Monday, June 28, 2010

Will live webcasts strengthen windsurfing?

The recently completed, June 2010 European Freestyle Professional Tour, event from Vassiliki, Greece was historic. Not just for the incredible freestyle but because it was the first ever live webcast of an entire windsurfing event. The online coverage of each heat showed both competitors on a split screen along with traditional sports commentary. These 2 simple media techniques allowed the viewer to watch and understand what is arguably windsurfing's most difficult discipline to follow.

Are live webcasts in windsurfing's future? I hope so. Surfing seems well settled in promoting events via live broadcast on the internet. Will live webcasts help promote windsurfing? Maybe. If the cost of doing it doesn't burden events, then we should be pushing this technology as much as we can. Will the PWA ever find its way into live broadcasting? Will we ever see Pozo live? David Troup's is making progress toward more live webcasts here in the U.S. Sailgroove did live webcasts from a boat on Biscayne Bay of the RSX medal races at the January, 2010 Miami OCR. I guess it's time to beat the drums; maybe somehow, someway, someone will drag us onto the next level. Meanwhile, have a look at what that first live event was like.

The final single elimination between Souza de Pedro of Brazil and Nico Akgazciyan of France.

Single elimination between Souza de Pedro of Brazil and Yardin Meir of Israel.

The double elimination final: Broeckhoven vs Souza

For the rest of the Vassiliki video collection: vwf2010

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Calendar: July 2010

Highland Springs HiHo | British Virgin Islands | June 26-July 4

Gorge Jump Off - Team Edition | June 28-July7

PWA Lanzarote | June 30-July3

Aruba Hi Winds | June 30-July 5

St Francis YC Twilight Series | July 2

Maui Race Series-Kanaha | Maui Fin Company Open | July 3

Calema Windsurfing | Cocoa, Florida | Kid Camps | July 5-9

PWA Gran Canaria | July 6-9[showUid]=165&cHash=4c9742d821

Junior Clinic with Ben Barger | San Francisco | July 7-10

Puerto Rico Windsurfing Slalom Series | Puerto Rico | July 9-11

ABK Clinic | Hood River | July 9-11

San Diego Formula Windsurfing Race | July 10

Intro to Looping & Freestyle Clinic  - Wyatt Miller | Hood River Marina | July 10,_Sat._July_10th_Hood_River_Marina..html Hood River Jumpoff Awards/Video/Party | July 10

Longboard San Francisco Classic - UN Challenge | July 10-11

Cabarete Classic | Dominican Republic | July 14 - 18

Sailworks Jr. Race Camp | July 16

St Francis YC Twilight Series | July 16

Windsurfing Movie II | Hood River | July 16

ABK Clinic | Hood River | July 16-18

Cal Cup Series | July 17

Gorge Cup | Race 5 | July 17

Reservoir Rendezvous | New London Ohio | July 17-18

U.S. Windsurfing National Championship | San Francisco | July 20-24

PWA Fuerteventura | July 23- Aug 2[showUid]=166&cHash=67d7efba0d

ABK Clinic | Hood River | July 26-30

Starboard Prokids IFCA Freestyle Championship | Bonaire | July 28-Aug 1

St FrancisYC Twilight Series | July 30

Maui Race Series-Kanaha | Neil Pryde Hawaii State Championship | July 31

The Gorge Challenge | Gorge Cup | July 31 - Aug 1

More events will be found on this Canadian schedule  Plus on page 2 of this schedule, Nevin Sayre put together a calendar for 2010 junior events

Mowind does a detailed schedule for the Great Lakes / North Central Region

Since you made it all the way down to the bottom of this schedule, here's your reward: Trudy Lary captured Tyson Poor at the just finished Pistol River Wave Bash.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Life with British Pro Ross Williams

PWA media man, Paul Griffths, did this interview with Ross Williams while everyone waited on the no show wind at the recent Costa Brava event in Spain.

PWA  How many boards and sails do you own?

Ross:  4 wave boards, 4 slalom boards, 1 formula board, a set of formula sails, two sets of slalom sails, and a set of wave sails. I guess that's about 25 sails.

PWA   How Much gear do you own at the moment?

Ross  I have about 50 slalom fins. Not many wave fins, and 2 $1800 formula fins!

PWA   How many of those slalom fins do you actually use?

Ross  4

PWA  Do you have to pay for all of your fins?

Ross  Unfortunately, yes!

PWA  Who makes your fins?

Ross  Lots of different people.

PWA  How many masts do you have?

Ross  About 35 in total. But if I have a good mast I keep it, so i've got some that are quite a few years old now.

PWA  How many booms do you own?

Ross  9 slalom booms. 7 wave booms. And 2 formula.

PWA  Wetsuits?

Ross  About 15. I like having plenty of dry ones!

PWA  What about harnesses?

Ross  I have 2 waist harnesses.

PWA Why don't you use a seat?

Ross  It doesn't suit my personal style

PWA  What tools do you bring on tour with you?

Ross  None. I just steal everyone else's!

PWA  What tool do you steal the most then?

Ross  A philips screwdriver to change my fin and put the straps on.

PWA   What do you spend most of your money on?

Ross  My house, excess baggage, airline tickets, computers, my jet ski for tow surfing, and my girlfriend!

PWA   What's your most valuable possession?

Ross  Can I have two?

PWA  I suppose.

Ross  My girlfriend and my jet ski (for tow surfing).

PWA  Where do you live when not on tour?

Ross  Argentina

PWA  How much time do you spend there?

Ross  Just 3 months

PWA  What's the longest you get to stay at home?

Ross  For a month maybe.

PWA  How much time do you spend in the UK these days then?

Ross  Two or three weeks a year maximum.

PWA  If you won the lottery what would you do?

Ross  Marry my girlfriend, and go tow surfing.

PWA   What's the key to getting a life like yours then?

Ross  Putting your career before everything else. And, winning a few contests helps!

PWA  What's the longest barrel you've ever had?

Ross  Probably 3 seconds in Chile! That was sick.

PWA  Who do you spend most of your time with?

Ross  Myself, my girlfriend, and the ocean. It's quite lonely... And Swifty.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

David Troup: Wave Bash, Webcasts, Jump Off

I only knew David Troup as a Maui boardtester for WindSurfing Magazine. One day I saw an announcement on Facebook (i think) that there was a planned live webcast from Hookipa. After logging onto the webcast, I got a phone call, here in Florida, from David asking about the quality of the feed. I've been a fan of his live webcasts ever since. Personally, I think live webcasts are one of windsurfing's best chances at promoting itself to a larger audience. Here are a few questions for David:

I know you're kinda gonzo for windsurfing, but i don't know much about what else you do. Could you tell us what you do to make a living and where you live?

I'm super gonzo on windsurfing, no doubt! I started windsurfing in 1980 and I guess that inital stoke never left me! As for work - I'm a business owner. Who else would hire a sailor who works crazy hours and leaves when it's windy? I live in Green Bay where I can catch some sick sailing in my backyard and the awesome waves of Lake Michigan are minutes away.

How and why did get started? How has the technology for your webcasts evolved?

Actually, GP (Giampaolo Cammarota of maui surf report) complained on one of his blog posts about the lack of windsurfing webcasts, and I happen to have access to the technology to make it work, so I did a few webcasts at Hookipa to prove the gear and then we did Jaws in February of 2010 and we continue to improve the technology and user experience. This has led into a partnership with Shadowbox and now the Jump Off series. Its been a fun evolution so far, but the best is yet to come.

The Pistol River Wave Bash website says you will be doing a live webcast of their event. This will be the first ever live webcast of an American wave contest!!

Webcast is TBD (to be determined) as there are a lot of unknown factors for the location. We'll have post coverage of the Jump Off online, and Sam (Bittner, Event Coordinater and Director) is also going to produce a Wave Bash video as well, so there will be plenty to watch online from the event, that's for sure!

Just this Friday, June 4, you announced the Pistol River Jump Off would run in conjunction with the Wave Bash. Tell us a little about how the Jump Off started and why you're doing them.

The Jump Off  is a simple format event where riders compete for the highest jump, backloop and forward loop as measured by on-board Shadowbox units. The initial contest in Maui in March was a huge success and the Pistol and Gorge events this summer are just the next few steps in our contest schedule for 2010 which will finish back on Maui in October later this year. We wanted to run an event where there were no subjective judges based on actual measurements of metrics. As you can see by the Gorge event, we're going to really mix it up with 10 metrics a few "team" metrics for total air, etc. Not only do the riders love the event format, but the spectators do as well. Actually, I think they enjoy the party we throw the best!! ;-)

Live webcasts seem like a major undertaking. What are your plans for the future of

We have a lot in store for the rest of 2010 in terms of events, and not just in windsurfing. We'll be holding Jump Off's for kiteboarding in the Gorge in July as well as other board sports. We're also going to be taking the spectator right into the action on their laptops and smartphones and get them involved with determining possible outcomes of events. 2011 is going to blow everyone's minds with the next evolution in the Jump Off, and I'd love to tell you all about it, but mums the word until later this fall when we unveil it! So stay tuned!

Will you compete in the Wave Bash or the Jump Off?

I'd love to compete in the Wave Bash if I had time. You never know - I might just sneak into a heat or two. ;-)

What's your latest favorite band?

Hmmm, that's a hard one. I'm a child of the 80's so a bit of Talking Heads and Oingo Boingo always make the list. Though you'd never know that by the music we put in the videos. Perhaps a little "Take me to the river" might be in order for the Gorge event video??

You can sometimes find David on his blog, Epic Sessions or

P.S. You can catch a live webcast of the efpt, freestyle event this Friday at Milos Beach Lefkada Vassiliki, Greece And no, David is not involved with this webcast, but I'm sure he will be watching.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Take a deep breath and appreciate what you just did

Sometimes you have to travel far away to find out what's happening right at home. Thanks to Brian McDowell for putting this up on  The Beach Telegraph. Brian writes "...I got this amazing message yesterday from Steve and Terri Parker who run Windsurf Ohio. This really puts things in perspective and should serve to make us appreciate our lives and our amazing sport even more than ever..."

Hello Brian

My wife Terri & I own a shop on Lake Erie called Windsurf Ohio and we've been in business for 25 years. In 1983 my wife’s brother Bruce Maldovan started a windsurfing school on Mentor Headlands State Park, he started the school with the help from Ute Bloom' who was from Germany, where windsurfing was already growing very fast; he bought four Mistral Competitions for teaching and rental' in 1984 he decided to move to Corpus Christy Texas and start a much bigger school but he passed away one week before he was ready to move Texas and left his little boy Chucky behind.

A few months went by and we were at the beach and we saw two windsurfers sailing by and we knew we were going to see a lot more of them as time goes on, so I looked my wife in the eyes and asked her’ So are we going to finish what your brother started or let everything he loved go down the toilet and her answer was no. The next day we called Ute Bloom and asked if she would teach us how to windsurf so we could take over the windsurfing school and she did after that we had to get certified as instructors so we went to Mistrals sailing academy and got our certification so we could open his school once again; after one year in business Mistral had a fiber glass repair clinic which I took so I could fix broken boards and I've fixed quite a few over the last twenty five years.

The following year I decided to quit my job and open Windsurf Ohio in Cleveland Ohio, as the years went by Chucky, Bruce’s son would come to stay with us for the summer and we taught him how to windsurf and he learned very fast because he lived in Florida and knew how to surf. In 1992 Chucky decided to leave Florida and move in with us and help with the shop and school but that all came to a tragic end a few months later Chucky was hit by a car on his motorcycle and eventually died from his injuries.

On December 26th 2007 my wife’s cousin Toni lost her battle with cancer but before she passed away she asked us to raise her ten year old boy Richie as our own and we agreed.

Richie is now thirteen and he’s doing great and loves to windsurf and our lives are complete.

Steve & Terri Parker

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Calendar: June 2010

Cal Cup Race | June 5

Maui Race Series | Starboard Slalom | June 5

San Diego Windsurfing Association race | June 5

Gorge Cup Series | Race 2 | June 5

PWA: Costa Brava Spain | June 8-13

St. Francis Yacht Club Twilight Formula Series | SF | June 11

ABK San Luis Reservoir, California | June 11-13

Worthington Regatta | June 11-13

Great Lakes Demo Tour | Higgins Lake | June 12

San  Francisco Bay Day | June 12

Gorge Cup 2010 | Race 3 | June 12

South Florida Windsurfing Association swap meet | June 12

Kona Race Series Melbourne, Fl. | June 12

SDWA Picnic | June 12

East Coast Windsurfing Festival | Long Island | June 12-13

San Francisco Ronstan Bay Challenge | June 12-13

Casey Hauser/Whit Poor | Pistol River Wave Clinic | June 14-16

Pistol River Wave Bash | June 17-20

San Diego Windsurfing Association race | June 17

Pistol River Jump Off | June 18-20

ABK Rio Vista | June 18-20

Nimby Regatta | Fernandina Beach, Fl | June 18-20

Maui Race Series | DaKine Classic | June 19

Saint Francis Yacht Club Twilight Formula Series | SF | June 25

ABK Rio Vista | June 25-27

Gorge Windfest | June 26-27

Gorge Blowout & Jr. Blowout | June 26 or 27

Matt Pritchard/Shawna Cropa Clinic | Maui | June 26-July 3

Jr. Olympic Windsurfing Festival | Kelly Park, Fl | June 26

Surf Sailors Beach WINDfest | St. Simon Island | June 26!/event.php?eid=117702218258088

Gorge Jump Off - Team Edition | June 28-July7

PWA Lanzarote | June 30-July3

Aruba Hi Winds | June 30-July 5

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Woo-hoo it's a Wave Bash

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, is also 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 ( 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-Shadowbox Jump Off Series joins the fray. Check out your chance to jump for money and glory !!