Sunday, June 26, 2011

AWT Recap - Windsurfing History - Wiewel Videos - Defi Wind

Pistol River Wave Bash · June 12 - 16 ·  The various reports have been compiled here so the story can be conveniently read in one place. The text below, not in quotes, belongs to the AWT and can be found on their Press release page. Photos belong to Vinnie Armato of Globalshots unless noted.

Wednesday  The Day Before

The Bash was bigger than last year with 81 riders registered for the competition. The day before the official start saw plenty of action on the water with tons of sailors dialing in their biggest tricks. Former world champion Josh Stone was throwing huge push loops (photo left) and Kai Katchadourian (photo right) was hitting the lip backside harder then anyone else. Josh Sampiero added: "The day before competition began was packed with action as pro sailors and amateurs from all over the world  grabbed some practice waves down at the Rock. Well over thirty sails were on the water today, with BIG jumps from KP, Josh Stone, Bryan Metcalf-Perez, and others. Skipper’s meeting: 9 a.m. tomorrow as head judge Matt Pritchard hopes for an early start." Photos Trudy Lary Pre Event & Day 1 |  Dana Miller

Thursday · Single Elimination · AWT Pistol River Day One is in the books and it was a great day with 25+ knot winds and waist to logo high waves. Here are the results from the single elimination. Boujmaa arrived just in time to put in a solid day finishing 2nd... the Kanaha Kid, Casey Rehrer's Ho'okipa training paid off with a 1st place finish in the Amateur division... Makoto Iwasaki and Miho Tanaka came all the way from Japan to put in impressive results... Robby Naish had some solid time on the water throwing down some signature huge push loops and wave smacks... Photos  AWT Day 1 | Dana Miller Day 1 | Trudy Lary Pre Event & Day 1 | Vinnie Armato Day 1

Friday · Double Elimination · The wind kicked in nicely just as the skippers meeting started at 11 was go time. The action was intense in all divisions with everybody enjoying a second chance to win their way back into title contention.

EXPERT DIVISION: Kai Lenny showed up fresh from his high school graduation to join the double elimination. He battled his way through the bracket winning four heats in a row before being knocked out in the quarter-finals by Graham Ezzy and Josh Stone. Ezzy put on a clinic on Day 2 with his waverides throwing down countless takas but lost out in the semi-finals to Boujmaa Guilloul and Stone in a heat that saw the wind lull at times. Stone was on fire late in the day advancing past Boujmaa to set up a final against Nathan Mershon. Stone and Mershon impressed all despite the setting sun and diminishing winds. They matched forwards and back loops and made the most of the waist to shoulder high sets that came through. When the final didn't really end. Stone won the heat forcing a re-match as Mershon would have to lose twice before giving up the title. The re-match was even better than the first!

Josh Sampiero added: "With judges pushing competi-tors to milk the last bit of dying wind, the double elimination was completed on the second day of competition with the final heat sailing until nearly 9:30 at night. It was an epic battle between Josh Stone and Santa Cruz winner Nathan Mershon, with each sailor matching each other, move for move, as they racked up wave rides in the lessening light. Mershon, who had been standing on the beach all day, lost to Stone in the first final after Josh battled his way up through the double bracket, but was able to reclaim his title to make him the event winner.

Another tight battle went down between Casey Rehrer and McRae Wylde in the Amateur division, with McRae, the double-elimination seeded contestant, beating Rehrer twice to take the title.

For the women, Ingrid Larouche claimed it against Miho Tanaka from Japan, and in the youth, Morgan Noireaux beat Bernd Roediger, and in the masters class, local sailors Dwight Bode lost to Bay Area wavesailor Attila 'The Killa' Tivadar."    Photos  AWT Day 2  

Saturday  · SUP Competition ·  There was a great turn out for the SUP contest (Results) with $1,500 up for grabs thanks to the Inn of the Beachcomber in Gold Beach, OR. It came down to a epic battle between world champ Kai Lenny and Maui ripper Zane Schweitzer with Lenny getting the title in the end. Photos  AWT Day 3 

KDRV-TV of Medford, Oregon ran a Pistol River Wave Bash  report Saturday evening and added this one (PRWB starts at 3:05) to the late night news.

photo by Dana Miller
Sunday · Expression Session ·   The wind, waves and sun were all back for a final day 30-minute expression session with a Chinook carbon boom up for grabs. Riders were going huge with back loops, push loops, doubles and even an air spock attempt on display. After the scores were calculated the winner was Boujmaa Guilloul just ahead of Nathan Mershon and Sean Aiken. The women's winner (who took home an AWT sweatshirt) was Miho Tanaka from Japan!

photo by Dana Miller
Dana Miller added, " was bedlam out there. The crew was throwing down heavily in spite of what were flat conditions, at least by the local standards.  It seemed like Boujmaa was taking it easy too, and that’s understandable considering the beating he took a couple months ago at Hookipa.  The last thing he needs is another concussion.  The dude was still going large though.  As were the rest of the crew for sure.  I’m just glad I didn’t have to judge that as it would have been a tough seemed a bit of a shame to bring so much of the sports most excellent talent together for less than totally radical conditions.  But at least we had wind and great parties.  Maybe next year for the mast high plus on the final day." Photos Dana Miller 

Postcript  Aaron Vieira of the Human Catapult Blog wrote: "I'm probably not alone in looking at the top 10 list for the Pistol River Wave Bash and being somewhat surprised to see Mershon's name on top"...there's a lot of praise to go around. Read  This Facebook photographer, Kathy Lane, took some photos. More photos in The Windsurfer gallery. The Curry Coastal Pilot of Brookings, OR wrote a Day 1 report. This shaky video had a lot of potential.

Windsurfing history was made on June 24, 2011. For the very first time, 2 separate events broadcast live webcasts at the same time: the PWA from Aruba and the Red Bull Rockets from Pozo.

David Troup's, American company,, made a last minute decision to webcast the one day event. Epicsessions had only contracted to provide the data that recorded the participants' jump heights. To be able to do this, a new GPS device was used that now allows the jump heights to be streamed in real time to the judges and the online viewers at the same time. It was cool to watch someone jump and then immediately see how high. If you're wondering, this new technology is headed for other extreme sports and TV, so David hopes.

What became of the Red Bull Rockets event? Dario Ojeda won. John Skye reported: "I have to be honest and say I am totally broken right now. Today was the Red Bull Rockets contest. Conditions were not epic, but the action was still pretty amazing. I managed to get a lucky ramp in the 2nd heat and posted the highest jump of the day with 32ft, which at the time was nearly 10ft higher than anything else. I then lead the whole day and at one point the day was almost cancelled, but then they had one more go and in the final 5 minutes of the last heat of the day, the wind picked up a few extra knots I lost out by 4ft. Pretty gutted as there was a nice healthy cheque to be won and I had already been working out where to spend it! Still congratulations to Dario, who was putting his new RRD boards to good use. The best move category was won by Philip and Ricardo took the best crash." Here's a report from Epic Sessions.

Harry Wiewel videos from the June 18, Dakine Classic Slalom Race, Kanaha Park, Maui:

Defi Wind  Gruissan, 2011 official event video:

Too cool for school  Maybe you've seen this or maybe you know who created it. I found it on The Windsurfer with this quote: " The Wind is my friend, but friendship needs Time"


Sunday, June 19, 2011

Live from Aruba - Katie Crafts & the CGWA - Race Stories - Sunscreen

Live video webcast continues as the PWA World Tour moves to Aruba this Sunday, June 19, for a week of Freestyle and Slalom racing. The freestylers have been warned they will probably be first to compete. Big Shout Out to the PWA -- Thank You for the Live Webcast !!!  (Video Player has been removed)

The Gorge is continental America's most celebrated windsurfing destination; rich in beauty, abundant with wind and strong industry presence, it has all the ingredients windsurfing requires for solid growth. Community is the result of the right ingredients nurtured by the right people. Just like well tended gardens, orginizations will flourish with the right leadership. Let's hear from Katie Crafts, who heads up the Columbia River Windsurfing Association.

Please introduce yourself.

Hi there - My name’s Katie and I’m the executive director of the CGWA  a member-based nonprofit that does things like kids programs, beach clean ups and access, and fun community events. I live in Hood River, Oregon with my dog, Mollie. My parents got me into windsurfing at a very young age; I took to it very slowly and had quite a love/hate relationship with the sport for the first 20 years of my life.  These days, though, it’s all love all the time! 
The Gorge Windfest is set for this coming weekend. Share with us a brief history of the event and what it means to the CGWA. 
CGWA has hosted Windfest for about 10 years now, in some form or another.  It is the first big wind sport event in Hood River each summer, and a fun way to kick off the season.  For CGWA it’s a big fundraising weekend, and we look forward to signing up new members and getting the summer off to a good start.
I enjoy Windfest because it encourages people to try new things and learn something new.  With clinics running nonstop throughout the weekend, Windfest is also a great way to expand your windsurfing skills and knowledge.

Gear makes such a difference in a person’s windsurfing experience, and having the right gear is key.  The demos are a great and cheap way to compare equipment and make sure you’re on gear that’s right for you, and with the manufacturers and shops right there you can make sure the sail is rigged to best suit your body and sailing.

Your website is busy in a good way: new logo, regular news stories, call outs for volunteer projects. What role does the website play in promoting windsurfing and helping the local community; how does Facebook fit in?
We place high value on community engagement at CGWA, and engagement means different things to different people.  Therefore we offer many different ways to get engaged, informed, and involved at whatever level a person wants. 
We value all these different forms of engagement because they provide different benefits to keep us running and thriving: dues-paying members provide money to keep us up and operational, facebook friends provide dialogue to keep us in the loop, email recipients provide an informed reader base to develop an informed community, etc. 
Also, the story of CGWA- what we do and what we have done- is not a 30-second elevator pitch.  It spans two and a half decades, involves numerous community partner organizations and thousands of individuals, and is diverse and complex.  The more short story-type news blurbs/facebook posts/newspaper columns/short videos we can do, the more we can share that story of who we are and what we do. 
How does a windsurfing association add to the sport?
I believe that the biggest impact we can have on the sport is to fill gaps that industry can’t or won’t fill.  For example, our kids program has changed forms over the past few years- at one point it was a weekly instruction-based kids camp.  Now it is a club, where participating families get access to kids gear AND weekly group sails/clinics.  We chose this route because we realized that other businesses already run kids camps, and we were competing with them instead of collaborating with them.

Now we’re nurturing a youth community in the Gorge, which fills a unique need that most businesses are not fulfilling in the same way- it’s hard for businesses to put a price on “community”.  Whenever we can collaborate with the industry or regional entities (like State Parks) to fill a gap in service, those are the areas where we thrive the most and have the biggest impact on the sport.
Another benefit we provide is unbiased representation of the local windsurfing community during decisions by State Parks, Port Authorities, and other such entities.  We truly have no personal gain (other than more fun on the water!), so we can and do act purely in the interest of the windsurfing community. 

 Something new on FB is the The Gorge Groms page. Bring us up to date with this group. 
Gorge Groms is a kids windsurfing club that we started last year and it was very well received by parents and kids alike.  For a $100 season pass, families get unlimited access to our kids windsurfing gear, as well as weekly group sails and clinics throughout the summer. 
Our Facebook page is new, and we hope it serves as a discussion board for kids and parents to connect.  We heard from a lot of parents who want to talk to other parents to exchange instruction tips, gear swaps, etc., and we want the kids to have an opportunity to talk amongst themselves to nurture a youth windsurfing community in the Gorge. 

How do kiting and windsurfing get along?  Do they work together on an organizational level?
The Gorge has both a CGWA and a CGKA (Columbia Gorge Kiteboarding Association).  We work together whenever possible to keep our communities informed, and to represent our sport interests to “the powers that be.”
Both our sport’s communities share very similar interests in the Gorge: more beaches, better beach maintenance, clear safety signage, engaged community members, etc.  It’s easy to overlook these similarities and fall into the “us vs. them” mindset, but at an organizational level we try to both represent our members (windsurfers) while also doing what’s best for the greater wind sport community in the Gorge. 
I often look to skiing and snowboarding and think back to the early days when snowboarding wasn’t even allowed at many resorts; these days they get along (almost) seamlessly.  I think it’s the responsibility of the associations to set a good example of mutual understanding and respect between the sports.   
Funniest moment as Executive Director of the CGWA?
Goofy times at King of the Hook, definitely.  This annual event (inside the Hook, costumes very strongly encouraged) is a great family and spectator friendly event.  We’ve seen tandem sailing while standing on shoulders, clowns, super heroes, etc.
It’s a funny, not-serious “competition” where everyone’s a winner, and our sponsors donate lots of swag for everyone- gift certificates to Mike’s Ice Cream, Sailworks kids rig, Naish and Dakine bling- it’s great that the local industry gets behind the kids windsurfing scene here.  I love it, and roll over laughing at each event.        
What's it like to be a local in the Gorge? How long is your windsurf season? 
The Gorge is great!  I love the spirit of entrepreneurialism that has so taken to this area.  The people here value active lifestyles, and have jobs that support and fit into their lifestyles.  The only thing I would change is make the season 12 months instead of 6. I usually windsurf from about May through October.  I’d like to do more sun-chasing trips throughout the winter, so we’ll see what opportunities I can grab onto this winter!

Katie's dog Mollie
 How much time do you get to windsurf in an average week?
Depends on the wind and what’s going on at work, but I try to get at least a short session in almost every windy day.  Gotta keep the stoke alive to stay effective and motivated at my job!  
What are your favorite non windsurfing activities?
Playing with my dog, biking, wakeboarding, tending to my (often neglected) veggie garden, playing Frisbee, letting my body rest up for the next set of windy days. 
Music that moves you? 
These days I’m going through a Brazilian Girls and Eminem phase… odd, yes, but totally pumps me up for sailing!  

Race Stories  Waterhound's David Wells reporting from San Francisco Bay on the Ronstan Bay Challenge - Long Distance Race: "While the excitement was rocking at the top of the fleet a story was brewing just behind. In an absolutely stunning performance Junior Women's sailor and Sailworks Team Rider Marion Lepert (pictured at left) not only braved the big winds and nasty waters, she chewed them up. Lepert posted a 1 hr 37 minute time that bested some exceptional Kiteboarders and windsurfers who have run this race countless times. Marion's 12th place finish is quite simply the "sail of the year" so far in San Francisco Bay." More

photo by James Douglass
Long Island, NY from the East Coast Windsurfing Festival, Michael Alex of the Peconic Puffin wrote: "Then there was the Open class, twelve guys with big sails and race boards.   As the kids say: OMG.  Pro sailors are pro sailors for a reason; champions even more so.   It was great that Josh Angulo was so warm and friendly and outgoing on the beach, because on the race course, he finished the first heat before most of the competitors were half way around the course.  It gets worse:  Judge Mike Burns says Angulo wasn’t really gunning it in that heat.  “C’mon, Josh,” Mike told him, “show these people what you’ve got!” So in heat #2 Josh blazed...nothing but fin in the water.  He crossed the finish line so early that Judge Burns shouted out “Hey Josh:  go around the course again!” And so in a single race Josh Angulo finished First and...wait for it...Fourth.  "And he missed 3rd by a board length!" Mike Burns says.  Against 11 other sailors."

Jeff Henderson, Hot Sails Maui designer and wave sailing afficionado, decided it was time to get out on the race course. The Maui Race Series, in its 27th consecutive season, was the obvious choice. Jeff said, "It was pretty insane, and very intimidating. I knew I had fast sails and a fast board but I had NO IDEA how to sail them! The previous 2 weeks had been 30-40 knots every day and I had not been able to train...The first race I was middle of the fleet and I just blew up. I had no way to control the huge iSonic 97, I could not see anything from the spray, and I simply was not used to going that fast. In fact both big falls that I had during the races were both going in a straight line midway between the buoys! Completely and wholly my simple lack of control and knowledge of how to sail this stuff."It got worse. More

Rory Ramsden reports from Weymouth, Enland: "The breeze was up, 20-25 knots in fact, and the RS:X silver fleet at the Skandia Sail for Gold Regatta were deep into Race 8. Three silverados were negotiating the first slalom mark in quick succession. First to gybe was Luke Baillie (AUS) in 6th. He blew it. Second, Jamie Ingram (GBR) in 7th, he nailed it. The perfectly executed planing gybe saw him exiting the turn at full speed.
Luke was in the water... On the racing line... There was no time to think. No time to take avoiding action. Jamie flew on. Struck Luke a glancing blow on the right temple. His head whipped over. He was out cold... Face down in the water...Just behind in 8th Marcantonio Baglione (ITA) was in hot persuit. He heard Jamie shouting... HELP, HELP... In a split second, Marco had bailed out. Leaving his board on a full plane, he dived in to help Jamie save Luke. They grabbed him and swam him to the nearest board. By this time Luke had regained consciousness and was soon on a safety boat on the way to shore." More

Peter Volwater writes: "Until the 2011 PWA Costa Brava came along with the biggest wind forecast ever seen for an event at this venue. All the slack we have been giving the event over the years, even nicknaming it 'costa nada', finally must have been ENOUGH! before the wind came down with vengeance and furious anger...The next day we woke up to a howling Tramontana, the beast is unleashed. I see Ross Williams the first one out to test the conditions on a 5.7 truly and well overpowered. This is serious stuff!! 5.5 and 85 liter are getting prepared and 2 rounds are sailed in conditions that will go into history as some of the windiest racing ever.  Just finishing the heat without crashing means you most likely land in the finals; like riding the bull and try not to get thrown off, but in the heaviest gust its almost impossible to gybe. Some heats were worse then other, how come I keep on being in the windy heats?? Just keeping the rig upright is my goal and I sail into a 9th and a 5th place this day." More

Gorge Cup 2011 Race 1 was cancelled. The first meeting of the series was this June 11,12. Timothy Farell hadn't been in a serious race since 1979. He did pretty well in his comeback event. After the racing was finished on Sunday, he reported "...the sailors were treated to cold beer while we de-rigged. While I was doing so, I saw a sail with a US 3 sticker on it. I approached the sunglass wearing hooded owner to say that I had bought a former professional’s sail and that I had a good way to take the numbers off without damaging the sail. The owner, former resident and PWA world champion racer and wave sailor named Kevin Pritchard, was very polite and said he thought he would keep them on as he was headed down the Oregon Coast for an event in Pistol River called the Wave Bash. He had to register on Wednesday evening at the Curry County Fairgrounds. I wished him the best of luck. He seemed like a nice young man." More

Jeff Bennett of Maui Windsurfing did a brilliant job recording the slalom action at the first of five scheduled races that make up the Maui Race Series. Jeff's full meal video deal features 8 videos totaling 40+ minutes.

The Dakine Classic, the second race in the series, was held this Saturday, June 18; the first video of this race from Maui Windsurfing.

Sunscreen  Is it important? I think so, at least for me. My red hair (well now it's grey) and freckled skin, types me as sensitive to sunlight. Did that ever sway me growing up? Unfortunately, no. I barbequed and abused my exterior unafraid of the unrelenting sun. Stupid me. Now I goop on my latest choice for sunscreen which reminds me of Kabuki make up; cover my upper torso with O'Neill's lycra spf 50 longsleeve shirt; wear a custom head band for forehead and ears, mid-calf climbing pants and sunglasses. Kookie enough?

PBS introduced the the new FDA rules for sunscreen: "After more than three decades, the FDA announced a series of changes in what consumers will see on all sunscreen labels by the summer of 2012. Among the changes makers of sunscreen lotion will have to clarify whether their product protects against what's known as UVA radiation, as well as UVB radiation, which was already the case. If it doesn't protect against both, the manufacturer cannot say it protects against skin cancer or early skin aging..." The interview.

The Environmental Working Group website offers an excellent in depth look at sunscreen products that busts myths, educates and allows you to check how your own sunscreen rates. Skin Deep 

Sunday, June 12, 2011

PWA live webcast from Bonaire - AWT Pistol River on Thursday

Live webcast from Bonaire started this Sunday and will continue through Thursday with commentary by Ben Proffitt and Andy Chambers. Live webcast will start again on Aruba, June 19. Bonaire has the same time (currently) as the U.S.eastern seaboard. Event information, written description of the heats, results, still photos and live video player, all on the PWA website. Many, many live replays on the PWA website. Even more videos of the PWA action from Bonaire on the Kuma Blog You Tube Channel.

Robby Naish is all you really need to say to promote the Pistol River Wave Bash. Last year he sailed; this year, will he compete? Robby headlines the A List of names, names, names. The second stop of the 2011 AWT will  pump it up some more for American windsurfing. If you're not able to attend, follow da action on DaNews. Some photos from last year.

Pistol River Oregon Wave Bash - June 2010 - Images by Roy Ivankoe

Hopefully, you'll find the Danamobile at the AWT  Pistol River Wave Bash and you can read it yourself. But in case you don't make it to the Oregon coast, the next best thing is to read what Dana Miller has been writing on his weibsite, Boardhead.

Photo by Olaf Mitchell

"WATERMANS®: APPLIED SCIENCE stands committed to providing quality sun protection products to those individuals for whom life in the shade is not an option.  We offer the best, most effective and functional, high-performance sunscreens on the market, specifically designed for high-intensity water and endurance athletes.  Our sunscreen is formulated to stand up to the rigorous demands of an active life in the sun, wind and water. Our goal: to ensure a day in the sun doesn’t mean a lifetime of dealing with the consequences." You can find all their products on the website.

Zane Schweitzer made the Waterman's Crew 'cause of his paddling prowess. We also know him as a windsurfer. Catch up with Zane in this Katie Crafts interview.

Our sport's iconic race is the Defi Wind Gruissan and yes, it's in France. The optics of this event are always quite spectacular. No matter where the lens is pointed the image is either the biggest or most ever, you fill in the rest: racers on a start line, racers on a course, racers on a beach. Canadian Carl Spiess reported, "I did meet New York Times photographer George Steinmetz who had flown in to do a photo essay of the Defi windsurfing tribe. I think the action from last year's sunny and very windy event may make for better images, but there is no masking the passion the tribe here has for our sport. I'm very much looking forward to seeing his pictures."  Carl reported on his time at the Defi Wind to Windsport, but, if you want, you can read it all on his blog: A Year (Windsurfing) en Provence. For more photos visit Le Defi.

Maui Ultra Fins' new concept fin, the Delta Wing, was introduced via press release this April 2011. So far so good. Keith Misch tested a 14 cm. Delta Wing on a 85 liter, JP FSW. He wrote, "The new Delta fin is a radical departure from traditional swept back wave fins…so I had no idea what to expect. And, truth be told, was somewhat skeptical. But, I was in for a surprise. The handling was superb­––the board felt so free and loose in challenging chop to logo size waves.  Though a single fin set up, the board’s turniness had a feeling of a twinser and perhaps even a quad. Getting vertical on the wave face was no problem…as simply sheeting in and applying some foot pressure brought the board to a new direction effortlessly. And, the feeling of snappiness was quite enjoyable. In gybes, the fin is also a high performer. I could pressure the rail quite firmly and the board/fin spun a tight radius, whilst keeping plenty of speed. In fact, planning through the gybe was the rule, not the exception. I think perhaps having reduced drag due to this shortened depth, the board speed remains high and also lightens the feel. Getting upwind was also no problem. In sum, extremely happy with this fin...would make it my standard fin without hesitation."

Maui Ultra Fins reports they have tested the Delta fin for Wave (Single, Quad), Freeride and Slalom with good results.  R & D continues with their focus now on how the fin performs for freestyle and speed. They expect to put the Delta into production sometime in the last quarter of this year.

Sunday, June 5, 2011

The PWA World Tour returns to Bonaire & Aruba

Update | June 6: PWA Tour Director, Rich Page, confirms live video webcasts at both events. 

As of this writing, the PWA has scheduled a record 13 events for 2011. It's been 6 years since the PWA brought the World Tour to Bonaire. Like Maui, the inspirational home of wave sailing, Bonaire has become the inspirational home of freestyle. Windsurfing's hip hop ballet on steroids  has exploded with development since the first time the PWA came to Bonaire in 2002. Some, I hear, don't understand it, but man, just watch the action, 'cause freestyle commands your attention.

It must be exciting on Bonaire as they prepare for the tour's return. At the rental spots on Lac Bay, Jibe City and The Windsurf Place, you will find a webcam sponsored by Breathe Bonaire. Clustered with  Bonaire's 2 rental shops is the Event Site where the competition will run from June 12 - 16. For more info on the Caribbean, Bonaire and Aruba check out the Leaners guide, Community: Caribbean: Southern Islands.

Since 2002 when Matt Pritchard and Karen Jaggi won the Freestyle World Championships judging has changed. PWA Freestyle competition is now run using a Best Move format. In the new format, competitors perform a maximum number of moves and the judges score only the best moves. For example, the Race Director may specify a maximum of 12 moves in the heat, of which the best 8 will count. This gives the competitors more time to perform their moves and  helps the judges to focus more accurately on each rider. 35 men and 8 women are preregistered with prize money set at €30,000 for the men and €15,000 for the women.

Congratulations Bonaire; let the celebration begin !!! I've heard the much heralded, and seemingly forever in the making, Children of the Wind will be using footage from the 2011 event to complete their project. And thank goodness for Kuma Blog, who never turns off the camera; let them show you Bonaire with their recent videos at the end of this text.

Only 86 miles away, the second PWA Caribbean stop, is a slalom and freestyle event in Aruba which starts 3 days later and runs for a week from June 19 - 26. There are 54 men and 17 women preregistered for slalom with prize money set at €30,000 for the men and €15,000 for the women. There are  40 men and 8 women preregistered for freestyle with prize money set at €30,000 for the men and €15,000  for the women.

Background: "In 1988, the PWA (then PBA) joined with the Aruba Hi-Winds Pro-Am, then in its second year. Windsurfing legends like Robby Naish, Anders Bringdal, Pascal Maka, Nevin Sayre and Bjorn Dunkerbeck came to the island to compete. In the early nineties, one of the most grueling events of the entire PWA tour was held on Aruba: the legendary Round-the-Island Race, a long distance race of around 70 miles, which was won twice, in under five hours, by Bjorn Dunkerbeck.

Government sponsorship dried up in the mid-nineties but the Aruba Hi-Winds survived as an amateur event; it was held at the Fishermen’s Huts and welcomed several new additions to its menu: Super-Kids races, Freestyle (‘King of the Huts’) and Kitesurfing at Boca Grandi. Local talents and those from its sister- islands honed their talents and participated in the Aruba Hi-Winds. Taty, Tonky, Björn and Kiri from Bonaire became ‘King-of-the-Huts’ and went on to reach PWA World Tour top rankings, as did Aruba’s own Sarah-Quita, who has captured the title, Freestyle World Champion for the past three years."