Monday, August 29, 2011

Best Videos from Last Week · Digital Evolution

Video Replay is a selection, IMHO, of the best videos from the last week (Aug 22 - 28) of DaNews. Dax Barker, age 7,  goes for a quick sail after school:

The wacky world of windsurfing aka the King of the Hook. The Big Winds video:

British windsurfer Chris Murray, aka Muzza, is a bon vivant water dog who spent his summer over here in the western U.S.  The video shows us some of what he did:

The Queen of Kanaha, the beautiful Valerie Lopez, shreds some waves with her Hot Sails Maui Smack:

The 6 day PWA annual gathering at Costa Brava is not known for nukin' wind, but delivered perhaps the windiest conditions on Tour this year. Good thing Eric Bellande put this video together because it is a rare visual record of the event:

Stickering vandals hit Kanaha...Maui Windsurfing has collected 5 videos from the Kuma Movie Blog visit to Maui.

Red Bull Media House filmed and produced this PWA Tour video for their content outlets which includes a cable channel in Europe: Servus TV. There is a German voice over and it's 24 minutes long...have a look:

Digital Evolution · First to ride on the new school digital wave was Brian McDowell's Windsurfer International online magazine. The August issue, # 21, means 21 consecutive months of publishing. Because there are no long lead times to get the magazine to the printers, topics and material are more up to date. The videos are the coolest feature in the mag. The magazine is free and doesn't require the sacrifice of one tree. If you haven't already read it or have just learned about the August issue, click on the photo and give it a go.

Maui Sails has also been pumping out a monthly digital magazine/newsletter focused on their products and the principals that make up the business. It also includes regular reports from their team riders. Hearing directly from Taty Frans has been fun for me. The July 2011 Newsletter, number 75, is found on their website here. Using the same style format as the newsletter they offer their complete 2011 product line in an electronic brochure. 

For 2012, e-catalogs are now more common.

2012 Starboard:

2012 Tabou Catalog with arguably the most colorful board graphics ever produced:

2012 Gaastra Sails Manual:

2012 Goya Boards

2012 Simmer Style Boards, first year for boards:

2012 Maui Sails:

Monday, August 22, 2011

Best Videos from Last Week · The Ways of the Wind

Video Replay is a selection, IMHO, of the best videos from the last week (Aug 15 - 21) of DaNews. The first video is a tasty, don't beat 'em over the head, introduction to the 2012 Naish Windsurfing Collection: 

Windsurfing vs. the World:

The King of the Hook, the ever so unusual and often funny once a year freestyle event, is put on by the Columbia Gorge Windsurfing Association...some of this year's rendition: 

From the Indian Ocean, Marco Lang in Mauritius:

Point of view, or simply POV, camera angles record the scene from a particular player's viewpoint. POV is how the broader field of cinematography would characterize the GoPro genre so common now in windsurfing videos. Here are 3 good examples from this week.

James Douglass is an accomplished GoPro videographer. More of his musings and videos can be found on his James Blog. James enjoying a summer day in Nahant:

The next video demonstrates the central issue of where to put the camera to get the most interesting view. The camera mount in the Punta Experience is something new:

Jeff Bennett of Maui Windsurfing wrote: "At the 2011 Maui Race Series Neil Pryde State Championships, Mike Yasak wore a GoPro camera during the morning age group heats. Mike was kind enough to share the footage with me. I’ve made two videos from it, one a highlights video with some footage I shot from the beach intercut with the GoPro footage, and another much longer video of all of each race 1 through 4 of the men’s age 50 division at the 2011 Maui Race Series Neil Pryde State Championships." 

Newspapers will report on windsurf gatherings, like a regatta, if someone prods them enough in advance. Usually that role falls on the shoulders of an event organizer who is sometimes overwhelmed by a sea of details. And more often than not the paper will do an adequate job of announcing the event but will lose interest in the follow up report of what happened. Occasionally you might find a human interest story about windsurfing usually concerning a long standing business or something interesting a windsurfer has done. In short, newspapers know we exist but for most of their readers our sport is a big yawn.

One notable exception to the newspaper doesn't really care syndrome is the Maui News which faithfully reports on windsurfing news. Their Maui Race Series reporting would look right at home in any big city newspaper's sports section. Covering windsurfing on Maui makes sense especially when you consider it's a relatively small island with 150,000+ residents and water sports are way big there.

Meanwhile, back on the U.S. mainland, something new for windsurfing started this summer in the Gorge. Katie Crafts of CGWA fame is writing a column for the local newspaper, Hood River News. A column for a newspaper usually means a regular feature driven by the author's personality and explicitly containing their point of view: the GoPro video of journalism. This summer she's written 5 articles, with one more to go, for her column: The Ways of the Wind. How did Katie get this chance to write about windsurfing for her local paper? "Adam Lapierre (a local kiter and reporter at the paper) contacted me after I submitted a press release, and laid out the idea of a recurring column about windsurfing.  As a writer and windsurfer, I, of course, thought it was a great idea and jumped on the opportunity!  Hood River has a lot of different "circles" of people - wind sport people, winter skiers, small business owners, farmers, ... it's nice to have a platform to bring awareness to these different circles, and this has been an awesome opportunity to do just that - build awareness of how windsurfing fits into Hood River (and how Hood River fits into windsurfing) through the column."  

Unfortunately there is no archived record of Katie's column, but she did photo copy the original clippings. Click the image and zoom for easier reading:



Monday, August 15, 2011


Marion Lepert's summer included 2 world championship podium finishes: outright World Title for the 2011 Women's Formula Class World Champion and a 2nd place finish in the Under 17 Bic Techno 293 World Championship. Her essay for the Little Pickle Press gives us an insight into the rarefied world of  competitive windsurfing. She writes: "Every time someone asks me what my favorite activity is, I answer windsurfing, and every time I get blank stares. “What’s that?” is the question that most commonly follows. This is no surprise because windsurfing is not very popular in the United States. In fact, I have only met a couple dozen American junior windsurfers. But this has not stopped me from loving the sport. I have been windsurfing for eight years, and racing for five. During the summer, I race with an amazing group of San Francisco windsurfers, who have taught me everything I know about racing. In four years, they have helped me go from struggling just to finish a course to being able to race internationally..." How My Dreams Take Me Through Change

The Bic Techno 293 Worlds were held July 19 - 24 in San Francisco, Marion's home waters. She has a short interview toward the end in the video below. 7 more videos from the event here.

Zane Schweitzer came in 2nd in the Under 20 division of the first ever running of the IFCA Youth Wave World Championship. Zane won the Expression Session which payed $1000 in prize money to the winner. In addition to the money for the Expression Session, $3000 more was awarded to the Junior and Youth Divisions of the regular competition !! Pretty amazing to see prize money here. And they joined an even bigger windsurfing event trend by live webcasting all the action. The contest ran from August 2 - 6 in Lobitos, Peru, a world famous wave destination.

Matty Schweitzer reports about the kids clinic: "Zane and I put together a kids clinic after the final day of the IFCA World Championships! We had more kids show up than we could have hoped for and had one of the most memorable days of our Lives introducing Kids to the Ocean and donating almost all that we had! This would have never been possible if it was not for Zane  and his sponsors donating their time, product and support! Mahalo Nui Loa to AlpinestarsStar-Board, Maui Jim & PowerBalance Hawai'i ! Because of your full support we have changed many lives here in Peru! And big thanks to Ricardo Guglielmino Pedreros for setting up everything and getting us out here! Viva Peru & Mahalo Nui."

Nicolas Dudet, 18 year old from Cancun, Mexico who now lives in the U.S., also competed in this event. He started windsurfing when he was 12 years old and decided by 14 to become a wave sailor. Nick had a 3rd place finish at the 2011 AWT Waddell Creek Event in the Amateur Division and a 5th place finish at the 2011 Pistol River in the Amateur Division. Nick missed AWT Baja to compete instead at the IFCA Youth Worlds in Peru.

More reporting at the event website. Expression Session below.

Sarah Quita Offringa  is having an amazing summer, grabbing 2 PWA World Titles: freestyle and slalom. The 20 year old from Aruba, who is now going to college in Holland, secured her 5th World Title with a 2nd place finish in slalom at the recent Tour stop in Alacati, Turkey. 2010 was the first year she competed in slalom for the entire tour finishing 3rd overall.

Of course we all know Sarah for her amazing command of freestyle. Boardseeker recently interviewed her. Asked about the two disciplines she now does: "’s good that the competitions are separated from each other so you can fully concentrate on one discipline for the duration of the event. But it is hard to keep your level high in both disciplines because if you don’t train, for instance, in freestyle for a while the others will progress more than you do. The same thing happens with slalom, so in that sense it’s hard to combine the two disciplines...Usually when I get the chance I’ll go and freestyle. I prefer to go slalom sailing with a buddy - it’s a little bit boring by yourself. However, sometimes I need some time off from freestyle and then I love blasting across the water on my slalom kit!"

Sarah dominating Race 9, Winners Final at Alacati:

Dax Barker may have set a new record this summer. At 7 yrs. old he may be the youngest to sail world famous Ho'okipa. He created a buzz with his recent photoshoot for his sponsor Hot Sails Maui. That's right he's sponsored. Being a good team rider, Dax got his sponsor's gear into the Action Sports (school) new brochure. From the Hot Sails Maui website:

DOB: 8/25/2004
Home Town: Sprecks, Maui
Home Break:  Camp One
Favorite Discipline:  Windsurfing!
Sail Quiver (sizes and models): Micro Bolt 1.6m, MircoFreak 2.1
Board Quiver: Starboard kids 88L, Quatro 50L
Favorite Fin Size: 40cm center, wave 20 on tail. Wave 22
Harness line length: 18 inches
Favorite Sailing Spots: Bonaire (in his dreams)
What inspires you?
Windsurfing! It is fun. Also Jeff, Mommy and Kai.

Top 5 Favorite Albums:
Throwdowns, Green Day, Beatles

You're all time favorite movie?
Don't mess with the Zohan

What's something that you get from sailing that you can't get from anything else? Respect and high fives.

Plans for the future: Finish 1st grade with good grades. Get a passport. Windsurf, surf and I want to foil-board.

Dax takes his sister for a short windsurfing adventure.

Björn Dunkerbeck won his first World Title in 1988 but his last Racing World Title, according to PWA records, was 1999. The 42 year old is legendary for his long career at the top of competition. Björn debuted as a professional in 1986. 35 years later he is once again World Champion !! His victory at the PWA tour stop in Alacati sealed the deal, making him the 2011 PWA Slalom World Champion. 

Monday, August 8, 2011

Cactus Cup Rewind · New Mags · American Slalom

AWT · Cactus Cup Rewind ·  We almost didn’t make it across the border. The sixteen-foot box truck, loaded with windsurfing gear for more than twenty people, unfortunately had the words “Penske Commercial” on it - and apparently, the Border Patrol didn’t like the word “commercial”. No amount of hand gesturing and broken Spanish could resolve the issue, and we were turned back around through US Customs (who was fortunately much more understanding, and didn’t leave us in no-man’s-land limbo for too long.) A few miles down the road to the cargo border crossing, where we were waved through with a smile and a wink, and the road down begun. Non-stop to Ensenada, then Walmart, hielo cristalizino, and our favorite, Tacos el Poblano. Then more of Baja-1, until one last tacos ‘n beer pit stop in El Rosario, before we hit the dirt road at about 6 PM...wrote WINDSURFING editor Josh Sampiero. Sampiero Day 1

Viewing hint: play both of the videos at the same time but mute one of the soundtracks. I like the Jay Watermeyer (2nd video) soundtrack the best...

Tanya Saleh reported: If you've never been to San Carlos before then you need to try and imagine rolling out of your tent facing the water every day. There is no phone signal, but there are amazing conditions, good company, and therefore there is such a laid back, chilled out vibe in camp.With 6 potential days of competition ahead of us it was suggested that we would likely run a series of single eliminations until 2 discards are allowed (assuming conditions permit). The small sized fleet of 30 competitors would allow for a super relaxed event with the main stage being down at the point break... Tanya Saleh Day 1

Kevin Pritchard wins first Single Elimination · The AWT caravan survived three separate border crossings, the ride down and two glorious taco stands to arrive at Solo Sports to 20-25 knot winds and clean head high waves. Head judge Matt Pritchard announced that we’d be running up to seven single eliminations for this contest with one throw-out after four rounds and two if seven are completed. Day one of competition couldn’t have been any better and here are the results and some photos to prove it by Clark Merritt! - Windsport editor Pete Dekay. AWT Day 1

Mershon wins Day 2 at AWT San Carlos · The second single elimination delivered at the AWT San Carlos Cactus Cup hosted by SoloSports Adventure Holidays. The wind kicked in to a solid 25-knots and waves picked up slightly with more logo-high sets running through compared to the previous day. The contest area is set perfectly allowing riders to pick up set waves at the point and ride them for four to five hits before connecting down to the Chili Bowl for some sick aerials. Now on to the action…

Heats of the Day: We couldn’t pick just one as the Final and Super Final both delivered. The Final had Keith Teboul, Matt Pritchard, Nathan Mershon and Russ Faurot battling it out with the top two advancing. The action was intense with Faurot delivering his best lip smacking performance so far in the comp to finish in 3rd just ahead of Matt Pritchard. Teboul and Mershon advanced to the Super Final, which was an incredible way to end Day 2. The heat started with both sailors picking off mast-high waves off the point. They both destroyed it riding all the way down to the Chili Bowl but the consensus among onlookers was that Mershon took the lead. Both exchanged numerous decent waves over the next 12 minutes until the final minute of the 14-minute heat when once again both riders picked up another mast-high set. Teboul was slashing his roundhouse cutbacks and throwing massive aerials but Mershon matched him hit for hit. According to the judges it was incredibly close with Mershon taking the final in the end. AWT Day 2

Saleh added: Another successful day and another round complete. The swell ranged from knee high to logo high depending on whether you were lucky enough to score a set wave in your heat. The family style competition vibe continued with competitors and spectators cheering each other on from the point when not in the water...In the women's I managed to take the win with Miho in 2nd, Sam in 3rd, and Catherine in 4th. I have to say that this is the most fun contest I have ever been a part of. The conditions are so enjoyable that sailing in your heat is awesome since you get to sail the point with just 4 of you there for 15 minutes. It's just like cruising around with your friends having a good time. Tanya Saleh Day 2

Day 3 - Kumbaya meets Fellini, a most Bizarre Expression Session ·  Saleh explained: Glassy conditions led to extended surf sessions this morning both down at the point and at the main beach break. Unfortunately the high spring tides meant that by the time the wind kicked in, the swell wasn't playing ball. Although some waist to head high sets rolled in they were very few and far between. After lunch it was full on 4.5 weather and the judges called a pro - am event. What is this I hear you say? (Since I wondered exactly the same thing). It's a team event in pairs where each Amateur picks out the name of a Pro man to team up with. There are 10 minute heats and you are ONLY scored on overall impression. Tanyah Saleh Day 3

Russ Faurot continues: Just to kick it up a notch, there was an optional event pairing up the PROs & AMs with a twist, encouraging the Contestants to be as flamboyant as possible.Everyone took it in stride with a staunch few opting for the straight man role. AWT Day 3

Graham Ezzy’s Goiters dominate Day 4 · Saleh sets up the day: Still having an absolute blast down here at San Carlos. The internet is very limited so will have to upload more pics when I get back...We awoke to slightly larger swell again, but the fast increasing large high tides once again meant that the point waves did not exist. Therefore it was decided to hold round 3 at the beach break by the solo sports camp. Solid head high and larger sets were coming through so everyone geared up for the 12 minute, 2 waves to count heats. Tanyah Saleh Day 4

Russ Faurot continues: The venue changed for the Cactus Cup’s fourth day with the competition taking place directly in front of the Solo Sports camp. Graham Ezzy put on a show with his one-handed Goiters and Takas. It was another windy day with plenty of logo-high sets rolling through from the Bombora towards the point. AWT Day 4

Morgan Noireaux dominates Day 5 · Young ripper Morgan Noireaux got on a roll in the 4th single elimination taking down all the older pros. As the light was fading in the evening he was forced to sail three heats back-to-back (2 pro finals and a youth heat) and won them all. In Noireaux’s final heat against Graham Ezzy he landed a perfect Taka to help claim victory. Let’s see what day 6 brings now that each single elimination has been won by a different competitor and everyone gets to throw out their weakest result (after the 4th round). AWT Day 5

Graham Ezzy wins the Cactus Cup · The wind cranked up to a strength whereby everyone was overpowered regardless of sail size. The waves were inconsistent thanks to the extraordinarily high tide, and also very choppy when they did come through...Tanyah Saleh Last Day

With four single eliminations in the bag it was decided that contest conditions were not quite up to par to run a fifth giving Graham Ezzy the title. There was still wind and waves on the final day but unless you brought your 3.7 and were prepared to wait for the proper set to arrive it just wasn’t fair for everyone. It was a great call by head judge Matt Pritchard. So instead Pritchard send heats out for an Expression Session to battle for a Chinook Carbon boom. The competition was intense and the Expert final saw Kevin Pritchard, Graham Ezzy, Nathan Mershon, Russ Faurot and Royn Bartholdi all head out to the far side of the island to throw their biggest jumps. In a surprise finish Faurot dominated the heat landing countless Back Loops, Push Loops and a huge Stalled Forward. Yossi Salomon took the Amateur title and Miho took the women’s crown with impressive loops in the tough conditions... AWT Day 6

Photos for each day are are found on the AWT day links.  More here  AWT Photos | Solo Sports | More AWT Photos

More · Funny report from Chris "Muzza" Murray. Cactus Cup winner, Graham Ezzy tells his story in 3 parts: part 1/3  part 2/3   The Fabrice Beaux report is here.

New Mags · Dave Dominy, owner of Streamlined USA (universals, extensions, booms, boom heads, masts) along with Tom Servais, formally with Surfer Magazine as Photo Editor, are about to launch their new print magazine project in September 2011. Dave promises a fresh look at all ocean water sports including Surfing, Windsurfing, Kiting, SUP and associated hybrids. In addition they will feature the world's watermen. The premiere issue will feature Punta San Carlos as a "must visit" destination.  Liquid Edge.

Windsurfing Magazine has just published 2 new digital issues, which are found on their website. One issue focuses on sailing SUPs and the other is a Beginner's Guide to windsurfing. Josh Sampiero writes: Welcome to WINDSURFING's, a digital magazine that comes to life on your desktop computer, smartphone, or touch-screen tablet. Windsurfing: Digital Issues

American Slalom Racing probably had its biggest day this year on July 30. On Maui, they concluded the 27th running of the Maui Race Series with the 5th and last event, the Neil Pryde Hawaii State Championship. 46 competitors participated. Hours earlier, on the same day in Hood River, the penultimate event of the Gorge Cup, The Gorge Challenge, was about to begin the first of 2 days of racing. 36 participants competed.

Karen Bennett connects you to the reporting from the 2011 Hawaii State Championship here. Gorge Cup reporting is here.

What do these 2 locales have in common? Well, they're both consistently windy. Conventional thinking says you need good strong wind for slalom racing? I'm sure gear choices for these 2 fleets reflect their local conditions. I bet either of these fleets would have a hard time running their race series if the average wind dropped to 10 knots, but on the PWA they slalom race in winds as light as 7 knots. Formula racing, the class invented to make it possible to have planing races in the lightest of wind, has the same basic wind minimum.

In an email from Ron Kern, he reported participant numbers for racing events here in Florida are good. The Banana River Resort Event in March garnered top numbers with 47 participants. He also said there are two bids in at US Windsurfing for the 2012 US Nationals, with locations at the Gorge and Winthrop Bay in Boston. If you have any thoughts about the Nationals or racing in general, send some feedback to Ron.

Alex Morales is organizing the 2011 North American IFCA Slalom Championship set for this October 18 -23 in Miami.

Monday, August 1, 2011


PWA Freestyle · It's the end of July and the 2011 Freestyle World Champions have already claimed their crowns. Steven Broeckhoven, the 25 year old Belgian who joined the tour in 2008, won the recent event in Fuerteventura, claiming his first Freestyle World Title. With the victory Broeckhoven crushed all hope by making it mathematically impossible for the Tour's final event in Sylt, Germany to make any difference in the Title calculation.  Sarah Quita Offringa, also winning at Fuerteventura, continues to dominate the Tour with this her 4th consecutive Freestyle World Title.

Past Freestyle World Champions
It's been 10 years since a European has won the men's PWA Freestyle World Championship; Fuerteventura was the event that clenched it for the 2001 World Champion, Antoine Albeau. That's right, Albeau was World Champion in freestyle. Look at the list of past champions on the left and you'll see 2 other names that might surprise: Bjorn Dunkerbeck and Karin Jaggi. All 3 are known today for their racing prowess. What does it mean? Not sure, but if you want to be a better racer, maybe learning freestyle will help. What was freestyle like in 1999?

Kuma Movie Blog has become the unofficial videographer of the PWA Freestyle tour this year. The Japanese language Kuma Movie Blog attracts an international windsurfing audience through the universal appeal of video. Freestyle is their passion and it seems they have documented more action than the PWA. Even with live webcasts at 4 of the 6 freestyle events this year, the coin of the media realm is still recorded video. While PWA TV does a very good job at recapping the action from every day of any event, Kuma's passion and subsequent body of work are a welcomed boost of attention. People watch videos. So far, Kuma has produced 11 videos from Fuerteventura this year.

In the just completed 2011 Fuerteventura contest, the men's single elimination freestyle winner was Gollito; the double elimination winner was Steven Broeckhoven. The rules require that if the winner of the single elimination loses in the double, there must be a rematch. Steven, after beating Gollito once in the double elimination, had to do it again. In this heat the judges counted the best 4 out of 7 moves. No moves were scored after 7 attempts. The super or grand final of the men's heat below. Continent Seven has 2 more videos of the same final here.

The Sarah Quita Offringa vs. Laure Treboux double elimination final below. Continent Seven has more videos of the same final here.

On tour, when they finish both the single and double elimination brackets and determine the overall winner, the official event is concluded. If time allows, they do a Super Session with whomever wants to compete. Sometimes they award cash, sometimes merchandise; there is one winner from the men, one winner from the women. A video from the super session day is available at the PWA website (watch out, the volume comes on when you go there). Another video below from the event sponsor.

North America is well represented in the world of freestyle. Not sure who divided up the world and assigned countries but North America scored. We got the Caribbean, which of course includes the Netherlands Antilles which of course includes the ABC Islands: Aruba, Bonaire, Curacao. This could go political...but it is only about geography. Indeed, there are a few European countries that do control some of the real estate over here. Regardless of country, large or small, the one big thing we share in common is where we live: North America.

Everyone who follows freestyle probably knows the famous names from North America. They win World Titles, are in all the videos and smile a lot because they get to sail and train in their tropical home waters. I like 'em all but wanted to spread the good vibrations to a few more.

Bryan Metcalf Perez
Phil Soltysiak
With one more event to go before the PWA Freestyle Tour ends in     early October, 24 year old Canadian Phil Soltysiak is currently ranked 9th overall. Phil started windsurfing at 10 and first competed on the Tour in 2007. Last year he finished 6th overall. Phil's story. Another 24 year old, Bryan Metcalf Perez from Santa Fe, New Mexico says he's been sailing for 18 years, mostly in Baja and the Gorge. This year is his rookie season on Tour and he is currently ranked 23. Bryan didn't compete in Bonaire or Aruba which would have certainly improved his standing.   

Colette Guadagnino
Tyson Poor

2001 Freestyle World Champion Colette Guadagnino, who now lives and works in Miami, raced in the 2011 PWA Aruba Slalom event. Tyson Poor had his first season on the PWA in 2002 but no longer competes on Tour. Tyson won the Freestyle event at the recently completed U.S. Nationals. Does this make Tyson our U.S. National Freestyle Champion? I hope so.

Mike Burns
Mike Burns won the Long Island, NY East Coast Windsurfing Festival Pro Freestyle division becoming King of the East in June 2011. He thinks windsurfing is a drug: "It's not so easy to have a drug addiction. Sure it ruins lives, and could cost the user their family, friends and even their own lives. Not so different from windsurfing really. Without wind, the windsurfer will get cranky, fidgety, and start lashing out at friends and family, kinda like a crackhead that hasn't had his fix. But, at least the local crackhead can go get his fix at will, provided he hasn't spent all his money on heroin." Follow Mike on his blog: Pure Windsurfing

The learners guide to windsurfing has a lot of how to material, links and videos on the Freeestyle Page. In honor of the AWT Cactus Cup, the video below takes us back to yesteryear at Baja with a few faces you're sure to recognize...