February 9, 2016 – Võrtsjärv, Estonia – Winter sports – Ice and Snow Sailing – which originally started from Estonia, celebrates its 40th anniversary in 2016. The WISSA 2016 World Championship taking place on Lake Võrtsjärv on February 8-13 is the fifth time for Estonia to organize the title event of the ice and snow sailing or wintersurf as the sports has been called now.  89 competitors are representing 13 nations in three competing classes – sleds, kites and wings.

Extraordinary weather conditions in Estonia during the past couple of weeks changed the ice on the Haapsalu Bay – the initial location of the WISSA 2016 venue – unsafe and it was an urgent task for the Organizing Committee to check all the alternative options to find another venue in Estonia (Haapsalu Tagalaht, Haapsalu Eeslaht, Väike Viik in Haapsalu, Topu and Võrtsjärv). Fortunately they found the best ice conditions on the Lake Võrtsjärv, in the middle of Estonia and the venue was changed a week before the event.

The pre-event of the WISSA 2016 – Winter Windsurfing Estonian Championship – was held on Lake Võrtsjärv on February 6-7. Altogether 49 participants were competing on the sleds and kites during two days. 14 races were held for the sleds and 9 for the kites during two days of racing. Kites had the course race and sleds were sailing slalom discipline.

Class – Sleds Top 3  
1st Andrius Sliuburys LTU 15.5 pts
2nd Aleksandrs Ljontjevs LAT 18.8 pts
3rd Paulius Voverys LTU 20.5 pts

12th Lehar Jürimäe EST 117 pts
Full results of the sleds

Class – Kites Top 3
1st Andrei Balyakin RUS 8.2 pts
2nd Kodanev Nikita RUS 17.4 pts
3rd Max Feudoroff 21.7 pts

8th Madis Kallas EST 58pts
Full results of the kites

Photo galleries: Day 1  ;  Day 2  ; Video

The opening ceremony of WISSA 2016 was held on February 8 at 6 pm in the regatta centre in Valma. Will Tuthill, the President of WISSA together with the main organizer Kalev Allikveer remembered the 40 years long history of winter ice and snow sailing and were happy to see the representatives of 13 nations at WISSA Worlds 2016. Principal Race Officer Madis Ausman welcomed the participants on the race course and wished fair winds.

The world champions in three classes will be found out with three disciplines raced – Course Race, Short Track Slalom (STS) and GPS Speed. The discipline of the 1st day of the event is course race. The morning in Valma was not very promising – it was raining heavily and the temperature was +6 degrees of Celsius. The Skippers’ Meeting was held at 10am and postponement was announced ashore in the first place, but after checking the ice conditions AP flag was lowered for the sleds and wings in the first place and soon after also for the kites. The first day of the WISSA 2016 Worlds is in full swing and the organizers have thumbs up for having enough races done to complete the championship.

Preliminary numbers of the participants:

  • Sleds – 54
  • Kites – 26 : 6 in snowboard fleet and 20 in ski fleet
  • Wings – 13
  • Nations represented – 13: Canada, Czech Republic, Finland, France, Germany, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Russia, Sweden, Switzerland, United States and Estonia.
  • Preliminary Participants’ List (will be corrected after Day 1) http://wissa.purjelaualiit.ee/?page_id=54

The organizers of WISSA World Championship 2016 are Kalev Allikveer in cooperation with Estonian Windsurfing Association (EWA) and World Ice and Snow Sailing Association (WISSA). The supporters of WISSA Worlds 2016 are Eleon, Palmse Mehaanikakoda, Baltic Hotel Promenaadi , Haapsalu City and Estonian Windsurfing Association; cooperation partners are Eesti Kultuurkapital, Talvisurf.fi, Hiberna Iceboards, Spa Hotel Laine, Extreme Sport, Surf House and Estonian Maritime Rescue Organization; media partner is World of Windsurf.