Forecast: SW winds 5-10 mph, mostly cloudy with a
chance of scattered showers and thunderstorms.
Consensus: Lets go for it!
As we arrived to setup, the sun was shining and the beach was heating up. An assortment of equipment was provided from our sponsoring shop - Island Surf & Sail. Just as high tide peaked, our first wave of students made it out to the water for their first introduction to windsurfing. We had an excellent accompaniment of volunteers who were able to provide personal instruction for 1 or 2 students for up to an hour at a time. With many of us having just attended an instructors clinic with Jack Bushko, our newfound knowledge found our students practicing turning the board around several times before actually windsurfing across the water. It was fantastic to see some 9-year-old kids learning on a 2.5m² junior sail, and loving every minute of it. Witnessing a family bond as both parent and children learn to windsurf is awesome. We only wish we could spend more time nurturing these future windsurfers.
As the next wave of students started arriving, the stand-up paddleboards started people on yet another journey across the surface of the water. SUPing is a great core workout, and can earn you more water time when it isn’t windy. As the wind did start building, the race committee opted for a short upwind/downwind course for the SUP Relay Race.
1st Place - Michel & Jimmy Larkin
2nd Place - Tom Madsen & Eileen Phafman
3rd Place - Jeff Shaeffer & Diane Pasterkiewicz
All in all, we had 43 people show up in the morning for what proved to be great watersports weather. Just after the Noon hour, Joey's Pizza & Pasta fulfilled our appetites and fueled us up for the afternoon windsurfing session. Island Surf & Sail provided an assortment of prizes that were raffled off at lunch.
The afternoon Advanced Windsurfing Clinic found professional instructor Jack Bushko hitting the water alongside a handful of progressive students. This included both kids and adults who all had more than a few years of windsurfing under their belts. Jack tailored the instruction right to their level. I observed sail handling, beach starts, jibing, and duck jibing, while the increasing winds found them all flying across the water with Jack.
All of our efforts were rewarded with SSW 15 mph winds in the afternoon. As the two buoys were towed out to designate the race course, a 2:30 start afforded the opportunity to rig & get accustomed to the conditions. With summer boat traffic navigating through the boat channel, and low tide limiting our sailing area, the race committee set up a starting line across the channel and just SW of Sand Island. The figure 8 course put sailors on a beam reach to the WNW for about a ½ mile and into 5’ waters. 13 racers congregated at the start/finish line in 3’ water for a LeMans beach start.
The first race found Alasdair, Bill S., Wallace, and Steve leading at the first lap, while Ally, Michael and Jimmy quickly finished their race. While the frontrunners held their lead, Steve managed to get ahead of Wallace to take third place for the first race. The second race found Wallace, Alasdair, Bill S, and Marah now leading at the first lap. By the finish, Alasdair & Wallace swapped positions, and Marah missed a jibe mark and earned a DSQ. The junior fleet held steady for the last 2 races with Jimmy now leading the way, with Michael & Ally close behind. These pre-teen and teenage kids out there in the middle of us on the bay- nurturing these kids and mentoring them are a top priority! (We need a committee boat out there for this reason alone!)
In an effort to even the playing field, a quick start was implemented. This now found Alasdair, Steve, Guy & Marah leading at the first lap. Both Alasdair & Marah dropped back, while Wallace & Bill S made some good ground. Thermal Bob finally showed up for a late start, and worked his way up to a 6th place finish. Congratulations to our fairly new racers, Marah, Kay, and Thermal Bob.
With the racing now ended, a new race to de-rig and pack up was implemented by the warning of an approaching thunderstorm. Amid the mayhem, awards were given out as follows:
1st Place - Alasdair Gilfillan
2nd Place - Steve Acunto
3rd Place - Bill Steber
(Wallace DaPron graciously conceded third place as both men had identical scores of 2nd, 3rd & 4th places)
1st Place - Kay Chiang
2nd Place - Laurie Cox
3rd Place - Marah Shiels
1st Place - Jimmy Larkin
2nd Place - Michael Larkin
3rd Place - Ally Latham
The Après Windsurfing Destination of the Thermal
Café found us gathering for a final raffle for even more prizes provided
by Island Surf & Sail. We cannot say enough for their sponsorship of
this event, and the provision of a full array of watersports equipment.
Complimentary issues of the New England Windsurfing Journal were
provided to windsurfing participants, and our Junior Fleet 1st Place
Finisher won a 1-year subscription to Windsport Magazine.
Its has always been a task to promote this event locally, and Joni Bakum really came through as Park Director and liaison to Long Beach Township. And of course, there is our army of NJWWA volunteers-18 in all- to make this event run smoothly. Thank you all for making this event so successful!