Sunday, June 10, 2012

North Sails Slalom · Pistol River · The Protest Rolls On

The Maui Race Series had a great start with the North Sails Slalom, their first event of the 5 race series. Jeff Bennett described the conditions: "Great day for racing at Kanaha yesterday. Beautiful sunny blue skies and the ballistic trades winds we’ve seen for the past weeks mellowed to more typical conditions. As often happens with the first race of the season, we got a late season north swell, adding to the challenge for the racers but making for some pretty fun rides for those of us interested in riding the waves vs blasting over them at the start line." Micah Buzianis added "...the turn out was the best it has been in five years. Lots of new racers and lots of old racers we hadn't seen in a while. With the last two weeks being semi nuclear winds in Maui, for me 6.3 full survival mode, it was nice to see a mellower more normal Maui day. Although there was one slightly abnormal thing about the day, a north swell with double overhead sets hitting the upper reef at Kanaha made for some very exciting starts. There were also some 2 foot sets breaking in the middle of the course, and they were sneakers so they would pop up out of no where in front of you so you would have to slow down or do a major course change. Gybing on the outside was also very interesting, timing was everything, getting on that swell was critical."

Chris Freeman reported: "Starting out in the morning with the age groups was as I knew the dose of reality I needed and while a little eager at the start and having to stall on the line unlike others I didn’t go over early, 5th in the first race not bad! Unfortunately others dialing in their starts so no gifts in the next three. The racing in this fleet is so tough...Congrats to fellow Brit Dan Ellis for taking the win in the 18-39 category...I was super happy with starts (well 3 of 4) hitting the line at speed and making it to the first mark in the lead each time. Really need to work on my turns!"

Pro category winner Micah Buzianis recounted: "Seemed like it was going quite well because I finally got on the line at go and took two bullets in the last two races to take the pro division as well. Peter Slate had done enough to take second for the second time of the day with Pieter Bijl rounding out the top three." For complete results and Kim Ball's race day report: Buzianis claims two titles as MRS begins.

Micah and Phil McGain are planning a slalom clinic with a possible date of June 23. Karen Bennett also reported that there were more competitors registered this year than last. Find more news on Maui Race Series Facebook. It's not too late to compete:  Information & Registration Forms. Next event: June 16 ~ DaKine Classic. PhotosJeff Bennett  Tom Cooper.

The Pistol River Wave Bash is the second stop on the 2012 American Windsurfing Tour. This will be the third consecutive year for the southern Oregon wave sailing contest. What's the event like? Local legend Dana Miller shared  his favorite parts from last year: "Watching everybody ripping it up for sure. Seeing all the sweet new gear in one place was excellent. And sharing ideas about photography and fins and moves. Sure I missed most of the parties but hope to catch a few of them this time. Yeah, nothing like having a hundred or so of your friends show up at once and being so busy you don’t get much quality time with any of them.  It’s too bad the event can’t stretch out for a couple weeks. For more time to connect with everybody and better odds of getting the sort of truly sick conditions Pistol is infamous for." Dana adds, "Pistol has a well deserved reputation for some of the gnarliest sailing you are going to find. It blows hard and it blows hard a lot. The scenery is jaw dropingly powerful as well. The local town loves the windsurfers and Pistol has a long and colorful history of delivering the goods at contest time. For sure, Pistol River is the closest you can have to a total guarantee you’ll get wind for an event and this South Coast Shredfest promises to be a monster." This year's Schedule:

Wednesday, June 13 ~ Curry County Fairground ~ 5 -7 pm Competitor Check In ~ 7 - 8 pm Dinner with Music from Pistol River Trio

Thursday, June 14 - Sunday June 17 ~ Daily Skippers meeting on the beach at 10 am unless noted otherwise on the Official Notice Board ~ Competition will run all day if conditions allow ~ Dinner and Awards at the Curry County Fairgrounds, June 17, 8 pm.

Two time SUP World Champion, Kai Lenny, pumps it up for the Pistol River Wave Bash:

Remember the 2011 event? Have a look at last year's recap. AWT Website.
For the latest news and developments, AWT Facebook and Twitter:

The protest movement to reinstate windsurfing as an Olympic sailing sport continues to gain a groundswell of support. Even though the volume of protest grows and obvious solutions abound, the ISAF has not responded and most likely will not. We will wait for the annual meeting in November and take in stride what may be windsurfing's last Olympic hurrah, the London Games. Meanwhile, the Petition continues to add names. Rory Ramsden posted to RS:X website another plan to raise awareness: "We are working hard in the back ground to build momentum within the general sailing community to redress this decision. Whilst we appreciate that there is a general feeling that kite should be in the Olympic sailing family, we believe that there is an equally strong belief that windsurfing should be there too..." He offered 4 things that you can do to keep the campaign for Rio 2016 in the forefront of people's minds... Also, an American based grassroots campaign was proposed by Ned Crossley: "USA Windsurfers need to organize and voice their opinions. Can windsurfers pressure the US Sailing and ISAF to reverse the vote in November ISAF meeting? This affects every windsurfer directly and indirectly on all fronts nationally now and in the future."

U.S. Olympian and ISAF Chairmen of the Athletes Commission, Ben Barger, laid out a rationale that refutes the correctness of the process by which the ISAF Council based their decision to replace windsurfing at the 2016 Rio Games. In part he concludes: "ISAF assumed they were the same event. Windsurfing and Kiting were the only events put together like this and clearly shows the lack of understanding by ISAF of those two much different events. They don’t know what types of sports they have in their own Olympic program.

Any equipment evaluations must be done by uninterested parties and published to council for approval prior to the evaluation. The evaluation that did occur for kiting actually selected a new event, and equipment and format all simultaneously. This should have been through a process spanning 2 years under selecting a new event.

There's a lot more to his thoughtful analysis: reprinted here.

Olympic bound, U.S. RSXer Bob Willis offered this reminder: "Windsurfing is the 2nd most popular Olympic sailing class in terms of individual participants and country participants. There are clearly some logistical and safety issues that the inclusion of kiteboarding brings to the table; however, the most concerning issue is that the vote completely contradicts the values in which ISAF is entitled to represent. Three of ISAF’s primary objectives are to: a) increase participants b) increase country participants and c) increase women’s participation. Below is a chart indicating the disparity between the participation in the most recent Olympic windsurfing World Championships (2012) and the most recent Kiteboarding World Championships (2011)."

*note: there would have been more participants in both the men and women’s categories of the 2012 RSX WCs; however, the entries are limited to 120 for men, 80 for female

International Youth Kite Racing, it seems, will need more time to develop. The ISAF announced that the Techno 293 windsurfer and the Byte CII dinghy have been chosen as equipment for the four sailing events at the 2014 Youth Olympic Games in Nanjing, China.

What once was touted as the feeder class for the RS:X, the T- 293 Class estimates they have 7000 to 8000 youth and junior sailors represented across 50 countries on 6 continents. The Class and Bic Sports were both surprised and disappointed at the ISAF decision to replace windsurfing at the 2016 Olympics.

ISAF Head of Competitions, Alastair Fox, said: "The Byte CII and the Techno 293 are fantastic choices for the Youth Olympic Games. The equipment is modern, visually exciting and extremely well suited for the 15/16 age category for the sailing events. ISAF will be working closely with the Classes, the Chinese Yachting Association and the Nanjing Organising Committee to deliver a successful sailing competition on Lake Jinniu during the Nanjing 2014 Youth Olympic Games."

Craig Leweck of Scuttlebutt reflected, "Interestingly, the ISAF regulations (23.1.8) require the events and equipment choices for the ISAF Youth World Championships, and for the Youth Olympic Games, be reviewed following any change of Olympic Events or Equipment, to ensure that there remains a clear, pathway from youth sailing to the Olympics. Maybe ISAF still thinks that windsurfing and kiteboarding are the same event. Knock, knock... they are not."

"Former Olympic campaigner and Boardseeker founder, Adrian Jones and former Olympic class racer, Richard Potter, have differing views on what it all means for windsurfing. Raising a few points you may not have thought of and reigning in the debate, is another former Olympic campaigner Ben Proffitt..."

The next 2 links were found on the Athletes Commission FB. Thanks again Ben Barger for your continuing effort to educate us on the ISAF: The Olympic Commission Draft Report to the ISAF Executive Committee (May 2010) and appendices.  Ben explained, "It took a few years to develop this and was created by some of the brightest minds of ISAF. I know it will take time to implement some of these changes, but at least it's been approved and some large and some small steps have been made in accomplishing these changes."

Minutes from the recently completed May 2012 Mid Year Meeting.

Meanwhile back at the ranch...

"The swell of the wave you've been waiting for just before it breaks. The thrill of exploring uncharted territory. The energy of whipping wind catching your sail. Nautica Aqua Rush embodies the spirit of nautical adventure—the anticipation, exhilaration and triumph that comes with taking to the high seas and going full speed ahead.

Nautica's latest fragrance for him, Aqua Rush, captures the nautical heritage of the iconic brand, immersing the wearer in the exhilarating experience of braving the waves. Bold, masculine and powerful, the fragrance evokes the steadfast character of the classic seafarer. At once spicy and fresh, crisp and woody, Aqua Rush epitomizes what it means to be a man without limits."

Oy vey...I guess it's better to be remembered than forgotten...Do you put this stuff on before or after a forward loop?

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