Here's the one-minute version.
Here's the four minute version.
Sayers Lake exists for flood control as well as for recreation, so when it rains a LOT the Corps of Engineers uses it to store excess water. On August 5 the lake level peaked at about 9.5 feet above normal summer level, with quite a lot of floating debris in it. On August 7 most of the debris had blown off the water and a light breeze came up, so I went for a sail -- while it was still 7.5 feet up. It was interesting to sail OVER the Howard Boat Club jetty, and to look DOWN on the sign that says "NO MOTORIZED VEHICLES ALLOWED IN PARK".
We haven't had a lot of wind around here lately, but it has been warm and just breezy enough to learn the basics of this great sport. But it's nice to dream a little of perfect places with perfect conditions, like this island in the Indian Ocean. To see awesome video of this race, click here. (The picture below is NOT the video.)
John and Andrea had had one or two unsuccessful encounters with windsurfing in the past, but never with the right equipment or instruction. They came up from State College for their first lesson, and they did great, learning the basics despite the heat and the bare minimum of wind.
After my week in Hatteras, trips to New England and Nevada kept me off Sayers Lake until today. This morning started out totally calm. Then a nice southwest breeze came up and forced me to rig a sail and get on the water. I sailed around some, got some nice planing runs, and was thinking of quitting when a storm came up and decided for me.
From May 5 to May 12, 48 members of BABA stayed in 7 sound-front houses in Avon, NC on the Outer Banks. During that week, we had all the possible permutations of warm, cool, rainy, dry, windy and calm conditions.
It was finally breezy, sunny, and not too cold. The water was still surprisingly like ice, though, and the wind was as gusty as I've ever seen it. That can happen when it blows over the hills on the opposite side of the lake, generating major turbulence. The pics and video below show one of only a couple of planing runs, and this run ended with the wind stopping as fast as if someone had flipped a switch.
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.
This is Bill vdB, sharing little vignettes of windsurfing on Sayers Lake, in Howard PA. and sometimes elsewhere.