Tuesday, April 26, 2011


Photo:Olaf Mitchell
WM:   Fran, Olaf and I feel that you are truely one of the coolest people on the planet, I say that to people all the time… and everyone I have said it to agrees with me.
 FG:   Thank you Karen, I feel the same for you, I enjoyed very much getting Goya Sails of the ground with you, I thank you very much for your trust, time, energy and everything you invested along the way to make this dream possible.
Karen and Francisco
Karen and Francisco with the first prototype Goya Sail

WM:   Well I guess what I want to ask you first is how you are doing with your company?
FG:   The business is going well, we learned a lot over the last years and made us focus on what we love doing. I’m very thankful we got to experience it while being relatively a small business.
WM:   What are you working on; anything cool you want to tell us about? (You don’t have to give away any secrets here just say what you want about your upcoming products.
FG:   Developing products is a constant day after day, good ideas stay longer on the table and we build on them, I’m learning that everything has their own speed and at one point I have to stop and go riding as I’m also part of what is being developed.
 WM:   How are your sail designs evolving? Board designs?
FG:   Rigs are getting lighter, easier to move around, basically feeling as if you don’t even have it but you are moving faster and with more control. Same goes for boards, fins, masts, etc.

WM:   What do you see for the future?
FG:   We intend to continue the development of shapes and designs along with newer materials and building techniques. That equals less gear that does more. On the long term future, wow, that is going to be amazing!! I believe that together with the new generation of riders, as common as it sounds, The Sky Is The Limit!
WM:    Francisco, please tell us a little about your background, where you came from, how you got to Maui. What was it like for you when you first got here?
 FG:   I was born in Buenos Aires, Argentina in 1970. I grew up in contact with sports like skateboarding, surfing and all the other fun sports. My dream all through high school was to live Windsurfing to the fullest! As soon as I finished high school, I worked a summer job and got myself over to Maui. It has been an amazing experience learning a new culture and meeting the people that have become my friends and partners for over 20 years (and counting), while also keeping the stoke of riding the sport that I enjoy so much. In those early days on Maui I did mainly landscape jobs that had no attachments so I could work every day or be gone for a week depending on the conditions. A lot of people were really patient with me and understood my goal. I’m very thankful for them.  
WM:   I know how passionate you are about windsurfing Francisco; can you please express some of your passion for windsurfing to us?
F.G.@ Jaws
FG:   After I ride I feel so good! There is some magic about windsurfing and being out on the environment that is very unique! I’m totally stoked for a long time after a session! I notice that people just shine as they come out of the water, even after a bad session they are in a zone. Karen, it is just an amazing sport, once you realize that the wind does everything you just relax.
F.G.@ Jaws

WM:   Tell us a little about your amazing team at Goya Windsurfing.
FG:   Keith is the head shaper. He was one of the four founders of the brand in 1994, that is where the name Quatro came from. There were so many fours around. Eventually my brother Lalo who studied business at MCC joined the partnership and took over the general managing of the business. Jason Diffin is the head sail designer and much more. Bjoern is the graphic designer and also much more. He also works along with Stephan and Jason Stone on the media & websites. Laurent takes care of the international sales and he is also involved in the marketing of the brand. Pascal handles all the US accounts and manages our Haiku shop together with Skyler. Molly handles all the accounting and day to day things of the business with Petra. Tierry and Phillipe build all the custom boards and help with the development of the production boards. Emanuel is the factory manager and handles all the shipping. On the water but also helping with all the development and marketing of the products are Levi Siver & Camile Juban, Josh & Harley Stone, Jason Prior and the list goes on.
Photo: Olaf Mitchell

Photo : Olaf Mitchell

Photo: Olaf Mitchell
Photo: Olaf Mitchell
Photo: Olaf Mitchell
Photo: Olaf Mitchell

WM:   Are you planning to compete in any windsurfing events this year?  
Photo: Trudy Lary
FG:   So far Karen I’ve only registered for the one of the events on the American Windsurfing Tour. It’s the one at Wadell (north of Santa Cruz). It’s only a couple of days and doesn’t require very much traveling. These days it is hard being away from the family for longer trips.

Photo: Olaf Mitchell
Photo: Trudy Lary
Photo: Olaf Mitchell
Photo: Trudy Lary
Photo: Trudy Lary

Photo: Olaf Mitchell

WM:   What other activities do you enjoy besides windsurfing?
FG:   I enjoy surfing, cycling, yoga, chasing the kids around, watching a movie, reading a book, doing nothing.

From: Windsurfing Magazine
 WM:   What people you most admire and why.
FG:   A lot of people inspire me, Karen. Some of them I read about in biographies but for the most part, I admire day to day people like the teachers at my kid’s school, other parents, and some athletes as well.
WM:   Francisco, please tell us about your family?
The Goya's

FG:   Tamara is my best friend, wife and partner, I have a daughter named  Luna she’s eight and a son named Teo he’s four. We also have a cat that adopted himself.  We named him Sussie as we thought it was a girl until we took him to the vet. My mother Marines with her husband Emanuel live on the next road. They have an organic fruit and tree farm with hundreds of trees. My brother Alejandro is an artist and runs Paia Contemporary Gallery right next to Tamara’s boutique. My sister Lorena recently moved back from the mainland, she is in the real estate business, Lalo is my younger brother and boss ;)) (be nice to your little brother/sister). Lalo has been busy setting up our offices in Europe over the last couple of years but he is starting to spend more time in Maui when possible. All of Tamara’s family lives in Buenos Aires so we visit every year, over there the kids spend some time with their cousins and it is our time to keep in contact with our other culture.
Teo at Pistol River, Photo: Olaf Mitchell 
Luna at Pistol River, Photo: Olaf Mitchell

Luna & Teo at Pistol River, Photo: Olaf Mitchell

Luna at Pistol River, Photo: Olaf Mitchell
Luna & Teo, Photo: Olaf Mitchell

Luna & Teo, Photo: Olaf Mitchell

 WM:   You mentioned Tamara’s shop. How she is doing and what is new at TAMARA CATZ?
FG:   Tamara is having a good time with her shop. A few years back she changed her business from wholesaling to just designing for her own boutique. That change has allowed her to relax and enjoy more time with the kids and her personal interests.
Photo: Olaf Mitchell
WM:   Why do you live in Maui and what’s cool about living here?
FG:   I came to windsurf, but it ended up being so much more than that. I really connect with the people here. There is a good vibe and a dynamic community that keeps on growing and evolving.
WM:    What don’t you like about Maui?
FG:   I’m not sure that I dislike anything but some things could be improved like the education budget, and the sustainability of the community. They need to stop the burning of cane fields (I read that Hawaii is one of the states with most asthma in kids). I would like to see friendly communities developed with parks, walk and bike ways, with mom & pop stores in the communities so that people walk and meet more, etc.
WM:   What is your typical day like Francisco?
FG:    I fill it with Family, business and of course, fun.
WM:   What would be your ideal day?
FG:   Longer
 WM:   Francisco, is there anything else you would like to add?
FG:   I would just like to say,”Thank you Karen for always being and creating! You are an inspiration to many.”
 WM:   Are there any links you would like published
Photo: Olaf mitchell
 FG:   GoyaWindsurfing

Sunday, April 24, 2011


After I finished up all the things that I needed to address today I went to the beach and really couldn’t figure out just what to rig. The launch was totally deserted other than one person snorkeling in the channel .I had the full Maui Quiver with me and no one on the beach or out sailing to judge the conditions by. That makes things difficult.
It was such a nice day and the wind was blowing and there was even a few head high peaks popping up from time to time. I knew that I was going to sail but I really wasn’t in a hurry to rig so I chilled out on the log we call a bench and sat in the shade taking in the experience of Maui on a deserted beach on a beautiful day.
I noticed this green Goya sail up wind and that was the only windsurfer that I could see.
The sailor was heading in my direction. I thought that he was on a beeline to the channel when he turned and smacked one of those little peaks and then he headed right through the rocks and up to the beach.
I figured that I was in luck and the guy could give me an accurate idea of what the wind was like so I could decide what to rig.
When the guy got closer I recognized him and said,”Hi Josh!” It was none other than Josh Stone. We chatted a bit and this is how our chat went.
I asked about the wind and got a good idea of what to rig.
I asked him if he was going to Waddell and the next thing you know he is bubbling over with sheer excitement.

 Josh told me that he was more stoked about this contest than any he had been involved with since they first started the World Cup. In fact he stated that he was incredibly stoked about the whole American Windsurfing Tour in general and intended to make every stop if he could.

He mentioned how very impressed he was with Sam Bittner’s success with bringing wave sailing competitions back to the USA once again.

  Josh was stoked to be traveling with his old friend and team mate Francisco Goya and a bunch of the Maui Goya team.

 A few words about Josh from Francisco…
Josh is out of reach, after a busy pro career that included 2 World Titles and multiple podium finishes he also was the one behind the start up of the Freestyle World Tour, that made possible to bring wave sailors spirits to the lakes.
Today he continues to ride every time it's good at his home in Maui and also he goes to Jaws or travels to other neighbor islands on his Amy Blue boat. Today his son Harley is starting to get into the sport!

But that wasn’t the biggest reason Josh was so stoked and I knew why because I had heard that his son Harley was going on this trip. And this time it was as a competitor in his first wave sailing contest. Josh went on to tell me how proud he was to be sharing this experience with his son. He also made the comment that Harley was brought up traveling with him on the PWA world tour. The first years he can remember were full of exotic destinations, dynamic people and wave sailing.
Josh said that Harley has only been sailing about a year and a half and is getting pretty close to a clean forward loop. He told me this story about going mountain biking with Brian Talma. I guess Harley is a pretty good mountain biker and showed Brian up.  Then Harley made a bold statement about wind surfing to Brian. Well the next time they went on the water together Brian schooled Harley pretty good. Harley was a bit discouraged so Josh had a little chat with him and told him, “If you really want to loop, this is how you do it.”
Josh said, “Harley thought about it for a moment and jumped on his board and went for it!” He did just what his dad told him to do; he made the commitment and initiated the first part of a forward. Then he tried again and got further and again and got even rotated past half way. Josh said the he and Brian were astounded and amazed at Harley’s progress. Harley walked away from that sesh knowing that that he was defiantly going to loop.
Josh went on to say that he was stoked that the skill level of the AWT competitors was so high.   He said “There’s a lot of young talented wave sailors entered and they are all going to be going for it big time. Some of the kids from The Gorge are doing some really impressive stuff.”
He said with delight “You know Olaf there are 4 World Champions competing in the Waddell event Francisco, Kevin, Matt, and me. He also mentioned that if Robbie enters it will be 5. That caliber of talent is pretty unheard of in any type of sporting contest!”
We went on to talk about the Pistol River Wave Bash that is scheduled for late June and that even more of our fiend s are planning their summer vacation around that event as well. I told him that I was going to try and make that one again this year.

After our chat Josh left and I rigged up and had a delightful little bump and jump session on a 4,7 and my 78ltr.board with only my board shorts on.
Some other really cool things happened today but that is another story.

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Video interview with Bernd Roediger about the American Windsurfing Tour

Bernd Roediger at the 2010 Pistol River Wave Bash.  ( Photo: Olaf Mitchell)

Bernd Roediger talks about the American Windsurfing Tour and his competition strategy.
He's a very stoked young man!
Can you guess who he is gunning for?
Watch this video interview and you will see that he is a real contender on every level!

Saturday, April 16, 2011


Story by Olaf Mitchell

The day was forecast to be very light wind and advisory level waves.

I thought to myself, “ This is probably going to be another one of those days that there is too much wind for  surfing and not enough wind to wave sail”.
As walked down the access path I noticed that the waves were defiantly substantial.  The few sailors that were out  were barely moving.
I feared my initial feelings were true.
I walked across the rocks and took a seat on the log that we use for a bench.
I could sense extreme adrenaline from two of the guys that had just been out.
They were boasting of biggest wave ever ridden and epic conditions.
I ran back to my truck and quickly assembled my gear and ran back to the launch and rigged.

The wind was light but steady and I sailed right out to the impact zone where I was denied passage but I persevered and made it out on my second try.

It’s always tense making that first attempt at penetrating the white water when the ocean is big.
I typicaly need to make a couple reaches before committing to a set wave.

I sailed pretty far out to sea trying to calm my nerves and get my arms and balance under control.

After my first outside jibe I noticed something very special.
I was on a moving mound of water that was just developing beautifully the closer I got to shore.

My first instinct was to kick out and settle in a bit before dropping in on a wave that size but it was just to perfect so I went for it.
I was a bit early and that proved to be a good move and I stayed far enough in front of the peak that it was easy to navigate all the way to the right channel.

I made my inside jibe and pumped my sail and stepped into the non planning 'sweet' spot on the board.

As I headed back out to sea I was just hooting and filled with the adrenalized euphoria of a man that has just ridden one of the best waves of his life.

This proved to be only one of many waves that were that were of that caliber (size and quality)!
I sailed mast and a half perfectly smooth waves with good friends with a lot of aloha until near dark.

That’s when the wind dropped off to near calm.
There was just enough of a breeze to slog to weather.

I was way below the channel.

I also noticed that every one but two other sailors had made it in already.

I thought to myself “Not this again, WHY, do I consistently make this same mistake? Here I am again, out in big waves with barely enough wind to move, desperately trying to get in position to make it through a very technical channel in the rocks!" .

I actually made good progress and was soon in the position I needed to be in.

I waited for the right wave to come.

I wanted one that I could make the drop, go up and hit the lip, and then point using the power of the white water all the way to the big rock east of the mouth of the channel.

All was going well until I was hit by a small rouge piece of chop that knocked me out of balance and I fell.

I was in exactly WRONG place!

The current in this spot outside the rock is famous for trapping tired sailors. It has a whorl pool effect that‘s nearly impossible to break loose from.

I didn’t have to spend much time in that impossible caldron because the only thing worse than being caught in the swirling eddy is being picked up by one of the large incoming pulses and washed directly on to the large jagged rock.
That is exactly what happened I didn’t even have time to say “OH SHIT !”,it happened that fast.

The surge was large and powerful enough that it washed me and my gear completely over the large rock and into the rocks on the other side.

I tumbled in some sort of controlled whirl, I lightly pushed away from the razor sharp edges.

There is one benefit to the situation that I just described and that is after you make it over all those obstacles there is a direct flow of current all the way to the rocky beach!

I was so stoked to be back on land and not even a scratch on me or my gear!

My buddy Tom fell in the same place and he got trapped in that whirl pool. He was exhausted from the long big wave session. He tried to break loose for about ten minutes and then signaled for help. My buddy Dean put on his swim fins and swam out and helped Tom break free of the current.

As I drove the old Maui High School Road  on my way home all I could think was “What a day!”

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Dale Cook

For quite a few winters now Dale Cook has been a member of our core group of wave sailor’s at Kuau on the north shore of Maui.

 Dale’s extremely modest about his abilities, and a straight shooter. He’s family man and a very hard worker. Dale sails with us almost every day but he rarely gets to the launch site before four  in the afternoon in the middle of the work week. Launching that late can make for some sketchy sailing conditions.

I have had many memorable sessions both wave sailing and surfing with Dale.
Several of our sessions come to my mind and a few stand out like New Years Day 2010. We surfed some big glassy waves all afternoon with just the two of us out.  That magic session still comes up in our conversation from time to time.

Another surfing session we shared this season comes to mind. Dale, myself, and two other guys were surfing out at Noriega on a fast rising swell.  The waves were about head and a half high for the first part of the session and then the sets started getting exponentially bigger. We were all getting some great waves but getting clobbered by these sneaker sets that were just coming out of nowhere. We started sitting further and further outside and still getting caught inside. We all agreed that we had maxed out our comfort level and we were ready to paddle in and call it a day when we noticed a bump out on the horizon. We paddled out as hard as we could. I was a little further out and I narrowly made it over but Dale didn’t make it far enough. That wave snapped Dale’s board and he had to swim in with only half a board.

 When it gets real big you can always count on Dale charging the gnarliest waves. I have seen him drop in on some the most spectacular north shore monsters and make it time after time. In fact I saw Dale ride one of the best waves of the 2011 season at Kuau just about a week ago.

 Dale’s legendary in the Columbia River Gorge for his dynamic jumping skills. Click here to see why!

WM:   Dale, I’m honored that you agreed to this little interview.
Why don’t we get started with where you’re from and how long have you been wind surfing?
DC:    Olaf, I grew up in Vancouver, Washington
and I spent my summers in Hood River. I’ve been Wind surfing for twenty five years.

 WM:   What are your favorite spots to windsurf?
DC:   I sail in The Gorge in the summer and the north shore of Maui in the winter

WM:   Are there any highlights in your wind surf career that you would like to share with us, Dale?
DC:    Winning the “Gorge Cup” racing for years is a highlight and also I am proud of winning “The Blowout” eight times. That’s high on my list as well.

  WM:   What‘s next on your list of destinations or goals?
DC:   Destinations hum? I would love to travel to the Marshal Islands. My goal right now is to keep having as much fun as possible while raising my baby girl.
WM:   Dale, what do you think about The American Windsurfing Tour?
DC:  I think it’s awesome Olaf! It’s great to see Sam putting so much energy into promoting the sport of windsurfing. I remember one night about two years ago when me and some friends (including Sam) were playing poker. She informed us that evening that she was going to have a windsurfing contest. I thought she was crazy—but as you know, she pulled it off! It was a great contest and got everyone stoked on the sport again.
WM:   Dale what other sports are you involved in?
DC:   I am passionate about mountain biking, dirt biking, white water kayaking, and surfing.

WM:   Who are your primary sponsors Dale?
 DC:   Olaf I am sponsored by Sailworks, Roberts Sailboards, Anarchy Sunglasses, and Dakine.
WM:   What is your occupation?
DC:    I work for Sailworks in The Gorge and I do everything from testing sails, repairing sails, and customer service. During the winter on Maui I’m a carpenter.
WM:    How about relationships?
DC:   I’ve been married to Sonja for three years now and we have a 9 month old girl named Bela that keeps me on my toes.

WM:   Who are your personal heroes Dale?
DC:    Olaf, I have two personal heroes. First is my dad, he is great he either mountain bikes, kayaks, and windsurfs with me just about every day.  Also I’m inspired by my friend Bruce Peterson. He’s the designer of Sailworks Sails. Bruce taught me the go fast and jump high style of wind surfing that I love so much. We call it power sailing.

WM:   Do you have any favorite quotes?
DC:   My dad used to tell me,” If you’re not crashing then you’re not learning!”
"Sail your own style, and have a lot of fun!" I said that.
WM:   Thanks Dale!