IMG_2415___WEB.lowres___TheKellerWhale_07-10-16__
To make something great it takes time, it takes dedication, it takes missteps, fails and reproaches. A cognitive psychology professor at Carnegie Mellon University recently studied 500 hundred popular music pieces by 76 composers and determined that it takes about 10 years to master a craft. This theory was aptly named “10 Years of Silence.”  With this theory in mind, it is most certain that kiteboarder, Hope LeVin achieved mastery this year in The Turks and Caicos Islands with her annual event, Windvibes. For the last ten years, LeVin has shaped this event to become a formidable community gathering for TCI and the Caribbean Island region. Offering way more than just wind sports, Hope has raised money for charity, created an outlet for local youth and given a convincing reason to keep visiting this beautiful island chain — as if the turquoise waters and constant winds weren’t reason enough.

IMG_2560___WEB.lowres___TheKellerWhale_07-10-16__

2017 Windvibes officially began with a hustle of vendors at Long Bay Beach. Steady wind smiled down on the beach beginning promptly at sunrise. Big Blue Unlimited, an official sponsor, arrived with a trailer of water toys and blue shirted watermen set up stand up paddle boards, kayaks and pool floats along the beach as the DJ pumped island vibes through the thick tropical air.

IMG_2631___WEB.lowres___TheKellerWhale_07-10-16__
Windvibes originally began as an event specifically for kiteboarders. It took a little while for it to be dialed in, the identity began to take shape as it rounded the third year and somewhere around year seven, it hit a stride. While there is a competitive atmosphere, the event itself became much more geared towards celebrating beach culture and the love of the ocean. Today the event has reached its peak as a huge beach party bringing island diversity to life under the hot equatorial sun.
IMG_2665___WEB.lowres___TheKellerWhale_07-10-16__
Hope LeVin learned early on how to provide something for everyone; she rapidly gained a reputation for putting on an event that was anticipated amongst the blossoming Providenciales community. LeVin surrounds her event with passionate and dedicated people; people who share her sentiment for water sports and drive to give back to the community. This year, Hope and her talented group of supporters raised a staggering $50,000 USD for TCI charities in her Charity Challenge — a relay event incorporating swimming, kayaking and stand-up-paddle-boarding.
IMG_2683___WEB.lowres___TheKellerWhale_07-10-16__
It is unbelievable how the beach grows with smiling faces as the day continues on; rum filled coconut drinks, conch ceviche and slow-cooked-ribs waft the pallet. Moving gracefully through each event, there is constant entertainment, but none more memorable than the youth kite division. The young talent graced the water in exhibitory fashion throwing down technical wake style tricks. Spectators lined the beach to cheer as windsurf legend, Brian Talma MC’ed the action. A sight to see, the culmination of ten years of Windvibes in Turks and Caicos will be sad to see go. In bitter-sweet fashion, this will be the last Windvibes – reaching legacy status, the event has done so much for the community. Yet, so the saying goes, all good things must come to an end. It is safe to say that Windvibes will be missed; having come a long way since a 13 year old, Hope LeVin, first had a vision of a beach event that brought the community together, “Its crazy to think of where it started and where it’s at now… It couldn’t happen without all the supporters that travel here from all over,” Hope commented. “It’s humbling, it was a grand finale.” It’s obvious how much this event means to her and the kiting family she has built. Not a moment goes by that someone doesn’t come up to her with a story of how Windvibes touched them or encouraged their riding. This event will never be replaced, but hopefully it sets a standard of what an event should accomplish – in any region, not just in the beautiful Turks & Caicos Islands.
For more information on how to donate to TCI charities  – visit https://www.windvibes.com/
Words and photos by Jason Keller