Sunday, August 29, 2010

News from across the pond

The German twins, Manfred and Jurgen Charchulla, developed the first windsurfing harness in 1974. Born in 1939, these windsurfing pioneers wrote books; taught and developed training techniques; and opened the first European windsurfing museum in 2007. The colorful duo also play in their own steel drum band. They teach in the summer on the island of Fehmarn. Their crazy idea project, of sailing an 8 man board from Germany across the Baltic Sea to Denmark, will begin on September 3.

Here's a look at a 9 man windsurfing board from 2008 built by Joop Nederpelt of the Netherlands.

Exocet sold the Kona One to Joachim Larsson at Kona Nordic. Patrice Belbeoch writes: "Launching a pure longboard windsurf brand into today’s market was bold indeed, but the reception has been overwhelmingly positive – and other brands followed by introducing more longboards and SUP into their lines. It is always rewarding to see a vision becoming reality – and in this case I would almost say it was a mission against all odds..."

Back to the U.S. for a moment: The Kona Worlds will be in Miami this year from November 1 - 7. Limited charters are available. Event information

The European Freestyle Professional Tour was hurt by the global recession and cut the tour short to only 4 events. While the PWA was also challenged with funding in the early going this year, things seemed to come together despite the poor economy. A ladies only slalom final event set for early September was added in Hyeres, France. Josh Angulo helped bring the PWA back to Cabo Verde this year for the Tour ending wave final. Also new this year is a mid-September wave event in Klitmoller, Denmark.

The Danish are on a roll with windsurfing events. The RS:X Worlds are underway at Kerteminde. We have seen bits and pieces of  live webcasts from the OCR Tour but never wall to wall video/gps coverage of an entire windsurfing regatta. Racing concludes September 4.

Barbara Kendall, 42, one of New Zealand's most decorated Olympians, retired from competitive windsurfing this May. Her amazing career spanned 24 years and 5 Olympics where she won gold, silver and bronze medals. She said: "After 24 years I'd lost the passion for competing. I used to be consumed by it, and when I got back out there I was waiting for that feeling to come back, and it just didn't. I felt tired, and had nothing left. Winning Olympic Gold was a big highlight, but then that seemed to pale when I went and won the world championships after just having a baby. Those high points just kept coming...I miss it, I miss parts of that lifestyle. But sometimes you have to close one door before you know what comes next for you. I feel lucky that I could come to the decision for myself, I wasn't forced into retirement by injury or pushed out by the younger girls or overtaken." More

Was all that bamboo a hint? Peter Thommen is building at least some of his 2011 boards in China. Is this the start of a move on Cobra's domination of the windsurfing board industry?

The monthly online magazineWindsurfer International,  is a year old and just passed the 4.8 million pageview mark. The British website based magazine Boardseeker was recently bought out by MPORA who also owns Boards Magazine.

Postscript   "Checkout van Albeau?" is the title of a short article by the Italian windsurfing news website wind67 wide. My daily DaNews reporting has led me to many international websites. Not understanding their languages forces me to use Google translations which sometimes leaves me guessing what was intended and what has been lost..."The ideal set for each of us, we leave you any comment, and not technical. But always remember to ask questions important to understand what we need seriously..." See what I mean?  The French to English translation of a windsurfing board is a plank which after awhile starts to make sense, sort of. I've learnt there are at least 2 English languages: British and American. The foreign windsurfing media is robust, diligent, and good; often breaking American stories before any of us on this side of the pond realize something interesting just happened.


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