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A windsurfing board looks a little like a surfboard with a sail attached. Competitors compete in a variety of events to score points.

There are several main types of windsurfing competition.

Course racing
Wave performance

Other events include speed racing and one design racing.


Course racing

The start sequence is a six minute warning, three minute warning, one minute warning, then 'go'. Racers start together, crossing an imaginary line set from a start boat to a buoy, which is usually around 100 to 200 metres (110 to 218 yards) away. The minimum wind limit is 11 knots.

The first place finisher scores 0.7 points, the second 2 points, the third 3 points, and so on. In a series of races, the worst result is discarded for each competitor (the worst result for each being their highest score), and the remaining scores are totalled.

The usual number of races in the course section is four to seven. When four races are completed, one score is discarded. When seven races are completed, two scores are discarded.


Each competitor tries to sail on the board as many different ways as possible. The most consistent performer with the most varied tricks wins.


This is usually a knockout contest run in heats of eight to ten racers at a time, with the top competitors advancing to the next round, and so on until the final. A total of 34 heats is needed to complete 64 racers with the final and losers' final deciding the top 16 places.

There are often two types of course used for slalom. One type is often a large figure of eight with two buoys, and the second is often a zig zag formation with six buoys. The start can be made by all racers together, or in sets. The minimum wind speed is 12 knots.

Wave performance

This is a one-on-one contest between two surfers. The competitors perform as many tricks and moves as they can, and are marked by at least three judges in three categories: jumping, transitions, and surfing.

The winning surfer progresses to the next round. The more inventive and difficult the moves are, the higher the score awarded. The minimum wind speed s 12 knots. Heats are usually five to six minutes in duration. The scores for the highest scoring three moves are combined to give each surfer's total.

If there is a particular wind or wave condition, the scores can be factored to balance it out, if the category becomes more difficult.

For example, jumps could be a factor of 2, transitions a factor of 3, and surfing a factor of 5. In this case, jump scores would be multiplied by 2, transition scores by 3, and surfing scores by 5.

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