Tuesday, June 22, 2010

The REAL Wave Bash Winners

Monday, June 21, 2010

Guess Who Won the Wave Bash?

(Wave Bash Coverage, part 2 of 50 skrillion.)

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Press Release for Pistol River Wave Bash

Just pitched in to help out with the event by writing this. The final day is upon us. Good luck to the competitors:


6-20-2010 10:00 AM

This summer marks the official return of the Pistol River Wave Bash, which was on a ten year hiatus. Under the management of Samantha Bittner, the event's first year back greatly exceeded expectations in attendance. Over 75 windsurfers hailing from as far as France and England traveled to compete in the legendary conditions wind and wave conditions offered by the Oregon Coast. The conditions for competition have not disappointed. Head judge Matt Pritchard described the conditions as "epic". He went on to say, "After having been around the world traveling with the Pro Windsurfing Association and searching for waves and wind for the last 25 years, this place goes in the top 5 in the whole world."

On Thursday, the wind ramped up into the high 30s which made the competitors choose their smallest sails and boards to deal with the extreme conditions. Huge aerial moves and wave rides were judged in Single Elimination heats. Veteran pro windsurfers Kevin Pritchard and Francisco Goya came out on top of the expert men's division, allowing them to skip competing in the Double Elimination heats on Friday.

Friday brought winds that were slightly less strong but were described by pro windsurfer Russ Faurot as, "excellent for a competition.' The judging was based upon scoring one jump and two wave rides in 8 minute heats. Huge push loops and back loops were standard fare. Clean landings and jump height were the determining factors in jump scores. Wave selection and style would play into the scoring for the wave rides. Throughout the day, parking crowded the highway from passers-by enthralled by the action. Many walked long distances to reach the competition area as heats were run late into the evening.

The women's division ran heats on Thursday and Friday as well. Four of the best women in the world competed in the challenging conditions, scoring big forward loops and back loops along with silky smooth wave rides. Canadian Ingrid Larouche pulled out first place on the podium, followed by Tanya Saleh.

The future of windsurfing was on high display as well as competitors Zane Schweitzer and Bernd Roediger duked it out in back-to-back heats to determine the winner. The juniors, who are 16 and 14 respectively sailed well beyond their years, nailing push loops and back loops in rapid fire. Their wave rides were stylish and had huge aerials, as well as sliding through freestyle moves on the wave faces. The rest of the competitive field were blown away by the level of the junior's competition and many commented that they had the most entertaining heats of the day.

Going into the final day, one last heat is left to run between Kevin Pritchard and Francisco Goya to determine the overall expert Men's winner of the Pistol River Wave Bash. Reports of the final heat will be published later.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

The best catapult ever in the history of the universe

I bow to thee, yellow clothed helmet guy.

Monday, June 7, 2010

The Tricktionary Guy

... said, "it's ok to be one-sided".

I met this guy at Candlestick the other day with sail numbers on his sail and a van emblazoned with Tricktionary logos. It's pretty rare that we sail with sail-number folks. Apparently he's visiting the US for a wedding in Santa Cruz and is checking out our windsurfing spots here in the Bay, the Gorge, and coast. His name is Michael Rossmeier, but he goes by "Rossi". He and his wife created these Tricktionary books and videos (of which I own a book, and need to get my hands on a DVD).

We had a short conversation after a crummy session at Candlestick Park. "Usually, it's much better", I explained. I think he believed me because there must have been 10-15 freestyle windsurfers splashing and spinning at the ends of reaches in the few-and-far-between puffs.

We talked a little about the windsurfing in his home country of Austria, and his main windsurfing spot of Lake Garda. I think he, like me, is from a place that isn't very windy. He seemed to think there weren't a lot of windsurfers in California. I think he might be right, considering how ideal the conditions are here.

The burning question I had, after having seen the book was... "Is it ok to be one-sided?" In the book you can see very detailed pictures of him doing tons of moves with perfect form and execution. But can he do them all on both sides? He said, "yes and no," in that order. He's primarily a starboard trickster. He can do certain moves better on port, but for the most part his bag of tricks starts with his right hand forward.

So as my weak port vulcan attempts come along, I wonder if it's an act of futility. I can feel real progress now, so I'll continue on. But now I know it's ok to be stronger on one side.

You know who told me? The guy who wrote the book on windsurfing.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

37 Days

(photo by Jacob L)

I made my first 3 Vulcans on April 23rd. I made my next one on May 29th.

Sure, I've been sailing a little less than usual due to a variety of reasons, but it's amazing how I could have something working a month ago and completely lose it. Ok, that's not entirely true. In the last month, I've probably had 50 near misses. Get to the other side of the boom get a good hold, then something goes wrong. Typically sinking the tail whilst landing.

It's a fickle move. And I'm an inconsistent windsurfer. We'll see if "dialed" becomes a reality some day.