Sail boarding is becoming more than the baby of the yachting world--it's now one of the world's most popular sports.
GV Race at Nahariya, Israel gets under way, sail boarding craft in background
GV Craft moving across water
GV Small section of field (3 shots)
SV Lightweight race winner, Karl Messmer of Switzerland
SV Messmer along home stretch and passes winning buoy
SCU Messmer still on craft
GV Robert Nagy of France on Craft 645 in foreground finishing
GV Craft 1054 (left), Patrice Valton of France and 578 (at right) Frank Spoettle of West Germany after crossing finish line
SV Another competitor finishing
SV Nancy Johnson of Canada on KC-1 moving along
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Background: Sail boarding is becoming more than the baby of the yachting world--it's now one of the world's most popular sports. The finals of the 1980 world sail board championship took place in Israel on Sunday (12 October). They were divided into three groups: lightweight, heavyweight, and a special classification for women competitors.
SYNOPSIS: A moderate wind from the south made conditions ideal at the Mediterranean coastal resort of Nahariya. More than twenty countries were competing in the three-day championships. Board calling, now commonly known as wind surfing, looks like any conventional yacht race from a distance. Look more closely, and one sees the craft are composed of a detachable sail linked to a board. The link is a rubber universal joint which allows the rider to turn the sail to any angle. He steers the boat by shifting his weight and altering the angle of mast and sail. It looks easy, but beginners spend most of their time in the water trying in put the craft upright.
Karl Messmer of Switzerland was the winner of the lightweight final. Lightweight and heavyweight are divided between those above or below the weight of 69 kilograms (152 pounds).
This is only the second world championship of board sailing so far held. The sport's governing body--the International Board Sailing Association---regularly changes the design rules. They seek a formula which will keep the sport inexpensive and competitive.
Berg of Holland came in second in the lightweight section, and Robert Nagy of France was third.
Patrice Valton of France, on the left, and Frank Spoettle of West Germany, both in the lightweights, cross the finishing line after a fine performance. Running with the wind is particularly exhilarating with the sail boards surfing on the waves. it requires considerable strength, especially in strong winds, to control the boards. First place in the women's competition was taken by Manuelle Graveline of France. Nancy Johnson of Canada was second, and Marie Annick Maus of France came third.
Sail boarding--a growing sport that's now been accepted as a competition for the next Olympic Games.