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!


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

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

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

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

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!

Mayo Beach – Watersports Fun Fest

The Baltimore Area Boardsailing Association (BABA) is excited to co-sponsor the annual Mayo Beach Watersports Fun Fest.

When: Sunday – June 30, 2019 – 11:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.

Mayo Beach Park – 4150 Honeysuckle Drive, Edgewater, MD  21037

Bring your car-top water craft or just come out for some fun at Mayo Beach Park on the Chesapeake Bay.

  • No charge for park admission or activities – parking is limited so come early
  • Mayo Beach Park is open to the public from 11:00 a.m. until 5:00 p.m.
  • On-site registration for Watersports Fun Fest activities (see below)
  • Car Top Area #3 – equipment drop off will be provided – parking at top of hill

Please RSVP using SignUp Genius so that we will know how many people plan to attend!   https://www.signupgenius.com/go/70A0549A4AA29A13-mayo6

Onsite Registration:

Register on-site the day of the event for all Fun Fest activities.  Due to limited facilities and equipment participation is on a first-come,  first-served  basis.

Fun Fest Activities:

      BYO – car-top water craft

  • Stand UP Paddling – free mini lessons and demo boards available (must be 15 years of age)
  • “Taste of Windsurfing – instruction and land-based simulation starting at 11:30
  • Fun Events – Windsurfer LT and SUP relay races and other fun events at 01:00
  • Picnic – Food and beverages will be provided.

Note: swimming attire and water shoes are required for safe participation in on-water events.  BYO life jacket if you have one.

Sponsored by:

Weather Cancellations – Fun Fest cancellations due to bad weather will be posted to the BABA BLOG – https://windsurfbaba.wordpress.com

Directions – From Annapolis, take MD Route 2 (Solomons Island Road) South (4.5 miles) to MD Route 214 (Central Avenue). Take 214 East (4.4 miles) and turn left on Shoreham Beach Road at Lou’s Store. Stay on Shoreham Beach Road (1 mile) through sharp turns (3 Mayo Beach signs) to Honeysuckle Drive. Turn sharp right and follow Honeysuckle Drive into the Park.


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.

2018 Watersport Fun Fest – Mayo Beach


by Mike McCormick

On Sunday July 1st BABA teamed up with several other sponsors to hold the 6th Mayo Beach Fun Fest.  July weather was out in full force with tons of sun, temps in the very high 80’s and a light southerly breeze.  Everyone was looking for shade and we all couldn’t wait to jump in the water.

Offering Taste of Windsurfing lessons is a big part of this annual event.  It is always fun to share in the excitement of the 18 windsurfing recruits as they completed new skills – up-hauling, 180 turns, sailing position and sailing away.  Their confidence in practicing these skills on land quickly transitions into a big challenge – balancing on the board that is moving all around in the moderate chop, raising the sail that has a lot of water on it, and finally grabbing the booms and sailing.  Big cheers go up as new windsurfers meet the challenge by balancing on the board through all of these moves and sailing forward and away from the group.  Extra credit is a graceful turn and exit from the board before hitting the beach or another group.



East of Maui (EOM) joined us again this year offering Standup Paddle (SUP) board quick lessons and free demonstrations.  The demo boards were in constant use with a lot of people trying out the equipment and this rapidly expanding water sport.  Mark Bandy from EOM also had a windsurfing foil setup, which a few people tried in the very light wind.

BABA and Outdoor Architects provided food and drink for the event giving the 80-some Fun Fest participants a chance to cool down in the shaded picnic area of Mayo Beach 3 and to connect with long time BABA friends and to meet new people from all over Maryland, Virginia, Delaware, Pennsylvania and North Carolina.

This year we had over 77 Fun Fest registrants and drop-ins with 19 people participating in Taste of Windsurfing.  Most of whom went into the water We were happy to meet a lot of new water sport enthusiasts from all over the world!

Thanks to all of our co-sponsors who made this event possible:

And thanks to all of the BABA members who volunteered to set up, handle registration, feed us, mix up lots of lemonade and ice tea, provide Taste of Windsurfing instruction and in-the-water mentoring … in short make it all happen.  A special thanks to Daphne Lathouras and Mark Sarrasin who led Taste of Windsurfing instruction and to Warren Evans our gear wrangler who made sure all of the gear was rigged and ready.  All of the volunteers are listed below:

  • Food and drink shopping & registration – Ann Jackson & Maureen Pritchard
  • Taste of Windsurfing Land Lesson Instructors – Daphne Lathouras, Mark Sarrasin, Stuart Gray & Janice Emerling
  • Taste of Windsurfing Gear Captain – Warren Evans
  • Taste of Windsurfing Gear & Riggers – Daphne Lathouras, Mark Sarrasin, Janice Emerling, Stuart Gray, Steve Uhtoff, Christophe Waerzeggers, Helen Van Gelder, Feng Jin, Keith Wing, Bruce Doll
  • Taste of Windsurfing – in the water mentors – Janice Emerling, Coby Leyden, Helen Van Gelder, Keith Wing, Stuart Gray, Pancham Patel, Mike McCormick
  • Setup, Lunch and Cleanup – Maureen & Albert Pritchard, Ann Jackson, Janice Emerling, Mark Storch, Steve Uhtoff, Bruce Doll, Gordon Wells, Alice Mascette
  • Promotion and SignUp – Mike McCormick

My wife Ann and I moved to Annapolis in 1991 having caught the windsurfing bug in central PA where the only sail-able water was at state parks with human-made lakes, which were drained in late September for flood prevention.  We were over-the-moon ecstatic with all of the water in Maryland and when we found a relatively new group – the Baltimore Area Boardsailing Association – that provided races, trips and comradery.  And BABA is still doing it some 27 years later!

It is always fun to get together with BABA friends and to share our fun sport with new enthusiasts.


5 Janice and Amber instructig at Learn to windsurf

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:

Mayo Beach Fun Fest – 2017

Mayo Beach Fun Fest – 2017

On Sunday July 9th BABA teamed up with several other sponsors to hold the 5th Mayo Beach Fun Fest.  Low 80 degree temperatures and low humidity made it a perfect day at Mayo beach watching ships and yachts on the bay, a new family of osprey and lots of first time windsurfers and stand-up paddlers.

This year we had over 70 Fun Fest registrants and drop-ins with 22 people participating in Taste of Windsurfing.  We were happy to meet a lot of new watersport enthusiasts from all over the world!

The squirrely, light off-shore wind along with some mild chop presented a challenge that Fun Fest participants met with enthusiasm – accomplishing dry up-hauls, 180 degree turns and sailing off to the horizon with BABA in-water mentors bouncing along in waste deep water to keep up.  A special thanks to Daphne Lathouras and Mark Sarrasin who organized the Taste of Windsurfing activity and taught the lessons and to all of the in-water teachers.

Mark Bandy from East of Maui joined us again this year offering free SUP demos and different boards to try.  Many of the participants took advantage of the opportunity for the first time and had a blast.

Steve Uthoff organized our first mixed fleet (windsurfer and then SUP) relay race with a simple off-shore gate course and relay exchanges inside the stone breakwaters.  Team Steve took the honors with team Mark  coming in 2nd.   We should definitely do this again!

Thanks to all of our co-sponsors who made this event possible:

And a special thanks to all of the BABA member who volunteered to setup, handle registration, feed us, mix up lots of lemonade and ice tea, provide equipment for on-land and in-the-water windsurfing tastes, organize a relay race, … and in short make it all happen:

  • Ann Jackson and Mike McCormick
  • Charles Lorenzetti
  • Christophe Waerzeggers and Rebecca Millar
  • Dan Fenstermacher & Tawann Jackson
  • Daphne Lathouras
  • Dave Iseri
  • Eddie and Uyen Murawski
  • Eugene and Becky Belongay
  • Haiging Zhao
  • Helen Van Gelder and Bill Anderson
  • Jane Rigby
  • Janice Emerling
  • Maureen and Albert Pritchard
  • Mark and Jennifer Storch
  • Mark Sarrasin
  • Steve & Tracy Uthoff

After many years as a BABA member, it is still fun to get together with BABA friends and to share our fun sport together and with new enthusiasts.

Mike McCormick


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.


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….

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.


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.

Steve Uhthoff

ABK Trip Report: October 2016, Waves, NC

by Leon Turkevich

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.