"It's going to be a HIGH of 32!" Scott said. "Fireplace and football!" Scott was talking about Sunday, but it was still Saturday. Saturday too late... by the time we got to Sebonac and rigged (5.2-5.7) it was too darn light. Still, Christian, Jeff and Scott launched. I had rigged (5.5) but hadn't put on neoprene. The Wolf watched from his pickup. What had started as a windy day was now shlogfest conditions, though the three bold ones did score 3.25 reaches before giving up. The forecast for Sunday was big wind, but it was going to be cold, testing the Long Island Windsurfing Rule of 100.
But Christian was ready to have a go at it! And despite air temps under freezing, the Rule was met. Launching on Tiana Bay, the Hale Fellow Christian braved mad gusts (48mph measured at Westhampton Airport) and coldly temps, and did return to shore after his sesh with a sail full of ice. "I had to come in because the sail got too heavy and unresponsive due to ice build up. Otherwise I was as warm as toast except for the specific exposed section of windward face." Nice!
I wish I'd gone. Dang!
*Not familiar with the Windsurfing Rule of 100, or the Long Island Rule of 100? 100 Rules are guidelines for when is it too cold to windsurf. The garden variety definition states that the water temperature plus the air temperature must total 100 for it to be sailable. Most people who buy drysuits say "pshaw" at this, and push it down to 90 or lower**. On Long Island, where any number of year-round windsurfing crazies may be found, we have a more nuanced rule of 100, which states:
Air temperature + water temperature + winds speed + weeks since last session +(if it's sunny out) 5 must total 100. So for Christian: 30.5 air + 45 water (guestimate...Sebonac was 47 on Saturday) +30 wind speed...we're already at 105, and we haven't counted Christian's windless weeks. And the sun was out! The Rule gets interesting when the water in in the high 30's, but as The Wolf says, "if it's sunny and the wind is good, it can be beautiful!"
**Seven years ago Peconic Jeff and I made a point of trying to sail in conditions that would ice the rigs and get the air plus water total as low as possible. Our record was 66.5. As I recall the iced sail wasn't as much a problem as the boom being 100% slippery!)
(Top: Jeff jibes in one of the few Saturday gusts. Middle: Christian gets it done. Bottom: Look closely...there's ice well above the boom. Nice! Top photo by the editor, the in-focus photos by Jeff Schultz.)