There\’s no mistaking today\’s big global headline – the 8.9 magnitude earthquake that hit Japan last night has already caused serious devastation there, but the tsunami currently marching across the Pacific is threatening the whole of the Pacific basin, from Mexico right down to New Zealand. Here\’s footage from Japan of the 4m wave sweeping inland – our thoughts go out to everyone affected.
As a result, islands across the Pacific are preparing for the wall of water to hit – and of course on world windsurfing\’s capital of Maui, that means heading inland for the hills as the waves are due any second now (2pm UK time). Facebook and Twitter will be the first to relate how the Valley Isle fairs, keep an eye on Chris Murray and Jay Haysey on Facebook, while on Twitter Jeff Bennett @MauiWindsurfing could be a good follow. Alternatively, there\’s live streaming news at hawaiinewsnow.com
Hopefully, the pan-Pacific high alert warning will turn out just to be precautionary as the power dissipates – but it\’s the low-lying atolls that may have the most to lose, as even on current predictions the tsunami is potentially higher than much of the landmasses themselves. The Marshall Islands in the mid-Pacific is one such example, entirely less than 10m above sea level – it\’s places like these that provide such special pictures and footage for our sport. Like this from Poor Boyz Productions of Levi Siver and Keith Teboul performing for The Windsurfing Movie II. So dig deep and help out if the call goes up for aid following this quake: after all, these places have more than done their bit for us lot in the past…
Moving on now, British speedster Pete Davis will succeed Markus Schwendtner from Germany in running the ISWC Speed World Cup. Pete said “I am apprehensive and excited about taking over the reigns of the tour…” but with his history in British and world speedsailing we know the series will be in safe hands. More at boards.co.uk – and keep an eye on speedworldcup.com for this year\’s schedule.
Meanwhile star-board.com are reporting on Goya Sails\’ latest signing, with a real double-take of a headline: \’Francisco joins Goya sails\’! But naturally that\’s not the eponymous Francisco – it\’s Spain\’s Francisco Casas Garcia, who\’s successfully crossed over to the PWA Wave Tour after an early career in Formula.
And finally, here\’s a heart-warming story from the North American Junior Championship at Cozumel: young Rasmus Sayre (son of Nevin, for all you old-schoolers!) just missed out on winning the under-15 Techno class, but was awarded special recognition by the local mayor for \’outstanding seamanship and sportsmanship\’. He threw away his event-winning lead in the last race to save the life of an 18 year-old Mexican RS:X racer, Nicole Level, who had been parted from her kit in big seas for 20 minutes without a life-jacket. Read the full story at windsport.com
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Photo Credit: Katsushita Hokusai