Windsurfing Diva Club

Little Divas, Big Inspiration
By Andy Aichinger

The future is now: "Windsurfing is a sport that challenges, requires patience, has a feeling of flying, forms friendships and pushes us to excel. I love it!" Lauren Clark does not need too many words to explain what young "windgirls" can find in our sport. And perhaps it might have been words like Laurens that lead windsurfing instructor Linda Stott into doing a pretty good investment in the future of women windsurfing. She did it by founding the "Windsurfing Diva Club" in the summer of 2004 together with fellow "windgirl" mother Denise Vetromile.

Linda: "I meet with the girls every Saturday (winter months!) and they are very much enjoying their time on the water. The purpose of the club was to gather the girls together, to practice together, each motivating the other. Since being able to waterstart is a requirement, it pushed some of the girls to achieve this skill, to gain entrance to the club. In the "club" format, they could meet at least once a week, frequently with a female pro sailor (Junko Nagoshi, Jennifer Henderson, Nori Hubbs, Annick Violette, Arjentino), to inspire them to achieve the levels that are possible in this sport." Also Robby Seeger and Josh Stone did show up to push the girls. Push them to work harder and develop skills quicker, always being excited who will be the first to pull off a new move.

The club is based on Maui, the girls meet at Kanaha Beach Park most of the time. Having started as a club of eight and with ages ranging from 11 to 14, Linda and Denise hope to attract even more girls in the future. Linda: "We made wonderful Diva ID cards just for fun and all bought pink rashguards after a bake sale at the Hawaii State Championships." Good idea: The girls made enough money selling cookies to buy 12 rashies. Time management seems to be one of the main challenges, though. With school, soccer, ballet, cheerleading and plenty of homework projects, the girls are sometimes just to busy for scheduling playtime.

No problem after all: "When I`m windsurfing and the wind is in my hair, I feel free," Windsurfing Diva Club member Kanza Stott explains. "I like to fly over the waves and break through the silky waters. Windsurfing is a great life lesson because it teaches me to have patience with myself."

Anyone who is interested in joining the club - even if just in Maui for a short while - is welcome, the only requirements being the waterstart and own gear. Info: stottie@maui.net.

PAULINA PEASEHi, my name is Paula Pease. I'm 14 years old, I live in Maui, and I've been windsurfing for the past two summers. I attend St. Anthony High School and am in the 9th grade. My Dad got me into windsurfing, and I love it because it's so much fun. You can go really fast, jump, do tricks, ride waves, race your friends, and you don't get hot because you're in the water all the time. My favorite places to ride are Hookipa (when the waves are small) and Spreckelsville. I love wave riding and waves make good kickers for jumping. Maui is definitely the best place to windsurf, there's wind, waves, warm water and many places to ride. My goal for windsurfing in the next year is to tack, duck jibe, race, work on my jumps and wave riding. Next summer I will race in the Junior Division and I hope to win.

LAUREN CLARK: I started windsurfing when I was age 7. My best friend and I had custom, sparkling 1.2 sails from Hot sails. Our boards were so big, they would stick out the back of my dad’s truck. We would go to the beach with our families, and make a few runs. Then the fascination of sand play would take over. The last couple of summers have been more exciting. With a group of girls supporting each other, we have spent hours at the beach, sailing together, challenging each other. The camaraderie of our group has pushed us to work harder to develop our skills. We all want to jibe, and avoid the "dunk" at the other end of our run. We’re all in the same place, excited when one of our group finally manages to make a jibe. Windsurfing is a sport that challenges, requires patience, has a feeling of flying, forms friendships and pushes us to excel. I LOVE IT!

KRISTEN ORTH: My name is Kristen Orth. I am 13 years old and windsurfing is my favorite sport. The first time I got on a sailboard I was 9 years old and not so thrilled. But, my Dad kept taking me to the beach to try. At 12 years old I took Linda's windsurfing camp and it clicked. I think I was stronger and more focused. Now when I hook into my harness and go fast it feels great and I think to myself, "I am so glad I kept with this sport." I love challenges and this sport challenges me to learn more. My goals are to be able to get high air, flips, sail waves and race.  Right now I am mastering my jibes. Oh, and I need to go faster than my Dad. The Diva Windsurfing Club helps me with all that. I get to sail and practice with my friends. I love it when the pros come and teach us tricks and how to improve our sailing.

KRISTEN TODA: I first got into windsurfing when I got to try it out with my friend Roxy and her family. I liked it so much that I signed up for a Windsurfing Camp with Maui Sports Unlimited, and later decided to get my own board and rig. Now I windsurf every chance I get, usually on weekends. During the summer, when I don't have school, I am a part time windsurfing instructor. I am also in a girl's windsurfing club called The Windsurfing Diva Club. Our club has pros like Jen Henderson, Nori Hubbs, and Francisco Goya teaching us tricks and helping us with jibing and tacking techniques. I like windsurfing because it is really fun. The speed is what got me addicted. It feels like flying, and there is nothing like it.



















HAILEE PULLMAN: (our newest member): My passion for windsurfing is the feeling I have when I get up fast, and the wind is on my back. The fun thing is when I am going super fast on my board, and I feel like I am free.

NIQUE VETROMILE: While some people sit in front of the T.V. and eat, I get up every morning, get in my bathing suit, pack a cooler and head out (with my family) to the beach. Not only do I windsurf in the summer in one of the best spots in the world, but I spend my falls, winters and springs in Aspen Colorado skiing, horseback riding, biking and of coarse going to school.   For me windsurfing is a privilege, but for some it is a lifestyle. When I first started windsurfing I would go as far as the buoys that mark the end of the swim zone. As I learned to go farther out I became more and more afraid of the things in the water. Then one day I realized that nothing will hurt me if I don’t bother it. Not being afraid of the water has let me be open to new ideas and new ways of trying things. This year I learned how to jibe two different ways, tack and do a front hand drop and a back hand drop. I sailed with lots of pros who gave me new information and expanded my windsurfing knowledge. I started sailing tandem with my dad when I was 3 years old. My first solo was a Pluto sail and a big floaty board (dagger board and all). Now I sail short boards, eight footers. I even take my parents slalom boards out when they let me. This summer I learned to go fast, race in slalom buoys and even sailed in on a five foot wave. I love windsurfing and will sail till I drop.

KANZA STOTT: Windsurfing is a key to life. When I am windsurfing and the wind is in my fair, I feel free. I like to fly over the waves and break through the silky waters. Windsurfing is a great life lesson, because it teaches me patience with myself.

SAMANTHA WILTZ, MARISA DURHAM -- to be continued...













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photos: Windsurfing Diva Club, H.Wiewel  windgirls 2005