ed note – I’m oh so tardy in posting this article – please don’t let that inhibit any writers from sending articles for the blog. I promise to do better!
by Dave Turner
Since I have become accustomed to ending my year of windsurfing by signing up for the Fall BABA trip to Cape Hatteras, I was very disappointed to learn that a work commitment would prevent me from attending the 2015 trip. A quick internet search soon presented an appealing solution. I would attend BABA but only Thursday through Saturday and sign up for Andy Brandt’s ABK Windsurfing Clinic the following week. This would get me a week and a half in Hatteras!
I’d been thinking about attending ABK for a while. My windsurfing skills had improved a lot over the past few years due to quadrupling my time on the water. I was handling more wind, had moved to a much smaller board, and was gradually improving. I did, however, sense that my sailing needed an intervention of sorts in order to progress further. Sure, I’d developed into a straight line windsurfer with a decent non-planning dry pivot jibe, but I wanted more, such as the Heli tack , back wind sailing, the duck jibe, and , of course, windsurfing’s glass ceiling, the carve jibe. Continue reading
by Mike McCormick
On Saturday June 25th BABA teamed up with several other sponsors to hold the 5th Mayo Beach Fun Fest. The weather couldn’t have been better with low 80 temperatures, a light North Easterly breeze, perfect water temperature and not a jelly fish in sight.
With 21 BABA members attending and 18 other registrants we had a nice size group for the day. The Taste of Windsurfing class had 12 participants all of whom uphauled, turned the board around and transitioned to sailing position with occasional rapid exits into the water. It was fun meeting a diverse group of new sailors from Russia, Ukraine, Colombia South America, England, Western Maryland …
Mark Bandy from East of Maui joined us again this year offering free SUP demos and a number of different boards to try. Many of the participants took advantage of the opportunity and had some fun in the small chop.
This year’s event tested out the new “Car Launch Area #3”, which is South of the Mayo Park Buildings. The new area worked out just fine with easy drop off by the water, a nice picnic area under trees up the hill and a large grassy area to spread out. It was also nice being a little closer to the bathrooms. This is the new car top launch site during Summer Sunday public days at Mayo Beach.
Thanks to all of our co-sponsors who made this event possible:
And a special thanks to 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 and in short made it all happen:
- Ann Jackson and Mike McCormick
- Dave Iseri
- Eddie and Uyen Murawski
- Gordon Wells
- Helen VanGelder and Bill Anderson
- Janice Emerling
- Jon Fleuchaus
- Maureen and Albert Pritchard
- Mark Raginsky
- Mark Storch
- Warren Evans
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.
Here it is dear readers, the last post from Amber about her Defi 2016 adventure.
by Amber, aka Defi Diva
Defi beach – the broad sandy beach in previous pictures is completely underwater today.
The rain kept up throughout the night while the winds continued to build. It had been a challenge to remount the boards on our van’s roof when we finally checked out of our beach house the following day. If the gear had not been taped, noodled, and bubbled Chris and I would have braved the waters for no doubt and epic (and probably mast breaking) session! Argh! Confounded again, it was maddening. As Chris drove the way back to Barcelona, he once again had to white knuckle the steering wheel to keep the car on the road. Only this time it was blowing from the sea, the opposite direction from our drive down.
by Mike McCormick
The Mayo Beach 2016 Watersports Fun Fest is planned for June 25th from 11:00 to 3:00. This year marks that 6th annual Watersport Fun Fest at Mayo Beach Park. This event has been organized by BABA and co-sponsored with East of Maui, Annapolis Community Boating, Outdoor Architects and Anne Arundel County Recreation and Parks. We have had a lot of fun each year with peak attendance and fun in 2014.
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
- 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
- BYO – car-top water craft
- Stand UP Paddling – free mini lessons and demo boards available (must be 15 years of age)
- Windsurfing – “taste of windsurfing” instruction and land-based simulation
- Sit Down Paddling – kayaking and canoeing – free mini lessons with demo equipment available (must have an adult if under 18)
- Fun Events – SUP relay race, Windsurfing freestyle and other fun events
- Picnic – Light 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.
Register on-site the day of the event for Fun Fest activities. Due to limited facilities and equipment participation is on a 1st come 1st served basis.
Fun Fest cancellations due to bad weather will be posted to the BABA Blog. https://windsurfbaba.wordpress.com/
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.
by Amber, aka Defi Diva
just one more post and the adventure is over – savor the moment…… and in case you still need assistance pronouncing “diva” (click the link!) … ed.
The next day Els and Bart left early on their eleven hour journey home. We talked and plotted our next Defi before they left. I was as usual eager to come back and try again. Chris was too, but he confessed that it might be a couple of years as he would need to save up his pennies again. What? Isn’t that what credit cards are for? What if the Tramontane blows again next year and we aren’t here?!!! But of course… that would potentially always be the case. Bart mentioned that we should look into flying direct to Belgium next time instead. That way it would be a single flight without changes. We could even help him drive, and of course we could sample some of Belgium’s finer sailing spots (and beer).
After our goodbyes were said Chris and I again wandered, I have to admit rather leisurely, back to the DEFI Beach. Out of shear boredom I rigged a 6.5 on Chris’s board and tried to go out and bounce around in the waves, and that is exactly what I did, bounce. Until that is, I turned green and felt as if my morning pain du chocolate was about to revisit me. See, one of the reasons I enjoy flat water slalom sailing so much is that … well… I get sea sick. I blame my genes as both my brother and I will run for a bucket even at the sight of a swing set. But as nothing was scheduled for the rest of the day I figured I would have time to recover before the evening’s festivities and feast. And besides, after my crazy diet of Camembert and baguettes… I needed an alternate diet plan… In the end, thankfully, nothing came of it. I stood in the waves holding the sail up, waiting for the slightest puff of breeze and alas there was nothing… nothing at all. So I sloshed back to the beach, where Chris stood nonjudgementally (even though he told me it was not going to amount to anything) but still smiled at my lame attempt. I was desperate… what can I say?
Defi Diva looking for a wind fix.
by Amber, aka Defi Diva
sorry dear readers to have left you in the lurch…. welcome back! (ed.)
I have found in my life that the path I have been given to follow is lined with amazing people. And when the way is challenging, all I have to do is look up and someone special will be standing by my side to lend a hand, a shoulder, or a word. That again became readily apparent this DEFI.
Els and I were sitting at the picnic table taking in the scene when one of the announcers began speaking to the audience in French. It went on for a bit and Els’s eyes grew wide. “What is he saying?” “Just wait you will find out”, she replied. All of a sudden he was calling my name and asking for me to come up front. Confused and embarrassed as to what was happening, I went dutifully to the stage. After he asked me a few questions about myself for the audience, he then told everyone about my board situation. I briefly explained what happened and then he announced that Francisco Goya had graciously offered me the use of one of his racing boards for the event. Wow!!!! So cool!!!! What an amazing and kind thing to do! It turns out that Bart and Chris had mentioned my crushed board to Goya during their fan encounter with him (see Relax and Chill – Part 2). So with the usual windsurfer’s generosity Goya made sure that if the situation arose (and the wind came up) I would not be without a board. And while I never had the opportunity to take him up on his offer, I will forever be a huge Goya fan.
Bart, Francisco Goya, Amber & Chris
by Amber, aka Defi Diva (have you been practicing – saying it just right – every time you open a new blog post…. d’FEE dee-VAH! )
The next day we again took our time getting up and moving. Bart had recommended that I bring my smashed board to L’Oc Surf shop to see what they thought about the damage. “Maybe it can be repaired?”, he offered. “And if not, then at least we will know for sure.” So Bart, Els, and I headed over just after breakfast with the board. As Els waited with our precariously parked car, Bart and I slipped through the back side of the venue with the board. When I pulled the board out of its bag again, my stomach turned. I loved that board. I had just bought it a new 33″ Hatteras Weed fin for it, and the combination with my Aerotech Phantom made me forget every other love I’ve ever had. The fin floated the board, and I had remarked to Keith McCulloch, the fin designer, that it was like surfing on “hot buttah!” (said in some sort of Jersey/New York accent). The fin disappeared beneath the board, and that had made the Futura float like a magic carpet.
Every windsurfer we passed cringed with horror when they mentally registered the damage. Some even stopping to touch it along the way with a whistle and head shake. When the owner of the L’oc Surf came out to see what could be done. He too stopped wide eyed in his tracks. While much discussion went on between him and Bart in French, I did catch two important words; Impossible, Finis. We then retuned home with the board to stash it away. Bart decided he would take it back with him to Belgium. Maybe someone would like to give it a Steve Austin makeover, or better yet perhaps repurpose it as a object d’ Art coffee table?
by Amber, aka Defi Diva
Els and Bart were there to greet us with big smiles and hearty hugs. Our little beach house was only a couple of blocks away from the little bungalows where we had first met three years earlier, when I had come for my first DEFI adventure. They had already checked in and picked up the keys to the house earlier that day. So when we walked in there on the little coffee tables were three piles of gifts waiting for us. Two piles were labeled ‘Chris’ and ‘Amber’ while the third was labeled ‘Chops’. Both of us dove into our piles, sifting through the finest Belgian Chocolate, windsurfing stickers and other awesome swag, just like kids in a toy store.
Chops’ pile on the other hand contained a variety of dog biscuits, as well as some much needed dental treats.
by Amber, aka Defi Diva
The place was packed. Cars, people, and windsurfing gear fueled a buzz that quickly enveloped us both. As Chris navigated through the storm of wet-suited people, families, dogs and walking sails we caught glimpses of the water. The beach was blanketed in hundreds of sails and boards and there were equally that many out running their laps in the stiff off shore winds. As we watched masts slam down in the water with varying frequencies and locations, it became immediately obvious that the Tramontain was out toying with the racers like a cat with a newly caught mouse.
Chris and I then spent the next two hours navigating our way back into Baggage Claim and the Air France claims counter. Unlike most airports, the baggage claim area was back behind closed doors in the international arrival zone. At first a rather indignant information agent told us that we were too late and we should have made that claim back when we had collected our luggage from the belt. Luckily I was with Chris not only because he was able to translate and speak Spanish, but also because I probably would have strangled her. “Who the freak unpacks their luggage in the claims area to see if anything is broken???!!!!” I said in utter exasperation. “Come on. She is just being difficult. Let’s go upstairs and see if we can talk to an Air France agent directly”, he said gritting his teeth.
We did eventually talk with a ticket agent and she explained how to get back into the claims area where we would need to file a claim. So dragging the broken equipment (because the boom had also been severely warped in what ever event that had brought on my board’s demise) we eventually made our way back and found the correct office.
In Barcelona, the airlines don’t have a direct office to handle these sorts of claims. They all go through a third party that simply takes down the information and then submits it to the appropriate airlines. When we took out the board to show our agent the damage, the wide eyes and whistles from the other agents near by as the curious gawked in fascination, made my heart sink once again. Chris put a brotherly arm around me, “Don’t worry, honest, we’ll figure this out.”
Later that afternoon we finally checked into our hotel, the AC Hotel Gava Mar. The hotel was located right on the beach over looking the ocean, and off in the afternoon sun we saw windsurfers and kiters racing back and forth. As tempted as we were to go out and join them the reality of being awake for the last 36 hours really started to set in. So instead we opted for hot showers, a nice meal, and our beds.