Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Celebrating Jim Drake

UPDATE: local article about Jim's passing that highlights his many other accomplishments.

I just saw the sad news that Jim Drake passed away.  I'm deeply honored to have met and known Jim.  We had some great conversations about the sport of windsurfing.

I have a funny story of how I met Jim.  Out of the few interesting stories I have, this one is a favorite.  I wrote about it over 4 years ago on this here for that story.  You, Me, Drake, and the License Plate - I think it's now time to retire that license plate.

Here is a very nice and fitting tribute to Jim from Svein Rasmussen and Starboard.

His is a life that should definitely be celebrated.  My thoughts and prayers go out to his family.   May he always have wind in his hair and sand in his shorts...on the big windsurfer in the sky.

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Bloopers, Odds, & Ends

From a couple of weeks ago, Rob made a funny bloopers video of our kookin' wake SUP surf session...

Wake SUP Surfing from WindyWaters on Vimeo.

Speaking of bloopers, we're hitting the mountain bike trails a lot more these days.  Rob had a lot of speed going into a sharp turn and face planted hard.  Here is the result of his aggressive riding.....nice!

I always say now that its not a real mountain bike outing unless Rob bleeds.  

The lake continues to be my gym - more mountain biking, stand up paddling, and I got in a nice surprise slalom windsurf sesh on the lake...all in 24 hours this weekend.  My dad even surprised us and got out on a stand up paddle board with his grandkids, my sister, my brother-in-law, and I...there were 3 generations paddling all at once!

We've had absolutely beautiful weather the last several days and we've had family in town as well.  The sunsets have been is one from the other night out on the boat with two of my three sisters....

And its been the wild kingdom around here.  We have a den of 5 foxes living on the other end of our street behind an empty cul-de-sac that hasn't been developed yet.  We've seen them almost every day for the last few weeks...all at different times of the day.  I finally captured a couple of pics of these elusive creatures with my iPhone.  Until this den showed up, I would probably would see a fox once or twice a year usually very early in the morning.  These little guys have been out in the middle of the day and not immediately running away when they see us.  They've been more curious than scared of us and our dog.  I've noticed fewer rabbits hopping around here.

With great respect and admiration, I'm keeping up with all the other events going on from the great  early fall conditions on Hatteras Island to the AWT Pistol River event.  Looking forward to the AWT Hatteras stop in September.

Happy Fathers Day to all those fathers out there getting their kids outdoors.

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

OBX Paddlepalooza Delivers

The 2nd Annual OBX Paddlepalooza absolutely delivered!  Once again, the weather cooperated and gave us a beautiful weekend.  Andy at Wind-NC did an outstanding job putting on the event, along with support from Drew at Hatteras Island Boardsports, Joe at Spa Koru, Mark Colino at Starboard, Frisco Woods Campground, as well as the other sponsors and volunteers.  They did a great job.  Proceeds went to benefit the local Hatteras Island Rescue Squad, which works purely on donations and did an amazing job helping the fine Hatteras Island folks during a very tough hurricane season last year and in years' past.

This year's event grew much bigger than last year's event and I'm sure next year will be even bigger.  This is truly an event for the entire family.  There was something for everyone including a challenging race course for the serious competitors.  This event was sanctioned as a WPA race.  The kids were included with a Juniors race, a kids race, and fun SUP games for the entire family.  The Frisco Woods Campground provided for fancy camping in their fine cabins or your own RV, or you could rough it in your tent.  Our family always enjoys the cabin option.

After we arrived on Friday afternoon, I lucked in a powered up 4.6 windsurfing session at Canadian Hole in SSE wind before some rain killed the wind.  That was the first time I've windsurfed in 2 months.  It felt great to get back in the straps again especially in 20-25mph wind.  I plan to do a lot more windsurfing again in the remainder of 2012, including the AWT Hatteras Wave Jam in September.

Saturday morning was the SUP racing.  The wind had clocked around from the north and gave us some challenging windy and choppy conditions (my wife was signed up to race but opted out after seeing the wind and chop). 

 The course was laid out so you had wind and chop from all directions as well as several buoy turns.

I finished 1st in the Men's 12'6" division 4 mile race.

Congratulating Mark Colino on his 2nd place finish.  Mark beat me last year by passing me at the finish.  I had to work hard to keep him behind me in this race but it paid off.  Great camaraderie and competition and a friendly rivalry!

My daughter competed in the 2 mile Juniors race on the same course.

She finished 1st even in those tough conditions

The kids race in a fun straight downwind run

My son

They were all winners!

After the races, we went to the beach and I got in some SUP surfing in waist to chest high waves, with a couple of head high sets that came through.  Got in some nice rides on my new Tabou 9'2".  That is a fast and turny board.  

Our other son is slowly getting into it.  Still a little timid though.

Late afternoon was the fun games designed for the kids and the whole family - tug of war on SUP boards, relay races, and a crazy game of watermelon keep away.

The evening awards and pig picking dinner was a lot of fun, along with some great live music.

The kids got recognized at the awards event, which was very cool.  Note to other race organizers - include the kids at the awards event.

McIntyre getting her award

Congratulations to the Women's 12'6" 4 mile race Top 3 winners: April Zilg 1st, Anne Gassett 2nd, Marissa Hedman 3rd.

Men's 12'6" Division 4 mile race Top 3 winners: Waterturtle 1st, Mark Colino 2nd, and Kevin Vangritis accepting the 3rd place award for Mackey Hall.

Men's 14' Division 6 mile race Top 3 winners: Chris Johnson 1st, Bill Gassett 2nd, Greg Lew 3rd

Sunday morning provided 15mph+ NW wind for a fun slalom sesh

Proof the kids don't care to watch you windsurf

My son has been studying the NC lighthouses at school, so naturally we had to go climb the Cape Hatteras lighthouse again.  It's still a great experience every time we do it.  The park service person told us that upon funding approval, they may open up the Bodie Island Lighthouse for climbing in 2013.

We hope to see more of you at next year's OBX Paddlepalooza (1st weekend of June)!

Saturday, June 2, 2012

Windsurfing Is Back!

To heck with the Olympics...all I know is I just windsurfed yesterday for the first time in 2 months and I'm stoked! Powered up 4.6 at Canadian Hole, Hatteras Island. Someone pinch me!

Above: a very bad, rushed, and quick iPhone pic before rigging up.