It Takes a Village in the Outer Banks!
Words: Jean-Robert Wilhelmy, Video: Nicolas Chapleau
This year’s edition of the obx-wind.com windsurfing festival was wildly successful! A record-breaking 178 windsurfers took part in the long distance races. We had sold-out clinics in slalom and freestyle, with a dozen lucky riders getting one-on-one attention all week from seasoned pros Tyson Poor and Phil Soltysiak. US Windsurfing organized an outstanding slalom event, with 30 eager and smiling competitors on the start line. On top of that, hundreds gathered every night for social events: a movie screening for Pro Windsurf La Ventana, a bonfire on the beach, a gear presentation from some of the top brands in the business (Starboard, Severne, Fanatic, North, Ion, Makani), and of course an awesome awards party on the last day of the event. And all of it in bright sunshine and pretty much 15-25 kts every day!
It all looks really smooth and effortless but it takes a village and lots of work to pull off an event like this. Mike Burns and I started to lay down the foundation for this year’s event back in January, based on what we learned running the 2016 edition. We wanted to learn from our experience last year and provide even more incentives to attract more participants this time around. Between Ocean Air, US Windsurfing, IWT and all of our great sponsors, we combined forces and put together a really strong schedule for the week. Despite all the preparations, everything can be derailed if the weather doesn’t play ball – but Mother Nature smiled down on us and we got to see all the magic of the Outer Banks!
We’re not resting on our laurels – we took plenty of notes this year again and are planning to build on this success to offer an even more spectacular experience in 2018: more activities, more clinics for beginners, and even an IWT wave jam is in the cards for next year! Our objective is to continue to grow participation and showcase the sport we all love: windsurfing! We’re already hard at work on a new design for our website. It’s not too early to make plans to join us on April 14-21, 2018! Stay in touch at www.obx-wind.com and facebook.com/obxwind.