Long Lost BABA Blog

So much windsurfing, so little blogging.  REALLY?????  2015 has been a pretty good year so far!

We had a lovely day to eat and drink with BABA friends back in March at the BABA Season Kick-Off Party.  Thank you to Ann & Mike for hosting!  The Pat Pugh Award (for supreme volunteerism) was awarded to Coby Leyden for his dedication to running our Hatteras trips.  Thank you to East of Maui for co-sponsoring the award.

I’d also like to thank all the volunteers who have put time and effort into running our club throughout the year, and to those who step up when asked to help with specific projects:

Dave Iseri, Vice Chair and Sponsorship Coordinator
Ann Jackson, Secretary, membership coordinator and lots of help with Mayo Watersports Fun Fest
Helen Van Gelder, Treasurer
Janice Emerling – for running our Learn to Windsurf Clinic with Ultimate Watersports
Coby Leyden – Hatteras Trip Coordinator extraordinaire
Mike McCormick – for coordinating Mayo Watersports Fun Fest and providing leadership and expertise to our board of directors.

And our Members at Large who serve in many ways:
Bill Anderson
Warren Evans
Fan Pat & Colin Pitts
Maureen & Albert Pritchard
Mark Raginsky
Fred Thomas

We voted on our slate of officers and steering committee members and we welcomed Amber Kasbeer as a new Member at Large.

Thank you to Jeff and Darlene Forte for bringing Something Special to Mayo for our ECC Regatta – a good sized boat is critical to holding a serious race event!  And Thank you also to everyone who volunteers to help with tasks large and small during our Hatteras Trips.  Coby handles many many details, but he can’t do it all, and having volunteers take on responsibilities during the trips is critical to their continued success.

Mark Storch won drawing for the complimentary ABK clinic – can’t wait to hear about his progress.

No photos were taken, but I can assure you that we had a great spread of food, the weather was wonderful and we had lots of goodies from our generous sponsors.

Dreaming of Hatteras

It’s about the time of year that the juju from the last trip to Hatteras has completely worn off and the longing for the next trip starts to interfere with everyday living.  Here’s a cool video that Amber (aka Defi Diva) put together from last spring’s trip to warm your windsurfing spirit.

The good news is that Coby is getting things ready to start reservations for the spring trip (April 25 – May 2, 2015), and you oughtta save the date for the fall trip too (October 10 – 17, 2015).  Watch your e-mail for the trip announcement sometime near the end of January.

Stay warm, enjoy your winter sports, sit by the fire pit or take care of your chores so you can clear your calendar for spring windsurfing.

See you on the water.

ABK Delivers

Several BABA members participated in ABK camp in Hatteras this fall – Vlad Gavrilets, winner of the ABK camp drawing at our season kick-off party, Jon Fleuchaus and Farrah Hall.  ABK is a generous sponsor – BABA appreciates their support and we encourage every windsurfer to take a clinic (or 5) with ABK.   Check their calendar for 2015 dates in lots of different locations including Bonaire, Hatteras, Lakes Bay (NJ), Corpus Christi and Padre Island.

ABK logo

The clinic was a blast!! First of all, thanks to Ned Crossley we had a fantastic house 50 yards away from the clinic site in Waves, NC, with 10 windsurfers in it. As a surprise house mate, we had US Olympian racer, Farrah Hall (check out her blog post about ABK in October). My wife, Olia, joined us for a couple days later in the week.

Next, the instructors – I’ve taken a lot of lessons before, and ABK instructors were really top notch. Andy and his crew are very passionate about our sport, and they know how to explain, how to teach, and how to correct your mistakes.

There were 5 instructors for 20 students. This is a great ratio – I always felt I was getting individual attention.  Andy breaks the students into groups by interests and abilities. There were a number of regulars, who were clearly head and shoulders above others, and that leads one to aspire to become as good as those folks in spinning various light and high wind tricks.

Ned coaching Vlad

Ned coaching Vlad

Every morning we’d start at 9:30 am sharp, Andy would announce lectures, and students would have a choice which lecture to attend. I had a chance to listen to 4 out of 5 instructors, and found each lecture very informative. I attended lectures on carving gybe, light wind tack, high wind planing tack, a fantastic lecture on gear from Derek, who writes equipment reviews for WindSport magazine (also a BABA sponsor), and, of course, Andy’s class on Sail Chi. In the latter, Andy shows how to practice with a sail on dry land, and does so in his highly entertaining manner. Andy is a real artist and it’s a blast to listen to his lectures (although, once again, all instructors were fantastic). I learned a ton from these lectures, and they really helped during practice sessions on the water.

There were two practice sessions each day, one in the morning following a lecture, the second in afternoon. The first session stops at noon, second goes from 2 to 5 pm. The setup is great – instructors break into groups, they stand in shallow water, and students practice various tricks or moves close to them, so that they can observe and quickly give feedback. This works well for both light and high wind. It’s easier to get more feedback during light wind sessions, since you are always close to your instructor. For me, these light wind sessions were invaluable, as my gybes and tacks were very clumsy, and I learned the essential skills necessary for high wind maneuvers as well, such as back winding and sailing clew first. I also learned how to do a clew first beach start.

keep reading!
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East Coast Championships Regatta 2014

Longboard StartBABA had a warm, sunny and light wind ECC Regatta on September 20 & 21st.  Longboard racing was the call as the wind remained light and variable both days.  Our Formula fleet showed up on Saturday and kept the benches warm waiting for enough wind to run a few races, but mother nature didn’t cooperate.

Big thanks go to Jeff and Darlene Forte for bringing Something Special, our committee boat for the weekend.  Guillaume Vernieres (aka G) brought his RIB (that’s rigid inflatable boat) which Race Organizer Warren Evans captained to place marks, run the photographer around (that was me) and serve as safety boat in case anyone needed to be rescued.  Warren learned that G’s boat only speaks French, but once over the language barrier, some sweet talk kept her running for the weekend.  Race Director Dave Iseri motivated the longboard fleet to complete 6 races and our dedicated volunteers made the weekend fun for everyone.

Our land and water volunteers for the event also included Tom Caswell (aka Scooter), Janice Emerling, Ann Jackson, Amber Kasbeer, Fan Pat, Collin Pitts, Mike McCormick and Helen Van Gelder.  Helen is  behind the scenes for every event, trip and membership drive making sure fees are deposited, expenses are paid and our books balanced.  Thank you everyone!


Guillaume swept the event with 5 firsts and a DNS.  The Men’s Open Class had a tight contest for 2nd & 3rd with the tie breaker going to John Contos over Colin Pitts.  Congratulations to everyone who competed, especially Novice racer Anthony Burrows.

Novice:  Anthony Burrows (1st)

7.5 Limited Men: Chris Wattengel (1st)

Open Women: Fan Pat (1st), Amber Kasbeer (2nd)

Open Men: Guillaume Vernieres (1st), John Contos (2nd), Colin Pitts (3rd)

Picture Gallery follows…… click the first picture to open the gallery as a slide show.

Continue reading

Mayo Water Sports Fun Fest

Mayo Fest 2014

What a great day on the water!  We had about 100 people turn out for BABA’s 3rd annual Mayo Water Sports Fun Fest.  The event is sponsored by Anne Arundel Rec and Parks, Outdoor Architects, East of Maui and Annapolis Community Boating.  That means lots of different wind and paddle powered water craft (aka car top boats) were available for folks to try out at Mayo on Sunday, June 29th.

Thank you event chair Mike McCormick and his essential event partners Ann Jackson and Maureen Pritchard for putting Fun Fest together.   They took care of all the logistics, worked with AA County staff and our sponsors, and made sure we had a delicious lunch and lots of refreshing drinks to power us through the day.  Event sponsor Outdoor Architects (owned by BABA member Mark Storch) generously contributed the funds to provide lunch for everyone at the event.  Fun Fest included a Taste of Windsurfing, stand up paddling, kayaking and canoeing, and a slalom & formula racing and tuning clinic for advanced windsurfers.  Jon Fleuchaus and Helen Van Gelder took pictures for the blog, and Becky Belogay, Afi Chamlou, Kathy Iseri, Eddie Murawski and Albert Pritchard helped with logistics, lunch, clean-up and whatever else needed doing.

BABA is a strong organization because we have devoted members who take charge and do great work for the club and the community.  Thank you all!

Keep reading – it was a fun filled day, and there are lots more pictures too!  Continue reading

Spring Regattas

Lining up for a start from the beach

Lining up for the Le Mans start.

We had a great start to the spring racing season with our annual Gerry Brown Memorial Regatta for Cancer Research at Baltimore County Sailing Center.  It was a light-wind day for an enthusiastic bunch of long boarders.  BCSC Director Eileen Fahrmeier set some marks for and upwind downwind course and we had a Le Mans style start from the beach.  The wind was flukey and dying so the crew completed one race and spent the rest of the day free sailing in Hawk Cove.  BABA members contributed about $500 to the Sidney Kimmel Center for Cancer Research at Johns Hopkins.  Thank you to everyone who contributed and who came out for the event.  It was great to see Jack Ames back out on the race course after a long hiatus.  Big thanks to our host, Eileen and BCSC.  Check out their website and programs for youth and adult sailing.  There’s also a week-long windsurfing camp for kids every summer. Continue reading

Beverly Triton – No Permit Required!

BABA Members Clean up the Beach and Park on May 10
Meet Bob Brownlee – New Beverly Triton Park Ranger

BABA volunteers and some friends from the kiting community got together on May 10 for a beach and park clean-up at Beverly Triton.  BABA heeded the call from the neighborhood volunteers and spent an hour picking up glass and metal debris from the back of the park.


We found the beach was relatively free of trash but there were a lot of logs to clear so they didn’t wash back into the bay and become serious hazards to windsurfers, kiters and boaters.   Big shout out to Tom Caswell, Bob Catzen, Warren Evans, Kei Imai, Matt Lestina, Guillaume Vernieres, Gordon Wells and our new kiting friends Joe Boyle and daughters Cassie and Julianna, Tim Feeney and Mehdy Rad. Continue reading

BABA Season in Full Swing

BABA season is in full swing and I’m just getting back to posting the pix from the season kick-off party.  We’ve already had the Mayo Clean-up,  spring Hatteras trip (pix and blog coming soon) and a bunch of BABA’ns participated in the WET/Kashy Fins Spring Regatta in Seaford, VA this past weekend (KONA One is awesome!).

We have the Beverly Triton beach clean-up (May 10) and Gerry Brown Regatta (May 18) to round out the month of May.  Whew!  Lots of opportunities to work and sail with your BABA friends.  Check the website and watch your e-mail for details.

More from the Season Kick-off Party

“BABA Members are missing the boat if they don’t come to this annual party,” says Hatteras Trip Coordinator Coby Leyden.  “Food, food, food!  A beautiful home with a view of the Severn River, wonderful hosts (thank you Ann & Mike!), the awesome raffle of goodies from our generous sponsors, and most importantly BABA friends and families!” Continue reading

Mayo Beach Blitz

Thanks to all who came out to help clean up Mayo Beach on Sunday, April 19.  The daffodils were blooming and the ospreys were protecting their nests as the BABA team and Team Mayo took care of business.

Tom Caswell headed up the project and was assisted by  Colin Pitts, Fan Pat, Guillaume Vernieres, Warren Evans, Helen Van Gelder, Bill Anderson, Mike McCormick, Ann Jackson, Bob Catzen, Chris Wattengel, Kevin Sherlock, Mick Y (sorry don’t know your last name), and Boy Scout Ernie Seppiayton and his father Ernest.  If we missed your name, please reply in the comments – we really appreciate everyone’s help.  The Big Bean in Severna Park donated coffee and pastries and Mayo staff brought out donuts, granola bars and water for the volunteers. Continue reading

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. Continue reading