East Coast Championships Regatta – View Through the Lens

by Janice Anne Wheeler

September 14 & 15, 2019

Skip and ChrisBel29

The wind was good. The atmosphere was good, the scenery amazing. Competitors from all over the East Coast showed up to enthusiastic greetings, heartfelt hugs and a sincere welcome.  Friends reunited.

The first day sped by; five races in the morning and two long distance in the afternoon. Mother Nature provided steady wind. Dinner was donated and grilled right on the beach.   The day reminded us what it’s all about.   Everyone contentedly talked equipment, people, places, wind and waves. We talked food, nutrition and fitness, how important it is, especially as some of us grow older. The Harvest Moon rose over the Chesapeake as folks headed to their beds, mentally preparing for tomorrow.

I volunteered to be the Regatta Photographer and spent Saturday on the chase boat. Looking through a zoom lens takes the observation of this sport to a whole new level. I see the intensity, the drive, the ambition. The elation, the disappointment. I can hear the encouragement. Windsurfing, no matter the class, has that feel. Intensity. Encouragement. Elation.   “I have been coming in last for years!” one of the race coordinators told the group as she stood on the podium in first place. “Years! You have to just keep showing up.” The applause was instant, heartfelt, and universal. Time on the Water. “Do you ever get tired of winning?” I asked the race director. He glanced at me sideways to see if I was serious and did not quite answer my question. So I answered it myself; no one ever really gets tired of winning. And he doesn’t win all his races. It’s good when someone else does, to keep him on his game. He knows this.

Sunday started without much of a breeze but it kicked up unexpectedly and the enthusiasm was contagious; it was a bonus, a gift. What a great way to spend the day. Your phone is turned off, everything else can wait. It’s just you harnessing Mother Nature, rising to the challenges and rewarding yourself with a skill set that so few have.   An impressive few.

This group, and the others I have experienced, have a deep-seated passion for the sport and for keeping it alive. These are all volunteers. No one gets paid for storing buoys, flags and rulebooks. A lot of time is spent sending out emails, tending the details and pulling together these events. Money is spent making it happen well enough so that people keep coming back. No one gets anything in return except appreciation.

Severn Sailing Association is initiating a Youth Program and hoping to get three hundred kids involved in the sport! That is an impressive number and a very big deal to the local industry. No wonder Baltimore Area Boardsailing Association has been around for nearly four decades. BABA is the dedicated few teaching the new. From this outsider’s perspective they deserve big respect and recognition for their dedication. Check out the gallery below and the full collection of photos and videos on BABA Google Photos.

East Coast Championships Regatta – No Sail Number, No Score!

The 2019 East Coast Championships Regatta took place on September 14 & 15 at Beverly Triton Beach Park and we had wind, sun, laughs, smiles, FOILS, Kona, raceboard, Windsurfer LT, one junior, a cook-out at the park and great swag from our sponsors.

First off we want to thank all the volunteers who made the event possible, because it takes a village to run a regatta:

Steve Uhthoff – Race Director
Jeff and Darlene Forte – Committee Boat and race committee
Guillaume Vernieres – Chase Boat
Warren Evans, Daphne Lathouras – event logistics
Janice Anne Wheeler – photographer
Brad Tibbils, Annie & Scott Cannon, Ann Jackson and Mike McCormick – registration and lunch – in addition to making sure everyone had a SAIL # they made sure the everyone had a great lunch waiting for them mid day.
Dave Iseri, Jane Price, Paul Albers, Ann Jackson and Mike McCormick – Race Committee – they ran a tight event from the comfort of Jeff and Darlene’s sailboat.
Duane Geruschat – chase boat driver – he got photographer Janice Wheeler out to prime spots on the course and was on call in case anyone needed to be rescued (thankfully no rescues or broken gear out on the course!).
Steve Uhthoff and Janice Anne Wheeler for a great BBQ dinner on the beach!

Dave Iseri, Darlene & Jeff Forte, Jane Price
Brad Tibbils, Annie Cannon (seated), Daphne Lathouras, Dave Iseri, Chris Wattengel,John Quinn and Jane Price (l-r)

We also want to recognize all the travelers – it’s fun to reconnect with racing buddies, folks we see more on facebook than in person, and to make new windsurfing friends:
Skip Boman from Benicia CA, John Quinn from Poquoson VA, Kevin Gaston from NY and Tom Latham from NJ.  And Alan Bernau – events are more fun with Alan! Thanks for coming!

RACE RESULTS:

FOIL
1. Christophe Waerzeggers
2. Skip Boman
3. Jesse Falsone

KONA
1. Daphne Lathouras
2. Mark Sarrasin
3. John Quinn

RACEBOARD
1. Steve Uhthoff
2. Guillaume Vernieres
3. Warren Evans

RACEBOARD LIMITED
1. Kevin Gaston
2. Tom Latham
3. Pancham Patel

LONG DISTANCE
1. Skip Boman (foil)
2. Christophe Waerzeggers (foil)
3. Alan Bernau (formula)

Raceboard Limited: 1st Kevin Gaston (c), 2nd Tom Latham (r), 3rd Pancham Patel (r)
Raceboard: 1st Steve Uhthoff (c), 2nd Guillaume Vernieres (l), 3rd Warren Evans (r)
Foil: 1st Christophe Waerzeggers (c), 2nd Skip Boman (l), 3rd Jesse Falsone (r)
Long Distance: 1st Skip Boman (c), 2nd Christophe Waerzeggers (l), 3rd Alan Bernau (r)
Kona: 1st Daphne Lathouras (c), 2nd Mark Sarrasin (l), 3rd John Quinn (r)

Lots more photos on BABA Google Photos 

Hope I didn’t miss anyone in the accolades – everyone’s help and committment is very appreciated!

Windsurfing Regatta at Severn Sailing Association – May 25-26, 2019

by Jesse Falsone

I am happy to announce that for the first time in its 60+ year history, Severn Sailing Association (www.severnsailing.org) will be running a windsurfing event over Memorial Weekend (May 25-26). For those who aren’t familiar, SSA is a small boat racing club located in Eastport at the mouth of Spa Creek. We have approximately 400 members and over a dozen one-design classes. We routinely run regional, national, and international events. This is a club run by sailors for sailors. BABA members have participated in initial planning and will be assisting with certain aspects of the event.

While regatta plans are still taking shape, expect that we will have multiple long board classes (Kona, Windsurfer LT, race boards). The regatta is about fun and competition, but mostly fun! Depending on wind, there may also be the opportunity to run a slalom event.

Memorial Weekend was chosen because (1) Windsurfers are not a sanctioned class at SSA and we didn’t have many options, (2) Windsurfers will be the only group using the club that weekend which is unusual, (3) local windsurfers wanted a date earlier in the season when there is a better chance for wind. Is there more boat traffic on Memorial Weekend? Yes, but look at it this way – more opportunity for folks to see that windsurfing is still alive and well.

If this sounds like fun, please mark the date on your calendars and plan to attend! Don’t have a long board? We are working on charters. Worried about safety? SSA will have multiple support boats on the water, including RIBs. Is there a party? Absolutely! Know someone who used to windsurf? Tell them about the event. Who am I? A guy who grew up windsurfing in the 80’s and jumped back in last year. I have run numerous national and international events. I want to help #makewindsurfinggreatagain.

More details to follow in the Notice of Race in the coming weeks.

Reflections on a Week at ABK

by Dave Turner2018-01-29--02-02 Group Pic

I was thrilled to be the 2017 winner of a free ABK Boardsports Windsurfing Clinic, generously donated to BABA by ABK owner, Andy Brandt. For those unfamiliar with ABK, they offer windsurfing clinics at most major US windsurfing sites and in the Caribbean, typically in shallow water sites to facilitate learning without all the climbing up on the board. I had taken ABK once before in Waves, NC, just north of the site of our Hatteras trips in Avon. While the free voucher specified that I needed to take the clinic in 2017, Andy very generously allowed me to take the clinic in January, 2018 in Bonaire. Here are some thoughts from that week: Continue reading “Reflections on a Week at ABK”

Hooked

by Brad Tibbels

“I brought my stuff, if you want to try.”

I had no idea what Filipp was talking about but I followed him to his car anyway. We were at Gunpowder State Park for our work picnic and he had brought everything… Everything. Long poles, short poles, curved poles, huge bags that looked like maybe they had curtains inside, big boards, little boards, ropes, vests, strange tools, pumps. It was all there. And he wanted to show me how to use it.

That was before I fell in love with windsurfing. Before I went on probably the best vacation I’ve ever had. Before I wrapped a hook around my waist, attached that hook to a sheet of monofilm and went skimming across the water like a skipping stone.

I drove down to North Carolina for my first BABA Hatteras trip last October. It took nine hours, three bathroom breaks, two lunch stops and one toll. But all I could think about was getting on that easy water. Where there’s no speed boats sending me their wake, no jet skis coming too close, no rental gear to return at the end of the day and it’s 4 feet deep forever.

Every day was the same:

Wake up, walk across the street and watch the birds catch wind off the waves as the sun rises.

Come back, make breakfast while I talk to my house mates about what I plan to work on that day and stretch my rotator cuffs.

Grab my gear from under the house, walk across the back lawn, drop into the water and windsurf my damn brains out.

Come back, hang up my gear and melt into the hot tub on the lower deck, hoping my shoulders will forgive me by tomorrow.

Dry off, take a beer to the top deck and stare at the starry canvas over head with its subtle Milky Way band.

Go to bed, knowing I get to do it all over again the next day.

Click for pix on the BABA Flickr

ed note: Trip Reservation announcement for May 2018 will go out after February 10 from spring trip coordinator Dave Turner.  2017 & 2018 BABA members get first dibs. Is your membership current? 

Join

Windsurfing at Mayo Beach

Mayo Beach Park in Mayo MD sits right at the mouth of the South River and the Chesapeake Bay on the southern side of the river. You must have a permit to use the Mayo launch.  Keep reading for more information.  

Best wind direction is SE and S, but East and NE are also great. North, NW and West can be OK but if you break down its a long drift to the east shore. The launch site has a grassy rigging area and sandy beach, lots of parking, bathrooms, showers and picnic benches. The water is shallow for the first 200-300 meters then drops off. The river swell can get very large depending on the tide. 2-3 feet is normal for winds in the 12-18 knot range and it can get significantly larger in higher winds. The swell is the long rolling variety but can get choppy with increased boat traffic. The water on the inside is good for beginners and the outside swell is good enough to loop. This site is good for all levels.

Mayo Wind Permits – a permit is required to use this launch.

https://apm.activecommunities.com/aarecparks/Home

Search on key words “Mayo Wind.” If you are requesting  a new permit you’ll be mailed a sticker. The combination for the lock, and Mayo Usage Rules will be emailed to you at a later date. 

If you don’t receive the combination for the gate lock before you go to Mayo you may or may not be able to gain access.  Find a park staff member, show them your permit receipt and ask if they can let you in.  DO NOT ask other windsurfers to let you in – this jeopardizes access for everyone because it is strictly against the rules to share the gate combination.

Keep the gate locked at all times (let yourself in, then immediately lock the gate behind you).

Keep reading for more information on Public Open Days, Summer Access etc….

Continue reading “Windsurfing at Mayo Beach”

Tuesday Night Racing – Postponed

POSTPONED – Check back for more information

Location: Annapolis, Severn River, next to the Horn Point shoal pole. The closest launch available is Horn Point Park at the end of Chesapeake Avenue.
When: First gun between 6:15 – 6:30 PM.
Requirements: We will have a 5 knot minimum.

[googlemaps https://www.google.com/maps/embed?pb=!1m16!1m12!1m3!1d12407.137587104227!2d-76.47381095656819!3d38.974590816808224!2m3!1f0!2f0!3f0!3m2!1i1024!2i768!4f13.1!2m1!1shorn+point+park+annapolis+md!5e0!3m2!1sen!2sus!4v1494024000214&w=600&h=450]

We will check the forecast in mid-afternoon, looking at both the Annapolis buoy AND Thomas Point Lighthouse. If both locations confirm less than 5 knots forecast, we will join again the following Tuesday. We will post Race/No Race on BABA Facebook page, More_Downhaul Yahoo Group and by email.

Details: Bring what you want to sail. There will be 2 courses set: Triangle and Figure-8.
TuesdayNightAgenda – includes the start sequence and other information.
Tuesday_WindsurfCOURSE – has the course diagrams.
2 classes: Open Unlimited and Slalom.

Committee Boat: Boston Whaler, anchored near the Horn Point shoal pole.

WAIVER: You must sign the BABA Waiver to race!!! Click here to get the Waiver.  Turn in your waiver to me or Daphne. One waiver is valid for the entire series.

The Goal: HAVE FUN WITH FELLOW WINDSURFERS AND GAIN SOME SAILING ABILITIES!

Timeframe:We will run the races as long as we continue to have 3 or more people show up consistently. We hope to sail until October.

There will be two series:

First series: May 16 – June 27.
Second series: July 11 – Oct. 3-ish

Party: Join in the party with East Of Maui on Tuesday nights at Boatyard Bar and Grill or other local joints after we de-rig and pack-up.

If you have questions, feel free to email or call me.  If you would like to get on the list for Race/No Race announcement, send me your email.

Thanks,
Steve Uhthoff
sru@comcast.net
443-336-3560

ABK Trip Report: October 2016, Waves, NC

by Leon Turkevich

IMG_1151
Leon, Pam Levy & Tom Lepak

“Release the front hand all the way.”
“All the way?”

“Yep. All the way.”

In fact, I don’t release the front hand “all the way” as instructed, and the sail slams me backward off the board. Tom Lepak from ABK patiently explains that I fell back because I still had some pressure on my front hand which kept the backwinded sail from spinning around. I step back on the board and try again: this time, I do release my hand “all the way” by opening my palm and moving it away from the boom, and the backwinded sail effortlessly swings around in the fresh breeze as I step back into a perfect clew-first stance: my first successful lee-side escape! A few more tries and I got the heli-tack nailed. Now I just need to move it from the simulator to the water. Continue reading “ABK Trip Report: October 2016, Waves, NC”

Mayo Peninsula Comments Due Today!

Once again we have received very little notice on this important issue.  

This is the first round of comments regarding the plans for Mayo Beach Park, and 2nd round for Beverly Triton.

Please comment today – all comments are being taken online and I don’t know if there’s a character limit imposed on the comment box.

Plans and links to comment submission page are here:

http://www.aacounty.org/departments/recreation-parks/parks/mayo-peninsula-parks/#mayo

Please identify yourself with your job title especially if you’re a big shot (LOL!).

Please thank the commission for including wind sports in the planning.

Some issues that I see and have discussed with others:

We need space to park gear – if it’s a windy day and there are lots of kites and ws at the beach, gear parking is  an issue.   We don’t just launch and disappear (hopefully not, anyway).   The little blue circles on the plans are the launch areas, but no “gear parking areas” are clearly identified.  If it’s a windy and very beautiful summer day, there will be lots of swimmers too – even more complicated!

We need to be sure that everyone is SAFE!  Windsurfers and kite boarders often self segregate.  We need to be sure that everyone is safe, including swimmers & picnickers too, however it’s difficult when dealing with people who are not familiar with our sports or our equipment (sails, kites, boards moving around if there’s a gust of wind, kite lines, how much space the gear takes up when it is sitting rigged on the beach).  Keeping swimmers/picnickers segregated from the wind sports area is important too.

My personal observation – I’ve windsurfed in quite a few places abroad, and in every place, kiters, windsurfers and beach goers are kept separate.

Please add your concerns & comments to the facebook thread where you found this post so others can benefit from your observations when composing their comments.

Please comment TODAY!

ABK Fall 2015

ed note – I’m oh so tardy in posting this article – please don’t let that inhibit any writers from sending articles for the blog.  I promise to do better!

by Dave Turner Dave Turner

Since I have become accustomed to ending my year of windsurfing by signing up for the Fall BABA trip to Cape Hatteras, I was very disappointed to learn that a work commitment would prevent me from attending the 2015 trip.  A quick internet search soon presented an appealing solution. I would attend BABA but only Thursday through Saturday and sign up for Andy Brandt’s ABK Windsurfing Clinic the following week. This would get me a week and a half in Hatteras!

I’d been thinking about attending ABK for a while. My windsurfing skills had improved a lot over the past few years due to quadrupling my time on the water.   I was handling more wind, had moved to a  much smaller board, and was gradually improving.  I did, however, sense that my sailing needed an intervention of sorts in order to progress further. Sure, I’d developed into a straight line windsurfer with a decent non-planning dry pivot jibe, but I wanted more, such as the Heli tack , back wind sailing, the duck jibe, and , of course, windsurfing’s glass ceiling, the carve jibe. Continue reading “ABK Fall 2015”