Category: Learn

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.

 

Mayo Beach – 2016 Watersports Fun Fest

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.

 Mayo Fest 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

Activities:

  •  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.

Sponsored by:

Onsite Registration:

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.

Weather Cancellations

Fun Fest cancellations due to bad weather will be posted to the BABA Blog.  https://windsurfbaba.wordpress.com/

Directions

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.

Hatteras Calling – Still a Few Spaces Available!

by Coby Leydenhatteras-lighthouse-2
BABA Hatteras Trip Coordinator

email me!

Fellow Windsurfers,

We still have openings available for our May 7-14 Hatteras Spring Trip.
That’s a bit unusual, as we often fill up by now.

Perhaps it’s the change in dates from April to May.

I know, I know:
it takes a while to adjust the idea of being warm instead of cold,
of having longer days for more time on the water,
of having an even better chance of perfect SW breezes that keep you sailing into the sunset.

But may I suggest to anyone holding out (and You know Who you Are…) that your reticence is misplaced.
This is going to be a fantastic trip, and you don’t want to miss out.

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

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

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

ABK Boardsports – New BABA Sponsor

When I started windsurfing I took 3 ABK camps in quick succession, and that gave me a great foundation.  Over the years I’ve done a few lessons or short clinics here and there, but nothing as thorough as ABK camps.  I think lots of windsurfers are like me – we get a solid foundation and get comfortable with our skills and don’t think anything about taking an intensive clinic again.

It had been 15 years since Steve and I took an ABK Clinic.   I jokingly referred to our trip to Bonaire in 1998 as our prenuptial agreement, since I started windsurfing before I met Steve and he had some catching up to do.  This winter I revisited ABK Bonaire along with Janice Emerling and her cohort of Chicago friends (her Caribbean windsurfing buddies going back many years).  It was great to work with Andy Brandt again, and his instructors Brendan Quinn and Derek Rijff really know their stuff.  It’s amazing how they can break down every windsurfing move into understandable pieces, and how they can offer constructive critiques on body position tweaks that can make all the difference in completing a move.  Even when Andy and Brendan were busy talking to other students about their technique issues on the water they could see me sailing in for critique and pick up on seemingly minor missteps that lead to improvements all around.  They have unbelievable passion and enthusiasm for teaching windsurfing.

Taking an ABK clinic in Bonaire was a great way to get the most value out of a Caribbean trip because we worked hard every day.  And even if you don’t score ideal planing conditions during a clinic the ABK team has lots of moves to teach everyone.   I was a little disappointed that it was too windy for some beginner freestyle time on the water because I was so stoked watching the advanced freestylers hone their craft.

I heartily welcome ABK as a BABA Sponor.  Thank you Coby for starting the conversation with Andy last fall.  I encourage everyone to jump on the ABK bandwagon and take your first clinic, or your 5th, or your 10th.  ABK will be in Dewey September 27 – 29.  They have lots of other camps between now and then, including August in Bonaire, and spring and fall options in Hatteras.  Check out their website for the full schedule.  Time at an ABK Clinic pays huge dividends.

ABK generously donated tuition for a clinic to BABA.  The drawing was held at the Season Opener Party on March 16.  All BABA families (one entry per membership) who had renewed their membership by the party were included in the drawing.  Long-time BABA member Roger Fitzgerald won.  Congratulations Roger!

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http://abkboardsports.com

My Affair

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

by Dave Turner

I confess. I strayed.  My relationship had grown stale and unexciting.  The initial attraction was gone and what had initially seemed so wonderful faded to a gray, dull, never good enough relationship.  I was unsatisfied and unfulfilled and not even fully aware of it.   My betrayal happened so gradually that I really didn’t realize it at first.  First a casual inquiry, then more frequent contact, then a sudden rush of excitement and before I knew it things had gone too far and I was neglecting my first love.

The above describes my brief foray into Thistle sailboat racing. A few years back, I put my windsurfer aside and spent a season as a crew member on a boat out of Wilmington, DE. I love to be out on the water and a Thistle requires very little wind to sail, which meant that I could get out on the water frequently. I learned some new skills and made a lot of new friends.  As a lightweight, I was very popular with the Skippers.  A Thistle is best sailed with about 450 pounds for a crew of three.  A total crew weight of 600 pounds or more makes it very difficult to get the boat up on a plane.  My interest culminated with participating in the mid-Atlantic regional championships, with our boat placing 7th out of 22 vessels.

However, the appeal of the Thistle soon began to wane.  I found that much of my discontent with windsurfing resulted from having older equipment.  I upgraded my rigs and boards and found my new equipment to be much more user friendly. While the Thistle gets you on the water frequently, it is not nearly the exciting and loose ride that you get with windsurfing.  The sail blocks much of your view and you have to duck under the low boom every time your jibe.  Fail to duck in time and you get a big whack on the head. A Thistle capsizes fairly easily and I became mildly hypothermic one session while body dragging behind our boat (full of water) as the other crew members attempted to sail after our bailer, which had not been secured to the boat and was floating out with the tide at about 3 knots.  In addition, a fifteen foot boat can seem exceedingly small when your skipper turns into a tyrant when outpaced by the competition.

In the end,   I rediscovered my appreciation for my first love (other than my spouse, that  is!), Windsurfing.  While windy weather that fits your schedule my seem infrequent at times, there is nothing that matches the exhilarating sense of speed, freedom,  and that close to nature feeling  that you get from a good day of windsurfing.  In addition, there’s the instant acceptance that you get from the windsurfing community.  Show up at any windsurfing sailing site and you will be accepted regardless of your skill level or ability. Add in a great club, such as BABA, with its camaraderie and inexpensive trips to Hatteras, and I don’t think that I will be straying again anytime soon.D_Turner_beach