2018 Watersport Fun Fest – Mayo Beach

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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.

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5 Janice and Amber instructig at Learn to windsurf

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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: Continue reading

Hooked

by Brad Tibbels

“I brought my stuff, if you want to try.”

I had no idea what Filipp was talking about but I followed him to his car anyway. We were at Gunpowder State Park for our work picnic and he had brought everything… Everything. Long poles, short poles, curved poles, huge bags that looked like maybe they had curtains inside, big boards, little boards, ropes, vests, strange tools, pumps. It was all there. And he wanted to show me how to use it.

That was before I fell in love with windsurfing. Before I went on probably the best vacation I’ve ever had. Before I wrapped a hook around my waist, attached that hook to a sheet of monofilm and went skimming across the water like a skipping stone.

I drove down to North Carolina for my first BABA Hatteras trip last October. It took nine hours, three bathroom breaks, two lunch stops and one toll. But all I could think about was getting on that easy water. Where there’s no speed boats sending me their wake, no jet skis coming too close, no rental gear to return at the end of the day and it’s 4 feet deep forever.

Every day was the same:

Wake up, walk across the street and watch the birds catch wind off the waves as the sun rises.

Come back, make breakfast while I talk to my house mates about what I plan to work on that day and stretch my rotator cuffs.

Grab my gear from under the house, walk across the back lawn, drop into the water and windsurf my damn brains out.

Come back, hang up my gear and melt into the hot tub on the lower deck, hoping my shoulders will forgive me by tomorrow.

Dry off, take a beer to the top deck and stare at the starry canvas over head with its subtle Milky Way band.

Go to bed, knowing I get to do it all over again the next day.

Click for pix on the BABA Flickr

ed note: Trip Reservation announcement for May 2018 will go out after February 10 from spring trip coordinator Dave Turner.  2017 & 2018 BABA members get first dibs. Is your membership current? 

https://windsurfbaba.wordpress.com/join/

Mayo Beach Fun Fest – 2017

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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

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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.

https://apm.activecommunities.com/aarecparks/Home

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….

Continue reading

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.

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.

The Goal: HAVE FUN WITH FELLOW WINDSURFERS AND GAIN SOME SAILING ABILITIES!

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.

Thanks,
Steve Uhthoff
sru@comcast.net
443-336-3560

ABK Trip Report: October 2016, Waves, NC

by Leon Turkevich

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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. Continue reading

Mayo Peninsula Comments Due Today!

Once again we have received very little notice on this important issue.  

This is the first round of comments regarding the plans for Mayo Beach Park, and 2nd round for Beverly Triton.

Please comment today – all comments are being taken online and I don’t know if there’s a character limit imposed on the comment box.

Plans and links to comment submission page are here:

http://www.aacounty.org/departments/recreation-parks/parks/mayo-peninsula-parks/#mayo

Please identify yourself with your job title especially if you’re a big shot (LOL!).

Please thank the commission for including wind sports in the planning.

Some issues that I see and have discussed with others:

We need space to park gear – if it’s a windy day and there are lots of kites and ws at the beach, gear parking is  an issue.   We don’t just launch and disappear (hopefully not, anyway).   The little blue circles on the plans are the launch areas, but no “gear parking areas” are clearly identified.  If it’s a windy and very beautiful summer day, there will be lots of swimmers too – even more complicated!

We need to be sure that everyone is SAFE!  Windsurfers and kite boarders often self segregate.  We need to be sure that everyone is safe, including swimmers & picnickers too, however it’s difficult when dealing with people who are not familiar with our sports or our equipment (sails, kites, boards moving around if there’s a gust of wind, kite lines, how much space the gear takes up when it is sitting rigged on the beach).  Keeping swimmers/picnickers segregated from the wind sports area is important too.

My personal observation – I’ve windsurfed in quite a few places abroad, and in every place, kiters, windsurfers and beach goers are kept separate.

Please add your concerns & comments to the facebook thread where you found this post so others can benefit from your observations when composing their comments.

Please comment TODAY!

ABK Fall 2015

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 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

Mayo Beach Fun Fest 2016 – It was fun!

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.

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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.