Winter Surfing European Championships 2019 is held on February 22-24 in Võrtsjärv, Viljandi County, Vaibla. The European best windsurfers, kiters and wings participate in the event. The races are in three different disciplines – slalom, course racing and GPS speed racing.
The roots of the winter windsurfing are in Estonia. In the winter of 1976, smart Estonians constructed the first race equipment – ski sled for windsurfing sails. Today, over 40 years later, there are more racing classes. In our region, the most popular of them is the well-versatile skatesled (iceboard) class.
International championships at winter surfing have been organized for nearly 40 years. The current event is the sixth big international event in Estonia. This year’s WISSA (World Championships in winter surfing) was held two weeks ago in the United States, Fond du Lac, Wisconsin. Estonians did very well there. Boris Ljubtšenko and Raul Mihkel Anton brought home two gold and two silver medals. The result of EM will be revealed on Sunday.
There are supposed the top-level winter surfing racers arriving in Estonia from Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Finland, Russia, Estonia and perhaps Sweden. Although there were about the same number of participants in the World Championships as there will be in Europeans, there will be more intense competition in sled class as all the world champions of recent years are present in Estonia – Aleksandrs Leontjevs of Latvia, Feodor Gurvits and Marianne Rautelin of Finland, Paulius and Audrius Voverys of Lithuania and Grigorii Mikhailev of Russia. For kites, there will be world champion Andrei Baljakin of Russia taking part. In addition, of course, the Estonian world champions Boris Ljubtšenko and Tõnis Salong will be at the event.
On the basis of pre-registrations, the sled class is most abundantly represented. In addition to the young (U20), the youngest ones in the sled are also invited to the start: U17 juniors. This opportunity arose from a well-run youth support program. The youth support project has been successful and there are young competitors growing in the region.
Competitions are well-traceable to spectators, unlike competitions at sea, and everyone is welcome.
The European Championship of Winter Tour 2019 is organized by the Association of Estonian Yacht Clubs and the competition is supported by Androna, Metallituba, Flaka, Palmse Mechanical Chamber, Estonian Cultural Endowment, Gambling Tax Council, Estonian Ministry of Culture, Viljandi Parish and 3D Wind Service.