OBX-WIND, based on the Outer Banks of North Carolina, USA, is on its path to becoming one of the major events in the US. This year, windsurfers from near and abroad got together to celebrate windsurfing, and compete in long distance, freestyle, and in slalom. Add all of the social side activities, and you’ve got a unique event that appeals to any windsurfer.

The town of Avon on the Outer Banks of North Carolina once again became the centre of action for the 2023 edition of the OBX-WIND festival. Over 140 windsurfers from across the country, including a group of international riders, registered for a week of long-distance, freestyle, slalom, and light wind racing.

With Ocean Air sports, the local shop as base camp for daily briefings, the discipline of the day was chosen based on the forecast of the week. Ultimately, all disciplines were completed throughout the week, and there was even time left for a full gear day with clinics, presentations, and a market.

For the first days of the week, the winds were on the lighter side, so it was decided to focus on light wind racing and a gear day that was particularly great as everybody got to ask the pros for advice on how to set up their gear best possible for the upcoming days of wind.
The light wind race was no boring event by no means. Propped up by a competitive fleet riding on gear ranging from tandems to old-school daggerboard race boards, there were battles from start to finish. In between all of the action, there was a raffle event to remember. Several lucky winners walked away with sails, booms, clothing and other gifts

As the week progressed, the wind increased, and the long-distance race could finally be held in proper 20+ knots of wind. As per usual, there was a rabbit start to set off the whole fleet onto the course that stretched well into the shallow lagoon. The fastest racers did two laps in less than 30 minutes in the flatwater conditions. Two races were completed on this day. 

Long distance men’s open top 3 results;
1st Marco Lang AUT-66
2nd Nico Prien Ger-7
3rd Vincent Lindauer 131

Long-distance women’s open top 3 results;
1st Sara Ahrendt 133
2nd Milanka Karmolinksi 55
3rd Amber Kasbeer USA 803

But that’s not all. Right after the long-distance race, the freestyle contest commenced, much for the entertainment of the crowds that had gathered. The freestyle crew consisted of a mixture of the best North American freestylers such as Mike Burns, Alex Mertens, Max Robinson, and Phil Soltysiak, and surprising local and international wildcards. Ultimately, it was Nigel Hart from Bonaire who won ahead of Phil Saltysiak (Canada) and Alex Mertens (USA).

The final day of the event also offered wind, so the decision was made to run slalom. After two initial qualifiers rounds, the fleet was split into gold and silver fleets for another four rounds. Most of the fleet was on sails between 7,0-8,0 and as the day progressed, the wind picked up for some exciting slalom action.

Slalom top3 results;
1st Nico Prien GER-7
2nd Kurosh Kiani
3rd Phil Soltysiak CAN-9

Based on the success of previous years’ and this year’s events, plans are already being made for a 2023 version of the OBX-WIND festival that will happen on similar dates and looks to be going even bigger.

Follow this link for full results.

Check out all of the daily videos from the 2023 OBX-WIND