Sunday, March 25, 2012

Peter Bogucki · RS:X · Boards · Radar · Simon Bornhoft

The first issue of 2012
 New England Windsurfing Journal  is a small newspaper headquartered in Connecticut, that is owned and operated by Peter Bogucki. Started in 1982, the magazine supplies windsurfers with windsurfing action, stories, photos and assorted useful tidbits from New England and across the country. Regular features include used equipment classifieds, wind trends from, current events and clinics listings, along with feature articles on people, places, and adventures in windsurfing. Thanks Peter for taking the time to answer a few questions.

Are you a magazine, or a newspaper, or a hybrid, or does it matter?  I'd say I'm a magazine printed on newsprint. Keeps costs down and is easy to recycle.

Sikorsky Black Hawk
Do you still do helicopter design work for Sikorsky Aircraft?  I analyzed rotor head parts for Sikorsky for 10 years before quitting that to buy the Journal. I still live just a few miles from the plant, so helicopters fly over the house all the time. They probably have parts in them that I signed off on, so I always look up when they fly over...

Windsurfing is challenging enough. What motivated you to buy a windsurfing magazine?  It was the old dream of making your avocation into your vocation. I loved my job at Sikorsky, but I thought I would love this one, too. Despite that fact that I was going from being a mechanical engineer to being a writer/photographer/editor/publisher, it was all the same basic job: problem solving. All jobs are about problem solving in one way or another, and that's what engineers do. Just different problems. And my in-laws were publishing a small newspaper at the time, so they showed me the ropes.

Speaking of which, what's it like being the only current print windsurfing publication in the U.S.? Huge pressure. Actually, nothing about the NEWJ is huge. It is a small publication with roots in the totally local experience, so while it is not now, nor probably never will be, a huge national magazine, I think it has huge national appeal.

Do you have any help with the writing, editing.  I should say so. As the only reporter on staff, my byline does appear in the NEWJ quite often, but the majority of submissions come from subscribers who write about their adventures and pass along their knowledge. There's a huge variety of stuff coming in from the pool of sailors out there--from ice sailing to hurricane sailing to board-building to whatever is happening in people's back yards.

Peter Bogucki
What has kept you doing the NEWJ for 20 years?  I love windsurfing, so it is always easy to get stoked to share stories and ideas and pictures with people who love windsurfing as well.

What do you like about windsurfing?  It's all about the motion--the three-dimensionality of it tickles my inner ear. It's the fastest-feeling sport this side of skiing. After the gear is paid for, the cost-per-use is really cheap. The wind is free. Because of the nature of the wind and the water, every session is unique. You can always learn something new. It doesn't hurt to fall down. I live near the beach. I always wanted to fly. You are in complete control--there is no other crew on board. It's green and quiet. It's a mode of transportation--you can actually go places and explore. This list could go on and on...

NEWJ was started 25 years ago. You've owned it for the last 20 years. That's a lot of history. Could you share how it was back then and how it is today?  The New England SAILBOARD Journal started out as publication to list all the local races that were happening in the area. That was back in the 80's when windsurfing centered around racing. Racing is a much smaller part of windsurfing now, which makes it different to cover, and maybe harder. Racing events are scheduled, so you always knew when and where they were gong to happen. Now people just sail, and you've got to track down their stories and find the universal appeal. That's what we do now.

Hatteras - Windfest
The Journal's name implies a certain geography; is it only about New England?  I focus on the reader's local scene, so there is a good deal from the North East, but the NEWJ has subscribers all across the country, so we hear about what is happening in California, the Great Lakes, the Outer Banks, Florida, and inland lakes that only the locals know about...just about any place people are sailing. And they go on vacations too, and come back with reports from the Gorge, the Caribbean, Japan, Canada, you name it. And while the comparison may be a wee bit of a stretch, the New York Times and the Wall Street Journal both have a much broader range than their geographical names might imply. So a geographical reference in a title just indicates a point of origin, not a scope of coverage, necessarily.

How do you see the NEWJ, and for that matter all other windsurfing media, in the role of entertainment and nurturing our sport?  With windsurfing being such a personal sport, something that you regularly do by yourself, it is less social in some ways than it was when everybody met at regattas. So I want the NEWJ to be able to connect people and let them share what is going on. Let people know they aren't the only ones out there sailing. While we aren't a straight instructional publication, there is always something you can learn from other people's experiences.

Where do we go for a subscription and what will we get?  You get a subscription by sending a check (yes, a check. While the rest of the world is cruising the information super highway, we are off-roading) for $12 to NEWJ, PO Box 371, Milford, CT 06460. For that you will get a year's subscription of 4 issues of home-cooked windsurfing. You won't see a lot of tanned skin sailing in turquoise water--most of the sailors in the NEWJ's pages are in neoprene and the water is kinda murky. But that represents what most of the windsurfers in the world deal with, and it doesn't make it any less fun. And most of our pictures are in black and white, so you couldn't tell anyway! Get in touch with Peter and the Journal via NEWJ Facebook.

The RS:X Worlds began racing on Thursday, March 22 in Cadiz, Spain. The 200 competitors (120 men, 80 women) were divided into 4 fleets which all ran 3 races on the first day. A too windy Friday forced the cancellation of all racing on the second day. Even though Saturday was a scheduled lay day, they ran one race for each fleet. With only 4 races to determine the Gold and Silver Fleet division and no throw outs (racers get to eliminate their highest score after 5 races) the stage was set for drama.

For racers still trying to qualify their countries for the Big Show, making the Gold Fleet is a sure ticket to the Olympics. Rising to the occasion was Farrah Hall, whose 7th place finish in Race 4, put her in the Gold Fleet and got her and the USA to the Olympics. From the Silver Fleet, through Sunday's results, Mexico's Demita Vega De Lille, was in 6th place out of the 5 remaining possible Olympic berths. David Mier y Teran who already qualified Mexico at Perth broke a bone in his hand just days before the Worlds started and did not compete. American Bob Willis is doing well in the Gold Fleet.

This regatta is the team qualifier for Canada. Nickola Girke, by making the Gold Fleet, took out her rival Dominique Vallee, now in the Silver Fleet. Zac Plavsics, with a 96 position (point) lead over rival David Hayes, has all but locked up his selection for the Olympics. Both men made the Gold Fleet.

South America will be well represented in London 2012. Brazil qualified for both the RS:X Men and Women at Perth. Argentina also made it into the men's group at Perth; ARG is leading the Women's Silver Fleet and should qualify at Cadiz. On the men's side, Columbia is in by making the Gold Fleet and Venezuela is leading the Silver Fleet and is favored to qualify.

Racing continues until Wednesday, March 28.

The big dog still hunts ·  As promised, the legendary and newly reorganized Boards Magazine is ready to publish the first of their 2 promised print issues: Spring - Summer Annual 2012. It's set to hit news stands in the U.K. on April 4 with a whopping 180 pages. Have a look at the updates to their website.

Radar · Brian McDowell's online Windsurfer International Magazine wants quality writers/editors. Use their contact page to apply - A birthday present for Jimmie Hepp - Maui Sails February Maui Monthly Newsletter - Congrats Trudy Lary for a 6th place finish in River Rippers 2011 Photo Contest - The Trudy Lary album from the Hatchery photo session - Steve Bodner of SF says good things come from the America's Cup - While the last RS:X countries qualify for London 2012 in Cadiz, Kite Racing is also in Spain demonstrating why they should be chosen as the sole representative for the board sport in Brazil 2016 - Making a difference at +H2O - Rip current safety - Sarah Hebert has returned to Brittany, France - Josh Angulo Live Chat Interview - Wet vs. Dry Suit debate

The Simon Bornhoft Chronicles · I'm guessing that most American windsurfers have probably not heard of Simon Bornhoft even though he's got tremendous street cred as an instructor, has written books including Intermediate Windsurfing and Advanced Windsurfing for the Royal Yacht Association, has penned numerous articles for Boards (the print) Magazine and has conducted many clinics via his business, Windwise. When you read his articles don't be put off by some unfamiliar odd phrase and get over the Brits calling jibes, gybes. While the new, reconstituted Boards scrambles to bring their website up to fully operational Battlestar status, some things have slipped through the cracks. A forward thinking Learners guide to windsurfing linked up their collection of his articles before the big change. Even though his articles are stored on Boards servers, they are not accessible from their website, yet:  25 Articles by Simon Bornhoft
  • 5 Article series on the counter intuitive moments in windsurfing
  • 7 Article series about the best possible ways to achieve the "stock moves"
  • 2 Articles on feasible freestyle
  • 3 Article series on how the windsurfing body mechanics work
  • 5 Article series on the secrets of windsurfing body mechanics
  • 3 Article series on helping beginners get started
Excerpt of Simon giving a clinic on Hayling Island, 2010.

Postscript · Next week, no blog post. I couldn't resist sharing this photo of Diony Guadagnino, "As high as a kite" from HotSails Maui Photos.

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Windsport · RS:X Worlds · Radar · Wave Skills

Windsport Editor, Pete Dekay
Wassup Pete Dekay ?

What's new for Windsport this year? I’ve been happy with what we’ve been doing but I’m always open to making changes. I’ve been talking to people about what they like best in a mag and the answers cover as much of a range as the sport of windsurfing itself. I am definitely trying to increase the instructional sections and we’ll definitely try to keep everyone happy from the gear-heads to the dreamers and travelers.

When will we see the first issue? The first issue is at the printer now so subscribers should be seeing it within the next few weeks. I’m stoked with it... but I really want to hear what readers think (so please send letters via e-mail to ). I know I should leak some content but as a long-time avid reader of windsurfing magazines I love the excitement of being surprised by what I see when the mag arrives in the mail. Here are a few hints for now:
  • Hatteras bouncing back from Hurricane Irene
  • Highwind board and sail tests
  • A report on the 2012 Lord of the Wind Showdown by Josh Sampiero
  • Robby Naish’s bucket list of windsurfing places
  • 3 Huge contests: win a trip to Punta San Carlos, win a Chinook RDM, and win a pair of E-11 Dunkerbeck Eyewear sunglasses
  • A waterstarting tip feature with Andy Brandt of ABK Boardsports
  • John Carter and Micah Buzianis visit Josh Angulo’s new home in Boston
  • and much more
    Is it just me paying more attention or is the Windsport website working harder to report more current news? I’m putting a good amount of work into the website with a goal of providing something interesting or fun for windsurfers to look at every day. I hope I don’t curse myself but I don’t think I’ve missed more then a day or two total with updates over the past few months. Our traffic has definitely picked up so I think people are noticing.

    Rory Ramsden reports the important numbers for the next, soon to start, regatta that will be the last chance for countries to qualify for the Olympics just 4 months away: "The fleets are full. 120 men and 80 women have been accepted to the 2012 RS:X Worlds scheduled to start racing on March 22. There are more sailors from more countries here than raced in the RS:X fleets at the 2011 ISAF Sailing World Championships last December in Perth...there are competitors from 47 countries and 5 continents registered to race in the RS:X men's fleet with 19 of them chasing 9 national qualification places for the London Olympic Regatta. Over in the RS:X women's fleet, there are racers from 36 countries, 16 chasing only 7 remaining places. More than 50 countries have taken part in the Olympic Qualification process defined by ISAF. 49 of them will assemble for the Opening Ceremony in Puerto Sherry, Cadiz, Spain." Adding to the drama, Neil Pryde put up $45,000 in prize money, the first time this Olympic Class has raced for money.

    For North America there is big drama ahead. Canada earned its berths in Perth and will select Team members in Cadiz. Canada qualified as a country for both RS:X men and women at the ISAF Worlds in Perth. But who will go to the Olympics? The 2012 Worlds is the team qualifier for Canada. Best finishers at Cadiz, in a winner take all competiton, will compete in the Olympics. For the men, the battle is between Zac Plavsic and David Hayes; for the women, Nikola Girke versus Dominique Vallee. The U.S. qualified as a country at Perth for the RS:X men only. US Olympic Team member Bob Willis gets to go. Team member, Farrah Hall, now in a do or die situation, must qualify the U.S. for one of the 7 remaining country slots. Mexico's Demita DeVega and David Mier Teran competed in the RS:X class at the 2008 Olympics. David has already qualified Mexico at Perth but Demita still needs to win one of the remaining country berths.

    The world's best RS:X sailors have already qualified their countries for the Olympics and will have a chance to sail an aggressive regatta for the $45,000 prize money at Cadiz. The remaining country hopefuls must sort their way through large and crowded fleets where the first 6 races will be crucial to their fate of being an Olympian or not.

    The RS:X Class will conduct their general meeting on March 24. The much touted 6 lb. lighter prototype hull has been withdrawn for consideration as the replacement for the next quadrennial because of poor worldwide economic conditions. Instead, the Class is focusing on and will vote for or against improvements to the fin and sail. After the London Olympics, sometime toward the end of this year, there will be a decision for the upcoming games in Brazil on whether or not to include windsurfing as a sailing class for the next Olympiad.

    Radar · Do not miss Sofie Louca's Fish Bowl Diaries interview with Bernd Roediger, someone who really appreciates noodles ~ Gorge development issues - Coal trains - Cable Park ~ Wind-NC newest teamrider: Catherine Elizabeth ~ If you're feeling nostalgic for WindSurfing drop by the FB Page ~ Stan Sprout's Gorge photos from the glorious 80's ~ Just an ordinary day with Micah Buzianis ~ Thanks Trudy Lary for the next 2 items - Lake Winnipesaukee, New Hampshire for speed sailing on big ice and strong winds - Jose Pina Album  ~ Board sailing in the US needs a boost, reports CISA ~ Pimp my van ~ Car damages recently completed new building at Worldwinds ~ New England Windsurfing Journal wants recommendations for current instructional windsurfing DVDs ~ Wetsuit or Birthday Suit? ~

    New school wave skills ·  No matter what it's called, what we do with and on the wave has evolved over the years. Is it better? It's just different, richer, more complex, dance like. For sure, the view from the beach demands that you pay attention. If you're dumbfounded in mid gawk wondering what you just saw...was that a flaka, a wave 360, a mutant, a goiter...doesn't matter. It's no longer just frontside or backside wave rides, there's more...Here are some of the practitioners of the new wave art enjoying a new style ride.


    Victor Fernandez · The above proprietary Continent Seven video player allows you to play it in forward or reverse in order to study the move. Victor calls it a Backside Wave 360° and it might be the most extreme one ever recorded on video. The 26 year old Victor, who started windsurfing at age 5, has competed for 10 years on the PWA Tour, winning the 2010 PWA World Wave Championship: tribute video. . His new website is in Spanish or if you prefer, English. More moves and more style are on his video page

    Levi Siver · The above is maybe a recently hatched new move or perhaps just a clever recovery. From his website bio: "It’s always intriguing how a land-locked kid from Idaho can grow up to be one of the best windsurfers in the world...Dubbed the King of Style for his ability to draw flawless lines and create smooth, inspired manoeuvres...'Competing is something I enjoy, but you can’t let it inhibit your creativity or progression, or at least that’s been my approach,' he explains...'I look at my whole career as an achievement...I get to do what I love and get paid for it and live in Hawaii at the same time. I’m so thankful that my parents supported me and allowed me to follow my dreams.'” Find more Levi on his video page. Check out his News from the same website for even more videos, like this.

    Mark Angulo ·  umi shot the above video that appeared in the July 2011 issue of Windsurfer. It is a great piece introducing Mark as a shaper, innovator and all out wave sailing fanatic. He's the old man in this group and the inventor of many of the wacha call that wave move. He runs Mark Angulo Custom Maui, the business his father Ed started 40 years ago. A couple of  short video clips showing his inventions: Mutant & Clew First 360's - Double Mutant

    Marcilio Browne ·  Born in 1989, he comes from Fortaleza, Brazil. You may know him as Brawzinho, a nickname given to him by his father. He comes from a family of windsurfers. His brother Gabriel races on the PWA and both his father and uncle are multiple national windsurf champions. He started windsurfing at the age of 4, won his first PWA event at 16 and his first Freestyle World Title at 18. Now Marcilio only competes on Tour in waves. More videos on his website.

    Phillip Koster ·  He is the current 2011 PWA World Wave Champion which he won at the age of 17. The above video is from the Double Elimination Final at 2011 Pozo where long wave rides are rare. Here's some Maui video before the start of the 2011 PWA World Tour. An amazing video of the final, Koster vs Campello, from the live coverage, September '11 at Klitmoller with commentary by Robby Swift and Head PWA Judge, Duncan Coombes. ( the commercials at the beginning of the video are short )

    Postcript · If last week's interview mention of the Exocet D2 got your interest, check out this recent board review from Tinho Dornellas.

    Sunday, March 11, 2012

    Shoptalk · Sarah Hebert · Windsurfer · Fins · R.I.P.

    Steve and Marty Gottlieb started Sandy Point Progressive Sports 30 years ago in 1982. That year the top grossing film was E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial; Michael Jackson released the album Thriller and Robby Naish joined the Professional Boardsailors Association. Steve started Aerotech Sails in 1986 the same year he and Marty married. They are the North American distributors for Exocet and the  Kona one design longboard (formerly owned by Exocet). They started as a small windsurfing shop and grew into a multi sport retailer concentrating on the gear used in water sports. Their business is located in South Daytona, Florida. I'll thank Steve now for taking the time to answer a few questions.

    How does your business rank as a water sports retailer in Volusia County? Are you the largest?   Hard to say for sure. We are certainly the biggest for hard goods but on the smaller side when it comes to soft goods.

    Steve - Kona Fleet - Calema Midwinters
    What water sport has been the most popular in recent years?   Kayaks have been the strongest part of our retail business for the last ten years. In the last 2 years, SUP has grown the most and ranks as number 2 now.

    Windsurfers can get a little pessimistic about the future of the sport. We tend to make judgements based on what happens at our local launch. As a sail maker, continental distributor and a large multiple sport retailer, you watch a bigger picture of activity. How do you see the health of windsurfing?   There is both good and bad happening in windsurfing right now.The bad is that many companies are still concentrating on the extreme side of our sport. The high wind stuff is great but the average consumer has no interest in and considers it an extreme sport. The good side is the potential that can come from SUP as this market is at least 15 times larger than windsurfing. Many of these boards can be sailed by just adding a simple rig to them like our Windsup rig.

    Can you share any insight about business trends in windsurfing? Did you sell more boards 5 years ago?    The numbers for sure have dropped since 2006 more because of the economy than anything else. We saw it start to change last year and I am very optimistic about 2012.

    With new sail makers entering the market every year, how is your sail brand, Aerotech, doing?   In the USA, it is going well but I do see more people looking for closeout and used product as disposable income is down.

    The cost of boards seems to have risen in the last few years.  How is the new pricing impacting sales?   Just like sails people are hesitant to buy the latest stuff unless they know it's better. You really have to make sure when a new model is coming out that it's not just a new graphic but it is a step forward.

    Exocet sold their one design longboard racer, Kona One, to Joachim Larsson. How is the "new brand" doing?   This has been really good. The Kona is still one of the best selling boards in the country with more fleets building in many locations. The board is just a classic. In the same class as a Sunfish, Laser or Hobie 16.

    Exocet is making some exciting new designs. What's got your interest?   The new D2 is a break through in the long board category. For a very expensive board it is selling well. Their S Cross and Cross series are also stand outs. Their boards offer a smoother ride than the competition and this really helps old knees and hips.

    What did the closing of WindSurfing Magazine mean to you and your business? Will you spend or pocket the advertising dollars that would have gone to the WS mag?   I think it is more of a changing of the times than a reflection of our sport. The Internet is really cutting into the magazine business. We will increase our online presence with the freed up capital.

    Sarah Hebert abandoned her 2012 transatlantic windsurf challenge. Sarah explained: "This is a beautiful, hard yet magical adventure. I do not regret anything. Everything I lived through before setting off as well as the time I have spent on the ocean has been incredible. I will always cherish these moments. Once I have been able to rest, I will take time to look into what happened but my preparation, equipment and my heart were not at fault, I am sure of that. Sometimes though, you have to accept your own limits and know when your body is telling you to stop. Even though this is hard on me, I'm focusing on what's positive for now. I've learnt about myself, the ocean and being out at sea. This experience will be of great value in the future when I set off on new adventures."

    After the unfortunate loss of her safety pack on the second day of the journey, she was forced to make an  immediate change of plans. They all sailed directly to Sal in the Cape Verde Islands on Neptune's Car for replacement gear, essentially satellite phones. After the short layover, Sarah regained her composure with almost a solid week of progress towards Guadeloupe. But toward the second weekend the wheels started to come off. Even though she made a valiant effort, she could not overcome fatigue, blurred vision, headaches, anemia and dizziness. Her safety was at stake.

    Earlier in the week the sea had been her friend allowing some great reaching days with the thrills only ocean voyagers appreciate: the little seabird that wanted to rest on her board and the small whale that exhaled spray nearby. But toward the end the wind direction changed to the east and headed her preferred course.  The new wind direction brought a confused sea that didn't have time to get itself organized into one uniform swell.

    The wind  hammered everyday 25+ knots. On Saturday, March 3, after making a modest run of 56 miles in unrelenting conditions, she could not continue and retreated to the shelter of the boat. Unfortunately the boat could not offer much respite from the conditions all around her. And so on Sunday, after trying to restart the journey, she knew it was over... The phone conference with her doctors back ashore confirmed her anemia. There was no way to treat the condition; no way to rest. The windsurfing across the Atlantic dream was not to be this year. Sarah and the crew of Neptune's Car, now speeding across the Atlantic, are expected to arrive in Guadeloupe March 11.

    Click the image to read Windsurfer Magazine.

    Fins · Maui based, Maui Ultra Fins reported:  "After one year of testing by a lot of sailors at different places and under different conditions the revolutionary Delta Wing fin design has landed and will now be available beginning of May 2012...The development was initiated by the demand of many German, Dutch and Swedish windsurfers for shorter fins that could handle very weedy conditions...About 100 prototypes were built to find the perfect outlines and profiles. Those were thoroughly tested by about 70 amateurs and pros who provided very important feedback...Generally speaking, the main advantage of the Delta-Wing-Series is the formerly unthinkable reduction of fin length down to almost 50 % of a straight fin. As a result, windsurfing in shallow waters has become much safer...On top of this, the Delta form with its wide base and shorter length lets us use extremely thin profiles with less drag which in turn results in high speeds..." Their website will explain this new fin on the dedicated Delta Wing Fin Page; and there's help in sizing the Delta on the Fin Selector Page.

    Quebec based, Makani Fin Company is another fin business in North America. Their righteous stable of accessible North American team riders underscore their locally focused footprint. If you sail Maui, Baja, the Gorge, San Francisco, Long Island or Hatteras you've got a good chance to meet Team Makani: Wyatt Miller, Phil Soltysiak, Tyson Poor, Casey Hauser, Ingrid Larouche, Jon Sassone and Mike Burns. Makani contributes to the environment we play in. For every fin sold, $2 is donated to the Surfrider Foundation. Makani Fins is all in this April on Hatteras with a helping hand in the OBX clinics (poster, right), OBX Challenge and the OBX Windfest

    Rest In Peace Vincent Mellouet  · The talented French wave rider tragically died March 5 in Brittany doing what he loved, wave sailing. Vincent was taking a good bye session before leaving to work in Fuerteventura. There is a sadly haunting last post of his future plans on his blog, Low pressure.  The exact cause of death is not known. He was born April 20, 1980. His favorite saying, "life is great." The video below was released about a month before his death. 

    Postscript · Maui Sails has released an information page for the new 4 batten Mutant. Jeff Henderson's got another Hot Sails Maui 4 batten sail in the works, the  Freestyle Pro.

    Sunday, March 4, 2012

    Transatlantic Sarah · 4 Battens · Radar · My Backyard

    Sarah Hebert continues her long journey across the Atlantic having left the shelter of Africa on February 22. On the 2nd day out of Dakar, over powered and while switching to smaller gear, she lost her safety pack with the critically necessary satellite phone. After exhausting all effort to find the safety pack, Sarah and crew immediately sailed the big boat to Sal in the Cape Verde Islands. There they acquired 2 new safety packs (one back up) complete with 2 new satellite phones. The adventure continues...

    Click the icon in the upper right hand corner of the above live map to go full screen. To return, click your esc key (if you  zoom your computer screen, for me 150%, you can see all the Live Tracker features). There have been some days without reporting. However, most days, reports come via the Website and the Facebook page. If you rely on the automatic translators like I do, they are a bit of a  challenge to understand. For more background on Sarah, read this PWA interview from 2010 where she, for the first time, talks about her transatlantic ambition. More recently, this article explains the crossing with some history about others who have also gone transatlantic.

    4 Batten Sails · If you've seen Jimmie Hepp's photos from Hookipa in the last year and taken the time to study the've probably noticed some of the new 4 batten prototypes. While these batten challenged sails have been around for a few seasons, the majority of wave sails still have 5 battens. Revolution, de-evolution, industry gimmick or flash in the pan, who knows the future...but one thing is for sure, just about every sail company is making them.

    Last week, Chris Zakel of Zakel Windsurfing broke a story about a new Naish sail line, the Chopper: a 4 sail quiver that rigs on a 370 mast. Almost too cool for school, these sails are measured in t-shirt sizes: small, medium, large and extra large. Too good to be true? The sails are not suitable for riders over 185 lbs. just put up their Chopper info page where you can learn the history of how this sail developed. Nice introductory video with Robby...

    But really, why 4 battens? One less batten saves weight. Compared to the cost of using the new light weight hi-techy films like Technora, one less batten is a cheap way to save weight. But when you read about these sails, there's not much real focus on saving weight. I think rescaling the size of the sail to bring it all closer to human dimensions is what intrigues the designers. Surface area doesn't change, but dimensions do: less height, more width. Read the product copy and you'll see these features they all share: light, compact, shorter booms and masts, a soft feel, works well with quad fin boards and power on demand. Have a look:

    North Hero   Maui Sails Mutant  Neil Pryde Fly2  Gaastra IQ  Naish Boxer
    Hot Sails Maui Bolt  Hot Sails Maui DD   Severne Swat  Goya Banzai
    Simmer Whitetip  Simmer Blacktip

    Conspicuously missing from the above group is Ezzy Sails. I'm a fan of Graham's quirky blog, surf-matic. He recently wrote: "Time on Maui means one thing: Research and Development. A lot of fin and sail testing especially! The sail testing is actually pretty intense. Every day there is a new sail to test, getting everything perfect for the 2012 summer release. It’s tiring but lot’s of fun… and even more prototypes!" Photos from his Feb 29 post show him testing a 4 batten prototype...and WTF, a 3 batten prototype.

    Radar ·  ( ˈrādär )  Used to indicate that someone or something has or has not come to the attention of a person or group.

    Atlanta Boardsailing Club, started in 1978, may win this year's award for best event poster. And if not this year's winner for Outstanding Graphical Achievement, at least some hardy Hi-Ho Silvers are deserved for running an event for 34 years. Their new website,, features: news, forum, photos and where to sail. Congratulations on the makeover. 

    The learners guide to windsurfing has completed its Community guide to North America with the newest addition:  Central America. Community is my effort to help anyone connect with any interest in anything windsurfing. If you'd like to help, post your link or correct my mistake in the comment box at the bottom of this post.

    Since May 2009, the Learners guide has been visited from 122 countries
    DaNewsBlog has finished the 2012 Calendar, well almost finished. I know some events are still in the planning stage and haven't posted information, most noticeably the Gorge Cup Series which usually starts in June; so check back. The Calendar is on the right side of this page at the top the Blog List.

    iWindsurf is the only forum in the U.S. with a large national audience. What would happen to windsurfing in this country if we lost this popular arena for discussion, opinion and news. Would it have an impact on the sport? Maybe. Is it possible that forums are beginning to fade away, victims of the volume of social media?  Are we just overwhelmed with too many online choices and not enough time?

    The Learners guide has been visited by every state.
    There are some underutilized local forums that could, in a pinch, work as a national meeting place if for some reason, hope it never happens, iWindsurf were to close its forum doors. Some of these local forums allow embedding of videos, sadly missing from our biggest national forum. Have a look:

    Miami: SFWA  Stuart: TCW  Cocoa: Calema  Atlanta: ABC  Hatteras: OBX  Charlotte IBSCC  Michigan: WS & SUP  New Jersey: W & W A  Corpus Christi CCWA
    2 French language forums, Quebec: WSQ  QW

    My Backyard · The 26th running of Tinho Dornellas' Calema Midwinters roared back to life this weekend after taking a year off. A total of 96 registrants eased early worries that the racing community  might have forgotten this event. The hallmark of a Midwinters regatta at Kelly Park, Merritt Island, FL is the chance for regular Josephines and Joes to race with the Pros. This year, some of the A listers who led the competition were: Micah Buzianis, Gabriel Browne, Paulo Dos Reis, Wilhelm Schurmann and Taty Frans. 41 year old Buzianis had lost 15 lbs. getting in shape for the up coming PWA Tour.  He wasn't sure if the weight loss made him any faster but it did make him feel better.

    Dave Kashy - Taty Frans at the Midwinters
    Some of the participants I talked to wondered about the future of grass roots racing and even windsurfing in general. A popular sentiment was that with so many choices for things to do, most people are challenged to ever find our's hard to get off the couch when the video games are so good. A surprising counterpoint to this was Sandy Point Progressive Sports retailer and Kona Fleet stand out, Steve Gottlieb's assessment that windsurfing was starting to grow again. He is seeing interest in windsurfing from a younger demographic. Nevin Sayre of Bic Sport North America, who was here racing with his 2 kids, was pumped about selling 80 fleet packages (at least 4 boards and rigs) of the Techno 293. These fleets mostly go to yacht clubs and community organizations for youth sailing programs. Formula racer, Dave Kashy of Kashy Fins has sold over 600 fins since starting his company. It's hard work but he is motivated to keep at it by the demand for more fins from his loyal customers. Any money in the fin business? The proud father said the business has paid for one college education and some nice vacations.

    Elsewhere and not quite in my backyard, the umi Bonaire editing competition, concluded. Entrants had to make their own video from footage that umi shot in Bonaire with Kiri Thode, Taty and Tonky Frans. Umi received 36 entries from around the world all of which can be seen on their Vimeo channel. Winning entrant, Marc Broersma described his work: "Awesome tricks, cool time effects, some 3D stuff and a donkey!"  His video is brilliant !!!

    Popular poster on Facebook by Tom Soltysiak.

    Postcript · Thursday, March 1, was the last time I saw the WindSurfing Magazine Website. The link was still in my favorites even after it stopped producing new content. I'm not sure why, but it remained a regular stop on my DaNews beat. I guess there was some hope, albeit without reason, that some remnant would come back to life. Bonnier Corp has nailed the coffin shut by relocating their replacement, Transworld Surf, in the familiar location. Even with the abundance of scantily clad beach babettes...I'm not amused...but what the hell, maybe some lost fragment of WindSurfing is hidden in the new website. But wait...there is something from the Mag still in the public domain...the fans...Rest in Peace

    Calendar: Sept - Oct - Nov - Dec - 2012

    Ronstan Bridge to Bridge | SanFrancisco | Sept 1

    SDFW | San Diego, CA | Sept 1

    CMWA Fall Wrap up & Clinic | Port Bolster, Ontario | Sept 7

    Cal Cup 5 | San Francisco | Sept 8

    AWT: Hatteras Wave Jam | Sept 12 - 18

    St. Francis YC Twilight Series | San Francisco | Sept 14

    ABK | Hyannis, MA | Sept 14 - 16

    PWA | Klitmoller, DEN | Sept 17 - 23

    Wind Power Championships | Fond Du Lac, WI | Sept 21 - 23

    ABK | Long Island, NY | Sept 21 - 23

    BABA East Coast Championship | Mayo, Md | Sept 22 - 23

    Matt Pritchard Wave Clinic | Solo Sports, Baja | Sept 22 - 29

    Sandbanks Free 4 All | Sandbanks Park, Lake Ontario | Sept 22 - Nov 16

    Endless Summer Sailboard Classic | Shell Point, FL | Sept 28 - 30

    ABK | Long Island, NY | Sept 28 - 30

    PWA | Sylt, GER | Sept 28 - Oct 7

    St.Johns Long Distance Race | Jacksonville, FL | Oct 6

    ABK | Dewey Beach, DE | Oct 6 - 8

    Graham Ezzy Wave Camp | Solo Sports, Baja | Oct 6 - 11

    SDFW | San Diego, CA | Oct 8

    Aloha Clinics | Maui | Oct 13 - 20

    ABK | Hatteras | Oct 15 - 19

    Miami Slalom Open | Miami | Oct 19 - 21

    34th Atlanta Fall Classic & End of the World Party | Atlanta | Oct 20 - 21

    Wyatt Miller & Tyson Poor WS Camp | Solo Sports, Baja | Oct 20 - 27

    AWT: Maui Makani Classic | Ho'okipa | Oct 25 - Nov 3

    ABK | Hatteras | Oct 26 - 28

    SDFW | San Diego, CA | Nov 3

    ABK | Corpus Christi, TX | Nov 8 - 11

    ABK | South Padre Island, TX | Nov 25 - 28

    Cancelled PWA | Mui Ne, Vietnam | Oct 30 - Dec 7

    SDFW | San Diego, CA | Dec 1

    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.

    Gorge Cup  schedule

    CGWA Events

    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.

    Matt Pritchard & Shawna Cropas Aloha Clinics

    Techno 293 calendar

    Windsport events

    Kona events