Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Director Candidates for June 1 SLSA Election

SurfWatch is proud to present an in-depth look at the Director candidates for the June 1, 2009, SLSA Director election. With three seats opening up and six excellent candidates, now is the time to find out their background and where they stand on current issues.


Bonheur "Bon" Chenaux



Current SLSA ranking:
9th

Why you are running for Director:
Having been an active part of the SLSA for nearly a year now, I've come to the realization that there are two choices: I can stand on the shore and watch, or I can jump in and do something to make a difference. I love this sport, and I have dedicated so much time and care to it. I want to know that when my time comes to walk away from it, I've done my part to bring forth positive change for those who follow.

What do you see as the top issues currently facing the SLSA:
There have been some new changes in the SLSA this year. We have all had to face adjusting to them in some form or another. I think the potential of this organization is endless and bountiful. With the right people to step up and take a stand for all the people and not just some of the people, taking good care to provide understanding and explanation, it can be what it was created to be. I have great concern for those that forget what this sport is about. Yes, it is competition, and I like to succeed as much as the next person. But at the end of the day, we are all there for the same reason. We love what we do. No one person wants to reach the top any more than the other. We all work hard. If we face each competition with respect for those who earned their rank and compassion for those who worked hard yet may have fallen short, we will come together full circle and be one team of competitors, not several rivals, one trying to outdo the other.

Why you should be elected over the other candidates:
Having looked at the list of candidates, this is a tough question. Some who put their heart and tears into this sport stand before you for your consideration. I guess I may be vain to say I am more qualified than they. What I will say is that I can guarantee you this. I am PAINFULLY fair. I will stand up for my worst enemy if s/he has been wronged. What I wish for is for every person to have a fair and equal opportunity to succeed within this sport. In order for that to happen, we need to be involved and interested in the concerns and ideas of those who make up the sport.

Affiliations, surfing related business, etc.:
I am not currently affiliated with anyone other than my fellow surfers. I spent the first seven months of my surfing career surfing with the Reef Riders Team. Until recently, I was a member of Team Pirahna. I currently surf independent. I have no surf related business other than my business is to surf! (smiles)

Robbin Ember







Current SLSA ranking (currently a sitting Director):
Don't really know. Somewhere in the high thirties. Been a really rough season (giggles).

Why you are running for Director:
My only purpose was and has been to give back to the community, nothing more and nothing less. Just a desire to try to give some of my time and effort in gratitude and appreciation for the time and effort of those that came before me and made this all happen.

What do you see as the top issues currently facing the SLSA:
I see a very bright future. One thing I have learned, tho - with the increased participation, which is so great, we have a great need for more event personnel, i.e., judges, marshalls, security, etc. and greater training and opportunity for experience in those areas. I find that the constitution essentially sets forth two purposes of the Board and that is to run competitions and promote the community. In that regard, I believe that instead of an agenda, maybe we should just focus on keeping it all running smoothly as the most important objective or goal.

Why you should be elected over the other candidates:
I am not so sure that I should be. I mean, I make so many mistakes and I know that I will do so again and again. But I do love this community and I do want to repay. I just feel like I am in the middle of something that I want to complete. But again, please, this is not a competition, and I mean that. It is about getting the best Board that we can, and each and every other candidate is a trusted and qualified candidate. So whoever is elected, it will be fine, and I will continue to offer my service.

Affiliations, surfing related business, etc.:
As set forth before, I am involved in and a co-owner of Montego Beach at Sands Point (at least at the end of each month, my account feels my involvement). In addition, I am very, very proud to surf for the Montego Surf Team, and I thank my teammates for having me on the team. Thanks.

Robin Mapp


Current SLSA ranking:
23rd

Why you are running for Director:
I honestly feel it is my responsibility to give back to the organization that gives us so much fun. I have a lot of years of RL surfing experience and have been a part of the SL surfing environment for over two years. With all this experience, I have decided it was my duty to share that and to offer my services as all those who have non-selfishly given before me.

What do you see as the top issues currently facing the SLSA:
Current hot issues in the SLSA, from my take on discussions with other members and active forum discussions, appear to be diversified from board shapes to judging criteria. From my point of view, they boil down to looking for consistency and fairness across all aspects. As a Director, I believe it would be my responsibility to ensure that innovation is not stifled but keep guidelines that maintain an equal playing field for all contestants.

Why you should be elected over the other candidates:
Let's see...baggies, Huarachi sandals, and bushy, bushy blonde hairdo (smiles). Sorry, I couldn't resist. I have years of surfing history, both recreational and in competitions, as well as working as an IT manager. I feel I could bring a new light to the SLSA by adding more real world experience and an insight to scripting and design and sim performance. I am also really supporting team involvement; I would like to see the teams take more of a leadership role in areas such education, sportsmanship, and making venues available for non-scoring comps to help promote SL surfing as a whole.

Affiliations, surfing related businesses, etc:
Past owner of Surf City; founder and owner of Rob John's Surf, and Captain of the Da Hui team.

Kohana Schimmer




Current SLSA ranking:
Can we also talk about last season (smiles)? I did pretty good for my first season of competing (laughs). Finishing in the top twenty and missed one comp - WOOOT! This season, so far I'm currently ranked at 33 (missed the first comp of the season due to RL - HOOO!)


Why you are running for Director:
To serve the surfing community in a more productive way. I've done a bit of complaining and figured I should put up or shut up. If I become a Director, I'll learn the ins and outs and be able to more efficiently help others with questions or comments regarding the SLSA. I have thoroughly enjoyed two seasons I've participated in with SLSA events and sincerely would like to volunteer my time and efforts and passion for surfing the SL sparkling waters. This is how I would like to give back to the association I dearly love and all the surfers that make up our surfing community.

What do you see as the top issues currently facing the SLSA:
The founders of the SLSA built a great foundation for SL surfers to enjoy competitions and events. As the association grows and more and more discover the joys of surfing, SL growing pains are inevitable and issues become apparent as the system gets clogged trying to please so many. The top issues I see are judging, scoring, and length of competitions. I've heard rumors of solutions already being discussed and would love to throw in my two sanddollars (smiles).

Why you should be elected over the other candidates:
I believe the answer to this question is, I feel each candidate is totally awesomely qualified and each candidate would make an excellent Director. We can't go wrong with whomever we vote in this term! Even me - WOOOOT HOO!!!!

Affiliations, surfing related businesses, etc.:
SLSA, SLSA Captains Advisory Group, VSA, Pacific Coast Extreme, Montego Surf Team (Owner/Captain), Splendeurs

WickedV Carver
Current SLSA ranking:
I am currently ranked 5th in the 2009 season 1 but whether I have been ranked higher or lower, I have always had fun and want to make sure the SLSA group's mission continued to grow.

Why you are running for Director:
I would like to be elected as Director because I want to serve this great community, outstanding members, wonderful friends, and give back to this great sport which I love so much.

What do you see as the top issues currently facing the SLSA:
There are many issues facing the SLSA today, including finances, surfboards and wave development, sponsorships, and managing the continued successful future growth of our sport. If elected, I promise to face these issues head on without compromising the mission of the SLSA which will be the premier group in SL for promoting surfing.

Why you should be elected over the other candidates:
The SLSA is a group that is 1000 strong and growing, and if I am elected, I will always be there for the competitive surfers as well as the amateur surfers. Our goal is to run the best, most open and fair competitions where anyone can have a chance to win and spend some fun times with friends. That being said, I will also never lose sight of the fact that winning may be nice, but it is the fun of surfing, meeting and making new friends that share the love of the sport. If elected, I will fight anything that might compromise this. I truly love surfing in SL and the friends I have met because of it.

Affiliations, surf related businesses, etc.:
I'm part of the Vibrations Pro Surf Team and own the sims Rocky Point Beach and Wicked Island.

Aurora Jacks


Current SLSA ranking:
43

Why are you running for Director:
I am running for Director because I love the SLSA and what it stands for. This community as a whole is a tight knit, open armed family, and it is the most welcoming environment I have come across in SecondLife. I enjoy dedicating my time to volunteering for the events. In my SecondLife, I do two things: I build. I surf. I feel I can offer a fresh voice to this feisty, eclectic, AMAZINGLY wonderful family we call the SecondLife Surfing Association. I am hoping to lend my time and opinions and wanting to learn every aspect of the Association. To be put simply, I LOVE it.

What do you see as the top issues currently facing the SLSA:
The SLSA is constantly being faced with challenges and issues as the surf community grows and the popularity increases. This has brought about some growing pains this past season. Fortunately, trying to manage increased popularity is a good problem to have. The new competition format has proved, in my opinion, to be a success, allowing the participation of record numbers of surfers at this season's events. On the downside is the additional man hours to cover an extra weekend each month. We need to continue to be creative and think outside the box on ways to keep volunteer participation up and very importantly, maintain a pool of trained and qualified judges.

The second area that has been causing quite a bit of talk lately is board standardization. We have rules about the length that a board can be for a comp, and this is for the obvious reason that a shortboard handles differently than a longboard. Most people have found that you can also change the performance of a board and make it so called "better" by hollowing out the shape, making it thinner or cutting the path. Why do we not have a more standard definition on the shape of the board based on prim characteristics rather than just the length? At a minimum, I believe the rules need to be more precisely defined and also investigate the possibility of a more standard competition approved board.

Another important area is increasing the financial base for the SLSA. There is a great advertising base already established and again, thinking outside the box here, can open up new opportunities to the SLSA. Ideas that I would like to pursue are working with SL radio stations to broadcast the DJs or Live Performers stream during an event to other sims (we did this at the JJ Lane's comp). This increases the exposure for the advertisers. Also selling SLSA products where a portion of all of the proceeds can go to the SLSA.

Why you should be elected over the other candidates:
It's just great to see the enthusiasm and the amount of people that stepped forward to throw their hat in the ring. There is not a person in the running who would not be an ideal fit for the position as Director and, in that regard, we are very fortunate. I look forward to potentially having the opportunity to work alongside them. As for myself, I can say that, to the best of my ability, I will faithfully serve the SLSA for my 6 month term, building upon a rock solid foundation that our previous Directors have laid forth.
Affiliations, surf related businesses, etc.:
Co Owner of JJ Lanes Furniture, Piranha Pro Surf Team (WOOOOOOT), Braata Beach and Estates, and JAK SURF. Braata Beach holds the surf sims Tortola and JJ Lanes II. On our beach, we also have the SLSA Hall of Fame and we have hosted two SLSA surf competitions. JJ Lanes is also a proud sponsor of the SLSA. I love this community!!

RFL Surf for Life Charity Benefit May 23, 2009

by Socks Clawtooth, Senior Furry Correspondent


On Saturday, May 23, riders from all over the world participated in the "Relay for Life" benefit hosted by "Riders for a Cure". RfaC is one of the teams raising money in SL for the American Cancer Society. The event was a 12-hour surf marathon held at five locations on the grid, going from noon to beyond midnight.

The event kicked off at Tsunami Beach for four hours, then moved to Rocky Point Beach. It also spent an hour at Tortola before moving to Boracay for a few hours. It ended at Mori where the party didn't stop until well after midnight SL and well into the virtual sunrise. The torch was on the water for the whole time as people surfed, windsurfed, kite sailed, jetskiied, and even rode inner-tubes and inflatable tanning beds on the waves!

Surf for Life raised 39,844L for the American Cancer Society in DONATIONS on the route. To put this in perspective, it translates to $153.23 US funds in 12 hours of surfing in pure donations. In addition, the sims and riders donated to ride and host the torch, bringing the total raised to a little over 50,000L, over $190 US funds.

Donations such as swim wear, RFL inspired rashies, and more from TGA, Surf-FUR, and Team Boracay were given to the riders, as well as a trophy torch for them to keep. The relay torch is on display at Tsunami Beach waiting for the next relay event.




On a personal note, I want to thank all the people who took the time to ride. As much as I'd like to name every one, it wasn't one person an hour. In the first hour, the torch got passed at least five times, and I lost track of it at Mori for at least an hour. I also want to thank the people who really made this event possible - the surf community. Without all the support from the surfers, the sim owners and staff, and everyone else, this wouldn't have been possible.

Riders for a Cure has one more planned event, a "surf competition" strictly for trophies and fun. More details will follow soon once we have the venues and "rules" sorted out. Note the brackets - this isn't for anything but FUN.