- 06 October 2009 | Windsurfing
The roots of windsurfing started 60 years ago in Susquehanna River, Pennsylvania, USA. In 1948, Newman Darby, 20, built the first small catamaran with a handheld sail and rig mounted on a universal joint. Despite he did not patented his invention, Darby is commonly seen as the father of sailboarding/windsurfing.
Later in 1970, North Americans Jim Drake and Hoyle Schweitzer got a patent for their "Windsurfer" design, based on the Newman Darby's techniques. They credited him for their version of the sailboard.
Nevertheless, the two friends were working on the Darby's ideas since the mid-60's. Hoyle Schweitzer began the commercial production of polyethylene sailboards - the "Windsurfer" design - in the early 1970s.
- 06 October 2009 | Windsurfing
Kim Lythgoe has drowned in a tragic accident whilst taking a well earned holiday in the Maldives.
Kim jumped into the water from a chartered yacht. Something that he must have done many many times before. He surfaced normally and then must have suffered a hydrocution.
On board were a number of friends one of whom is a doctor and expert diver. When they noticed after some minutes that Kim was no where to be seen, the doctor put on his equipment and submerged into 30 metre deep water to try and rescue Kim. The visibility was not good. There was nothing that he could do.
Kim's body was later recovered and is now on its way to Spain via France. He will arrive in Santander on Wednesday and be taken to a mortuary by the RFEV. On Thursday his body will be cremated. His ashes will be sprinkled on the sea.
Many friends will be there.
For Kim's familly, for all his friends, for Marina, for Blanca, for the Spanish Windsurfing Dream Team, for Royal Spanish Sailing Federation, for the world of windsurfing, for the world in general a bright and constant light has been snuffed out in a tragic diving accident in the Maldives.
Sadly this is not the first time that the world of windsurfing has had one of its loved ones snatched away in a drowning accident and it will probably not be the last.
- 05 October 2009 | Windsurfing
Storm force winds and relentless seas restrict competition on the final day of the 2009 World Tour giving Marcilio Browne the opportunity to wow the crowds and win some cash in an epic Sylt super session.
With the wave contest fully complete, it was only the freestyle and slalom guys that could have possibly competed on the final day of the Colgate World Cup Sylt. Every effort was made to ensure that the second round of freestyle or a few rounds of slalom could be completed in time for the closing ceremony. Unfortunately the competitors were greeted with extremely high winds and huge North Sea waves making any form of World Class competition not only impossible but also very dangerous.
The crowds still flocked to the beach however, so it was decided that a super expression session would be held for those crazy enough to go out. It didn’t take long for the sailors to rig the smallest sails they could find and head out into the extreme conditions when they heard there was some cash up for grabs!
Around twenty competitors hit the water early in the afternoon and tried their best to impress both the judges and the crowds. Kauli Seadi (JP, NeilPryde, Mormaii, MFC) went big and rotated around some amazing back loops and a double forward, but the double was just out of time to count. Early in the session, Tonky Frans (F2, Gaastra) landed a really clean back loop, and was winning for most of the time. Unfortunately for him, Marcilio Browne (Fanatic, North, MFC) was on a mission and rotating round as many loops as he could. Browne eventually claimed the cash with a super high stalled forward, landed back on the wave he took off on.