Why, oh why President Obama are you not windsurfing?
I guess because Richard Branson is his host, and Richard likes the dark side. :) This is quite cool. The premise is: whilst these two gentlemen are on vacation, can Richard learn to ride a foil board (kite powered) better than Obama can learn to get up on a kite? Watch and enjoy.
Newman Darby invented the windsurfer. He wasn’t successful at marketing it, and his design needed refinement, but he up and invented it. There are people who quibble over this fact, but Jim Drake (the design half of Drake and Hoyle Schweitzer, who manufactured and successfully marketed the original “Windsurfer” thus launching the sport) always acknowledged that Darby was the original inventor. As does the Smithsonian. Darby passed away on December 3rd, 2016.
I can think of nothing to say but Thank You, Mr. Darby. Rest in peace.
It had been two years since my last sesh at Gardiners Bay ("Goff Point!" Scott says). I was intimidated...Gardiners gets big (we don't call it Land of the Giants for nothing) and I'm out of windsurfing shape from a summer of waterly indolence. But who can pass up the drama, the excitement? Gardiners wasn't huge but it was solid medium, and so I joined Scott, Jonathan, the Wolf, Fisherman, John Natalie, Jan and Bruce, and (in a special return engagement, straight from Cape Hatteras) Bill Barber. Regular sized guys were on 3.7's and 4.'2's, with larger specimens on 4.7's, and whatever Jan was on it was working (3.3?)
I could only manage about 90 minutes of water time before arms were fried, but I'm looking forward to getting back out somewhere today (if I can sheet in.) Saturday looks windable too...get out there!
The Save The Waves Film Festival is making it's way along the East Coast, and will be stopping in Easthampton on Friday September 2nd at Guild Hall. Noted Puffin/Wind Chimp/maker of films Christian has a hand in it, and he says "it'll be a spectacular evening of beer, surf movies and attention to this fragile playground we get to take advantage of so much."
How do you say no to that?
Other stops on the tour include Virginia Beach and Long Beach Island, but if you want to say Hi to Christian you'll really need to get out to East Hampton. For more information, check out the Save The Waves Film Festival web site.
Ponquogue was smooth and organized (if not very big) Saturday, and Christian, Peconic Jeff, New Jeff, Tomas and yours truly got on it and had some fun. I also got to try out my roll bar GoPro mount on the paddle. It felt like a great warm-up day (which I sorely need)...would love to do it again with two more feet of wave, but I Am Grateful!
(New Jeff goes right, Tomas goes left. Photos by Jeff Schultz.)
"That's the most wind I've sailed in years," Scott declared, after tailwalking in to the beach at Sebonac Inlet on Sunday. It was crazy windy. We were mostly on 3.7's and 3.4's, and LIT. Frank, Anders, Peconic Marty, Scott, John's Natalie, Ford, and vanderWolf and YT were all going for it. The one saving grace was that the wind was steady...usually when it's 30+ big gusts and lulls are part of the package. While there were some sustained gusts (minute long) there were no lulls, and this allowed for good use of sheeting out.
I pulled off no water jibes (was beach jibing on starboard for the most part) instead simply rounding up and laying down the rig, which was perfectly comfortable in the shallows of low tide. 39 degrees air temp (I should have been in a drysuit...was in the 5.3) and 35 mph winds...it were proper chilly!
Save The Waves is an environmental protection org whose mission is "To protect and preserve the coastal environment with a focus on the surf zone." They have a vision of a world where waves and coastlines are cherished and protected, and surfing provides a proactive vehicle for long-term coastal conservation.
Sounds pretty important to us water folk, doesn't it?
As part of their latest fundraising efforts they're sharing a new film, directed by Puffin and Wind Chimp Christian Charles. Check it out, then think about donating. Here it is:
Danny MacAskill is the only non-watersport athlete that's ever been featured in The Peconic Puffin. His freestyle bike riding is so transcendentally mind-blowing that fans of any sport with freestyle can revel in its magnificence. He recently teamed up with GoPro to create this beauty. Enjoy, and make sure you watch until the very end!
The flag at the Coast Guard station said WIND but "there aren't any whitecaps" Scott complained. Still I saw some people planing, and I had a feeling 6.2 would do the trick. It would have, too, if it weren't for the bushels of weeds in Tiana Bay. Quick change of the fin and I was golden! Happily Scott LOVES weed fins (he's nuts that way) so soon the two of us were ripping around the pool-table flat, whitecapless water, whilst nearby Andy Brandt and ABK (assisted by Peconic Jeff!) did their thing.
That was Friday. Saturday I returned to Tiana for even better wind (and some water time with Christian) while Scott snuck off to the Bowl without telling me. I hate missing ocean sessions, but Tiana is a prime jibatorium, and there was plenty of rippage in the shallow warm water.
4.7 windsurfing, sunny and warm, on a Saturday? Hashtag Jackpot I say!
And it wasn't even in the forecast. I'd been by the windsurfing shop to chat with Jonathan, sent the obligatory lamentations about the crumbling forecast for the day (first the gusts were to be 20, then 15, then no gusts.) And then Scott noticed the trees. "It's gonna happen!" he cackled, and he was right.
Up to South Jamesport it was Scott, myself, Peconic Jeff (who sailed over from Red Cedar Point) and a late/short/sweet appearance by the Wolf (Jon showed up with a kite.) There were quite a few dead fish on the beach, and I saw one every hundred yards on the water due to the toxic bloom in the bay (too much nitrogen from fertilizer and septic systems...see this report for details). Still the windsurfing was excellent! She Who Must Be Obeyed was out of town so I had all the time in the world, and sailed until my knees hurt from lack of jumping practice. A fine day. 4.7 Saturday, sunny and warm: Any questions?
Yikes! A fool with his fool friends dives off a cliff without looking where he was going first, and is nearly impaled on the mast of a passing. What else can you say? Shish Kebab, nearly.
Thanks Jerry Evans for posting in iWindsurf.
It was cold on the beach. "Wind chill" said Scott, but I thought it was the humidity. "What works is a long hood that covers your neck," Scott continued, showing me his, which is attached to his wetsuit. Mine doesn't come more than halfway down my neck. Must go shopping...I imagine a hood/shirt combo.
Jeff, the Wolf, George Pav, Scott, a seal and I hit Ponquogue (ESE 18-20, 3-4 foot waves) on everything from 5.3's to my 6.2 (the seal did not rig). The shore break wasn't particularly strong but it came all the way to the sand, so you had to carry your board over white water and get on fast while you still had water beneath your fin. This the Wolf would not do. And so Lord vanderWolf got worked, trying to time the perfect moment (which he did once, took a nice ride out and caught a fine wave back in. Once.) After an hour of abuse, finding himself a few hundred yards down the beach having had to chase his gear, he called it a day.
I myself had issues with arm strength...the lack of. Too little windsurfing over the winter made sailing unhooked a bear, and I had to come in to the beach a lot. Still was having a good time until I heard Scott say something about "it's time for 5.2" when it occurred to me that I was tired from carrying too much sail. Doh! With sand blowing down the beach all the 4WD guys rerigged on the spot. I had to hike to the parking lot, and by the time the 6.2 was down I was chilled to the bone, and so went girlyman, calling it a day as the Wolf drove by. My old 5.5 isn't waveworthy anyway...must go shopping.
Jeff had a waveworthy sail. But in his words he took one wave too many. How fixable is it? We await word. He may need to join me shopping!
All photos and video by Jeff Schultz. Scott goes back side, I contemplate a large seal, Jeff's sail, and Jeff's compilation video of the day.
I met it as the Hoss Tack. A crazy jibey looking thing in Aruba, as performed by Andy Brandt and Jason Voss. A carved question mark. That was 2000.
I was hitting the occasional Hoss (ugly but dry) a few months later, but not long after that I caught the move on a Peter Hart tape, which referred to the move as a Push Tack. Boar-ring! Who wants to do a push tack? Where is the poetry? Hoss tack please! But by and by I kept hearing and reading "push tack" and finally found self saying "'hoss tack', usually called 'push tack'" to cover my ass. There was no joy in Puffinville.
Then just a few days ago I stumbled over this: "The Haas-Tack is a flashy transition that integrates a variety of technical skills such as switch stance riding, backwinding, and clew first sailing. When mastered this move is a flowing and artistic maneuver showing graceful sail and board control. Sometimes called (erroneously) a Push-Tack. Invented by Hass Jahrmarkt of Tangier, Morocco while experimenting with a variation of the Duck-Tack." You can also find it spelled "Hass"...I suppose only Mr. Jahrmarkt knows for sure.
Did some Googling and found this in several places. Erroneously called a Push-Tack! They might have added "unimaginatively" and "boringly" and "tediously"! Yeah! Haas! Go throw a Haas Tack. If you can't, go learn it. (I know the idea of backwinded clew-first sailing in planing conditions does not immediately sound...attractive or attainable, it is possible and it is fun. I hit my first one on a Seatrend slalom board with a cammed 7.5 sail. That is about as stupid as it gets, and I suck at freestyle, and I still hit it. So you definitely can!)
(In the video at the top, I hit (barely) a Haas Tack in Bonaire while being coached by Pete Dekay in an ABK clinic (2004). The still photo is of Hoss, for whom I thought the tack was named. Now I'm wondering if the dude tacks at all.)