Racemaster Tom set up a modified course. I thought “I could do well on this course if I had a longboard,” but I’d left my Superlight home like an idiot. “Bring EVERYTHING to a race!” Pete Roesch had said (always listen to the guy who wins at these events). But I got lucky when Bill DeGeorge (who would have won Open Class except for a certain Mr. Angulo) lent me one of his 75 boards...a Mistral Comp (thankyouthankyou thankyou.) Then I realized I didn’t have a suitable uni. Peconic Jeff had an extra one (thankyouthank youthankyou). Special thanks to P-Jeff, who might have finished third in 7.5 instead of me if he hogged his unis and left me marooned on my Techno (Jeff remained highly competitive sailing a SUP board...mad props!) But now equipped with other people’s stuff plus my mighty 6.2, I joined the racers and managed to eek out a trophy.
My best move in the days races was leaning out to catch Peter Richterich mid-fall. I did it for the karma points, to use against the bad karma I planned to accrue ramming Pete Roesch in the next race. But tragically I not only never got close enough to Pete to prevent his ultimate victory, but in the final reach of the final race I was ignominiously passed and left in the dust by his son Devon. I now have two generations of Roesch windsurfers to fear and loathe on the course.
Then came the relay races. Four teams of knuckledragging guys stood in the water waiting for the start, whilst the self-selected all-girl team put one sailor on the board, one at the luffed clew to steady the rig, and two at the back to give a push at the start. When us guys woke up and began to replicate their set-up the girls hooted and hollered, but hey, they should have kept their brilliant plan secret until a few seconds before the start. I believe the team I was on was the first to steal the idea; as punishment Jill rammed me at the buoy. Peter has a video of the complete race on his blog.
As the wind lightened a new event was added to the East Coast Windsurfing Festival: SUP relay races: A short paddle out to a buoy, go around it, paddle back to the beach and hand off paddle to the next person. I will confess that this sounded like a yawn to me...then it started. Josh began with a running jump onto a board and soon everyone was experimenting with ballistic starts. Some stood, some kneeled, everyone paddled like a demon. There were four teams...two contests...but also a stopwatch timing the winning team of each heat. The fastest team would triumph. In what seemed like a splashy, sloppy, laughy pair of heats, the team with the best time won by all of four seconds! Pretty darn close.
There was no more freestyle competition on Sunday due to the light winds. People who know me might wonder why I’ve not written about my freestyle exploits...fact is I did not compete. On Friday night I started with a sharp knife but a tough lime, and ended up with a deep cut in one finger. When this finger began bleeding during the first Saturday races I had to make a choice, and I figured racing to be easier on the hands than freestyle. Next year I’m a’doing no cooking the day before the event!
Huge thanks to Mike Burns for organizing a great festival four years in a row! And to MC Tom T-Bone Thom Hering for brilliant race orchestration. To Chrissy, to the jet ski guy, to everyone who helped out. To Jerry Evans for the stylee trophies.
Who am I forgetting?
Mr. Angulo. Thanks to Josh for doing everything and anything to make the festival as enjoyable as possible...bringing a van load of equipment for people to try, putting on a windsurfing display like the champion he is, spending time with anyone and everyone who wanted to chat, and bringing his oversized great attitude, enthusiasm and cheer to every bit of the event. Dude, you’re an East Coast windsurfer now...come back next year!
(The results of the competition can be found here. We're seeing about getting a complete breakdown of the racing results. Peconic Puffin coverage of day one of the East Coast Windsurfing Festival is here. Other bloggers who have posted on the festival include James Douglas and Peter Richterich.
Photos graciously shared by Alphonso, Jeff Schultz, and Jimmy Rivera.)