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.

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