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Although most of the material I have saved, scanned & posted on my blog, covers equipment produced before 2000, there are some very interesting boards, that came up more recently, but were never produced in large numbers like the established brands models, were hardly heard, their budget not allowing much advertisement, while as they were commercially of small scale, the media did not promote them. This does not mean that they were not innovative, attractive & competitive – on the contrary, some of them were so good, that the big companies were scared and even tried to boycott them. In this hostile environment, many fine efforts did not make it. Thankfully there were cases that a small brand not only survived, but it finally flourished and established it’s place, either by winning competitions, or by offering customization according to the desires and the special needs of their clientele.

These boards I will gradually post in this chapter:

AIR INSIDE

This is the brainchild of the Swiss entrepreneur & avid windsurfer Stefan Waelchli. The idea was to built very light, but at the same time very strong boards. This was materialized by substituting the usual core of the boards, with a hi-tech honeycomb. Production was taking place in Tunisia.

Two types of board were introduced in 2008, the SAGITTA I & II.

A prototype was briefly tested by Arnaud Deschamps of Planchemag and the impressions were rather sensational.

My last update on AIRINSIDE was in 2013, when I was informed that the intention was to create a full range of 10 models, ranging from wave boards to formula, based on shapes of the well known Swiss shaper/pro-racer Patrik Diethelm (of the ex-F2 fame).

In the meantime, all of you lucky owners of the first generation AIRINSIDE boards, pumper them as they should already be considered collectible!

Airinside - boards range 2008Airinside - ideaAirinside - Sagitta I - galleryAirinside - Sagitta I - infoAirinside - Sagitta I - measurmentsAirinside - Sagitta I - scoop & rockerAirinside - Sagitta II - galleryAirinside - Sagitta II - infoAirinside - Sagitta II - measurmentsAirinside - Sagitta II - scoop & rockerAirinside 100L @ Planchemag - Arnaud  Deschamps November 2007Airinside

SLALOM  122L – Airinside/Patrik Diethelm

In 2011 a new model was presented, shaped by Patrik, who by then had founded together with Karin Jaggi their own brand PATRIK.

It was produced in Tunisia, with the highest composite standard available, comparable to “F1 racing cars” construction. The first boards were delivered early 2012 to customers who had pre-ordered – basically friends and people who had followed the project from the beginning. Due to the limited production capacity, these boards were not offered to the open market. Another scarce collectible?

I have not found any reviews, just the information of the press release:

 Board details:
TYPE: SLALOM
SHAPE: PATRIK DIETHELM
MANUFACTURER: AIRINSIDE/TUNISIA COMPOSITE
CONSTRUCTION: ONE-CYCLE HOLLOW TECHNOLOGY
LAYUP: PREPREG CARBON/HONEYCOMB SANDWICH
AUTOCLAVE TEMP/PRESSURE/HOUR: 140C/6BAR/3H
LENGTH: 2320MM
WIDTH: 770MM
VOLUME: 122L
Weight (+/-3%): 5.9kg
GRAPHIC: FUSION
REGISTERED ASSOCIATIONS: PWA/IFCA

patrik_airinside - slalom 122L - 2011patrik_airinside - sl 122L  info

I hope in the near future to be able to include more fascinating boards, deriving from the Airinside/Patrik cooperation.

 

Italian windsurf champion Alberto Menegatti  by PWA Sad news for the windsurfing family, as the promising athlete died in Tenerife most probably due to heart failure.     ITALIAN WINDSURFING CHAMPION 2008 / 2009 / 2010 / 2011 / 2012 12 PWA WORLD TOUR 2012 4th FW WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP 2009 former YOUTH WORLD CHAMPION YOUTH EUROPEAN CHAMPION   If you like to learn more about ALBY, check the relative post of continentseven

HERE IS THE CLOSING REPLY OF ALBY TO THE BIG INTERVIEW IN 2013

C7:What’s your longtime goal in Slalom racing?
Alberto Menegatti: I would like to be World Champion and I am going to try to push hard until I will be. And then I will try to hold on to have the best possible result ever. I am pushing and pushing and finally I will be able to achieve these results. I think I can go on racing for a very long time. I think until 35 or 40. I still have quite a few years ahead of me.

Unfortunately, this is a case of the ancient Greeks saying, coming true:

“The commands of the Gods differ from the wishes of the mortals…”

WINDSURFING BEAUTIES

Windsurfing being full of beautifully tanned and physically fit athletes, always had much more sex appeal than many other sports.

Windsurfers spend most of their time half naked or dressed in body hugging zipped rubber, in a wet environment. Does it need anything more?

Apologies for presenting only female athletes, but after all, this is just a personal blog…

Kelby Anno

 

Planche mag July 1985:”Nathalie by Christian Petit”

Inge Bouwmeester - Antigua

Frederique Parrat-Eskimo

Olya Raskina 2008

juillet2009lesembiez106

Shawna Cropas 20120416TIP1DM4A_0309

Blanca Manchon -2009  Premio-Andalucía-de-los-Deportes

Eftihia windsurfing 2012 @ Aquatic water sports centerEftychia windsurfing 2012  Paros

Cape Town shoot out - Naish windsurfing ladyChantale Pöttgens - Manuel Netsurfingsport NssManuPatrik rider lady by pat fostervoldthe Moreno twins by Dany Miquel

leysa PerottiLeysa PerottiFanatic Gecko ladies

vivi kourtii

Carrying-Kit by boards.mpora

v.sanchez

FlaviaTartaglini by  Alberto NovelliFlaviaTartaglini by Alberto Novelli -Ferrari & RRD

Yoli de Brendt V-26  & Laure Trebou SUI-4 by schoeffel-design

Evi Tsape -GR2-2012Evi Tsape by Annitta BlanchEvi Tsape ,  is the most accomplished Greek lady wave rider in the PWA, having reached 5th Overall both in 2009 & 2011 that she had the time to follow the championship.

 

 

Joanna Sterling

Olympics Day 4 - SailingNikola Girke posing

Nikola Girke - CAN 17For Nikola Girke, we have a rare case of an athlete, who has made the transition from one sport to another and to have competed in two different events at the Olympic Games. At the 2004 Athens Olympics , Nikola crewed on the two person 470 sailboat, finishing 13th. In 2005, she switched to RSX windsurfing.  A respectable 17th place finish at the 2008 Olympic Games, inspired her to continue in pursuit of bringing home an Olympic Medal for Canada. Result, an improved performance for the 34 years lady sailor, a 10th place at the 2012 London Olympics plus the same position at the 2012 RSX World Championship. It should not pass unnoticed, while training in the Brazilian waters, she won the Buzios event of the Brazilian Slalom Championship (just for the fun of it), plus the 2nd place of the Buzios leg of the S.American RSX Championship!…With her sights set on Rio 2016, Nikola is up for yet another challenge, switching boats for a 3rd time, teaming up with Luke Ramsay for the new mixed crew catamaran, the Nacra17. With such determination, we look ahead for the medals. Instead of just reading about, watch this short video.

 

G.Skarlatou 2012

Gelly 2011  with Ale Venticinque- photo by LGelly  @ Aegean Redbull crossing -1st lady - 3rd overall behind Jimmy Diaz and Steve AllenGelly  Skarlatou 2014

Gelly Skarlatou, is a world champion and a long term Greek Olympic windsurfing team member, rightfully one of my favorites. I would like to include a short video. 

 

Updated now and then…

Patrik XMAS card 2014

Well, as my friend Leo used to say, nothing happens just by chance. The only wishes I got from a windsurfing brand came from PATRIK, and coincides with my decision to start the new year with the acquisition of a Patrik Ride 125 board!

This board will complement my boards range, and looks well suited for my taste for rather long & not very wide designs,  measuring 251 x 67.5 cm

From the above photo, you can have an early view of the new graphics of Patrik boards for 2015. Enjoy.

Joe Cocker's LPsThis is how I got to know Joe Cocker, the greatest British rock/soul singer – from his performance in Woodstock in 1969, recorded in the 3LP album:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bRzKUVjHkGk  – With a little help from my friends – 1969

Here is a tribute song of the Scottish group Stone The Crows, written by guitarist Les Harvey & percussionist Colin Allen (unfortunately, Les died a year later – while performing with S the C in Wales, contacting an unearthed microphone he was fatally electrocuted. Lead vocalist is the great Maggie Bell.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eST4nEO4_qk – Mad Dogs & Englishmen – Stone the Crows, “ode to john law” LP – 1971

In 1970, in order to make an American tour Cocker had to quickly form a new band. This was a large group of more than 30 musicians, including pianist and bandleader Leon Russell, three drummers, and backing vocalists Rita Coolidge and Claudia Lennear. Denny Cordell christened the new band “Mad Dogs & Englishmen”, after the homonymous Noël Coward song . 

During the Mad Dogs & Englishmen tour (later described by drummer Jim Keltner as “a big, wild party”), Cocker toured 48 cities, recorded a live album, and received very good reviews from Time and Life . However, the pace of the tour was exhausting, Cocker became depressed and began drinking excessively. Meanwhile, he enjoyed several chart entries in the United States with “Cry Me a River” and “Feelin’ Alright”. His cover of The Box Tops’ hit “The Letter”, which appeared on the live album and film, Mad Dogs & Englishmen, became his first US Top Ten hit. After spending several months in Los Angeles, Cocker returned home to Sheffield where his family became increasingly concerned with his deteriorating health.

Since then, there were many more concerts, more LPs – until 2 days ago.

His voice lives on.

Windsurfing in Mauritius

 

 

Our friend Arnaud, who spends all-year-long testing windsurfing equipment around the world, when asked where we should go for windsurfing, he replies blandly: “to Paros”…

Well, putting aside the various problems of our disorganized country, we are considered spoiled, being blessed with the fascinating combination of crystal clear sea & plenty of wind, in an attractive environment full of antiquities, not forgetting the mouthwatering Greek cuisine.

As years go by, less and less we enjoy cold weather, so a week ago, we decided to try Mauritius – Indian Ocean, East of Madagascar, at the Capricorn Tropic level.

This tiny nation is just 10 times the size of Paros island.Mauritious mapParos island - Cyclades - Greece

The best windsurfing/kite spot is considered Le Morne peninsula, at the SW of the island. Conditions differ dramatically from the ones we are used to in Paros, due to the very different environment. There is a good description by Buzz, which will help first time visitors.

aerial photo  Le Morne - Mauritius

The Indian Resort that was housing the Watersports station Mistral Club (MC), was under renovation and according to plans, 3 new hotels will start operating at the site by February 2015. In the meantime the closer you can lodge is St Regis resort.

Before going to the MC, I decided to check the windsurfing facilities of Lux resort and the Pryde Club just next to it, on the public beach between Lux and Dinarobin resorts.Le Morne - Pryde club

Lux  beach

The Lux material was in a rather poor condition, with very basic sails – equipment good just for beginners.Lux Le Morne windsurfing equipmentLux Le Morne windsurfing equipment close-up

The Pryde Club is focused on kite & sup, no windsurfing, so there in no real option but the MC further down the beach.SUPing @ Le Morne

The first day I visited the Mistral Club, was windy alright, but rainy…There was no securely dry place to leave my backpack & camera (no lockers), and my non windsurfing company had nowhere to lay down not getting wet. We walked away looking for a better chance to return.
Le Morne windsurfing spot on rainy day

MC sailing plan postkiting at the Le Morne reefwindsurfing @Mistral club Le Morne

4 days later, weather conditions looking more favorable, plenty of sunshine and just OK wind ~17 – 19 knots, we went back.Mistral club  beach area

MC & waves

In search of an average-Joe experience, I did not inform the staff about my blog, but just asked for a 120l Gecko board and a large sail, having agreed to book for 1 hour including 10 euros damages insurance – a total of 1,680 rupies (1 euro= 38 rupies).Mistral club Le Morne windsurfing equipment

I got a pair of shoes from the club and started sailing. I familiarized myself with the terrain, always staying within safe limits, as I realized that the waves area was quite far away (1,5 km from shore) with no rescue watch on duty. Although conditions were not thrilling, I tried to get the maximum from my equipment, speeding on the flat water. I soon realized the board was missing punch, and went back to check.zaosan @ MC Mauritius 2014

I noticed the fin was relatively small for such a board, and in poor condition,while the 6.9 sail had a torn luff and some patching tape, so I asked for what I thought was the easiest fix – a bigger sail. Surprise, surprise, I had already taken the biggest size of sail the club has. I say surprise, because they do carry several larger boards that actually demand larger sails to do what they are designed to do…As a remedy I trimmed the sail less flat, reducing the boom’s length by 1 click. I completed my sailing on this tired equipment and upon paying, I pointed out that since I was not a novice and having asked for a freeride board (not a wave or a freestyle that are prone to maneuvers damages), under conditions so calm, by asking for an insurance coverage I was expecting to get mint condition equipment. The girl at the desk gave me an unprofessional reply, that I should have told them before getting in the water, as if it wasn’t them who handed me the board & sail.Mistral Club North sail 6.9 conditionMistral Club Mauritius  fin on Fanatic Gecko 120

Now that I’m back to my computer, I checked the Gecko 120 specs and verify my impression that the board I was given was fitted with a too small fin. The worn – out fin was 36, when the standard is 39…Fanatic Gecko specifications

My brief experience from Le Morne, is that if you do not have your own equipment, Mistral Club is the only realistic option, but check well what you will get to ride. Demand standard board fittings, otherwise you will get a wrong idea about the board you will ride!

If you wish to hit the waves, do it in company preferably with some locals and definitely not alone!

As shoes are a must, try to find some ankle-high, so that when stepping on the sand, no sand will get into your shoes. It is very annoying.

On the beach, stay away from the coconut trees, because falling cocos are dangerous. One fell less than a meter away from me, while I was taking the photos!Mistral Club Mauritius - coconuts danger zone

In the public beaches areas, you have the option of food & beverages at a fraction of the resorts prices. Unfortunately, they are not allowed to operate in the evening.Public beach @ Le Morne between Lux & DinarobinPublic beach resto @ Le Morne between Lux & Dinarobin

Point public beachPoint public beach - fresh fruits shop

In Le Morne we had the company of some very cute feathered friends, like this one, who was posing for me at the Point beach.Mauritius orange birdie

 

Sunsets were spectacular, but I’m looking forward to sail in Paros again.

And a sentimental remark: When talking about a PRYDE club, I would expect to find arrays of Neil Pryde sails, rigged to rocket me away, while at a ºMISTRAL club, I would love to have the choice of the complete boards range of the historic brand, not to sail on a Fanatic board rigged with a North sail bearing the Mistral logo…Le Morne low tide sunset

Andrea De Cesaris  31.5.1959 – 5.10.2014Andrea De Cesaris

I am not the right person to speak about Andrea as  racing driver - this has been done by Alberto Sabbatini

I can only express my grief for the loss of a determined wave rider, who when asked what he would have done if he was not a racing driver, without hesitation said he would be windsurfing on a professional level.

Andrea lost his life in an accident while riding his motorcycle in Rome.

Andrea was loyal to Ezzy sails and was riding the last years NoveNove boardsAndrea de Cesaris  windsurfing

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