The Pistol River Wave Bash, scheduled for June 17-20, has fired up the wave sailing community. The Wave Bash, open to 100 participants, can already boast an impressive group of competitors. Lots of Hawaiians have committed, including Kevin Pritchard who will finish with PWA racing in Spain just days before the contest begins in Oregon. Brother Matt will be the head judge. Acccording to the event website, David Troup's Epic Sessions TV will be doing a live webcast of the event. Wave legend, Kai Katchadourian, isalso competiting and will perform with his band, Wave Train, on Friday. The event has arranged affordable lodging and camp sites. Casey Hauser and Whit Poor are offering a wave clinic ( firstname.lastname@example.org) set for June 14-16. A big shout out and thanks to event coordinater, Sam Bittner. If the wind is a no show, event sponsors will provide SUPs for a wave contest. 13 year old Bernd Roediger sums it all up: "We just booked our tickets to go to Oregon for the Pistol River Wave Bash. I’m so excited to go. Its going to be an unreal contest... Unfortunately there hasn’t been a wave contest in Maui since like 2007 so its really great that I can go to this event." Almost forgot, more music Saturday night by Pistol River Social Club and free beer at the closing ceremony on Sunday.
While wave contests in the U.S. pale in frequency compared to racing events, the resurrected Wave Bash isn't the only contest in the U.S. Two other wave events already exist: Bill Bell's Hatteras Wave Jam and Bruce Thomas' central Florida Wave Challenge. Both schedule their events in the Fall. The Florida Wave Challenge has been doing contests for the last 3 years.
This Ben Proffitt article for Boardseeker, Checklist of Champions resonated with me. I've been one of the judges for the Florida Wave Challenge since its' beginning. Sitting and watching every heat all day helped me appreciate his good advice, especially: "take bigger kit" and "position yourself in front of the judges."
We need more wave contests. We need more freestyle contests. We need the contests of all 3 disciplines to be attractive events for the entire windsurfing community. Hint, hint Windustry: bring those pretty products you make and sell; show 'em off !! Maybe, the public will get curious and visit. And just maybe, that big ol' rusty wheel of growth will get a little oil and start rolling again. Congratulations Pistol River Wave Bash!!!
P.S The 2010 EpicSessions.TV-ShadowboxJump Off Series joins the fray. Check out your chance to jump for money and glory !!