Yesterday was supposed to be calm and rainy, then clearing in the afternoon with the wind increasing to 22 mph, gusting to 45 mph. That forecast turned out about right, except that the wind wasn't nearly that strong or that gusty. But it was a GORGEOUS afternoon. In this video below, I intercepted a sailboat that had actually come under the bridge to sail on the western part of the lake. The folks on the boat (sailboats are so SLOW!!!) explained they had been able to fit under the bridge because of their gaff rig ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gaff_rig ).
After I sailed for a while I noticed a small tear in one of the panels of the sail, plus a second batten broke where it joins the camber inducer (there was already one broken from last week some time). I decided it was time to retire the sail until it could be properly repaired.
In the meantime Anna S. from State College had been sailing my Mistral Malibu with my 6.2 m^2 sail*. She found that board pretty long, heavy, and sluggish to turn -- so she was happy to take over my Bic Techno 148 liter board as well as my harness and PFD. She showed, in the following video, that she really knows how to use the gear. She demos a nice waterstart, a pivot jibe, and a nice, stable, one-handed tack -- and she got hooked in and planing a couple of times.
Also shown sailing are Alex and Sveta H., who turned out to be the parents of one of my students from about 7 years ago. They have their own board and sail.
* Rental, donation to National Wildlife Federation :)
The wind forecast for Wednesday afternoon (8-24-2011) was the best I've seen all season, but it ended up being just a pretty good, breezy, gusty day. I did catch a very nice gust right off the beach, enough to let me plane clear across the lake and back -- except for the jibe in the middle, in which I was just thankful I didn't lose ALL my speed. These videos are going to be a great tool for me to see how to improve. This particular jibe, my footwork was execrable, causing me to slow way down during the jibe. But, hey, I didn't fall in the water. (BTW, in the first 2 to 3 seconds of the video, see the bird, which is either a bald eagle or an osprey, looking for fish. Both were around at the time.)
Sparkling beautiful day today. Cool enough that I wore my shorty wetsuit. Saw the 8-boat Penn State sailing fleet, and put a BetterWorldWindsurfing flyer in each boat, feeling somewhat subversive.
Got a little video of self doing a flawless pivot jibe, one move I do seem to have down pretty solid.
There wasn't much planable wind, but here's the afternoon's best gust:
Terry brought his brand new Bic Core 293 with a Gaastra 6.5 m^2 sail to try out, and he brought his friend Tim, an experienced windsurfer, who "rented" (benefitting the Bald Eagle Watershed Ass'n.) my old Mistral Malibu with my Simmer 6.2. The breeze was enticing so I joined them for an hour; some pics from the GoPro camera coming soon.
Gave a lesson today to a guy who said he would have considered it a success if he managed to sail without falling for 30 yards. Instead he sailed for hours and only fell a handful of times. He instantly caught on to how to steer, and he fairly rapidly mastered tacking. He never unintentionally went downwind, which is a problem most beginners do have. I even started him learning the shortboard tack and the pivot jibe, which is really rare for a beginner on the first day. Plus we saw an eagle fly over twice. And Habitat gets $95. :)
Yesterday I was sailing around in some light gusty conditions when I came upon two guys in a canoe from the Howard Boat club (dead ahead). I stopped to talk to them and ask them why they were facing in opposite directions so that one had to paddle backwards as in a rowboat. It turned out they didn't know any better, nor had they realized which end of the canoe should be the front when there are two paddlers. I gave them some tips.
They inquired about windsurfing and I told them about this web site. They said they might want to take lessons. We'll see.
After our conversation they headed across the lake, facing in the same direction. I uphauled the sail and did likewise.
This is Bill vdB, sharing little vignettes of windsurfing on Sayers Lake, in Howard PA. and sometimes elsewhere.