The Butterfly Effect has grown from strength to strength with hard work from Tatiana Howard and Juliana Shelef. This Saturday will be the 3rd Maui event since the birth of the project 2 years ago.
The idea of the Butterfly Effect is to encourage women onto the water whatever their discipline, to enjoy themselves and promote their sports. To give us more insight we asked Tatiana herself to answer a few questions.
How did you come up with the idea for the butterfly effect?
My friend Juliana Shelef and I started it in 2007. There were many windsurf and water- man contests / events that year just for men. There were hardly any events for women on the PWA, locally, or for the all around water girl. We started discussing this lack of involvement and came up with a gathering of women that is fun, free, no contest pressure but still pushes women to advance in the sport and also encourage others to start and continue.
What are you trying to achieve with it, what are the goals?
We are trying to push the level of the sport in a fun way. In a different way. I believe women are just as good as men in water sports but we just do it differently, in a more graceful way. The Butterfly Effects are gatherings to make friends with other water girls, to get together for a charity, to laugh, to have fun, to promote windsurf, kite surf, and standup paddle. We branch out to outside industry companies and magazines to broaden our water sports image and lifestyle.
You have butterflied in lots of countries now. Which has been the best? Which has been the most interesting?
Each one has been so blessed and so unique and beautiful. Seriously, you can not compare them. They have been so pleasant and fun in every aspect. In Brazil there was so much energy for each sport, in France it drew a huge audience, in New Zealand there was a wonderful camp and clinic, but Maui has to be one of my favorites because it is my home. I have done the downwind many times and it is fun to organize it and show others the island from a whole new perspective. Many girls have launched from Ho\'okipa for their first time through a Butterfly Effect and now go out at Ho\'okipa all the time. Just to see that the Butterfly Effect does support and encourage women is a amazing feeling.
Are there any more planned in the future?
Oh YA! We are planning for Orgeon, Tahiti, Greece, Brazil, Germany, France, and Isreal too!
If money was no object where would you like to go?
We would love to hold Butterfly Effects all over! We have some connections in the following locations but it comes down to the budget to put it into action!.. Peru, France, Germany, Brazil, Tahiti, Fiji, Bali, Japan, Spain, Cabo Verde, Mexico, and Turkey.
What would you say to potential sponsors to motivate them to get involved?
The Butterfly Effect is unique idea and gathering that is international. It is covered in many different media outlets from womens magazines to health and fitness to inspirational. It is a way to promote a healthy and fun lifestyle to people worldwide. If you get involved with this "Effect" you will be rewarded and blessed with the outcome of each gathering.
What is the most interesting/nightmare situation that happened on the Butterflies?
Wow! HA! There has been many adventurous stories about the Butterfly Effects. Sometimes it is the process of putting it all together and other times it is the actual event. There are so many fun memories: getting our own Balihi Party bus in Brazil, Standup Paddling through the Boat Harbour in La Rochelle France while people starting clapping while we paddled by, Windsurfing around a 10 mile Pier in Brazil, Sailing with dolphins on the downwinders in Brazil ( once in the south and once in the North), fun games with the New Zealand girls, meeting new friends in Australia, sailing around back and forth making sure everybody is safe on Maui in the big blue sea, the stories are endless!
What is planned for this years 3rd anniversary in Maui this Saturday?
This year we are going to top it off and set the bar high for the upcoming Maui Effect! We have lycras, shirts, raffle, dancing, party, helicopter, jet skis, video, photos, pizza, and so much more! The will be so many "butterflies". It is going to be amazing to see so many women in the water at once!
Personally now, we saw you have a great new website. What are your personal goals with windsurfing or general action on the water?
Thanks! My personal goal is to become a free rider in all water sports. I windsurf, kite, and surf and love the water. I want to show people how water sports can have a great positive impact on your life. For me, it is so rewarding to ride a wave, blow with the wind and just feel and be one with nature. It gives me total satisfaction and happiness in my life.
I just try to spread the aloha through photos, articles, Butterfly Effects, friends, family, setting examples, and teaching kids the ocean sports. I have had so many blessed travel stories with photos that you can look on my website blog. www.tatianahoward.com/blog I hope to inspire others to go for their dreams and do what makes them happy. Life is short so if your not smiling then you got to change something so you do!