You thought he was dead? Or in Brazil? Yeah, so did we. But nope, Beardo has been in town all winter. Resting, presumably, for 2010. Whether he’s being torn into at his own Thanksgiving dinner, or bringing his hipster front to the sandy shores of CHouse Beach, this guy’s friendly demeanour always brightens the mood. An original windsurfer among his generation, look for The Big Struggle to be a force to be reckoned with this summer - or not, it’s hard to tell. But we love him.
Slowly rebuilding the VB bridges he systematically burned one at a time through his teenage years, this wildcat is looking to contend in a serious way in 2010. A long-time windsurfer and founding Elk-Idaist, Chris brings the heat. Yet another strong curler (seriously, what is with the fucking curling?) Chippers is like a fine wine - in that they’re both awesome to party with. Though his work schedule conflicts with maximum shredding, at one point this spring he’s going to drive down to VB, stop by his cottage to grab Heshbag’s Iphone, cruise the Yacht, rig up Benny’s gear and blow everyone’s mind. Go Dip!
Multi-hull extraordinaire. Some people thought this guy’s predilection for Hobie’s was a result of having the legs of a runway model. But then he got up on an old windsurfer pulled behind a motorboat and stayed on for almost two hours. At one point he lit a cigarette - with both hands. This guy’s good at anything water-based. It doesn’t hurt that Ol’ Jers has two mentors: not only is he the son of Kron Ritsema, he’s also been making challenging cuts for Hankus Lodekus for years. With his golden locks and benign temperament it comes as no surprise that Mr. Ritsema is a sought after name for companies hoping for endorsements. In the past year he has appeared in commercials for Heinz’s new juice line, HJ!; Export ‘A’ Gold cigarettes ("Ever smoked the Gold at the end of a rainbow?"); and Ya Ya, the popular energy bar. Whatever Jers is selling, we’re buying in 2010.
Ryan van Berkel
Superfriend Ryan van Berkel, where to start? A relative newcomer to Number 2 Victoria Avenue, Berkel has taken the place by storm. Two years ago he joined the club and quickly mastered windsurfing, without ever using his gear. Last year he followed in His Honour Orest Dackow’s footsteps and transitioned to multi-hulls. His racing season was hobbled by his innate sociability but he and crew Matthew Macleod were serious contenders for each of the Club’s two hotly contested bingo derbies. As a potential manager of Alexander James Tooley’s 2012 commodore bid, van Berkel has lately been the subject of intense speculation. Though insiders report that a tension-filled curling season opened a fissure between skip and crew, both camp van Berkel and camp Macleod claim they are on good terms and are hoping for the best in 2010. Furhter, reports surfaced last week suggesting that Mr. van Berkel was considering a purchase of the Moonlight-In. His lawyer, an Aikins star, denied those reports (or at least that’s what we think he was saying - he wasn’t, shall we say, perfectly coherent). A blog post drew attention yesterday when it speculated that Mr. van Berkle’s recent trip to Toronto was to visit a specialized dermatologist to treat a rare skin condition caused by uncontrollable rubbing of the neck. Yep, this guy is a gossip-mill: if he’s not the subject, he’s the source. Chances are, he’ll also be the source of some swell sailing for years to come.