Sunday, February 5, 2012

Transatlantic · Shops · Digital Uprising · Stoke

Sarah Hebert is getting ready to embark on a transatlantic adventure. According to her most recent interview, February 2, a mid month departure is most likely. The adventure starts in Dakar, Senegal and is planned to finish in Pointe-A-Pitre, Guadeloupe. Over the course of 25 days, the plan is to sail an average of 7 hours a day. She will sleep at night on the 50 foot trimaran, Neptune's Car. At the end of each day her GPS position will be recorded so she can start the next day in the same place. Sarah is the first women to attempt to windsurf across the Atlantic using production gear. Her onboard kit options for the trip include 4 different Grand Prix boards and 5 Indy sails from her sponsor, Naish.

She will be supported by a 3 member crew on the boat. This is not the first time a windsurfer has crossed the Atlantic from western Africa and sailed to the Caribbean. Frenchman Christian Marty, a Concorde Pilot, was the first to windsurf across the Atlantic using a 9 foot board. He lived and slept on the board and was supplied food and drink by an accompamying yacht. His crossing took 37 days in 1982. Two Frenchman, Peyron and Pichavant, on a 31 foot custom self contained tandem windsurfer, made the crossing in 1986 from Dakar to Guadeloupe in a little over 24 days. They continued their epic voyage sailing all the way to Miami Beach and then up the eastern seaboard to New York. In 2000, Raphaela Le Gouvello from France, became the first woman to windsurf across the Atlantic from Senegal to Martinique on a custom 24 foot, self contained board. Her trip took 58 days on the live aboard sailboard.

Godspeed Sarah Hebert !!! 
More: Transatlantic ambition

Lessons & Gear ·  Andy McKinney reports: "After Hurricane Irene impacted Hatteras in the Fall of 2011, everyone has been busy getting things ship-shape for Spring 2012! Wind-NC will be moving into a brand new building, together with our friends from Hatteras Island Boardsports. The new spot is just one lot north of the old location, still right across the street from the Avon Pier. For those of you who have visited us in the past, you'll be happy to know that we won't be hiding in the back anymore. And who knows - we may even get a bigger sign! ;-) We're truly looking forward to seeing everyone soon!!"

Don Jackson's Worldwinds in Corpus Christi, TX is expanding. Is it a dressing room or their new taco stand or maybe just more storage space? No matter. When a business expands, one thing is clear: more confidence in the future.

USWA President, Karen Marriott, says demand for windsurfing lessons is good. She should know 'cause she teaches with Britt Viehman at North Beach Windsurfing in Tampa. Karen also hears from schools across the country and says windsurfing is still very popular.

David Wells' new shop Surf Sports 101 is busy. He writes: "Waterhound (his multi-water sports news service) is currently on hold - I am slammed at the new shop and need to catch up. Hoping for resurrection in March."

Game on !!   The print era Boards Magazine was an expensive yearly subscription for Americans. If you were familiar with the old website, the new online era Boards is more content rich and trying to earn our renewed interest. Publisher, Adrian Jones, is wasting no time building the new website. Adrian writes, "Like many of us, the print magazine used to be my only source of windsurfing media and information, but now, for better or worse, the web has taken precedence. If we want information, we go to the web and find it within seconds."  (BTW:  Former Boards Editor Dave White is now working for RRD)

So it has begun...they want our eyes on their website. From the print perspective, they're looking for subscribers.  Boards immediately reskinned their website. If you're familiar with WS websites you know they change their look fairly often. Besides the need for a fresh look, new content is paramount in sustaining and growing and audience. If they want us to come back, we need a reason. Today, websites are not only primary sources for information but also link us to their related subsidiaries: most commonly Facebook and Twitter. Facebook amplifies social connections, feedback and shared interest of the website's viewers. It also allows fans to bring their own content to the larger group. Twitter is mostly seen on websites as an embedded widget. The brevity of tweets allows a steady stream of input in real time from Team Riders or gung ho fans. Old school email is still being used to alert loyal fans about upcoming new content on websites. Do you receive any newsletters?

Today, making a profit as a free to view website requires a multi platform approach. Advertising income is directly related to bringing an audience to the advertiser's product. With such a large array of ways to communicate in the digital world, it's easy to understand why the print media is scrambling to find a plan for the future. For us who love the sport and can't get enough, this digital uprising is going to be fun to watch.

Meanwhile back at the proverbial ranch:  Boardseeker is working harder, doing morning and  afternoon news reports. Are you busy but still need a few moments with the latest windsurfing news; winddub, the recently updated news aggregator, boils each story down to one line. Windsport is also busy; Pete Dekay has turned up the news volume on their website. And if the online WS media is new to you, get both feet wet here.

Stoke ·  Inside the Micah Buzianis van. Micah is a new team member for Maui Sails.

Dana Miller reports from Crescent City, OR: Finally... a couple opportunities to air out the new 4.2. This after what seemed like an interminable stretch of either not getting or totally missing the conditions to try out that new Nano prototype. Sure it was more like ultra wound 3.7 weather both days, but I certainly did get to explore the sail’s upper end. And I’m impressed. It handles unreal too...Megazine

Jimmie Hepp Album: Best of Hookipa Sprays

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