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 !!

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