BABA Awards

Mike McCormick and Chris Wattengel

Mike McCormick and Chris Wattengel

After the elections (and some food and drink) at the season opener party, we recognized several BABA members for their stellar service.  Mike McCormick, outgoing chair, was recognized with the Pat Pugh Service Award and a gift certificate to East of Maui.  Thank you Mark Bandy and Mark Saunders for sponsoring the award.  Mike served as chair of BABA for 2 years, leading the steering committee through simple and complex decisions.  He also established the Mayo Water Sports Fun Fest in partnership with Anne Arundel County Rec and Parks.  2014 will be the 3rd year for the event.  Last year we had over 100 attendees – half and half between BABA members and members of the public.  This event has really helped enhance our relationship with AA Rec and Parks and they appreciate our efforts to help the public enjoy the park, windsurfing and other human-powered water sports.

This year we established the STOKE Award.  The steering committee nominated BABA members to be considered for this award using the criteria of stoke, BABA service and involvement with club activities, and not currently serving on the steering committee – the idea being to recognize those who have some time to give but aren’t in a leadership role.  The award went to Jeff Forte.  Jeff has been a long time Hatteras tripper and newsletter contributor, and for the past 2 years has volunteered his sailboat to serve as committee boat for the East Coast Championships Regatta at Mayo.  Thank you Jeff!

Coby Leyden was also recognized for his long term service as Hatteras Trip Coordinator.  The Hatteras trips are our biggest undertaking, and Coby has been at the helm for uncounted years.  He has the huge task of managing the reservation process, all the communication back and forth, collecting money (and giving it back if they meet the cancellation clause), making house lists and checking them twice, setting up the meet and greet party, recruiting a BABA-Q Chair, and putting out spot fires on the trips, TWO times each year!  Congratulations and thank you Coby.  Coby chose a waist harness from BABA sponsor Dakine, as his award.

Thank you Mike, Jeff and Coby,  and thank you to the steering committee and every single BABA member who takes on a volunteer role large or small.  Volunteers make BABA and windsurfing better for all of us!

BABA Annual Meeting

Ann Jackson and Mike McCormick hosted the season opener party at their house on the Severn River on March 22.  It was a gorgeous day to take in a view of the water and hang with lots of BABA friends.  We had a brief peek at spring in between the big March snow storm and the following week of snow, record low temperatures and slurpee-like frozen stuff falling from the sky.

About 40 BABA’ns were in attendance to vote on the slate of officers for 2014 (not really, they were all there for the party and sponsor goodies, but we had to take care of club biz first).  For 2014, Daphne Lathouras is chair, Dave Iseri is vice chair, Ann Jackson continues as secretary and Helen Van Gelder continues as treasurer.  All of our Steering Committee members agreed to continue with their BABA jobs:  Janice Emerling – Clinics; Coby Leyden – Hatteras Trips; Ann – Membership; Daphne – Blog and Web and  Dave – Sponsorship.  Members at Large include Bill Anderson, Carsten Boekholt, Fan Pat, Colin Pits, Maureen Pritchard, Albert Pritchard, Mark Raginsky and Fred Thomas.  Mike McCormick, our past chair, joins the Members at Large and will continue to coordinate the Mayo Watersports Fun Fest (and help Ann with her duties, and guide Daphne in her duties as chair),  and Warren Evans is  joining the SC as Member at Large.  Warren is helping coordinate the East Coast Championships Regatta at Mayo in September.  Thank you all for serving BABA!

The Sponsorship Coordinator has  an important role on the Steering Committee and with Dave taking on the added responsibilities of Vice Chair he would love to teach someone the ropes to take it on.  Our sponsors are very generous, it’s not much work and through their support we have many happy BABA members sporting new gear from Dakine and Chinook among others.  Please e-mail Dave if you’d like to help out.  We are also looking for a Racing Coordinator.  For the time being that job is being divided among several people – if you’d like to help with one aspect of one of the regattas to see how it’s done,  please contact Daphne.

We welcome all volunteers for large and small jobs, including writing for this blog.   Please contact any member of the steering committee to get involved and show your stoke for BABA activities.

The BABA Calendar of Events is full for 2014.  Check the website, mark your calendars, and come on out!



BABA Membership – Don’t Leave Home Without It!

It’s that time of year – the time when we long for windsurfing weather, and the time when we pay our dues.

We pay our dues so we can be part of one of the best windsurfing clubs in the US.  BABA has Hatteras trips, regattas, clinics, social events at the beach and a great season kick-off party.  BABA members are also working on access to safe, clean, windsurfing launches, introducing kids to windsurfing and helping newbies get to the next level.

So far on the calendar for 2014 we have the Season Opener Party on  March 15, and the spring and fall Hatteras trips.  Reservations for the spring trip are now open, and you’ve got to be a member to participate!  We’ll have more dates on the schedule in the next month or so.  Subscribe to the blog and remember check the website for updates.  You can download the membership form here.

To remind you about all the fun we’ll have with BABA in 2014 have a look at these pix from last October’s Hatteras trip.

ABK Clinic/November 7-10, 2013

by Tom Beckman

After hearing all the scoop on ABK clinics, I finally did one at Bird Island Basin, North Padre Island, 10 miles south of Corpus Christi. It was a bit chilly, 60′s and falling in the water even with a 3mil wetsuit made me gasp. I have to say the clinic experience was no less than FANTASTIC! There were many great things about the clinic, but what stands out for me is the instructors standing in the water watching me(and the other 27 people) work on skills and giving immediate, to-the-point feedback. My goals were to get into the straps comfortably, going “scary fast”(which I accomplished), do a carve jibe, and light wind “trick jibes.” Continue reading

Wind and Sun for the East Coast Championships Regatta

BABA racers and Meet at the Beach inspired windsurfers scored a big weekend at Mayo for the East Coast Championships on September 21 and 22.

We’ve got lots of pictures and words to share, but in case, dear reader, you don’t make it through the entire post, I’m going to take this opportunity to thank all the volunteers who pulled together to put on the regatta.   As Myles Borash said when asked why he traveled all the way from Boston to compete – he makes a great effort to travel to our regatta because BABA still cares about racing and has volunteers who will work to put on an event, while his local windsurfing community gave up long ago.

Race Director Dave Iseri and his trusty race committee ran some great starts from Jeff and Darlene Fortes’ sailboat Something Special.  Jasmine Iseri was also a key member of the RC.  She’s working hard on her windsurfing skills and had a blow-out week with her parents in Hatteras in August.  Jeff and Darlene generously brought out their sailboat (this is their 2nd year at the ECC) so we could have a great platform for the RC to run the racing.  On Saturday, Albert Pritchard served as mark setter and chase/rescue boat captain in his Boston Whaler.  Albert trailered his boat, hauled it over to Mayo and launchesd from a nearby marina so we could have a a safe event.  For Sunday’s marks/chase/rescue Tom Caswell brought over his boat from a nearby marina and Warren Evans served as Captain – he even had a rescue to perform when Chris Bel 29 broke his mast during the last race of the event.

Our lunch crew was headed up by Maureen Pritchard and Amber Kasbeer who both had to duke it out with our local sandwich shop (who shall remain nameless, and who had plenty of notice that we were going to place a large order) to secure our lunches and get them over to Mayo in a timely fashion.   Thanks for making sure we had food!   We can’t have an event without money so our trusty Treasurer Helen Van Gelder was on site to collect the regatta fees and dole out payments for food and beverages at Mayo.  Also on site to lend a hand were Ann Jackson, Mike McCormickChris Wattengel and Fan Pat.

The weekend was topped off with a drawing for windsurfing swag donated by our loyal sponsors.  Thanks to sponsorship chair Dave Iseri , Hatteras Trip Coordinator Coby Leyden & LTW Coordinator Janice Emerling for working with all of the sponsors during the year:  ABK Board Sports, Aerotech Sails, Avon Sail House, Chinook, Dakine, DelMarVa Board Sports, East of Maui, Easy Uphaul/Waterstarter, Ezzy, Maui Fin Company, Ocean Air, Wind NC, Windsport Magazine and Ultimate Watersports.  And thanks to our immediate past Commodore Tomaso for laying the groundwork and keeping our racing program going for many, many years.  Thank you all.  And a big thank you to our hosts at Mayo Beach – Anne Arundel County Parks and Rec.  It was a great weekend!

Now on to the racing…. Continue reading

Mayo Water Sports Fun Fest Exceeds Expectations!

Students working on the new skills.

Students working on the new skills.

About 100 people showed up for BABA & AA Co. Rec and Park’s 2nd annual Water Sports Fun Fest at Mayo Beach on July 14.  About half the people were BABA members and their families, and the other half were members of the public and new to BABA and windsurfing. Continue reading

Gunpowder Regatta and Learn to Windsurf

Longboard Start

Longboard Start

Your BABA peeps had a big weekend at the Gunpowder in June.  Where were you?  The threatening storms never materialized even though it was raining cats and dogs inland, and we had nice thermals both Saturday and Sunday.  Saturday the wind came early enough for 5 competitive longboard races.  The Formula kiddos decided to play rather than race and they were blasting downwind of the race course.

Big thanks to Jeff Forte for ably running the races from a kayak on Saturday.  BABA racing is going green – no carbon  except for our masts and booms.  For the final race of the day we had a self timed beach start in  rapidly increasing winds.  Stuart Annapolis Wind and Sam Berry returned to the race course after a long hiatus.  Welcome home guys!

On Sunday BABA’s Learn to Windsurf took center stage with an enthusiastic group of newbies ready to get on the water.  Storms were raging inland again but the bad weather was magically diverted around Gunpowder by BABA juju.  Hal Ashman of Ultimate Watersports was the lead on-land instructor.  I don’t think the students realized that they were being instructed by one of the East coast’s best.  Thanks for being there for BABA, Hal!  Winds were increasing through the afternoon so the LTW students had light wind to get started and a bit more of a push once they got their basic uphauling and sailing skills under wraps.  I heard one exuberant student cry out “I CAN DO IT!”  Congratulations to Janice E for continuing a tradition of well attended LTW clinics.  Thanks to all the folks providing on the water coaching – Mark Windz41, Helen VG, Bill A, Coby and Dennis. Continue reading


by Keith Knight

Tropical Storm AndreaGlobal warming, climate change, is it really that bad.
According to one party, it’s all just a fad
Sure, my kids, or my kids kids have much to fear
But after work today, I’ll be tuning gear
It’s the first week in June and Andrea’s on her way.
Big surf, high winds, what else can I say
Motivated, ready, battle her I will
As long as my body holds up I’ll get my fill.
Andrea, Andrea you are the season’s first storm
Get your stuff ready as this may be the new norm

From iWindsurf Chesapeake extended forecast….

Southerly flow on the rise through Saturday AM; lighter Sunday

A few changes to the extended forecast this morning, although with a tropical system in the mix be sure to watch daily updates. TS Andrea lifts north and merges with a larger, more complex trough on Friday; driving up SSE winds for the Mid Atlantic. Winds ramp up through Saturday morning as the combined system moves into the area. On Sunday the system departs to the northeast and winds fade considerably.

Defi Diva – Quiet Waters

by Amber, aka Defi Diva (one more time, in your best faux French accent….  d’FEE dee-VAH!)



It was morning and the bright sunshine was making its way into #43 Bungalow. I had gotten up early to finished packing and clean up the hut. (The camp ground has strict rules on cleaning up the hut prior to check out, among all the other rules…and no they still don’t take Master Card!)  I finished up my last big bowl of French Corn Flakes. I can’t believe I ate all those corn flakes. I attribute that minor victory to the fact that the milk was pure heaven.  I then wandered over to say goodbye to my neighbors. I first stopped with Sebastian and his wife, who lived in #41 Bungalow next door. They were on their way back to Paris. Sebastian had clearly mastered the Defi and had done quite well. Then over to my dear friends Monica and Gunter, an elderly German couple who had come to Gruissan simply to enjoy their weather and town.  I said goodbye to Hassan the gardener, who would greet me heartily every day during his maintenance rounds.  Even the rather plump man at the desk offered me a smile and wave. Continue reading

Defi Diva – A Final Run

#803Amber standing next to American flag

When Philipee Bru got up in front of the crowd for the last Skipper’s race, he could barely speak. With a warm scarf wrapped around his neck, it became apparent that he had given his all to put on such an amazing event. But even through his horse voice, he still managed to provide the daily instructions. “Derriere, Bouee, Derriere, Bouee, Arrivee!!”  After the instructions had been provided, they announce that they would be delaying the start.  The winds were still too unpredictable, and the race committee did not want to start a race until conditions had steadied.  In particular they were concerned about a significant increase in wind speeds after the race had already started. By delaying it, the sailors would be able to rig a more appropriate sail for the conditions. So we waited…By noon, the winds had done just as predicted. They were now significantly stronger from the morning, and they had filled in. Continue reading