The 2014 Nelscott Wavesailing Invitational ...


    ... is on.  La Nina didn’t exactly smile on the last couple Challenges so here’s hoping we get a shot sometime this year.  I’ve been looking at catching a sesh at Nelscott Reef for awhile. It looks way doable, yet word still has it that no one has windsurfed that wave yet.


    Yeah, the rocky reef there at Nelscott doesn’t even start showing unless it’s well over mast high and it looks like it can hold a wave three times that or possibly more.


    So maybe you had heard some rumors about a big wave event on the Oregon Coast. And it’s probably for the best that we keep it at that. However, if the rumors happen to be more than just rumors, it will probably be called something like “the Nelscott Challenge”. For as much as I love the idea of a bigwavesailing invitational, a challenge sounds a lot more inclusive and is probably a better fit with the proposed format. And if you wanted to support the idea or in any other way participate in such a project, you could always contact the event staff through the contact page on Boardhead International.


  1. This sort of event would of course, be uninsured, unsanctioned, under the radar and at your own risk.

  2. There would of course be a 25' wave minimum, but I’m holding out for a long period swell in the 30’ plus range.

  3. On or about 1/1/15, a jury of peers would preside over all the available photo or video proof in case one or more contenders actually make it out and ride the place.

  4. Registered “participants” would be notified of any changes in event status as they happen.  

  5. Incentives and a prize package would of course be announced if and when any sponsorships were secured. 

  6. If this event was more than just a rumor, the waiting period would run for the entire year and would have already started.

  7. Also, rumor has it there are three signups already. 


    Now most of the video I’ve seen so far features the right peeling off the outer point of the reef. But every once in awhile someone takes the left and I think that might be the call for us windsurfers, as it doesn't like to blow out of the north much up there. Even though there are no absolutes when it comes to wind, I certainly wasn't expecting to see very many opportunities to poach that right. I have to think the left is going to be way more doable for sure. And I know most the local windsurfers prefer to excuse themselves from sailing the storms with complaint about the rain, the tack, the often inconvenient timing and the inconsistent nature of south winds. For sure, patience rules out there in the storms and there are dues to pay. And maybe that’s a big part of why no one has windsurfed Nelscott Reef yet.

    But I've been having some really excellent sessions on the south coast in the storms the last six winters and figure to be all over this winter’s storm sessions as well. As for Nelscott Reef, the windows will most certainly be fleeting if they happen so we’ll have to be ready. And it is my considered opinion that the best shot at windsurfing Nelscott is going to be early on a south wind as a nice long period swell from off Japan is bombing the reef. 

    And sure, with La Nina still seemingly entrenched, it may sell still be less than an ideal setup for conditions. But if it doesn't come together this winter or early next winter, everything will just roll over into the 2015 Nelscott Challenge. All good. El Nino may just be reestablishing by then and we'll be all over that. 

    In the mean time, check out some of the contest videos if you haven’t seen the place going off. The surfers and tow-in crews have been catching it unreal for sure.


   The 2006 tow-surfing event was insanely clean. And with “Stone free” for a soundtrack.

    The 2007 event recap

    Here’s one from 2009.

    2010 was fairly burly, and sunshine.

    The Find: Claiming Nelscott Reef

    And here’s a hot tip on holding your breath.


    Speaking of big wave sailing, check out something off the north coast of Spain.

                                                              ________________\_    With respect and forward looking.