We had warm days here at Sayers Lake as early as February (low to mid 60's F) and several in March, but there were a lot of minor snowfalls in between. And after getting spoiled on Bonaire I needed a lot of motivation to put on my heavy wetsuit again. This Friday the 13th of April finally did it, with a high of about 80F. There was a great breeze, enough that I rigged my 7.0 instead of my usual 8.1.
Every winter I spend some time on the island of Bonaire, trying to improve my own windsurfing. My goal is to be able consistently to plane through jibes. Incidentally that also requires getting better at handling much higher wind and rougher water than we usually get in Central PA, and THAT requires getting better at using much smaller gear than I use at home.
The left hand video (from Kuma Movie) below shows two Bonairian pros, among the best in the world, doing what is extremely easy for them, namely planing through a jibe. They usually do much more challenging stuff. The sailors are Amado Vrieswijk and Taty Frans.
The right hand video shows me doing one of my best jibes ever during the ABK clinic I was enrolled in. The guy in the foreground is Andy Brandt, owner and head instructor at ABK Boardsports. The video was shot by Olympic windsurfer Farrah Hall, who was helping teach the clinic.
A dry jibe followed by another attempt foiled by loss of power and indecision.
It was another unseasonably warm (like, low 80's F) day. Good thing climate change is a Chinese hoax. I sailed for a while with my 8.1 m^2 rig, but was way over-powered in some of the gusts. Check out the left-hand video.
So I switched to my 7.0, and just then my friend Susan B. showed up. The right-hand video is edited from footage shot when we were both sailing around.
It was a gorgeous, warm, sunny day with a nice little breeze. I got home late in the afternoon and rushed out onto the lake. As a precaution I wore my shorty wetsuit, but it was a bit too hot so I got intentionally in the water a couple of times to cool off.
This is Andy Brandt, my good friend and windsurfing guru, owner and head instructor of ABK Boardsports, showing off and having fun. They will be holding a windsurfing clinic this weekend Friday thru Sunday, Sept. 29-Oct 1 at Extreme Windsurfing, Lakes Bay, NJ. (No, this isn't Sayers Lake. I don't know where this video was shot, maybe Texas or elsewhere.)
Global climate change may or may not be responsible for the current heat wave, but Sunday's hot weather helped this couple get their lesson before the season closes. Three weeks ago they had to cancel because it was too cold and they don't have wetsuits.
They had done a little windsurfing on Lake Michigan 5 years ago, so getting them up to speed went very quickly. In fact, toward the end of the lesson they were comfortable tacking and we had moved on to working on pivot jibes, which almost none of my clients get to on the first day.
On Labor Day (2017--09-04) the air temperature finally exceeded 80F, after unseasonably cold temperatures in the east and record high temperatures in the west (106F in San Francisco!). It was a brilliant, breezy day to boot. Being a big holiday, there was a lot of power boat traffic, sometimes causing what some call "voodoo chop". On this planing run I was interested to see what would happen as I hit that speedboat's wake at high speed. (It turned out not to be such a big deal.) I wasn't sailing very well: I lost ALL my speed in the jibe, but at least I didn't fall off the board.
I spent the last two weeks of August in northern California, not windsurfing but doing other cool stuff. But I did take a walk on the Golden Gate Bridge, from where you can see a lot of boat traffic, including windsurfers, and even a humpback whale.
This is Bill vdB, sharing little vignettes of windsurfing on Sayers Lake, in Howard PA. and sometimes elsewhere.