Go Faster, Live Longer
Healthy? We think not. This look will get you an early grave.
Like many, the effects of colder weather on our outdoor activities along with holiday feasts (the missus puts on a mean Bhaktun spread) means our wet suit fits much more snugly than it did in October. Much more snugly. Not only does this mean dressing for windsurfing now feels more like I'm being squeezed by a python but our culture makes judgments about those who don't have six pack abs. That's strange considering America's ever expanding waist line.
But, while we may have to spend the money for a larger suit, there are some profound advantages to our expanding girth (to a point).
...the findings also suggest that people who are overweight (but not obese) may live longer than people with clinically normal body weight.
We think this speaks for itself. Reaching for that doughnut may actually be good for you. Now, whether that covers the five I reached for successfully Sunday, I'm not sure. I may have overshot the target - or, overstood the mark as racers would say.
Bulking up is definitely an advantage in some sports. Football is a great example. The challenge for many players coming from high school to college is gaining the amount of weight required for the college game. Paradoxically, while bulk may make you a better football player and possibly extend your life span, having extra years with swiss cheese for a brain isn't necessarily a selling point.
Sailors can benefit from extra pounds to go faster. Especially the Finn Olympic Class which has the singular distinction of being an Olympic event made to accommodate a body type that may not normally be competitive. A survey a few years ago of the top 20 world ranked sailors in the Finn class showed that weight ranges from 83 to 104 kg (183 to 229 lbs). But we've hammered enough on the Finn class. Besides, if we ever encounter a Finn sailor in a dark alley, our prospects aren't good. We don't think he'll be in a charitable mood.
The hand-held GPS was been one of the unsung innovations in windsurfing in the last ten years. We've always felt fast on the water and, now, it's easy to measure our speed and compare our
members numbers. A whole sub-genre of windsurfing has developed around this aspect of the sport. Where once, you might have dedicated racers or wave sailors, you now have windsurfers who dream of a flat, shallow and windy location the way others dream of a Ho'okipa wave. Just as Maui is a Mecca for wave sailors, others are travelling down Africa to Namibia.
The More You Know Dept.: Even though inland, the capital of Namibia is Windhoek, Afrikaans for 'wind corner'. When your capital city is named after the wind, you've probably got something there.
Anders Bjorkqvist is a serious GPSer (can we make that a word?). He's not only a big guy but packs on some lead in a weight vest to go even fast.
- Anders Bjorkqvist on his blog at www.andersbq.com
Anders is serious about GPSing. Here's his quiver:
His collection of speed and slalom boards. He uses slalom boards for speed when the water is rough. Click on the picture to read more.
But like others,we have to face reality. We weren't that big when we started our Bhaktun feast, and, while we've packed on a few, we'd need to pack on even more to get remotely in the range of the really fast guys. We could do that but then we'd run into our own paradox of going faster but dying younger. That didn't work out so well for James Dean (we know, we know, his wreck wasn't his fault).
In la franqui the difference was way to big between without or with weightvest. When I see a difference like 3-5kmh or even more it makes me sad. Is speedsurfing really that technical??? In the end I have problems trimming the gear. Lightweights just can't put enough weight down.
More celebrations of the beauty of a few extra pounds:
And for those who prefer more traditional music:
Hungarian Olympic Laser sailor Zsombor Berecz recently had some neat pics in The Daily Mail. Laser sailors tend to a more normal body size. And it's a good thing that Zsombor isn't that big of a guy. "Hungarians can only windsurf on the lake for one week each year when the ice, at 15-20cm deep, is thick enough and the snow is not too deep." Being heavy would not be a good thing on thin ice.
When we read that the NeilPryde Wizard windsurfing sail won the prestigious, international Chicago Athenaeum Good Design Award for 2012, we were impressed. Apparently in the world of graphic and product design, this award is the kitten's mittens.
Curious to learn more about the award, we found out that not only did Pryde win an award for a sail but also a bike. Pryde has branched out into bike production recently. Being based in Hong Kong gives them great access to where many of the world's plastic, er, carbon bikes are built. Since they are already in the carbon business with masts and booms, it probably wasn't a big stretch to walk across to the other side of the factory and have a few bikes made, too.
Here's their winner, the Bayoma:
This isn't a couple of carbon booms on wheels but a time trial/triathlon bike. It will set you back from $3400 to $6400 depending on whether you can shift gears yourself or you need to press an electric button. You can quit whining about your $300 mast now.
While there are many categories (logos, products, etc), we were also wondering what other sports items may have won an award recently.
X-Bionic® Golf Underwear- yes, golf underwear. Probably around $250. You can quit whining about your $250 wetsuit now.
World Champion Kiter Johnny Heineken is US Sailing's 2012 Rolex Yachtsman of the Year. His sister was among the eight female finalists. Some weird part of us imagines that when he was younger, he went up to the blazers in his yacht club and announced that one day, he, little Johnny Heineken would be Yachtsman of the Year. And, that he would do it with a kite. And, oh yeah, his sister would be a finalist. With a kite.
Hey kid, get that kite out of here. This is a YACHT CLUB.
Boardseeker Mag has a great online interview with Angelo Pecere, who has made a movie, Ghosts of Speed, about the speed obsessed in Holland. Pcere's title was inspired by windsurfers and speed sailors having to find obscure and out of the way places to practice their passion,
You can get his movie here: www.reelhouse.org/angelopecere/ghostsspeed. It's not very expensive and if you are GPS obsessed, too, it would be a fun way to spend the evening. You could even show it to friends to try to explain what it's all about - good luck with that.
You can see clips on Vimeo he put up while he was filming.
DaNews Blog has a great calendar of Southeastern and National Events through March. If you are looking for an event, clinic or excuse to travel, check it out.