Sunday, May 22, 2011

AWT: Santa Cruz Classic, the whole enchilada

Jeremy Leonard of Surf City Racing observed, "I could just feel that this event was driven by a huge wave of dedicated organizers and volunteers, and sure enough, as I dug in, I found that just about everyone that I talked to had their hands on some part of the event. It had more of a family feel than most of the sailing events that I attend across the country...this type of group participation is one of the top elements that will move the sport of sailing in a positive direction and into the future here in the US."

This event report is for everyone who was too busy doing, playing, organizing, participating and enjoying the moment to follow all the reporting, videos and photos that were recording the time at Waddell Creek. Top left photo, first two videos and more from Erik Simonson at pressure-drop. More photos from Erik at h2o shots.

Sam reports, "First off, this was the first time I had ever competed. Ever. I was scared...It was a lot of pressure to have so many people on the beach watching...Yikes! I was able to catch 3 waves and 1 jump score, so I advanced to the next round! The rest of the rookie's report.

On his first day of competition, "After only one year windsurfing, young Harley Stone attempts a forward during his heat @ AmericanWindsurfing Tour, sick! Dad and Goya congratulate him on the beach!" What's a story without the proof.

David Wells, competit-ing and reporting wrote,     
"Walking the beach here is truly awe inspiring with some of the best sailors to have ever lived walking around. Francisco Goya, Josh Stone, Ian Boyd, Kevin Pritchard, Fabrice Beaux, Warwick, Poor, Mershon, Juban, Teboul, Guadagnino, Katchadourian and more!" His report with photos on Waterhound . Kevin Pritchard, competitor, videographer, photographer was the official chronicler of this AWT event: day one photos. Harry Wiewel was also doing double duty with videos and photos: his day one images.  

Day 2  The local newspaper, The Santa Cruz Sentinnel reported, "Winds of up to 25 mph propelled dozens of windsurfers forward at Waddell Beach Friday afternoon, their wakes slashing like contrails in the sky as the gusts surged them forward across the waves. The flurry of activity at the beach north of Davenport was much changed from Thursday, when light winds left nearly all participants in the 2011 Santa Cruz Classic stranded in the parking lot...The full report with photos and video...

David Wells of Waterhound adds,  "As I was driving down from San Francisco I knew we were in for a good breeze.  The city itself was sitting in the bright blue sunshine but the coast was socked in with a billowy white marine layer, the ingredients for a good day at most of Nor Cal’s major sailing spots. As I broke through at Pigeon Point, about 5 miles north of Waddell, I was once again basking in the sunlight and a solid 20-25mph of wind."  

The AWT reports,    "It was an action-packed day at Waddell with all the single eliminations nearing completion. The one final so far was for the youth and may have been the best heat of the day. Bernd Roediger edged Morgan Noireaux  in an epic battle. I’m sure the double elim tomorrow will be just as exciting." Derek Mangan reports, "On my second run of the day I was pretty surprised to see a bus sized shadow moving in the water directly underneath my board just past the break.  Was relieved to look back and see an adult grey whale surface about eight feet behind me." Day 2 photos:  AWT  Shawn Davis  Harry Wiewel  Roy Ivankoe  Jeremy Leonard (day 1 also)

Day 3 "...started out under the grey skies of the good ol' marine layer that promised once again another windy day," reports David Wells. Derek Mangan adds, "On Saturday we had great wind again and the waves were quite a bit cleaner as they finished off the pro men's single elimination final in the morning with Francisco Goya, Kevin Pritchard, Morgan Noireaux, and Nathan Mershon.  I was really stoked to see Morgan make it to the final; the kid is really ripping and saw him hit some sick moves including several Takas and a Crazy Pete during his early heats. Kevin was ripping as usual and had several really solid waves.  Nathan however was killing it as he picked off just about every good set wave that came through right in front of the judges which sealed the deal for him.  Unfortunately for Francisco his inhaul line had snapped in the middle of the heat which pretty much counted him out."  

Day 3 photos: AWT  Harry Wiewel   Roy Ivankoe  Jimmie Hepp  Vinnie Armato

awtwaddell2011153Day 4 Waterhound reports, "Josh Stone won the final day's Expression Session this past Sunday May 8th at Santa Cruz's Waddell Creek as the American Windsurfing Tour wrapped up a highly successful opening.(right - Josh Stone - photos by AWT) The crowd however was blinded by the sight of a scantily clad Troy Collins who braved the line up with only his Helo undershorts. Lets just say he expressed himself.

Stone was his normal stylish self pulling his full repetoire of moves to earn the victory over the 25 other sailors on the water despite the lightest winds sailed during the contest period. Stone's first prize Chinook booms...were promptly handed over to Collins in admiration (or fear) of his 'chilling' performance."

Day 4 photos: AWT  Lori Makabe

Jordan Reid offers up the next video covering the entire event. . 

The last video, an interview with Bernd Roediger, showcases the aspirations of the AWT: the righteous attitude of fun, stoke and competition.

One more report brings us up to date with Brian Caserio. Check him out

Just in case American Windsurfing Tour and AWT Facebook

Postcript  It's going to happen, the late reports...just as essential as the early ones. Sure enough when I sat down to punch out this article, another video. So check back to see if there's new material. This video is from Benoit Ribeiro. BTW, if you Facebook and use the Secure Browsing (https), you may have trouble with the FB links.

Fabrice Beaux, "This competition marked a beautiful return for the Santa Cruz Classic, and a successful first event on this brand new American Windsurfing Tour. Rendez-vous now mid June for the 2nd leg of this championship on another prime US wave sailing spot, located on the magnificent Oregon coast line"...his report with photos.

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