techno 293 was chosen for Junior Sailing Programs (JSPs) because of its durability, affordability, and performance. A seven year old can easily learn on a Techno 293 while an adult can still have lots of fun with the same board. To draw a comparison to other dinghy classes, the RS:X is the Olympic 470 while the Techno 293 is the Club 420.
Whereas elite Olympic training facilities will likely have RS:Xs in the future, at one third the cost and significantly more durable, the Techno 293 is the clear choice for Junior Sailing Programs. Already there are over 1,000 Techno 293s in use in French Junior Sailing Programs, and more than 200 sailors under age 18 competed in the 2006 World Junior Techno 293 championships (not one competitor yet from North America). In the first eighteen months since the U.S. Windsurfing/U.S. Sailing selection, already more than thirty Junior Sailing Programs have acquired Techno 293 windsurfing fleets in North America. Every one of these programs are planning on expanding for 2007, many to include adult windsurfing programs as well.