Spring in Hatteras

Posted on Posted in Latest News, Training, Travel
The Cape Hatteras Lighthouse.
The Cape Hatteras Lighthouse.

Cape Hatteras was erased off my calendar last year due to the last-minute PWA Leucate event being on the same date. Thankfully this year there was no such problem, and I enjoyed two weeks of incredible windsurfing, SUP surfing, and even squeezed in two tennis matches with my brother on the only two windless days.

My fin sponsor Makani Fins was also there running their now famous OBX-WIND week along with the normal Cape Hatteras fun. The OBX-WIND event included a long distance race with over 100 competitors, a slalom clinic with Danish PWA slalom rider Kurosh Kiani, Q & A with New York windsurfer Mike Burns, and LED night windsurfing with me. The long distance race was the most fun, and if you weren’t there this year, make sure to add it to your calendars for spring 2017!

Worth mentioning is that Mike Burns is not only a talented windsurfer, but also very talented with his camera. He filmed me 30 minutes, edited for 20 minutes, and had this clip done for me before my hair was dry:

My brother and I hit up the ocean side a couple of times at the Lighthouse and at Izabelles. It was port tack wave sailing, side-shore at the Lighthouse and nearly straight offshore at Izabelles. Thanks to Ken from Ocean Air for giving us the inside scoop on where to sail those days, it was a lot of fun!

Phil Soltysiak aerial at Izabelles, Cape Hatteras, North Carolina. Photo by Brian Klauser.
Phil Soltysiak aerial at Izabelles, Cape Hatteras, North Carolina. Photo by Brian Klauser.

SUP surfing was the best I had all year, and my 8’2 Starboard Widepoint was working great, both in mellow waves we had on our first three sessions at Avon Pier and in Buxton, as well as later in powerful fast waves shooting off down the line before getting destroyed. Gnarly 😉

Phil tuning the 2016 Sailworks NX Slalom
Phil tuning the 2016 Sailworks NX Slalom

I need to thank both Wind NC and Ocean Air Sports, both great windsurfing shops that helped me with shipping in my slalom equipment and the parts I needed to try it out. It was my only chance to try my slalom sails before racing at the US Nationals in Texas May 11th – 14th. I don’t think any seasoned slalom sailor would consider 30 minutes on each sail “tuned”, but it’ll have to do.

As far as freestyle I was training for first PWA event in Podersdorf, coming up May 4th – 8th. Our waterfront rental home on Island Creek was perfect for that, and included rig hooks and board racks underneath. If you’re a windsurfer looking for somewhere to go in the spring or fall, these houses are tailor-made for you!

Island Creek, Avon, North Carolina.
Island Creek, Avon, North Carolina.

So after a 14 hour drive home, to which we only added 13 minutes of stops; 2x 6 minutes for gas, and 1 minute at the border crossing (bladder capacity testing), I’m back in Toronto. I have a few days to organize myself and my equipment both for the PWA in Podersdorf, Austria (freestyle only), as well as for the US Nationals in Texas (freestyle and slalom), as I have less than 24 hours at home between the events.

Thanks for reading, and stay tuned for more updates in the next weeks about:
-PWA Podersdorf and the Freestyle Live Scoring System
-US Nationals
-Epic West Coast road trip with Escape Campervans and Max Matissek

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