Monday, September 26, 2011

Nurturing the Sport · PWA Live · Radar · Video Replay

Nurturing the Sport ·

USWA · U.S. Windsurfing Association, founded in 1980 (originally started as U.S. Boardsailing), is here to encourage participation and promote excellence and enjoyment in recreational windsurfing and racing in the United States. Association President, Karen Marriott, reports membership has almost doubled from just a few years back: 600+ members today. Learn more here. What does our volunteer President Karen do? One thing, she answers the toll free phone about a dozen times a week: foreigners traveling to the U.S. looking for rentals, lessons and good places to sail; retailers looking for demographics (how many boards sold in the U.S.) and access issues. Surprisingly, loss of launch access is something that they regularly work on. They don't have a legal team but do get assistance from windsurfing lawyers. They lend help to those fighting municipalities by putting the legitimacy of a national organization on the side of locals wanting to gain or regain water launch access. Letterheads do matter. Sometimes it's just cross referencing what worked in one area with similar issues in another. In our litigious world, using public parks and having involvement with the public requires some level of liability protection. This is one place where membership dues get used: insurance for events.

Karen Marriott
Youth programs in the U.S. continue to grow at a measured pace. Translation: no large single Techno 293 Fleets of 20+ juniors in any one locale yet. I've noticed that reporting has dropped off for juniors and their events, but maybe those directly working in the youth programs are spending all their time on the water teaching and helping. Honestly, racing in general seems to be under some pressure when you look at the total number of participants at events, year to year. There is currently an effort underway to review (revive) the National Tour. Is USWA a racing organization? Karen said it has become one over the years but it shouldn't be just about racing. Is windsurfing slowing or growing? She said feedback from instructors across the country indicates we are growing. More people are learning and business for instruction is good.

Gonzalo Crivello
It's been 15 + years since there was intercollegiate windsurf racing. Some will argue that the future success of windsurfing rests with reaching the college demographic. A new event is set for this fall. The official title of the event is: Intercollegiate Sailing Association Windsurfing Fall Invitational Windsurfing Regatta - Kona Division - Promotional Regatta. The event is set for November 5 - 6, University of South Florida in Tampa, Florida. The driving force behind the regatta is USF Sailing Coach, Gonzalo Crivello. Gonzalo has recently fallen in love with windsurfing and wants to share the sport with college students. North Beach Windsurfing owner, Britt Viehman, has offered a helping hand along with Steve and Marty Gottlieb of Sandy Point Progressive Sports.

Windsurfing returned this September to the Orlando, FL Surf Expo. Surf Expo is a strictly wholesale trade show of water sports merchandise connecting retailers, mostly from the western hemisphere, with manufacturers and distributors. All of us regular Joes and Josephines are not invited. This used to be the hot spot for our first look at new windsurfing gear. And in years past the mags did some serious reporting introducing the new stuff. After all, the only thing better than windsurfing is looking at windsurfing gear. This year I've only seen one video. I didn't go, but the reports all agree: windsurfing's presence is dialed back from previous years (last year they held a separate wholesale show for retailers in Hood River). SUP is the bright light of the water sports industry. Even kite companies are making SUP gear. Has kiting hit a plateau? Some said yes. Even if that's true, they still did a massive job with video reports.

AWSI (Association of Wind and Water Sports Industries)  is a trade organization that helps the wind industry with various business issues and organizes an annual trade show. This year they.partnered with Surf Expo to host the annual trade show event for most of the manufacturers, distributors, and retailers in the Windsurf, Kiteboard, and SUP industries.

St. Francis Yacht Club
Jim DeSilva of Liquid Water Sports in south Florida sent out an impassioned group email asking us all "If you want to grow the sport, help get windsurfing started at Yacht Clubs, where kids can sail every day, where sailing is what they do, where they have facilities and infrastructure, and they have new talent coming through every year. Why are the Euros so far ahead of us? They have windsurfing at their clubs, that’s why...If you care about the sport, help it grow at YOUR local club—this works, just like it has for Lasers, Sunfish, 420’s, Collegiate Champions (all came from clubs), World Champions (all from clubs) in every sailing class, and Americas Cup Champions (all from Clubs)! This works, why does windsurfing always want to run from the obvious answer and go to the beach by themselves?" Here's some more on the same topic from Britt Viehman: Broadening the youth scope to include windsurfing

From my regular reading of Scuttlebutt I've learned that the yachties are also concerned about declining interest from the younger generation for the ye ole ancient art of sailing.

WINDSURFING editor Josh Sampiero has put together a very cool plan for a National project for the summer of 2012, complete with promotional ads and a plan for execution. Here's his introduction for the L2W 2012 Project – National Learn To Windsurf Day. "I’ve proposed we very shortly pick a date in the summer of 2012 to promote a National Learn To Windsurf Day, in which every shop, school, windsurfing club, and yacht club in the country conducts free windsurfing lessons. It’s something many of the shops, schools, and clubs do anyways – but with a national, cohesive effort, I think it could be much more effective in inspiring current windsurfers to take part, promote, and participate in the effort.

Brands could sponsor for exposure (small investments) and the magazines could sponsor pages for promotion of the event that lists participating shops. (Since we’ll be marketing in the magazines to current windsurfers, perhaps the pitch there is Teach a Friend to Windsurf Day."

PWA is live from Sylt, Germany: Sept 22 - Oct 2: an all discipline tour ending extravaganza. The video player below will automatically turn on when there is a live broadcast. Apologies if this blows your cover at work.

Radar ·  The long running and now 26th Calema Midwinters will return March 1 - 4, 2012  ·  Tatiana sails, new sponsors, new website   ·  Water Sports Swap Meet...Miami, Rickenbacker Cswy...Oct. 22, 10 am - 1 pm   ·  Clip Harness Line on Facebook  ·  Lord Dunkerbeck found Facebook  ·  Katie Crafts has stepped down as Executive Director of the CGWA  ·  PWA may return to Maui in 2012  ·  Andy McKinney reports Wind-NC is back in action  ·  RS:X updates from the recent AGM  ·  Trudy Lary wants you to vote for her Tyson Poor photo  ·  Lord of the Wind 2012 set for January 12 - 16 in southern Baja is offering $20,000 in prize money: Details

Video Replay is a selection, IMHO, of the best videos from last week's DaNews. (Sept 19 - 25 = 15 videos).

There are 2 very good event summary videos from KIA @coldhawaii. I like this one from Robby Swift and Heidy Clawson:

The Reunion Island Wave Classic ran Aug 25 - Sept 5:

El Faro, Pacasmayo, Peru:

These guys are doing something really important and introducing windsurfing to a new audience.

Light wind day at Waddell Creek:

11 year old Loick Lesauvage kicking ass:

Nicolas Dudet in Lobitos, Peru. August 2011:

Sunday, September 18, 2011

PWA Kia @coldhawaii · Radar · Windsurfer · Best Videos

PWA Kia @coldhawaii was a huge success. Say what? Didn't have a chance to catch any of the live webcast? It was 17 year old Philip Koster's victory against the 2010 World Champion, Victor Fernandez, in the Double Elimination that secured him the 2011 PWA World Wave Title. Koster kept charging, taking out Ricardo Campello twice, thus winning this event and chalking up, so far, a perfect three for three season. The 4 heats in his run to the top were an impressive display of skill, talent and confidence under pressure. Listening to the steady stream of praise and respect for his technical skills from the 2 announcers was telling. His peers were flat out in awe of what he was doing to the competition.

Organizers had proclaimed that Kia @coldhawaii, second to last stop of this year's Word Tour, would be "the most live and interactive event on the circuit." Live video streaming would be a big part of fulfilling the promise. Local Danish company Streamfactory, who had done the work last year of getting the broadcast to the internet, was chosen again. From my end here in Florida, the show was brilliant. Even though the promised 4 camera broadcast which would have allowed slow motion replay didn't pan out, the resolution and feed rate all measured up to great video quality.

Another good production choice was using Internet platform provider Bambuser. The PWA uses Livestream for their webcasts which unfortunately has no volume control. Surprise, surprise when you arrive at any page with a Livestream player. Be careful if you sneak a peek at the office. The Bambuser player gives you on/off volume control. Another very cool feature: It stores all the previously recorded broadcasts. Watch the prerecorded or if the broadcast live button is active, select it and go real time.

The glue that held the video work together was the great commentary from Robby Swift and Ben Proffitt. The mix of these two personalities worked especially well. The extensive in depth chatter about the riders, their gear, conditions and technique was well appreciated. It has really been rare for us on the other side of the microphone to hear this kind of banter and benign gossip. If you're a windsurfing junkie, the commentary was especially savory. All the interviews and ever changing guests added even more to an already outstanding job of reporting.

I learned from the webcast that 180 volunteers had contributed time and effort to help this event operate and come together. The sponsor list further showed how so many had contributed to the financial needs for a successful contest. The crown jewel of all this work was the Internet sized jumbotron on their Live Media Mashup Page. They used a larger than normal player for the live video feed, individual judging scores at the top, the official Kia Cold Hawaii Facebook update stream, a live FB chat stream that interacts with the commentators, multiple tweeter feeds and at the bottom, the podcast library. The homepage was no less impressive. Remember, the PWA was also reporting with their trademark Live Ticker, written play by play, daily summaries, elimination ladders and the always incredible photos by John Carter. In fact, it wasn't until I saw his photos that I realized how insane the conditions really were.

One unexpected cause for delay throughout the contest was the jetski not working. The jetski was the on water ambulance ready to swoop in and rescue a hurt or disabled competitor. And wouldn't you know it, just one hour into the competition, Danish local Lars Petersen (from the video Winner to Wave Sailor) went missing in  his first heat. He got separated from his gear  and couldn’t catch up with it before it was swept away. The judges dispatched the jetski and rescued Lars but not his gear.

Tuesday's double elimination brought a first ever for the PWA: the judges score sheets were made available online quickly after each heat.

The Day 3 Podcast # 10 shows some of Philip's winning style. Sexy Pictures shot and produced all the podcasts: view their library here:

The Stream Factory/Bambuser video player with all the recorded live webcast is below. Here's some help in finding your way through the hours and hours of video.

· Day 1: Early rounds of of the single elimination.
· Day 2: Single elimination completed and the start of the double elimination.
· Day 3: Double elimination completed.
· Day 4: Super Session sponsored by Surf Magazine.
· Day 5: SUP competition. Interview by Proffitt and Swift with John Carter, Andre Paskowski and the team from Sexy Pictures.
· Day 6: Interview by Swift with Mussolini, Fernandez, Browne and Seadi  about Koster and being a pro windsurfer.
· Day 7: A first ever look at how Judges score a heat. Head Judge Duncan Coombs and Robby Swift dissect and analyze the Super Final with slow motion replay. Must see !!!

Radar ·  For the first time in many years, an intercollegiate windsurfing event, a one design Kona Regatta, is set to run Nov 4 - 6 in St. Pete, FL. If you can help they need gear  ·  U.S. Windsurfing will hold their 2012 National Championship in Hood River  ·  Bernd Roediger leaves sponsor Naish in search of  new directions  ·  PWA is planning for the 2012 season: first up early in the year may be Cabo Verde  · Graham Ezzy Foto Fridays: 9/16  9/9  9/2  ·  Florida Wave Challenge may be the only East Coast Wave Contest this year...Dates have been set for their contest window  ·  Windsport's Surf Expo, most innovative product: watch  ·  AWT Maui Makani Classic is filling up fast...30 spots left as of Sept. 13: register now

Brian McDowell's latest issue of Windsurfer International. Just click the photo below:

Video Replay is a selection, IMHO, of the best videos from last week's DaNews. (Sept 12 - 18 = 14+ videos). Also this week, the PWA live webcast added many hours of video content.

The first video via Solo Sports: "Fresh from the AWT CACTUS CUP Pro sailor Kevin McGillivray AKA KMAC or K-SMACK or K-Potle & friends take on a macker of a southern hemi, nicknamed GODZILLA, in early September. All that remains are a few broken masts, a spent box of band-aids and this chronicle:"

Jeff Bennett wrote: "first north swell of the new windsurfing north shore wave season at Hookipa, Maui."

Super Session Podcast from the 4th day of the PWA Wave Event at Klittmoller, Denmark.

Would you go this far? Desperate for a sesh...

Brazilian Marcillio Browne aka Brawzinho. Is a world wave title in his future?

Need some inspiration? Wave sailing Julien Flechet proves windsurfing is so easy, a child can do it !!

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Hurricanes · Radar · Legends · Best Videos · PWA Live

Live track of Maria updating every 6 hrs.
Hurricanes are usually a big pain in the ass. High season for tropical storms in the southern U.S. is August - September when wind sport junkies are desperate for a good sesh. Sometimes you can score an epic session if the storm is the perfect distance away, meaning 200 to 400 miles, and only passing by. But if it's headed directly for you, it will be really hard to balance the necessary preparation time to secure family and property and the time for just a quick sesh. The insanity factor comes into play when you realize sailable wind most likely won't come until right before the big collision.

Hurricane Irene fly by, Cocoa Beach
If your local authorities order an evacuation, your life may get way too complicated. Will you join a mass exodus that crawls away from the oncoming threat or will you defy the order and ride out the storm? Trust me, if you can actually score some water time after all your storm preparations are done, everybody from the Governor to anyone that carries a badge will treat you as a deranged lunatic if they realize you wanna go out into the water.  Your favorite launch may actually be closed which happens here in Brevard County, Florida if they order an evacuation. Patrick Air Force Base closed all the beach access parks that had lockable gates for 3 days during and after the passing of Hurricane Irene 250 miles offshore.

If you're in the cross hairs of a hurricane and you've done all your preparation, hunker down and wait it out. Enjoy the amenities of modern civilization for as long as you have them, especially electricity. The U.S. eastern seaboard, courtesy of Hurricane Irene, just learned the awful reality of life without electricity: it goes on too long for most. A neighborhood full of portable generator smog and noise is little comfort at the hottest time of the year.

Joe Rocco
As the storm passes, you excitedly remember that no electricity means no work and no work equals play time. Repairs and clean up can wait, assuming of course, the house still has a roof and there's not a foot of water in your bedroom, 'cause there's probably at least one more day of wind left. You pack up, head out and see your community for the first time, probably navigating without any traffic lights all the way to your launch. Rig up and head out...and you've most likely not thought about the hazard that is right there below the water: debris. Sadly it was debris that most likely killed Long Island windsurfer Joe Rocco. We all know the power of a slam in a catapult.

Living near a coast for most of my life has brought me into the path of many hurricanes. Back in the olden days, before the prevalence of gas generators, post hurricanes were endurable events. Everybody in the 'hood emptied their refrigerators and freezers, fired up the barbecues and lived large for a few days. Everyone came out of their house, shared food and partied with their neighbors.

Atlantic Basin tropical storm tracks 1851-2000
There's a lot to think about if you're a wind junkie in need of a fix when a hurricane or a tropical storm approaches. While you eye the storm track with excitement or maybe dread, remember that the forecasters at the National Hurricane Center have a 5 year average error, for hurricane track forecasts, of about 200 miles when the storm is 4 days out. If you watch your local TV news to get information, most likely it will scare or confuse. If the NHC 4 day out track accuracy average doesn't impress, don't worry, they're still the definitive source for all information on tropical storms. If you want a reliable second opinion, go to Jeff Master's Wunderblog.

Radar · Zane Schweitzer has a new Facebook Page...   Another new women-centric web destination on FB: JP Girls...   Eastern Surf Magazine has a report on H. Irene with photos: Part 1...   Josh Sampiero, WindSurfing editor, has been working on something new. I hear it's supposed to go to print March '12. Here's a sample: paddle + board...   If you're a gearhead, have a look in the Blogroll on the right of this page at 琵琶湖 Freeride Web...  Windsport editor Pete Dekay is also in Orlando at the Surf Expo 2012 and shot some video...   The PWA Kia Cold Hawaii set to start this Monday, Sept. 12, is rumored to have 4 cameras for their Live WebcastKatia could be a player at the contest. Robby Swift may be doing the commentary for the webcast. Robby along with Klaas Voget and Ben Proffitt all have serious foot injuries that will most likely keep them out of the contest...   Swap Meet, Long Island, Sept. 17, Details: Hampton Watersports...   Another Swap Meet in Atlantic City, NJ, Sept. 18, Details: Extreme Windsurfing...  Racing at the RS:X European Championship starts on Monday, Sept. 12. Go to the  event website  for all reporting and results...   Hookipa Super Snapper, Jimmie Hepp wants all of you who make his FB albums to Tag your photos and maybe even leave a few comments...

Legends · Laird Hamilton defines the term waterman. His website, Laird Life, describes a man fully engaged in living life on his terms. He's best known for his big wave surfing prowess but back in the day he did a lot of windsurfing.

His wife, Gabby wrote: "We recently sold our Maui home since we have been spending winters on Kauai, and have our eyes on the property next to our Maui lot. Laird has been flying back to Maui for big Peahi swells, and has essentially been enjoying the best of both worlds...Turning off the lights and shutting the garage doors for the last time was bitter sweet, but both of us feel like if you are not going to be somewhere let it go, and that change allows for new things to enter your life. It is so human to want to hold on to everything, but why not keep rolling forward when you can? Laird always talks about looking ahead since
that's the only way one can arrive at the next place. Not to live for or in the future, but to let go of the past so you can arrive at the new, and not live for what has already gone by.  After all we are not defined by what we have done, but rather what we can still do. Time is moving so quickly and holding on to material things and the past cripples us all from continuing to suck the life out of every moment."

Video Replay is a selection, IMHO, of the best videos from the last week of (Sept 5 - 11) DaNews: 18 + videos this week. With so many video this week, honestly what follows are only some of the best.  JP Girls, It's a Life Style, Maui 2011:

Can 9  Phil Soltysiak (Sailworks) from this year's PWA Tour, Canary Islands. Video taken by Polish freestyler Jakub Kosmowski. With one more freestyle event, Phil is currently in 9th place.

Max Rowe shot 40 minutes of video to get the best of the worst wipeouts from the sunny ol' U.K.

The dude with the 'tude...the always insane Zane Schweitzer:

Over on the Atlantic side of South America Kauli Seadi takes the double elimination after losing the single elimination to Wilhelm Shurmann in the Mormaii Ibiraquera Wave Contest.

While the conditions were not spectacular, what really impressed me: they have a national windsurfing festival. A few more videos from the Hayling Island Festival here.

PWA Live from Klitmoller, Denmark, September 12 - 18. For a bigger screen and the full media mashup, go to the event website Kia Cold Hawaii.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

AWT Cancels Hatteras Wave Jam · Best Videos · Radar

The American Windsurfing Tour canceled the Hatteras Wave Jam which was set to run September 14 - 17. Hurricane Irene hit Hatteras on August 27 cutting the main highway in multiple places and disrupting all basic services. A disappointed AWT pulled the plug on the event Sept. 1. With the loss of the wave contest, the Makani Fins Wave Experience was also forced to cancel their concurrent week of clinics.

Local event organizer, Bill Bell, reported on his blog: "Hurricane Irene hit with full force Saturday featuring a double punch of opposite gale force wind direction as the eye of the storm passed nearly over the OBX. I am lucky to live on a high dune area near Jockey's Ridge State Park, thus flooding was not an issue for me. However, for many on the OBX (especially the local community) the west side took the brunt of the storm with major historic sound side flooding as the tail end of Irene's westerly winds brought the raging water onto land and into people's homes/businesses. Roanoke Island, Hatteras Island, Collington, Duck, and other parts of the islands were simply inundated by the Albermarle and Pamlico Sounds..."  

Andy McKinney filed this report on September 1: "The biggest issue is the washouts on Hwy 12 in Pea Island and at Mirlo Beach.  It’s going to take some time to get the road back up and running.  Other standard infrastructure has been affected as well- including water, electricity, and phone lines.  Obviously, it isn’t safe for anyone to be on the island when these basic necessities can’t be provided..."

Dana Miller offered these words of thanks: "... for that upper-level wind shear that helped collapse Irene’s eye wall the last day before land fall across North Carolina.  Huge.  That was some very hot ocean she was feeding from and the potential for her to gain power that last day had me fearing for the worst.  Yeah, the loss of life, the destruction and pain would have been so much worse but for that single most excellent event...the locals on Hatteras have never seen a flood like that.  Not one but two new inlets.  One up at the Pea Island Refuge station and the other at Mirlo Beach at the north end of Rodanthe.  Maybe a road again in a month or so.  The ferries are running but only essential inbound traffic.  The place is a disaster.  The Hatteras Island Surf Shop grounds were swept clean.  The decks and stairs are gone, the boats scattered..."

Meanwhile, way out west, Solo Sports is offering up a  week at Punta San Carlos at half price to all of the AWT fans who can make it down Baja way Sept. 10 - 17: Details.

Video Replay is a selection, IMHO, of the best videos from the last week (Aug 29 - Sept 4) of DaNews. Not sure why, but big wipe outs are always interesting to watch. Straight from the Indian Ocean:

Continent Seven wrote: "Right during the filming of 'Minds Wide Open'...Andre Paskowski, the producer, got a new cancer diagnosis in March. Back then he thought to stop the project for a short moment, but Andre never gives up. His personal goals in competitive windsurfing may have changed a bit, but his love for the sport will never change..."Andre said: "I feel that I still can do good. My body is totally damaged,  but it does not mean that it will stay that way...I feel that mostly, all is still there. Windsurfing is still the most important. I check the news every day. It is important that you keep your dreams alive! It would not help me to stop thinking of windsurfing… it would just make me even more depressed." The Continent Seven interview with Andre here.

JP always makes a fashionably late product debut:

The world is just a better place because there is windsurfing in Morocco. Thanks Boujmaa Guilloul:

The amazingly long waves of Lobitos, Peru from the recent IFCA Wave Championship:

Can we ever get enough help rigging our sails right? Even more rigging instruction here.

Radar · WindSurfing mag editor, Josh Sampiero, will be in Orlando, September 8 - 10, for the big industry show, Surf Expo... The PWA: Kia Cold Water Hawaii wave contest (Please have a look at their Press Kit below) will run September 12 - 18 at Klitmoller, Denmark. Like last year, they will live webcast the entire event: Live Video... Running almost at the same time, Sept. 10 - 19, the RS:X European Championship in Bourgas, Bulgaria will be the last big test before the Olympic country qualifier this December in Perth, Australia... If you want to be a boardtester for Windsport, now is the time to make your reservations. They will be testing at Solo Sports in Baja for 2 weeks starting October 8... Come to think of it doesn't WindSurfing do a board test in Maui about the same time every year... DaNewsBlog had its first visitor from Iraq last month...

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Calendar: Oct - Nov - Dec - 2011

SDFW | San Diego | Oct. 1

Endless Summer | Shell Point, FL | Sept 30 - Oct 2
ABK | Long Island, NY | Sept 30 - Oct 2

Columbus Day Regatta | Lake MacBride Solon, IA | Oct 8 - 9

ABK | Dewey Beach, DE | Oct 8 - 10

Windsport Gear Test | Punta San Carlos, MEX | Oct 8 - 15

Windsport Gear Test | Punta San Carlos, Baja | Oct 15 - 22

Atlanta Fall Classic | Atlanta, GA | Oct 15 - 16

Kashy/WET WS Festival Part II | Seaford, VA | Oct 15 - 16

ABK | Hatteras | Oct 17 - 21

Pan Am Games | Puerto Vallarta, MEX | Oct 17 - 23

2011 IFCA N. A. Slalom Championship | Miami | Oct 21 - 23

AWT: Maui Makani Classic | Ho'okipa | Oct 27 - Nov 1

ABK | Hatteras | Oct 28 - 30

ABK | Corpus Christi, TX | Nov 3 -5

SDFW | San Diego, CA | Nov 5


2011 Intercollegiate Windsurfing Fall Invitational | St. Petersburg, FL | Nov 5 - 6

2011 Florida Wave Challenge | Cocoa Beach | Nov 5,6 - 12,13 - 19,20

ABK | South Padre, TX | Nov 10 - 13

SDFW | San Diego , CA | Dec 3

i to i Distance Race | Ft Lauderdale, FL | Dec 3 - 4

2011 N.A. Formula Championship | Miami | Dec 16 - 18

Canadian events.

More Team USA junior events.

Mowind does a detailed schedule  for the Great Lakes / North Central U.S.

Calcup covers the west coast U.S. races and more.

Maui Race Series.

ABK continuous tour schedule.

U.S. Windsurfing National Racing Tour.

Southeast U. S. events will be found here.

iWindsurf Events page.

Solo Sports events.

PWA World Tour Events.

American Windsurfing (Wave) Tour.

BABA events.