Every year, US Windsurfing recognizes the best event organizers in our sport, and we’re delighted to announce that the 2022 recipients of the Rick Randall Trophy for Contributions to the Sport of Windsurfing are Mike and Chrissy Burns! Along with Ocean Air Sports boss Brian Klauser and his awesome team, Mike and Chrissy are the heart and soul of OBX-WIND, a weeklong event that attracts hundreds of windsurfers to the friendly waters of the Pamlico Sound in Avon, NC, a reach and a half from Cape Hatteras. The 2022 edition just wrapped up this past weekend. We asked Brian how it all went:
The 2022 OBX-WIND was a tremendous success in that the conditions, attendance, stoke, brand presence and organization was at the highest level we could hope for. Every year Mike and I debate on whether we should do it again because of the amount of work, stress and anxiety involved. It’s clear after this year’s event that everyone wants us to keep it going! It was a great week with perfect conditions.
At the end, with all eyes on Mike, Chrissy and me, we handed out all the awards. It was a proud moment for me for more than one reason: I managed to finish in 1st place in the men’s 6.5 limited fleet! But little did I know that after all the race awards were handed out and all the pictures were taken, Britt Viehman (who drove over from Florida to help with the organization) would take the mic and announce one final award: the Rick Randall Trophy for Contributions to the Sport of Windsurfing. It was obvious that Mike and Chrissy were beside themselves. This was the real highlight of the week. The level of appreciation, stoke and love was at an all time high and will be remembered for a long time.
OBX-WIND isn’t Mike’s first rodeo:
The first event that I had a small part in organizing was the PWA King of the Cape Pro-am in Cape Cod, from 1999-2004. I didn’t do much more than get people to head to the event and do some videos. Marc Lefebvre and Ann Phelan were the ones responsible for that event and they really set the bar pretty high for all future events. When Marc and Ann retired from running King of the Cape, I realized how important it was for the sport to get the windsurfing community together.
The first event I organized myself was in 2006, the East Coast Windfest on Long Island, NY. The East Coast Windfest was designed to be fun for everyone regardless of skill level. We ran this event on Long Island for years and helped Peter (Richterich) and Nina (Schweikardt) run a Cape Cod edition too. OBX-WIND is an extension of the same principle. Fun for the masses instead of an event focusing only on the elite participants in the sport. The key is to get windsurfers together and grow the sport! The smiles I see at the events, and the way it brings the windsurfing community together is why we continue to push forward and put events like this together.
How did Mike and Chrissy react when they received the award?
I have to say that receiving the Rick Randall Trophy was completely unexpected. I handed Britt the microphone to announce the winners of the US Nationals for Slalom and when he finished, he started talking about the event organization and how much Chrissy and I have given back to the sport. While Britt was talking, I caught a glimpse of something being snuck in off to my right by Ned Crossley, regional director for US Windsurfing. Chrissy also saw it and we locked eyes. It was at this point we knew what was happening and we both teared up a bit with an overwhelming feeling of gratitude. Before we knew it, the entire crowd was on their feet with a round of applause.
Looking out at the crowd all I could think was that this room was filled with members of our windsurf family all coming together for the love of the sport. I wanted to give the trophy to everyone in the room!
As the crowd went nuts, Ned whispered to Chrissy: “You are the Queen of Everything and Mike is the King of What’s Left Over!” They both laughed and laughed. Rick Randall was a selfless and enthusiastic race director who organized marquee windsurfing events from coast to coast. He left us too early, but his legacy is alive and well. The Burns name is now on a trophy in his honor, next to 2021 recipient Justin Ahearn, and we’re looking forward to what this new generation of outstanding organizers has in store for us next year and beyond!
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