Category Archives: Diary Entry

Billbong Pipemasters 2013

It’s been a couple of days now and much has been discussed and debated but after all the reflecting on the Pipemasters’ results is said and done, no one can argue that it wasn’t an epic final day that kept us all on the edge of our seats as we watched with anticipation as to who was going to draw breath coming out of the barrels and who was going to score big or go home. Competitors got to surf a Pipeline that met up to all the expectations predicted by the swell gurus and spectators were treated to a show that exceeded all those expectations. These photos relive some of those moments from Saturday’s unforgettable Billabong Pipemasters 2013.

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A Day in the Life of Victor Fernandez Lopez : E42, Spain

While we were in Maui we had the opportunity to document a day in the life of one of the current top windsurfers, Victor Fernandez Lopez. Here’s what he got up to!

Victor kick starts the day off with a healthy breakfast before checking out the day’s forecast and replying to emails.
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Last year Victor stayed in the rain forest area of Haiku which is on the North Shore of Maui and only a few minutes drive from Ho’okipa. A quick gear check and a short drive to our next stop.
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Unfortunately for Victor he had an ankle injury from the Sylt competition which he was still having treatment for in Maui with Sam from Deep Relief. Deep Relief has a solid reputation for their work and is well known for their effective treatment especially amongst the athlete community. Let’s hope you’ll never need to visit Sam but in case you do here’s the website! http://www.deepreliefmaui.com
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After being KT taped for some extra support for his windsurfing session later in the day, Sam gives Victor a few exercises for his ankle.
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Next stop, COFFEE! Baked on Maui is a great little coffee shop at The Cannery in Haiku and they serve some the most tasty pastries you can find on the North shore! You’ll often find many of the local windsurfers and surfers stopping off here. Victor has a few more errands before getting to Ho’okipa including picking up some MFC Fins which is also at The Cannery. MFC Fins are hugely popular with professional windsurfers and they also have a great range of SUP fins. For more info check out the website. http://www.mauifin.com/
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We then head on upstairs for his first meeting with two of Positive H2O’s founding members, Pascal Bronniman & Jake Miller. Positive H2O is a movement for clean water that brings together a community of athletes, conservationists, non-profits and companies, which help to facilitate local solutions on a global scale. Their mission statement reads “we promote a lifestyle that is healthy, conscious, creative and in harmony with the environment. Having clean oceans and access to clean drinking water and sanitation for people in need are at the top of Positive H2O’s priorities.” Victor is one of H2Os team riders. Take a moment to check out their website and feel free to contact Pascal or Jake to see how you can help http://www.positiveh2o.com
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We haven’t quite left The Cannery yet! We get a sneak peak at one of Victor’s new boards! Victor’s custom board is shaped by his Fanatic shaper, Sebastian Wenzel, and then these boards along with Victor’s feedback provide the basis of next year’s production boards for Fanatic.
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After all errands are run it’s off to Ho’okipa for one of Victor’s last sessions while he was on Maui last year. Here are a few shots of Victor rigging up at Ho’okipa, adding his new +H2O sticker to his sail and setting up his Go Pro!
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Many thanks to Victor for letting us follow him and also for putting up with my camera being stuck in his face for most of the day!

Most of the photos below were shot on this same day with the exception of a 2 or 3 which we thought were worth posting too!
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Peahi (Jaws) : 9 & 10 October 2012

I don’t do early mornings but to see Jaws breaking for the first time I definitely had no complaints! In fact, I couldn’t even sleep the night before let alone being concerned about waking up early!  Back in the early days of Peahi, no one used to know how to get there but nowadays it gets PACKED. You can either drive, hike down or hitch-hike or even pay for a ride down : one business minded guy was charging $5 for a one way ride! If you do decide to drive prepare to drive down a one laned, potholed, overgrown, abandoned pineapple field, dirt road and if that doesn’t put you off there are no real passing places so it gets somewhat tricky when you meet a huge truck coming in the opposite direction! The potholes are so bad that if it rains you can’t even go down there in a ‘normal’ size car not to mention it gets so slippery that I’ve heard that cars end up bashing into each other. Luckily it was dry when Jaws broke in early October but I can’t even tell you how dusty it got. Paul & I perched ourselves on a little ledge along with about 6 other photographers plus random tourists who came and went throughout the day. Here are a selection of some of our favorite photos from the action in October.

You can check out more of our photos and regular updates from Maui on www.facebook.com/fishbowldiaries

Amorphia Photography

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Windsurfing Oman

It used to be that once August came everyone would be on a ferry boat to Rhodes or Cos to catch the meltemi wind in Greece for some windsurfing and some great Greek food and hospitality. It’s been a while now though that the hardcore Cypriot windsurfers have been headed in the opposite direction to somewhere a lot drier and arid than even Greece: Oman.

Oman offers some of the best windsurfing during the summer months with both wind and waves in a few different locations in the country, each with it’s own characteristics and obstacles. One of the spots on the mainland, when it’s working, offers one of the longest rides. Paul has counted 10 bottom turns on one wave but he could easily have done a lot more! This spot has some of the glassiest waves in Oman. Unfortunately for the Cypriot windsurfers the spot didn’t work while they were there in August so they went to the island of Masirah.

Even though Masirah is still Oman it is a much nicer climate of 24-25 degrees Celsius with very cool evenings. One of the spots they sail on Masirah is Kazhit which is the most popular windsurfing spot due to good conditions and safer sailing rather than the gnarly spot at Hagal.

Hagal offers the most radical sailing with bigger waves and stronger winds. It has a very tricky launch as there is quite literally no beach for you to get out into the water and if you break something you WILL end up on the rocks. A lot of you may think that’s nothing out of the ordinary but this place is nothing like the rocks at Ho’okipa! You literally have to go to the hospital if you even touch one of the rocks because they are covered in broken shells that are razor sharp. Last year one of the windsurfers got his timing wrong and ended up on the rocks thinking nothing had happened to him but only to realise when he got out of the water that he had cut his leg and ended up with about 15 stitches!

There is one more spot they normally sail called Gazebo (or “Sergio” as the Italians call it!). Gazebo is completely unreal because when there is no wind elsewhere on the island you can turn up at 4pm and it’s like someone has turned on a switch and you’ll get 25-40+ knots.

Oman is not only a great location for windsurfing but boasts a very hospitable and friendly people but you have to be a pretty dedicated windsurfer to go to Oman as there is absolutely nothing but windsurfing to do there! As yet I’ve never been but Paul is trying to convince me to go next year so I can shoot some professional photographs for everyone!

Even though the guys didn’t have any professional camera equipment they did take some photos and below are a few windsurfing photos and some of their snapshots from the trip.

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Apparently Stelios was a bit cocky about driving through the sand and was determined to show everyone that you don’t get stuck!! OOOOPS!!

These shots give you a good idea of what I mean when I say there’s nothing but windsurfing to do there! And yes, in the last shot in this collage, that is a hammerhead shark!!

The Cypriots met up with a bunch of Italians and cooked pasta for them!! REALLY?!!!

Looks like Paul’s trip to Maui last year has paid off and it shows in his wave riding!

Demitris getting ready to hit the lip!

George lining a nice wave at Hagal.

Paul getting some air! Apparently he was landing most of his back-loops on the trip – I’ll see if that’s the case when we get to Ho’okipa next month!

Velgos broke the mast on the first day. Luckily it was high tide and Paul was nearby to tow him out as this is the dreaded H-A-G-A-L!!!

Demitris’ new move … it’s called the Haratehi! It’s a reverse tabletop into a back-loop (crash!!) 😀

Velgos showing off his board.

Nice aerial by Michele, one of the Italians also visiting Oman in August.

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Diary Entry One : Give Always

If there was one thing that living on the North shore of Maui taught me last year was how a simple life can be the most rewarding. Those three months in Maui were the most uncomplicated and satisfying we’ve spent in long time. Life isn’t about (designer) clothes, (fast) cars and the (latest) gadgets… Without being too blasé I’d say that sums up a lot of people’s lives, especially here in Cyprus. I’m tired of walking into a restaurant or cafe in Cyprus and women looking at me from head to toe to inspect my non-designer bag or clothes and check out how slim I am, or not, in comparison to them. What the hell is all that about? Actually don’t even bother giving me an answer, I’m past caring. In stark contrast, I swear there’s something in the water in Maui because people just aren’t like that there. It’s not about appearances, it’s genuinely about who you are, being friendly to each other and having a positive attitude.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not proposing I do without clothes (god forbid!!), a car, my beloved Mac computer or my camera gear but I like to think we can all do ‘with’. I can do ‘with’ what I have and more than that, I’ve been in declutter mode the last few weeks. So many non-essentials complicate our lives and material possessions that we get conned into believing we ‘must have’ clutter up our homes, so much so that we forget about what’s important.

Throwing on scruffy beach clothes and flip flops and driving to the beach to see what the surf was doing pretty much summed up daily life for three months. In Maui, decision making in the morning revolved around the wind, waves and sun and whether or not to take the 600mm lens to Ho’okipa. Simplicity at its finest. Sure, I fully understand that for most people that’s a fantasy world and reality is about working and making ends meet but at the same time why do we have to be so miserable and negative as we go about our daily life? What happened to smiling at someone passing you by? What happened to making even the smallest of kind gestures to someone in need? Why do we always want more and more rather than being satisfied with what we have?

I’m not preaching here because I’m just as guilty as the person next to me of being rude to someone or ungrateful of the life I have but there were a few things that struck a nerve or two with me while I was in Maui and have stayed with me and will haunt and inspire me for a long time:

– The man at the recycling center on a Sunday hanging half way in the recycling bin, pulling out cans … I guess to sell them on Monday when the center reopened. There’s always someone much worse off than you are.

– Our drive to Ho’okipa every morning has to be one of the most beautiful drives you can do. Magnificent and breathtaking Haleakala volcano to our left, somedays perfectly clear and others engulfed in cloud, and to our right the lush greenery and practically the be all and end all of life in Hawaii, the powerful ocean. We’d also pass by the most exquisitely kept cemetery. One morning there was a huge crowd of people gathered for a funeral but by the evening when we were driving home, there was just one man there, sitting by the graveside and playing Ukelele. The crowd had turned into this lone figure playing music to a departed loved one and the thought of his loss & devotion to this person overwhelmed my emotions. In fact, my eyes well up every time that poignant image comes into my head. Life is short. Live it and take the time to be with the people you love.

– The wheelchair-bound surfer at Ho’okipa & the lifeguards who help him in and out of the water was another image I won’t forget in a hurry. For some people there is no such word as ‘can’t’. I don’t know who you are but thank you for the lilikoi you threw my way one day but more so, you should know, you are truly inspiring.

– And finally, an image I took on my iphone. It was our last day and we went to the Cannery for breakfast and to say goodbye to some of the guys at the Goya store. Outside one of the doors of the cannery someone had left a box of lilikoi with a simple message written on the box …
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