Our friends in the windsurfing industry were very generous with their sponsorship again this year. We had fun with the name-drawing at the Season Kick-Off Party a couple of weeks ago. The big winner for the event was longtime BABA member Roger Fitzgerald. Roger’s name was drawn from among all the BABA members who have renewed for 2013 and he won the free ABK Camp. He tells us that he’ll be sending his teenage daughter to ABK camp to hone her windsurfing skills. Roger is making a shrewd investment in the future of our sport by giving his daughter the best possible windsurfing instruction available. Having just completed an ABK camp myself (after my 15 year camp hiatus) I know that she’ll learn a lot and have a great time in the process. We look forward to her report!
BABA member Dave Iseri is serving as Sponsorship Coordinator and he did a great job securing lots of products and gift certificates to help BABA promote our sport. Thank you to (in no particular order) Dakine, Chinook, East of Maui Annapolis, Wind NC, Avon Sail House, Delmarva Board Sports Adventures, US Windsurfing (go get a membership!), Ezzy Sails, ABK Boardsports (take a clinic!), Aerotech Sails, Maui Fin Company, WaterStarter, East UpHaul, Windsport Magazine (subscribe before we lose them too!) and Ocean Air Sports. Lots of goodies found their way to new homes. If you won something please remember to thank the sponsor. And remember all of our sponsors when you’re shopping for gear. You can find links to all of our sponsors’ webpages on the SPONSOR tab above.
I confess. I strayed. My relationship had grown stale and unexciting. The initial attraction was gone and what had initially seemed so wonderful faded to a gray, dull, never good enough relationship. I was unsatisfied and unfulfilled and not even fully aware of it. My betrayal happened so gradually that I really didn’t realize it at first. First a casual inquiry, then more frequent contact, then a sudden rush of excitement and before I knew it things had gone too far and I was neglecting my first love.
The above describes my brief foray into Thistle sailboat racing. A few years back, I put my windsurfer aside and spent a season as a crew member on a boat out of Wilmington, DE. I love to be out on the water and a Thistle requires very little wind to sail, which meant that I could get out on the water frequently. I learned some new skills and made a lot of new friends. As a lightweight, I was very popular with the Skippers. A Thistle is best sailed with about 450 pounds for a crew of three. A total crew weight of 600 pounds or more makes it very difficult to get the boat up on a plane. My interest culminated with participating in the mid-Atlantic regional championships, with our boat placing 7th out of 22 vessels.
However, the appeal of the Thistle soon began to wane. I found that much of my discontent with windsurfing resulted from having older equipment. I upgraded my rigs and boards and found my new equipment to be much more user friendly. While the Thistle gets you on the water frequently, it is not nearly the exciting and loose ride that you get with windsurfing. The sail blocks much of your view and you have to duck under the low boom every time your jibe. Fail to duck in time and you get a big whack on the head. A Thistle capsizes fairly easily and I became mildly hypothermic one session while body dragging behind our boat (full of water) as the other crew members attempted to sail after our bailer, which had not been secured to the boat and was floating out with the tide at about 3 knots. In addition, a fifteen foot boat can seem exceedingly small when your skipper turns into a tyrant when outpaced by the competition.
In the end, I rediscovered my appreciation for my first love (other than my spouse, that is!), Windsurfing. While windy weather that fits your schedule my seem infrequent at times, there is nothing that matches the exhilarating sense of speed, freedom, and that close to nature feeling that you get from a good day of windsurfing. In addition, there’s the instant acceptance that you get from the windsurfing community. Show up at any windsurfing sailing site and you will be accepted regardless of your skill level or ability. Add in a great club, such as BABA, with its camaraderie and inexpensive trips to Hatteras, and I don’t think that I will be straying again anytime soon.
It takes a village to put on a regatta, along with a dedicated Commodore, and BABA has all that and more! We had 2 days of beautiful weather and WIND for the 2012 East Coast Championships Regatta, part of US Windsurfing’s National Race Tour. The first race started around noon on Saturday, September 22 but there were many hours of planning and organization ahead of the horn’s blare.
Big thanks to Commodore Tomaso for bringing all the pieces together and running a great regatta. We’d also like to acknowledge Anne Arundel Recreation and Parks for co-sponsoring the regatta, and park manager Dary Lofgren.
Jeff and Darlene Forte spent Friday night on their sailboat Something Special, a 1973 41 Tartan sloop at the marina on the West River where it is moored. It took them about an hour to motor over to Mayo on Saturday morning where they anchored in position to serve as committee boat for the regatta – a much more luxurious committee boat than BABA usually experiences! Thank you Jeff and Darlene.
Albert Pritchard and Tom Caswell brought out their motor boats for the regatta – Tomaso and the committee would not have been able to put together such a great course if they didn’t have a boat. The smaller boats also served as safety boats to rescue befallen sailors, including Amber who broke a mast far from shore and appreciated the ride. I hope her string of bad luck has ended. Thank you Albert and Tom C.
Jeff and Darlene, and Dave Iseri and his daughter Jasmine ran the racing from Something Special under the tutelage of Commodore Tomaso. They ran a tight series over 2 days with excellent starts and undisputable finishes – some camera ready. Continue reading “East Coast Championships Regatta”