Tuesday, September 16, 2014

ECWF Cape Cod impressions

Many things at the ECWF Cape Cod impressed and amused me - here are a few random ones:
  • Caesar Finies skipping his lunch break to demonstrate Ankle Biters and more on the beach to a large crowd of onlookers; some of them later did the move on land
  • Mike Burns putting up an amazing show in the pro freestyle heats, making Caesar work very hard for the first place in pro freestyle
  • Phil Soltysiak racing on his small freestyle board and 5.x m freestyle sail, and always coming in in the top 1/3rd of the pack, even when winds were light 
  • Eric Skilbred upping his performance in every heat to eventually steal 1st place from Niko Kley, who had dominated the earlier heats with flawless duck tacks, back-to-back, and jaw breakers
  • Caesar pumping like mad to get on a plane in marginal winds, and ending up way ahead of everyone else on the last mark - but being caught by longboard sailors on the final upwind leg in shifty and weak offshore winds
  • The crew from Makani Fins who came from Canada to participate in racing and freestyle with big smiles on their faces, and to let everyone interested try out Makani fins
  • Pam Levy, who had again come from Michigan to help with running the event, but who also participated in both racing and freestyle - and who kept her smile even when her car had to be towed to a repair shop when she was on her way to the event, towing the rescue jet ski
  • Nina whipping everyone into shape on the megaphone, making sure that we stayed close to schedule and earning many remarks for how well organized the event was
  • Mike Burns beating Caesar in the second-to-last freestyle heat because he had chosen a larger sail, and had just enough power in the gusts to throw amazing new school tricks
  • Caesar fighting back in the last heat in lighter winds - when Mike drew large cheers for seemingly never-ending turns and cool rail rides, Caesar answered with never-ending ankle biters, explosive railride into Matrix combos, and his trademark "Hail Mary" attempts 
  • Jeff Bull absolutely dominating the first day of racing on his ancient Mistral Superlight, leaving all kinds of slalom boards and longboards in the dust in 4 of 6 races
  • Jeanne Baumann, the old and new Queen of the Cape, showing the guys how to race with 4 placings in the overall top 5 - she would have taken 3rd place in the Men's 7.5 division, and 1st place in the Men's Open division
  • Seeing the Kalmus parking lot filled up with windsurf vehicles 
  • Lots of beautiful sails on the water during races
  • Nikita putting family first and taken both of his kids out for a sail instead of competing
  • Mike Burn's catapult over the finish line when his fin caught the anchor line of the buoy
  • Freestyle Fred skillfully taking down Jerry Evans with a sail throw in a freestyle heat
  • Having competitors come from Bonaire, Canada, Vermont, Michigan, New York, Connecticut, and lots of other places
  • Seeing competitors ranging from 16 to 72 years in age competing in the same races and freestyle heats
Here are a few pictures from the event:
Race start - PWA sailor Phil Soltysiak ahead of the pack
Great weather, lots of colorful sails
Caesar Finies demonstrating moves on land

Pro freestyle heat - Caesar and Mike on the rail

Caesar on the boom during a Matrix
Phil and Mike Burns getting ready to race
Women's freestyle

Cape Cod sailor Jerry Evans chasing Caesar Finies

Caesar going for a Hail Mary

Novices competing with PWA pros - all had lots of fun