Acta Kinesiologiae Universitatis Tartuensis. 2009, Vol. 14 95
PHYSIOLOGICAL RESPONSES, ROUTES
AND COMPETITION RESULTS
IN FORMULA WINDSURFING
J. A. Pérez-Turpin1, J. M. Cortell-Tormo1, C. Suárez-Llorca1,
E. Andreu-Cabrera1, S. Llana-Belloch2, P.Pérez-Soriano2
1 Departmental Section of Physical Education and Sports,
University of Alicante, Spain.
2 Department of Physical and Sports Education,
University of Valencia, Spain.
Formula windsurfing is faster than the Olympic version, due to a
number of unique differences. This study was designed to identify the
importance of anthropometric and cardiac factors on the final result of
the European Formula Windsurf Championships (2007). We selected
45 competitors (30 amateurs and 15 professionals) of 30±9.77 years of
age, a height of 182.6±0.06 cm, a weight of 81.67±7.35 kg and a BMI
of 24.7±2.1 kg. They were divided into three groups (PG: 15; TG: 45
and GPSG: 12). We followed the recommendations of Carter and
Marfell-Jones for the anthropometric measurements. The route, speed,
distance and heart rate were recorded using an FRWD W600 GPS
(Global Positioning System) unit. The anthropometric measurements
indicate a professional profile with 2.3±0.4 endomorphy 5±0.8
mesomorphy and 2.4±0.6 ectomorphy. Arm span and fat mass show a
significant (p≤0.02) and very significant (p≤0.005) correlation with
the final classification. The average speed was 11.84±2.38 km·h–1, the
heart rate varied from 128 to 180 b·min–1 and the average was
127.62±13.73 b·min–1. The distances covered (12784.77±5522.19 m)
and the times used for the races (2049.3±989.68 s) were very variable.
This will assist not only in initial selection for the sport, but also in the
96 J. A. Pérez-Turpin et al.
design of training programmes which further develop that morpho-
logy, where possible, in the pursuit of improved performance.
Key words: somatotype, anthropometric, windsurf, heart rate, GPS
Windsurfing dates back to 1935, when Tom Blake, one of California’s
leading surfers, inserted a device into his 14-foot concave board.
Seventy-eight years have passed since those beginnings of a new spor-
ting discipline. Nowadays windsurfing is an Olympic sport and has
been part of the list of sailing sports since the 1984 Los Angeles
Olympics. It is now in an enviable position, with numerous parti-
cipating countries, converting it into an attractive sport that is in direct
contact with the environment.
Windsurfing has shown itself to be a highly demanding discipline.
While sailing, the heart rate increases with wind speed from 60 to 200
beats per minute . De Vito et al.  showed that when sailing with
a wind speed of 4–5 m·s–1, average value for oxygen consumption was
43±4 ml·min–1·kg–1 (73% of HRmax) and the average heart rate (HR)
was 169±12 b·m–1 (92% of HRmax). The physiological demands appear
to be influenced by the strength of the wind. During Olympic races
with light winds (3–5 m·s–1), it has been shown that average heart rate
during competition is 167 b·m–1, while average lactate concentration is
8.5 mmol·l–1 [1, 6]. However, in the same conditions with stronger
winds (12–15 m·s–1), average heart rate is 154 b·m–1, with a lactate
concentration of 2.9 mmol·l–1. These figures suggest that, in light wind
conditions, there are less physiological and metabolic demands. This
may be due to the permanent pumping action needed to increase the
speed of the boat when the wind is not strong enough. Other authors,
such as Vogiatzis et al. , showed that the pumping action needed
to sail with a wind speed of between 4 and 15 m·s–1 leads to a
significant increase in the physiological and metabolic demands on the
sportsperson (from 19.2 to 48.4 ml·min–1·kg–1 and from 110 to
165 b·m–1, respectively). It has also been shown that improved perfor-
mance in the laboratory is highly correlated with the increased amount
of time spent at high speeds on the board .
At present, among the various international federations promoting
windsurfing, the IWA (The International Windsurfing Association) is
Anthropometric and physiological response in windsurfing 97
the organisation that unifies the sport. The association was founded in
the UK in January 2001 and its aims include organising such com-
petitions as the Formula Windsurfing European Championships. This
class of windsurfing is regarded as the fastest in the world, largely due
to the difference in the size of the sail when compared with Olympic
windsurfing (12.5 and 9.5 metres respectively).
These differences may make different demands on sportspersons
participating in the Formula and Olympic windsurfing classes. In this
sense, this study is designed to identify the importance of anthropo-
metric factors and physiological responses on the final classification
of the 2007 European Formula Windsurfing Championships.
MATERIALS AND METHODS
The European Formula Windsurfing Championships held at Santa
Pola (Spain) included the Qualifying Race for participation in the
2007 World Formula Windsurfing Championships. The champion-
ships were organised by the Santa Pola Windsurf Club and the
Spanish Royal Sailing Association (RFEV). The championships were
governed by ISAF (International Sailing Federation) regulations and
the Racing Rules of Sailing (RRS).
89 Caucasian males from 18 countries took part in the championships
with 45 windsurfers being chosen for the study. Their characteristics
were as follows: age 30±9.77, height 182.6±0.06 cm, weight
81.67±7.35 kg and body mass index 24.7±2.1 kg. All the subjects
were informed of the tests and measurements that were going to be
carried out and gave their written consent.
Anthropometric and physiological response in windsurfing 109
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Jose Antonio Pérez-Turpin
Faculty of Education
Department of General an Especific Didactics Campus de san Vicente dei
E-mail address: firstname.lastname@example.org