Spring Sailing with Team Mayo

Chris jumping
BEL 29

by Tom Caswell, USA 60

April 18

The bay gave up another good day, but team Mayo was reduced to me and G today. It was time to get back on the Formula gear with the Kashy fins race only a few weeks away, I rigged the 9.4m with winds in the low 20 knot range, G-man chickened out and sailed his 5.6 and custom board. The gust seemed like mid 25 knot range.

My 9.4 has turned into my go to sail for Formula when wind are over 20 knots on average. The North Formula warp 2012 may be the best Formula sail I’ve owed in many years of Formula sailing.

North Sail
North Formula Warp

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April 22 – Formula vs Slalom

Gman and I had an interesting experiment this evening running some upwind downwind legs as we had ENE wind. Now we both know the formula board would run deeper downwind and higher upwind, but what if the Formula board sailed angles closer to a slalom board angles?

Gman sailed 8m and Starboard 112 isonic which is a very fast slalom board. I sailed the Patrick Formula race and 9.4m, the wind speed was 18 knots with a few lulls and a few higher gust….long story short my asumption was the Formula board would fall behind the slalom board if we ran angles more typical of slalom boards on the upwind and downwind. But in these conditions with 1-2 foot swell and 18 knots, the Formula board was just as fast even on a reach. No advantage to either board–a draw.

The Formula boards continue to amaze with huge range. It’s really a shame more windsurfers dont take advantage of the wide style boards Formula like boards. Anyhow that’s 3 out of the last 5 days lit up on the cold cold bay. Continue reading “Spring Sailing with Team Mayo”

My Affair

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

by Dave Turner

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.D_Turner_beach

East Coast Championships Regatta

Windsurfing Will Not Be Cancelled
ECC Skipper's Meeting group picture ECC Skipper’s Meeting

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”