There he is, wearing a shorty, hovering over the water as he windsurfs a foil on the Pamlico Sound. Mike Burns does it all, with a smaller sail and in warmer conditions that I ever do/rig/get. To quote Frank Messina: We all hate him.
This is worse than when he learned the leopard loop.
From the new-to-the-Puffin blog Hit the Wave comes this tremendous post… a fantastic collection of windsurfing board catalogs, not only from brands I know (F2, Fanatic, Mistral, Bic, Tiga, RRD etc) but from over a dozen I’ve never or only barely heard of (Windspeed, Ten Cate, Star Surf, Sainval, Pacific, Oceanite, HiWings, Magnum, Klepper etc…too many for me to list.) A must to check out. The post isn't new (originally published 2011) but it's new to us!
Scott wants Frank to sail this week. Because it's Franks "free time before he gets busy" Scott says. I believe him. Frank is the Iron Man of crew (the Chimply Windsurfers of Greater Puffindom)...he rigs a big sail, goes out for hours sailing nonstop, then comes in and derigs. I take as many breaks in a session as Frank does in a year.
"C'mon Frank!" Scott says. Wednesday, Thursday, and Saturday all look windy to Scott. SW Wednesday (South Jamesport?) and W on Thursday (Sebonac me droogs).
C'mon Frank I say too!
(Frank the Iron Man tearing up Meschutt. Photo by Jeff Schultz)
Scott said the wind wouldn't come, but he was wrong. Happy to be wrong, too! In this the warmest February on record, with air temps of 44 and water of 41 (as often as not in February you can walk on the Peconic, not splash about in it) my first sesh in three months came to pass. The Wolf was first on the water, followed by me, with us on 4.7's and larger boards (I rode the 93.) It was light 4.7.
Then it was full on 4.7.
Then it was time to board down 4.7
Those of us with seventy something boards were on them, and the rest did what they needed to do. Scott, Peconic Jeff, Christian, the Natalies, and the odd kiter had a fine time on the incoming tide. We were most of us out of windsurfing shape ("there's nothing you can do" Scott proclaimed") but we were happy to use those atrophied muscles.
10. The ratio of men to women is 4 to 1. 9. They can talk about something besides football. 8. They don’t smell too bad because it’s a good bet they’ve gotten wet recently. 7. They have another interest besides sex. 6. You know they’re rich enough to afford windsurfing equipment. 5. You always get the latest weather report, several times a day. 4. They are capable of commitment, at least to their sport. 3. They have no issues about wearing rubber. 2. You always know where they are, at least when it’s windy. 1. Windsurfers are generally fit, tanned, and have cute butts.
Non-windsurfing men should NOT...repeat NOT...pursue windsurfing women, unless they are prepared to immediately throw themselves into the sport. Otherwise such men will be surrounded by angry windsurfing men who all seek the great and rare prize: the girlfriend or wife* who windsurfs. To squander such a find on a landlubber is an offense to those of us who sheet in!
(There is the opinion held by a small minority that it is a drag to be a man whose significant other windsurfs...you probably have to rig for them, they use your equipment etc. but generally speaking the willingness of such wahines to make every vacation a windsurfing vacation, to understand why the garage needs to be packed with tons of expensive wet gear etc. outweighs the rigging/sharing concerns. Discussion of such matters is encouraged.)
(Since running this feature two years ago, the Romance department at Peconic Puffin HQ has received additional reasons to consider :
11. Ladies, if your man isn't home during the day, you'll know where to find him. 12. He'll be on the water so often won't have time for anybody else besides you. (#'s 11 and 12 submitted by Ian of www.hudsonwindsurfer.blogspot.com)
*I myself have scored the prize: My wife and Valentine Sally.
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.
I drove from NYC to the house...grabbed the van...drove to New Suffolk...where I met Scott, Jonathan, and a beautiful windless vista of the Peconic. It was beautiful. But NF wind! Jon took out a big sup with a hydrofoil on it, and almost got planing on it a few times. Looks tough, but I'd like to try it.
Anyhow what I'd hoped might be the last session of the year was not to be. There are still a dozen days left, but betwixt holiday travel and whatnot, time is running out.
Windsurfing at Tiana in late October I mucked up a jump. My back foot came out of the strap, I did a split and bonked my head with the boom during the landing. Here's what I said at the time:
"I was more concerned with my legs, which did not feel good after the split. But there was some blood coming from my head when I made it on shore. Surely it was nothing"
I got a good blog post out of it, what with Dr. Pain talking about stitches and all. But truth be told it was my legs that I should have been most concerned with. I pulled my left hamstring (when during the landing the unstrapped right foot went way down into the water whilst my left foot stayed afloat with the board, raising my foot to Rockette heights...I am not a Rockette as Hulse will confirm). For six weeks now I've been a teense hampered. There are plenty of things I can do, but overall my leg strength is down, and I can not hold a jibe position (bent leg pressing down) with any authority. How long does a hamstring injury take to heal? When I googlify the question I find "moderate strains" take 10 days to six weeks to heal, and severe strains six to ten weeks. I'm at five and a half weeks now.
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 was honking, with big swings in wind strength. The consensus was that even though the holes in the wind meant shlogging with three meter sails, nobody could hold on to a 4.2 in the gusts. At least not amongst the mortals.
I arrived late in the morning...around 11...to be greeted by the Wolf. "Do you know you have blood coming down your face" I asked? He knew. And he was going back out sailing. So much more impressive than me with my dinky scar on the side of the head a few weeks ago. So I rigged the 3.4 and joined the crew that at various points included Scott, Frank, Christian, Jan and Bruce, Kurt, Fisherman, Jon, the Natalies, and Ye Bloody Wolf (who was fine, by the way. Just colorful as always.)
Word was that the best conditions occurred before I arrived...steadier wind, I'm told, but the ramp angle was the best I'd seen at Sebonac all year. Pure 45 degrees. Pop and pop and pop! Had my best jump of the year (3.4 under the board will do that to you) but gagging in the lulls was doing in my arms. The wind died around 2 (died, as in went to 4.7 conditions) and many of us left, but those who stayed or arrived later got a second helping of nuke.
("That's our Commodore" Jan said of the Wolf. Photo by Scott.)
4.7 is my favorite sail size. Yes it is yes it is yes it is. You can have your 4.2 days (I'll take those too, actually, and everything else!) I like 4.7 best.
That's what we got at Sebonac yesterday. Scott on his new 75 liter, plus the Wolf, Jonathan, Kurt, Rich, Jan and Bruce, Christian and Frank under the sun (blinding sun on starboard) in 25 gusting to 35 NW. NW? Yeah we shoulda been at Meschutt, where it might have been a teensy bit better, but still, Sebonac went off! Towards the end of the afternoon the wind came up big time (4.2? 4.0?)...I didn't have the will to rerig, and thought about sailing overpowered, until Scott can flying through the inside, as fast as I've ever seen anyone sail, barely holding it together as he flew to the east side beach. "That is some sailing" Jonathan said. I thought I'd explode in that much wind, and so called it a day.*
*also I was getting cold in my 4/3 plus neoprene shirt. Time to switch to the drysuit.