KONA IN GARDA WITH FRIENDS AND FAMILY

Johanna Hjertberg lives in Stockholm, Sweden, where she’s studying industrial engineering and management. When she’s not studying, she loves to ski, sail and windsurf! A few weeks ago, she hit the road with family and friends and made her way to Lake Garda in northern Italy, a nature wonderland for sports enthusiasts and one of the top windsurfing destinations in the world. Their plan? Sail their Konas as much as they could and enjoy everything else that the region has to offer!

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GIRL POWER: WHY WE STARTED A GIRL WINDSURFING CAMP

The WeSurf Girl Camp is a windsurfing camp for young girls in Hittarp, a small town in Southern Sweden that sits at the narrowest point of the Öresund, the body of water that separates Sweden from Denmark. The sound is just three miles across there and it’s a great location to teach beginners and rapidly progress to open water adventures. The camp is the brainchild of two enthusiastic young windsurfers, Sara Blixt and Emma Martinsson. We asked Sara to tell us more about it!

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FROM CHINA TO NEW JERSEY: KONA BUILDS A BRIDGE FOR JANE WANG

Meet JANE WANG! Jane is a 15-yr old youngster from China who now lives in New Jersey. She competed last year at the Kona North Americans in Florida, and liked it so much that she decided to spend her summer in Clearwater to train with the local youth windsurfing team there! When the Kona Worlds come to town this Fall, Clearwater will feel like home waters to her! We asked Jane to tell us a couple of things about herself.

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THE SEVEN HABITS OF HIGHLY SUCCESSFUL MARINERS

People in the Bailiwick of Guernsey are natural-born adventurers! Enter five intrepid Kona windsurfers who decided to launch off the main island and round the smaller island of Herm, fives miles to the East, just for kicks. Let us reassure you right off the bat: no one died. But they came out of that adventure with a list of seven safety tips that we’re thinking we might include in the Kona class rules.

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TIPS FROM IRELAND: GROWING A KONA FLEET AT YOUR LOCAL SAILING CLUB

Meet Cormac O’Brien! A few years ago, Cormac and a few friends approached the Malahide Yacht Club, a short 30 minute drive north of Dublin, with the idea to start a Kona fleet at the club. The pitch was a success, and windsurfing is now an integral part of the club’s development and racing scene. We asked Cormac to tell us how it all began, and what lessons we could draw from his experience.

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BRINGING BACK MEMORIES, AND MAKING NEW ONES!

Meet Liesbeth Schuit and her family! Liesbeth used to spend her summers windsurfing with her family when she was a kid, and then 25 years went by in the blink of an eye. When Lucien van Delst reached out and invited her and her family to spend a day on the water, she didn’t hesitate. It was a chance to reconnect with the sport she loved in her youth – and to introduce her own kids to it. Spoiler: they loved it! We asked Liesbeth to tell us about that special day.

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RACING AGAIN AFTER ALL THESE YEARS!

Meet Pete Boland! Pete learned to windsurf in the cold, choppy waters of the English channel in the early 1980s. He raced (“enthusiastically but mostly unsuccessfully,” as he humbly puts it) in European Division 2 regattas, with highest place being 6th at UK Nationals. He dropped the sport and switched to racing sailboats, but returned to windsurfing this year thanks to the Kona One class. We met with him at the Kona North American Championships in Clearwater, Florida, and asked him about his ‘newcomer’ impressions.

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2017 KONA NORTH AMERICANS IN CLEARWATER!

OCTOBER 28-29, 2017: Clearwater loves windsurfing — and windsurfing loves it back! This weekend, the city with the sugary white sand hosted the Kona Gulf Coast Championships at the Clearwater Community Sailing Center, one of the most vibrant windsurfing clubs in the United States. And for bonus points, the 2017 edition doubled up as the North American Championships for the class! How did it all play out?

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