Some of U17 participants

European Winter Surfing Championships was 3 days of competition on the ice. There were both ice and wind, giving full racing days both for kites and sleds.

Organizing that kind of event there is always a risk of having no wind. You can never predict it and while events last 5-6 days you can be sure there is the wind at some days but the risk of having no wind increases with fewer days. For winter surfing the other thing needed is ice and luckily we had it, too, at least 30cm at the racing area.

Of course, the conditions were not perfect: there could have been more snow for kiters, the ice could have been smoother for sleds, the one big crack caused some problems (although the ice was thick there still is this One Bad Crack somewhere), Sunday was maybe a bit too wet.. But overall, hey, as said, we had wind and ice and races every day!

We all know that kind of event cannot go without problems so we faced some, too. We are very happy we got such an amount of participants but as almost half of them were not preregistered it caused some delays on Friday. The race committee had to redo some prepared stuff and so on, it just took some time. Hey, we are really happy you all came, no worries! Also, we were not prepared to have 53 sleds on course race – of course it caused some problem at first races. But it was wonderful to have such a big fleet!
However, there was some broken equipment, some accidents and disappointment, some decisions not liked by everyone. Even the ambulance had to find its way to us but luckily left without taking any participants to the hospital.

It was good to see winter surfing is not a “dying” sports – there were so many youngsters taking part! U17 was a big fleet, both in kites and sleds. Meaning – winter surfing has a bright future with so many new racers coming along.

In the end, hopefully, we all learned something new. Who just found something to improve, who improved during those days already a lot..

Today, the champions were announced and prizes were given.

The fastest person in GPS speed discipline was Raigo Piho (EST) in kite ski class.

In the GPS speed sled class the winners were:
I place Boris Ljubtšenko (EST) – European Champion
II place Paulius Voverys (LTU)
III place Marianne Rautelin (FIN)

Kite results
Kite ski grand masters:
I place Martti Ainola EST
II place Elena Bessmeztnykh RUS

Kite ski youth (U20):
I place Maria Ruzhankova (RUS)
II place Ivan Okhotnikov (RUS)
III place Alisa Kodaneva (RUS)

Kite ski women:
I place Maria Ruzhankova (RUS)
II place Elena Bessmeztnykh (RUS)
III place Alisa Kodaneva (RUS)

Kite ski overall:
I place Andrei Balyakin (RUS) – European Champion
II place Sergei Samushin (RUS)
III place Nikita Kodanev (RUS)

Course race sled class
Grand masters:
I place Aleksandrs Leontjevs (LAT) – division European Champion
II place Tõnis Salong (EST)
III place Robertas Berkelis (LTU)

Youth (U20):
I place Jedrzej Cituk (POL) – division European Champion
II place Maciej Pietrzak (POL)
III place Leon Sroczynski (POL)

Junior (U17:)
I place Maciej Pietrzak (POL) – division European Champion
II place Leon Sroczynski (POL)
III place Igor Lewinski (POL)

I place Marianne Rautelin (FIN) – division European Champion
II place Natalia Wojcik (POL)
III place Katarzyna Nabialek (POL)

I place Janis Preiss (LAT) – European Champion
II place Aleksandrs Leontjevs (LAT)
III place Jan Sulinski (POL)

Slalom sled class
Grand Master:
I place Aleksandrs Leontjevs LAT – Division European Champion
II place Robertas Berkelis LTU
III place Tõnis Salong EST

Youth (U20):
I place Ugnius Alekna (LTU) – Division European Champion
II place Joonas Väär EST
III place Kaur Säärits EST

Junior (U17):
I place Joonas Väär (EST) – Division European Champion
II place Kaur Säärits EST
III place Edies Busmanis LAT

I place Marianne Rautelin (FIN) – Division European Champion
II place Betti Vainküla (EST)
III place Elena Radionova (RUS)

I place Janis Preiss (LAT) – European Champion
II place Paulius Voverys (LTU)
III place Boris Ljubtshenko (EST)

Thanks for all participants and, of course, to our sponsors Androna, Metallituba, Flaka, Palmse Mehaanikakoda, Estonian Cultural Endowment, Gambling Tax Council, Estonian Ministry of Culture, Viljandi Parish and 3D Wind Service.

The Winter Surfing Europeans 2019 were organized by Estonian Yachting Union with co-operation World Ice and Snow Sailing Association (WISSA).

Winter Surf Europeans - sled course race starting line

Winter Surfing Europeans 2019 has had two good racing days. Luckily there has been the wind at both days.

Although there were just over 30 preregistered participants there were many people registering on the site and the total number of racers is 64, of what 11 are in kite class and in 53 sled class. For years there has not been such a big amount of sleds in any competition.

As there was a big amount of new registers, some of them coming pretty late, the races began around an hour later on Friday as the race committee had additional work due to it. Also, it caused some delay at sleds course race starts – it’s not easy to line up 53 participants. However, the process was already quicker on Saturday.

For kites, it has been two days of course racing, five races both day. Leaders are from Russia, Andrei Balyakin being the best.

Andrei Balyakin

Sled course races had very different days. On Friday, in the lower wind conditions, the Polish did good results in the two races of the day. However, on Saturday, with some snow and higher winds the Latvians rule at both races and after two days the leader is Janis Preiss. Best woman is Marianne Rautelin from Finland. Best U20 youth is Jedrzej Cituk and best U17 junior Maciej Pietrzak, both from Poland.

At the sled slalom discipline, there was a qualification round and one race on Friday, continuing with three races on Saturday. As there is such a big amount of racers the rounds take more time than usual. At the top there are Latvians, Lithuanians and Estonians, Janis Preiss leading the race at moment. The same, as slalom – and also the leading woman is the same as in the slalom, Marianne Rautelin. At the U20 youth class, the leader is Ugnius Alekna from Lithuania and in U17 class Joonas Väär from Estonia.

Sleds slalom

The fastest is so far Raigo Kiho with 78km/h, run with kite.

Sunday will be the last day of the Europeans.

WISSA 2019, Boris Ljubtšenko (EST), Tobias Bodin (SWE)

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.

Competition website:
Facebook page of competitions:

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.

Kites at course race, WISSA 2019

Võrtsjärv 17.02.2019

Lake Võrtsjärv is currently almost snowless, with an ice thickness of about 37cm. When yesterday there was double ice in some patches today such places were no longer found such. The ice surface is a bit rough at the moment, so tomorrow we plan to start an STS rink debugging. Tomorrow night some rain is expected, after that it will turn cold on Thursday.
The maintenance team is monitoring the situation on the venue and is ready to do what is needed – water, flatten, plough snow, or whatever is needed to ensure you best competition conditions.

Winter Surf Europeans 2019 are supported by Estonian Yachting Union, Androna, Metallituba, Palms, Flaka, 3D Wind Service, Estonian Ministry of Culture, Cultural Endowment of Estonia, Estonian Gambling Tax Council and Viljandi County.

Võrtsjärv, 18.02.2019

Võrtsjärv 11.02.2019

Although the weather at Estonia is changing and challenging at the moment we still have pretty good conditions at the Europeans site. The ice was clear until snowing yesterday; at the moment there is some 15cm of snow. As there is still over a week to go it can change. However, we have machines ready to clear the plot for STS, if needed.
The ice by itself is at least 30cm thick and strong.

There are 33 registered participants at the moment and more coming. We are extremely happy for nine young surfers taking part in the event. Hereby we appreciate the sponsors who have helped the youngsters with their sleds.

Võrtsjärv 13.02.2019

Kite/Ski class, Martin Valvur

As there is a big interest in kiters for Europeans, the specification for kite classes has been made. To keep it simple, kite snowboarders and kite skiers are separated. In the registration process, you can choose either snowboard or skis.

In addition, rules of Winter Windsurfing have been updated and modernized. The WWR5 version is now public. WWR5 apples in European Championships 2019.

Group of Estonian winter surfers
Estonian winter surfers are waiting for you! Photo: Enda Pärisma

Winter Surf Europeans 2019 will be held in Estonia, two weeks after WISSA, at 22.-24. of February.

At 2019, the World Ice and Snow Sailing Association (WISSA) Ice helds Snow Sailing World Championships ISSWC at Wisconsin, USA. Therefore, another WISSA event of season will be held in Europe.
We are glad to announce Winter Surf Europeans will take place in the end of February in the Estonia. The event is organized by the same committee who was responsible for WISSA 2016. The location is not sure yet as it depends of the conditions of ice. Most probably Europeans will be held at Lake Võrtsjärv, the venue of WISSA 2016.

We are happy to welcome all winter surfers from all around the world: kites, wings, sleds. There will be three disciplines for wings and sleds: short track slalom, course race and GPS speed; and two for kiters: course race and GPS speed. For detailed info please see Notice of Race.

We will keep you updated in this page and also in our Facebook.

Kohtumiseni Eestis! See you in Estonia!