While September 22 may seem late in the season, the forecast called for 790 air and 700 water temperatures, with winds SSE 9 mph building to 20 mph by mid-afternoon. We soon determined the need to shut down registration for introductory windsurfing lessons as we reached our maximum capacity by Thursday night.
The morning calm readings were certainly no indication of what was about to come. It took quite an effort by both our sponsors, H2Windsurfing and Aloha Guides, to transport everything across to the bay. A dozen sailboards and sails and half dozen stand-up paddleboards and paddles were made accessible for 22 beginners. Students were given brief onshore instruction before trying their hands at Uphauling, tasking and sailing. Many beginners were kept at bay with 100’ tether lines, while some more proficient novices were let loose to explore further, with the cross-shore winds allowing for an easy reach back to shore.
The Kiteboard Q&A session took place just north of the area, with 6 participants gaining knowledge and getting to try their hand at flying a trainer kite. The increasing winds started making it challenging for our beginners, facilitating the need for even smaller sails. The building 15 mph+ winds soon took stand-up paddleboarding out of the picture, as Aloha Guides was forced to pack up early. It’s always a gamble planning these events. As much as we love SUPing, it’s solely reserved for calmer winds. By the time lunch arrived, we all worked up quite an appetite, which was easily satisfied by catering from Primo’s Tratorria in Sea Bright. Not only was the parking lot was bustling with activity, but the high tide created a jam-packed beach full of windsurfers.
As the Intermediate Windsurfing Clinic kicked off around 1:30, the wind was cranking 20 – 25mph. This caught some of the 11 students off guard and over-rigged. We even had to rig a static simulator- just a board, mast, boom, and rope- as handling a sail safely on land became dangerous. With no wind in the sail, Ken & Jeff were now able to go through a planning step jibe lesson (considered by some the holy grail of windsurfing). Waterstart instruction was also performed on the water.
The wind soon reached peak gusts of 30mph. Windsurfers were scrambling to rig their 3rd sail for the day. At one point, we counted 40+ windsurfers on site, and another 20+ kiteboarders ¼ mile south at lot B. This was truly an epic day!
After a buoy course correction, the Race Committee finally got 3 slalom races off at 4:00 in, can you believe, dying winds? Competitors scattered to bring back their bigger boards, and wished they had kept their bigger sails rigged. The cross shore winds were perfect for a LeMans beach start, with the course reduced to 1 lap foe the final 2 races.
First. Barbara Bauer
Second. Marah Shiels
Third. Ally Latham
First. Carl Bookbinder
Second. Jeffrey Bauer
Third. Tom Latham
New England Windsurfing Journal, who advertised the event and provided journals for distribution.
WindSport, who provided the overall grand prize of a magazine subscription to Carl.
iWindsurf & WindAlert, for their accurate event
Brian & Janet from Aloha Guides, who had hoped for lighter morning winds.
Ken & Eileen from H2Windsurfing, who literally supplied a dozen sails and boards to teach beginners on, and even a kayak “just in case”.
Tracey, Tom, Ally, Marah, Jeff, Barb, David and Carl, and even more who helped assist us everywhere.