Saturday, 18 August 2007

Bikes, Boards, Boats Black Bears are Best

This is a shot from a windsurfing regatta a few years back. Racing windsurfers is an absolute blast. The guy who won this regatta, Devon Boulon, placed 4th in the Worlds about a month later. He was really quick. The funny thing about racing boards is that there are a lot of guys who can windsurf well, and a lot of guys who can sail well, but not a ton who do both well. If you have to choose one, windsurf well. The guys at the top of the game are all windsurfers first and sailors second. I was 4th in this event, which for me was a fantastic finish. The promoter of this event always got a lot of support from Red Bull. The Red Bull Energy Team, which was a bunch of hot chicks, would be handing out more Red Bull than you can imagine, and you would always be stocked up on Red Bull for a month afterward. You can see the Newport Bridge in the background. And yeah, it was BUTT cold the day this picture was taken. My sail number is a combination of Rhode Island (RI) and an inside joke between the FPG and myself. It's pretty nice in sailing that you keep your number and don't have to deal with repinning before every race. I HATE that.

This is a boat called the Vector for which I was the product manager. The development process of this boat was one of the funnest parts of my career, mostly because I got to go sailing all the time. The frustrating part was that initial takeup on it was really slow. Many sailors are tentative about trying something new, preferring to play a less challenging version of the game at a very high level versus playing a more challenging level of the game at a lower level. That's about as deep as I can go into it without writing a book to try and explain myself. The first two or three times you sail one of these boats it is challenging, but after that it is just fun. This and windsurfing are the two forms of sailing which I enjoy most. They are both fast, technically challenging and physically demanding. I am the honky in the back, steering. This picture was taken in October, during the Annapolis Boat Show. A photographer friend of ours, Peter Macgowan, wanted to do a shoot with us, but the wind wouldn't cooperate, so we were out there for like three hours just drifting around. Finally the breeze came up and blew real hard for about 20 minutes and we got some great shots.

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