Sunday, December 19, 2010

WISSA History

From William Tuthill, President WISSA:

Either you have been to a World Ice and Snow Sailing Association (WISSA) event or you have not. If you have, then you know ... but if you have not ... then get ready. To describe a WISSA event is not easy, and words alone are not enough. Think about this:

The WISSA Ice and Snow Sailing World Championships is the oldest international event in the history of windsurfing. When windsurfing first became popular in the late 1970’s people living in cold climates discovered that windsurfing rigs were also ideal for sailing on ice and snow.

The sport of iceboating is centuries old, but “boats” for sailing in the snow always had problems because of the downward pressure from the rig- they would bog down. The windsurfing rig changed all of that. Standing on a sled and trapping the wind between the ground and the sail provided the lift required to make snow sailing possible for the first time in history.

So-the windsurfing rig made possible a whole new sport. Next came kites. Kites were developed for use on snow and land well over a decade before the sport of Kiteboarding [in water] was born. Around 1990, winterboard inventor Sami Tuurna of Finland came up with a new design for a wing to be used with skis, skates and land boards. Originally called the “Skimbat”, the first wing resembled the “Wind Weapon” that briefly came onto the windsurfing scene at the same time.

Fast forward to present, and the sport of windsurfing is in full recovery from a decline after its halcyon days. Kites have morphed into a new waterborne sport called Kiteboarding, and wings are more efficient and better refined than ever. All of these sports have seen their ups and downs, and each has their advantages and disadvantages. But here’s to you!

Here’s to you living life, and coming out into the winter winds to sail fast and take part in the most prestigious international ice and snow sailing event in history! Bring your flag, bring your culture, and represent your history at the 2011 Ice and Snow Sailing World Championship in Oravi, Saimaa, Finland on February 25 to March 6.

Ob Sea, Novosibirsk, Siberia 1978
Veranger, Norway May 200

Riga, Latvia. WISSA 2009

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