Kia Cold Hawaii · Last year this wave contest redefined gnarly...I mean, it was totally gnarly. And all of its gnarliness was broadcast live, setting a visual standard for all future windsurfing event webcasts. This year, first possible start of competition is Monday, September 17, at 1:00 PM local time (7:00 AM EDT - Denmark is 6 hours ahead of the US Eastern Daylight Time). Skippers meetings, starting Tuesday are set for 9:30 AM (local) everyday. Sunday, September 23, is the last possible day of competition.
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Klitmoller, Denmark on the shore of the North Sea, is the site of the penultimate event of the 2012 PWA World Tour. You can watch this wave contest live on the PWA website, the Cold Hawaii Website or this blog. Visit the PWA website for all of their regular coverage including the live video webcast, John Carter photos, daily video reports, Chris Yates' written daily event summaries, his live ticker, heat to heat reporting, bracket results and overall event standings. There's more coverage and reporting on the Cold Hawaii event website. The "absolute crown jewel" of their website is the Live Center where they will bring together the live video streaming, live scoring, live chat and live tweeting, all on one page. The scoring system will utilize the judges' electronic tablets which we will be able to follow live during the webcast. "...when Philip Köster, lands a double forward, we will know how perfect the judges thought it was almost instantly and whether it is good enough to beat a Kauli Seadi push loop forward..."
.Fiona Wylde, 15 years old, was nominated for 3 awards this year. The Columbia Gorge Windsurfing Association nominated her for 2. She won the CGWA Award, Grom of the Year. They wrote: "She is the most stoked windsurfer I know. It doesn’t matter that she is a grom, she encourages and exudes stoke like no one else. Fiona continues to dominate windsurf competitions around the country. She has been killing it on the AWT. She was a staple in the Gorge Cup race series and she did extremely well at the US Windsurfing Nationals." She was 3rd overall in the 2012 Gorge Cup Race Series, finishing behind her dad, MacRae Wylde, and series winner, Bruce Peterson. In Slalom at the US Nationals this year she was 14th overall. She ranks first on the 2012 AWT after the Hatteras Wave Jam.
Fiona also won the Windsurfer of the Year contest (2012) held by the Association of Wind and Watersport Industries. The AWSI is an organization which represents the North American manufacturers, retailers and schools in the sports of Windsurfing, Kiteboarding and SUP. The contest promotes excellence in windsurfing and the winner is determined by public online voting based on an entrant’s video submission. Go to Windsport to see her contest video submission and her gracious thank you acknowledgement for being chosen AWSI Windsurfer of the Year.
The RS:X Class has requested a judicial review in a London Court of the ISAF decision to add kite racing and drop the RS:X Class from the 2016 Olympics in Brazil. Tactically, the class wants to expedite the review and the ISAF would rather delay. Both parties are focused on how the review might effect the ISAF annual meeting in early November. The ISAF Council stands by their mid year decision. No date for the judicial review has been set. An Executive Summary is available with Q & A's.
Rory Ramsden, RS:X Class Secretary, recently reported: "Our wish is to resolve the current situation with all speed and reach a settlement which ensures that the Windsurfing versus Kitesurfing question is put back on the table for open discussion at the ISAF Conference in November, culminating in a revote on the event/equipment to be used for the boards event in 2016 Olympic Regatta."
If this Olympic kitesurf versus windsurf debate grabs your interest, have a look at the Facebook Group, ISAF Atheletes Commission - The Sailors Voice!. They cover it all, from deeply researched fact based assertions to the old fashioned forum styled flamethrowing arguments. And if you find you just can't get enough of this kerfuffle, then you're sure to like the Facebook Group, Keep Windsurfing Olympic, that hears from both sides of the debate. The Petition to keep windsufring an Olympic discipline has 30,785 signatures.
The latest issue of Windsport brings us the first person testimony of some aspiring Olympians from around the world who are affected by the ISAF decision. Buatista Birkner, 16 year old from Argentina, wrote: "The first thing I thought when I heard the decision was that the world was over. For the next couple of days I was depressed and didn't even want to go train. But then I realized that this sport is everything to me: It's my life..." If you can't find a copy of the magazine, have a look at this scanned copy of the article.
US Olympian Bob Willis has already announced he would not return to the campaign trail for the 2016 Games even if the they reinstate the RS:X Class. However, if kite racing is the next board class for Brazil, Farrah Hall said she would campaign for a US Olympic berth. She reported to the Annapolis Patch: "It's disappointing, because I've put so much time and effort into this sport (windsurfing) —eight years now," she said. "I'd like to see that progress continue into Rio. But that may not happen." On the bright side, Hall said everyone involved with windsurfing would be starting out on the same footing by learning the ins and outs of kiteboarding over the next four years. That could create new opportunities. New stars could rise, she said. "The majority of people coming to kiteboarding would be ex-Olympic windsurfers, and they would radically change the sport," Hall said.