Monday, August 8, 2011

Cactus Cup Rewind · New Mags · American Slalom

AWT · Cactus Cup Rewind ·  We almost didn’t make it across the border. The sixteen-foot box truck, loaded with windsurfing gear for more than twenty people, unfortunately had the words “Penske Commercial” on it - and apparently, the Border Patrol didn’t like the word “commercial”. No amount of hand gesturing and broken Spanish could resolve the issue, and we were turned back around through US Customs (who was fortunately much more understanding, and didn’t leave us in no-man’s-land limbo for too long.) A few miles down the road to the cargo border crossing, where we were waved through with a smile and a wink, and the road down begun. Non-stop to Ensenada, then Walmart, hielo cristalizino, and our favorite, Tacos el Poblano. Then more of Baja-1, until one last tacos ‘n beer pit stop in El Rosario, before we hit the dirt road at about 6 PM...wrote WINDSURFING editor Josh Sampiero. Sampiero Day 1

Viewing hint: play both of the videos at the same time but mute one of the soundtracks. I like the Jay Watermeyer (2nd video) soundtrack the best...

Tanya Saleh reported: If you've never been to San Carlos before then you need to try and imagine rolling out of your tent facing the water every day. There is no phone signal, but there are amazing conditions, good company, and therefore there is such a laid back, chilled out vibe in camp.With 6 potential days of competition ahead of us it was suggested that we would likely run a series of single eliminations until 2 discards are allowed (assuming conditions permit). The small sized fleet of 30 competitors would allow for a super relaxed event with the main stage being down at the point break... Tanya Saleh Day 1

Kevin Pritchard wins first Single Elimination · The AWT caravan survived three separate border crossings, the ride down and two glorious taco stands to arrive at Solo Sports to 20-25 knot winds and clean head high waves. Head judge Matt Pritchard announced that we’d be running up to seven single eliminations for this contest with one throw-out after four rounds and two if seven are completed. Day one of competition couldn’t have been any better and here are the results and some photos to prove it by Clark Merritt! - Windsport editor Pete Dekay. AWT Day 1

Mershon wins Day 2 at AWT San Carlos · The second single elimination delivered at the AWT San Carlos Cactus Cup hosted by SoloSports Adventure Holidays. The wind kicked in to a solid 25-knots and waves picked up slightly with more logo-high sets running through compared to the previous day. The contest area is set perfectly allowing riders to pick up set waves at the point and ride them for four to five hits before connecting down to the Chili Bowl for some sick aerials. Now on to the action…

Heats of the Day: We couldn’t pick just one as the Final and Super Final both delivered. The Final had Keith Teboul, Matt Pritchard, Nathan Mershon and Russ Faurot battling it out with the top two advancing. The action was intense with Faurot delivering his best lip smacking performance so far in the comp to finish in 3rd just ahead of Matt Pritchard. Teboul and Mershon advanced to the Super Final, which was an incredible way to end Day 2. The heat started with both sailors picking off mast-high waves off the point. They both destroyed it riding all the way down to the Chili Bowl but the consensus among onlookers was that Mershon took the lead. Both exchanged numerous decent waves over the next 12 minutes until the final minute of the 14-minute heat when once again both riders picked up another mast-high set. Teboul was slashing his roundhouse cutbacks and throwing massive aerials but Mershon matched him hit for hit. According to the judges it was incredibly close with Mershon taking the final in the end. AWT Day 2

Saleh added: Another successful day and another round complete. The swell ranged from knee high to logo high depending on whether you were lucky enough to score a set wave in your heat. The family style competition vibe continued with competitors and spectators cheering each other on from the point when not in the water...In the women's I managed to take the win with Miho in 2nd, Sam in 3rd, and Catherine in 4th. I have to say that this is the most fun contest I have ever been a part of. The conditions are so enjoyable that sailing in your heat is awesome since you get to sail the point with just 4 of you there for 15 minutes. It's just like cruising around with your friends having a good time. Tanya Saleh Day 2

Day 3 - Kumbaya meets Fellini, a most Bizarre Expression Session ·  Saleh explained: Glassy conditions led to extended surf sessions this morning both down at the point and at the main beach break. Unfortunately the high spring tides meant that by the time the wind kicked in, the swell wasn't playing ball. Although some waist to head high sets rolled in they were very few and far between. After lunch it was full on 4.5 weather and the judges called a pro - am event. What is this I hear you say? (Since I wondered exactly the same thing). It's a team event in pairs where each Amateur picks out the name of a Pro man to team up with. There are 10 minute heats and you are ONLY scored on overall impression. Tanyah Saleh Day 3

Russ Faurot continues: Just to kick it up a notch, there was an optional event pairing up the PROs & AMs with a twist, encouraging the Contestants to be as flamboyant as possible.Everyone took it in stride with a staunch few opting for the straight man role. AWT Day 3

Graham Ezzy’s Goiters dominate Day 4 · Saleh sets up the day: Still having an absolute blast down here at San Carlos. The internet is very limited so will have to upload more pics when I get back...We awoke to slightly larger swell again, but the fast increasing large high tides once again meant that the point waves did not exist. Therefore it was decided to hold round 3 at the beach break by the solo sports camp. Solid head high and larger sets were coming through so everyone geared up for the 12 minute, 2 waves to count heats. Tanyah Saleh Day 4

Russ Faurot continues: The venue changed for the Cactus Cup’s fourth day with the competition taking place directly in front of the Solo Sports camp. Graham Ezzy put on a show with his one-handed Goiters and Takas. It was another windy day with plenty of logo-high sets rolling through from the Bombora towards the point. AWT Day 4

Morgan Noireaux dominates Day 5 · Young ripper Morgan Noireaux got on a roll in the 4th single elimination taking down all the older pros. As the light was fading in the evening he was forced to sail three heats back-to-back (2 pro finals and a youth heat) and won them all. In Noireaux’s final heat against Graham Ezzy he landed a perfect Taka to help claim victory. Let’s see what day 6 brings now that each single elimination has been won by a different competitor and everyone gets to throw out their weakest result (after the 4th round). AWT Day 5

Graham Ezzy wins the Cactus Cup · The wind cranked up to a strength whereby everyone was overpowered regardless of sail size. The waves were inconsistent thanks to the extraordinarily high tide, and also very choppy when they did come through...Tanyah Saleh Last Day

With four single eliminations in the bag it was decided that contest conditions were not quite up to par to run a fifth giving Graham Ezzy the title. There was still wind and waves on the final day but unless you brought your 3.7 and were prepared to wait for the proper set to arrive it just wasn’t fair for everyone. It was a great call by head judge Matt Pritchard. So instead Pritchard send heats out for an Expression Session to battle for a Chinook Carbon boom. The competition was intense and the Expert final saw Kevin Pritchard, Graham Ezzy, Nathan Mershon, Russ Faurot and Royn Bartholdi all head out to the far side of the island to throw their biggest jumps. In a surprise finish Faurot dominated the heat landing countless Back Loops, Push Loops and a huge Stalled Forward. Yossi Salomon took the Amateur title and Miho took the women’s crown with impressive loops in the tough conditions... AWT Day 6

Photos for each day are are found on the AWT day links.  More here  AWT Photos | Solo Sports | More AWT Photos

More · Funny report from Chris "Muzza" Murray. Cactus Cup winner, Graham Ezzy tells his story in 3 parts: part 1/3  part 2/3   The Fabrice Beaux report is here.

New Mags · Dave Dominy, owner of Streamlined USA (universals, extensions, booms, boom heads, masts) along with Tom Servais, formally with Surfer Magazine as Photo Editor, are about to launch their new print magazine project in September 2011. Dave promises a fresh look at all ocean water sports including Surfing, Windsurfing, Kiting, SUP and associated hybrids. In addition they will feature the world's watermen. The premiere issue will feature Punta San Carlos as a "must visit" destination.  Liquid Edge.

Windsurfing Magazine has just published 2 new digital issues, which are found on their website. One issue focuses on sailing SUPs and the other is a Beginner's Guide to windsurfing. Josh Sampiero writes: Welcome to WINDSURFING's, a digital magazine that comes to life on your desktop computer, smartphone, or touch-screen tablet. Windsurfing: Digital Issues

American Slalom Racing probably had its biggest day this year on July 30. On Maui, they concluded the 27th running of the Maui Race Series with the 5th and last event, the Neil Pryde Hawaii State Championship. 46 competitors participated. Hours earlier, on the same day in Hood River, the penultimate event of the Gorge Cup, The Gorge Challenge, was about to begin the first of 2 days of racing. 36 participants competed.

Karen Bennett connects you to the reporting from the 2011 Hawaii State Championship here. Gorge Cup reporting is here.

What do these 2 locales have in common? Well, they're both consistently windy. Conventional thinking says you need good strong wind for slalom racing? I'm sure gear choices for these 2 fleets reflect their local conditions. I bet either of these fleets would have a hard time running their race series if the average wind dropped to 10 knots, but on the PWA they slalom race in winds as light as 7 knots. Formula racing, the class invented to make it possible to have planing races in the lightest of wind, has the same basic wind minimum.

In an email from Ron Kern, he reported participant numbers for racing events here in Florida are good. The Banana River Resort Event in March garnered top numbers with 47 participants. He also said there are two bids in at US Windsurfing for the 2012 US Nationals, with locations at the Gorge and Winthrop Bay in Boston. If you have any thoughts about the Nationals or racing in general, send some feedback to Ron.

Alex Morales is organizing the 2011 North American IFCA Slalom Championship set for this October 18 -23 in Miami.

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