Sunday, November 20, 2011

AWT Cactus Cup Video

For some reason I never posted the link to the video from the Cactus Cup. This is thanks to Kevin Pritchard and his team including Ben Dann who manage to put together awesome little videos during every event:

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

AWT 2011 - Amazing job Sam!

Whilst I was only lucky enough to be able to compete in 1 out of the 4 American Windsurfing Tour events, I was glued to the web to see the results from the others. The one I did compete in was so well organised and heaps of fun all at the same time. All of this is down is to 1 determined little lady who even managed to bring the final show down back to Ho'okipa. WELL DONE SAM! And thanks for giving me the chance to compete in a wonderful American Wave Event, you've done the sport and the industry SO proud :) Below are the women's over all rankings for the year......

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Check out FLOW

Flow Windsurfing was put together by Amy Carter - long time Windsurfer and professional racer turned entrepreneaur. What Amy has put together is bringing women together and encouraging them to go at it in sometimes scary and intimidating male dominated environment.
Go Amy!! And I'm priveledged to be a Flow Rider!

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Bringing home the trophy!

Final Day and Results
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. The overall ruling was to run an Expression Session where overall impression counted but big scores most. Needless to say it was quite a show. The huge airs, backloops 1 footed, 1 handed, push loops made for quite a show but for most it was a matter of survival....even some of the Pros didn't make it for the full 15 minute duration of their heat!! (I won't mention names).
Local Maui resident Russ Faurot took the win consistently landing the biggest jumps.
In the Women's Miho took the win managing to remain in control and land some big forwards.

So that was that....results stood firm as they did at the end of round 4 (see below).

I would just like to thank all the event organiser's (Sam and her team) for a great event in world class conditions. And of course to Kevin Trejo and all the Solosports staff for putting up with us all week.

All Maui Men's Podium:
1st Graham Ezzy
2nd Keith Taboul
3rd Kevin Prichard

1st Tanya Saleh (England)
2nd Miho Tanaka (Japan)
3rd Sam Bittner (USA)

1st Jordan Reid
2nd Yossy Saloman
3rd Ruben Lemmens

1st Kevin Trejo
2nd Royn Bartoldi

1st Morgan Noireaux
2nd Jordan Reid
3rd Jay Watermeyer

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Cactus Cup - Day 4

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, but for now here are the results from yesterday....

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

The Youth's were first to go out and they were clearly all fired up because they were all charging getting right under the lip with every hit. This was accompanied by

several crashes so all together was rather entertaining to watch. Morgan took 1st place with Jordan in 2nd an Jay in 3rd.

In the men's, Keith Taboul and Kevin Pritchard progressed from the first heat, Kevin McGilvray and Skylar Haywood moved on from the second heat, with Graham Ezzy and

Morgan Noireaux joining them from the 3rd heat.
The final sailors were Keith, Graham, Morgan, and Kevin P. The set waves were becoming a little less frequent and Graham and KP got the better longer waves therefore

progressing to the super final.
This 20 minute heat was truly fantastic to watch; experience vs. youth. Both of them were getting 4 turns and 2 or 3 aerials per wave. Graham scored on the larger wave

front, and his additional goiters thrown into the mix gave him the edge to take 1st place.

In the amateurs, Solo Sports Staff member Joey Sanchez finally made it passed his first heat. Joey has only been windsurfing for a year and a half, is very

competitive, and therefore was a little upset that he hadn't made it yet. Today was his day and he got through to the final. Conversely Pete Dekay (editor of

Windsport) has been lying flat on his back for 24 hours thanks to a random back injury. With no Dr's within a couple of hundred miles he has been taking it easy and

nursing it with plenty of Baja Fogs. Hopefully it will head as quickly as it came.

In the women's we all struggled to find waves but I managed to grab the biggest and landing an aerial pretty much sealed the deal. Event organiser Sam took 2nd place

with her increasingly aggresive turns, Miho in 3rd and Catherine in 4th.

Huge shout out to Solo Sports owner Kevin Trejo who some of you will know. He got bullied into joining the Master's having not windsurfed for 10 years!! His first

round resulted his highest score being a waterstart, but has redeemed himself since by winning the next 2 rounds!

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Cactus Cup Day 3

Day 3

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 Amateaur 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.
This obviously ended up rather similar to an SWA event, except for imagine Kevin Pritchard killing a head high wave with a blonde wig, starboard cape on and beer in hand. It was hilarious. There was wrestlers, there was sabotage, there were tears and much more.
The whole event took all afternoon and was certainly a fine display of skill combined with creativity. The moral of the story was.....that to win, you couldn't just bust some amazing moves; you had to do so with a special twist.
The winners were Russ Faurot and Yossy who heat after heat landed synchronised jumps and wave rides.
2nd place went to Morgan and Robert who put up an incredibly good fight with their own synchronised moves.
3rd place went to Nathan Mershon and Josh Sampeiro; whos wardrobes earnt them many points for request. Not only were wrestling masks involved, but also women's swim wear, AND world class wave riding.

Tomorrow afternoon the 'real' swell will be back and competition will (unfortunately) be restored to normal :)

Cactus Cup Update

Day 2

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.

The men's final featured Keith Taboul, Russ Faurot, Nathon Mershon, and Matt Pritchard.
When you watch Keith Taboul killing it down the line landing 3 aerials one after the other ontop of 4 turns on the same wave - you know it's going to be a good heat. All 4 of them were killing it and it pretty much came down to who got the biggest, longest waves.

Both Nathan and Keith progressed to the super final where we got to witness the battle of the aerials. Nathan managed to pip Keith on the wave selection to take the win.

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.

For a full break down of results please go to
Photos courtesy of Kevin Pritchard who miraculously manages to coordinate filming, shooting stills, and competing all at the same time

Monday, August 1, 2011

AWT Cactus Cup, Punta San Carlos, Baja - Day 1

Despite the main bus being denied at the border, despite roof racks flying off the truck on the MX1....

Miraculously the whole crew and all compeitors managed to make it down to SoloSports Camp before midnight on the day before competition began in one piece. Well, sort of.
Day 1
We woke to glassy head high surf which encouraged most to go for a surf or SUP before the first skippers meeting.

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.

And the conditions didn't fail to deliver off the bat; head high to logo high waves with the guys on 4.7-5.0's and the women on 4.2's we finished round one before the day was out.

When you look at the board it's really true to say that there were NO easy heats. Most of the competitors live in Maui, and watching the heats is like watching a pre-edited Windsurfing DVD.
Day 1 single elimination results:

1st Kevin Pritchard
2nd Keith Taboul
3rd Matt Pritchard
4th Graham Ezzy

1st Robert (Norway)
2nd Yossy (Israel)
3rd Jay (The Gorge)

1st Miho (Japan)
2nd Tanya
3rd Sam (Maui)
4th Catherine (San Francisco)

1st Jordan
2nd Morgan