Sunday, April 8, 2012

OBX · GoPro · Windsurfer · Radar · CCWA · Olympic Kiting

Hatteras is poised for an impressive group of events this April. Kudos to Makani Fins for being all in on all of the events. Here's a list of  links to the important players and sponsors. For more help navigating the island try Andy McKinney's Hatteras Windsurfing Guide and Bill Bell's Bill's OBX Beach Life.

GoPro cameras have captured the imagination of many windsurfers. However, making entertaining videos utilizing these cameras is challenging. We've all seen and waited patiently for something interesting to happen only to realize that the first 15 seconds are the same as the last 15 seconds, just 8 minutes later. For sure it's a tough proposition when you have to mount your camera on windsurfing kit. Using POV (point of view) cameras is all about a unique perspective that takes the audience to a new and different view. GoPro now offers a bunch of accessory camera mounts to help videographers with this challenge; Ram and Flymount offer some more.

I was really impressed by the above James Douglass GoPro video. I think it does a great job of capturing the speed of windsurfing. Notice that when he leaves the beach the smooth water means light wind. The low camera mount at the aft end of the boom  makes the video work. His 9.8 sail with its long boom helps get the camera far away from the rider.

Another successful and innovative camera mount is featured in the blog, forwards4cowards; page down for photos showing the evolution of his harness mounted camera.

Colin Dixen and Marco Wedele are making their WindsurfCoaching better by using improved GoPro camera mounts. The new camera mounts help capture the all important perspective. The student's videos offer unique views to help improve technique.

Click the image to read the magazine.

Radar · Beth Winkler tells her cancer story ~ Miami,  SFWA swap meet Rickenbacker CSWY on April 14 ~ San Francisco, Crissy Field Swap Meet on April 14 ~ AWT Santa Cruz needs volunteers ~ Does your Yahoo Group offer this much information to its members and vistors? ~ Gorge jobs ~ Win Robby's Chopper ~ Columbia Gorge Teen Windsurfing & SUP Camps ~ More Sofie Louca interviews: Victor Fernandez & Elena Pompei ~ Steve Bodner interview from Michigan Windsurfing ~ Windsurfing Mag FB continues to add fans

Over a year ago the Corpus Christi Windsurfing Windsurfing Association Board of Directors decided their dwindling membership required some immediate action. The plan was to expand the group by offering membership to other board sports including kiting, surfing and paddle boarding. They explained: "The idea was born from the realization that the club is dwindling in members and participation. So branching out to include a wider range of watersports, other than just windsurfing, is the solution the Board is bringing forward, to prevent the club from folding. It would include more people, raise our memberships and expand our possibilities."

They're still windsurfing in the Texas Coastal Bend
The next step would be a meeting with the membership to talk about the issues and vote on a new name: Corpus Christi Watersports Association. The meeting never happened. I've heard it was too hard to find a common date for the meeting; herding cats is harder than it sounds. By most standards, the Board of Directors was at least remiss in their duties. They percieved a crisis, posted it to the website, didn't follow through with their plan of action and then fumbled the ball with no explanation for a year. So, was doing nothing the right non-action? Perhaps an organization at its very foundation is nothing more than a meeting place for like minded individuals. Strip out the extras and the CCWA website provides information and a place to communicate with one another. Seems windsurfing will go on even if organizations come and go. Grass roots CCWA Facebook is simpler, takes less time to organize, leaves more time for windsurfing. I'm just saying, maybe everything is ok.

Johnny Heineken with his kite board
Scuttlebutt interviewed Johnny Heineken, Kiting's 2011 Course Racing World Champion, about the just completed evaluation event, audition if you will, for kiting's inclusion as an Olympic Sailing Class at the 2016 Games in Brazil. The test event was hosted by the ISAF in Spain during the same time the RS:X Class was qualifying for the remaining country berths to the 2012 Olympics.

The ISAF was evaluating different racing formats and equipment. What got my attention was their acceptance that kiting would race in the Olympics, not as a one design class but as a development class, just like windsurfing's non Olympic, Formula Class. Kiting will use dimensional limitations for the board, a box rule: "Maximums of 70cm wide, 190cm long, 50cm maximum fin length. Starting this year any board used in an IKA sanctioned event must be a production board. Kites must be production, meaning available to anyone and registered with the IKA. We are also limited to 3 kites per event, which is new this year and in my opinion not a great rule..."

I remember back in 2004, Formula was at a high point in popularity and hopeful of becoming an Olympic Class. Starboard even tried to introduce a One Design Formula Class which never caught on. The ISAF said no to Formula because they weren't a one design class and the RS:X was born.  Complete Heinekin interview

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