Tuesday, June 14, 2011

ECWF raffle: No more excuses!

This is the second part of my report from the East Coast Windsurfing festival. I'd love to tell you more about the freestyle competition, but I did not see much of it - just one heat in the amateur divisions (men & women), and one heat in the pro division. In the pro division, Mike Burns, Chris Eldrige, John Sassone and  Sergey Andreev threw down a bunch of complicated switch - duck - slide tricks that I don't even know the names of. If they were affected by the wind shadow close to shore, they did not let it show - cool stuff.

Josh Angulo also competed in this heat, and started right away with a few simpler tricks like 360s. I don't know if he can do the switchy - slidey tricks that the other competitors showed, but I don't care - Josh clearly played to please the crowds. He threw a couple of high, incredibly slow forward loops, which got a lot of applause from the crowds; and he even threw in a body drag, which most sailors on the beach could at least imagine doing themselves. Well, those tricks are easier than the ones I can't name, so he placed last in the competition - but I'm sure he scored very high with a lot of the watchers on the beach.

In the amateur divisions, it was cool to see a lot of the competitors try tricks that they had not 100% down yet. Together with the excitement of the competition and the chop, that meant a lot of falls. However, attempts also counted towards points in the amateur division, which created a lot of action on the water. Even the little bit I saw definitely motivated me to practice my freestyle a lot more to participate in the fun next year.

On the second day just before the award ceremony, the raffle winners were announced. This seemed to go on forever, there were so many prizes - hats, T-shirts, extensions, mast bases, rig winches, mast protectors, a Clew-View mount for the GoPro camera, and a skinny 430 mast as the main prize. You had to be there to get your prize, so quite a few winners who had left already missed out. That included the main prize, where it took three tries to find a winner that was present. I was afraid we'd run out of raffle tickets - it seemed everyone was winning something. Big thanks to the sponsors: Ocean Air Sports, Fanatic, North, Nolimitz, Chinook, Hampton Watersports, Windsport Magazine, and the New England Windsurfing Journal. They all earned lots of cookie points for supporting this great event (which, I am sure, will convert into sales over time).

I was especially happy about my raffle win, a mast protector from Ion (donated by Ocean Air):
It's intended to protect the nose of the boards from damage when learning the loop, and other crazy tricks. The padding seems perfectly set up to absorb and distribute any impact forces, so I'm sure it will work. I wish I had had this baby last year, when I broke the nose of my board when trying loop exercises! Well, I got it now, so I'm all out of excuses. This baby will come with me to Maui!