It was a fun day for all! On Sunday June 30th BABA teamed up with several other sponsors to hold the 7th annual Mayo Beach Fun Fest. We had a beautiful day with enough wind for zipping across the mouth of the South river on short boards and windfoils. The northerly wind direction made for pretty flat water (at least close to shore) and some great up and down-wind Stand-Up-Paddling. The bay water temp gave us a perfect break from the full-on summer sun.
Offering Taste of Windsurfing lessons is a big part of this annual event. It is always fun to share in the excitement of the 19 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 transitioned into the big challenge – performing these skills while balancing on moving water and adjusting to the gusty and shifty wind conditions. Success yielded big smiles and cheers from on-lookers.
East of Maui (EOM) joined us again this year offering Standup Paddle (SUP) board quick lessons and free demonstrations and the chance to demo the new Windsurfer LT board and 5.7 sq. meter sail, which was surprisingly powered up in the northerly gusts. We ended the day with a two team, five sailors per team relay race on Windsurfer LT gear. Pictures of the winning and losing teams are below. Please ignore one of the sailors from team two who is still up-hauling for the last leg while team one is finishing.
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 the mid-Atlantic region.
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 setup, handle registration, feed us, mix up lots of lemonade and ice tea, provide Taste of Windsurfing instruction and in-the-water mentoring … in short to make it all happen.
It is always fun to get together with BABA friends and to share our fun sport with new enthusiasts.
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.
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….
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:
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!
Due by 5pm on MONDAY, December 14. Click the link at the bottom of the post to see a map of the Mayo Peninsula Parks Planning area.
We have a very important call for action for all windsurfers and other wind-sports enthusiasts in the Maryland, DC, Northern Virginia area, and anyone else who is interested in windsurfing on the Chesapeake Bay. Please see the request below from Mike Lofton, Chair of the AA Co Public Water Access Committee. BABA has filed comments on behalf of the club but it is very important for AA Park and Rec to hear from individuals as well. Please read the request for comments in italics at the bottom of this post.
Some key points to consider:
Residents of the Mayo Peninsula have expressed concern about public access (or any access at all) to the public beaches in their community and some would like the beaches to remain restricted or closed to the public.
The AA Public Water Access Committee is working towards increased access at all AA Co. owned parks and was instrumental in getting Spriggs Farm Park on the Magothy River opened in November (blog post and pictures coming soon), and getting Beverly Triton open to the public (including windsurfers and kite boarders) without a permit.
Currently, windsurfers and other “car top boaters” have access to Mayo Beach Park with a “car top boat” permit from AA Co. While some feel the permit is not needed under an open access policy, there are concerns that if Mayo Beach is opened to the public and the “car top boat” permit program is disbanded, windsurfers and other car-top boaters will not have access to the launch-front parking area OR that the launch-front parking area could be open to the public, which may result challenges unloading gear close to the launch.
BABA’s Priorities as developed by Steering Committee members engaged in the AA Co. Public Water Access Committee:
* Keep windsurfing and other car-top boat access at Mayo and Beverly Triton
* Keep the current system for access in place during the planning process
* Wind-sports enthusiasts have very specific needs for access to strong and steady wind in contrast with the need and desire for more sheltered access and water trails that kayakers/SUP/canoe enthusiasts prefer so we ask that you consider these different needs and requirements when looking at access points on the Mayo Peninsula.
In your response, let AA Co. know where you live – if you live outside of AA Co and you drive there to windsurf on the bay and spend money on gas, food, shopping etc, you’re contributing to the local economy. Let them know how few windsurfing launches are available to you, and ask for windsurfing access to continue at Mayo and Beverly Triton.
Thank you for taking an active role in windsurfers’ access to great launches on the Chesapeake Bay.
Mayo Peninsula Parks Planning Call for Comments
A committee has been formed to provide advice on the use & future development of more than 500 acres of public park land (much of it with extensive water-frontage) on the Mayo Peninsula.
In addition to the committee, comprised primarily of Mayo Peninsula residents, EVERYONE is encouraged to provide input to the planning process.
Ideas will be used by a consultant, selection anticipated late January 2016, to prepare 2-3 concepts for a regional park complex.
Effective use of these public assets will begin to address Anne Arundel County’s most significant recreation deficiency, public water access.
Comments should be submitted to AA Rec & Parks Director, Rick Anthony at email@example.com . Please copy me at firstname.lastname@example.org
Attached is a map showing the locations of the four primary sites:
· South River Farm Park 187 acres
· Mayo Beach Park 26 acres
· Beverly-Triton Beach Park 342 acres
· Carr’s Wharf Rd Public launch & Pier +/- 1 acre
Comments need to be in by December 14, 2015
Mike Lofton, Chair
Anne Arundel Public Water Access Committee