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:
- Outdoor Architects http://www.outdoorarchitects.com/landscape/default.aspx
- East of Maui http://www.eastofmauiboardshop.com/
- Baltimore Area Boardsailing Association http://www.windsurfbaba.org/
- In Partnership with – Anne Arundel County Recreation and Parks.
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.
by Dave Turner
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
by Leon Turkevich
“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
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!
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 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
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
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