I’m at the Columbia River Gorge this week! This place is famous for strong winds created by pressure differences between the inland desert, and the coastal rain forests of Washington and Oregon. I’m here for the Gorge Olympic Cup, normally for young hot shots doing Olympic campaigns sailing IQ Foils but this year is on the Windsurfer LT because all the IQ sailors are in Europe.
Yesterday we grabbed 10 LTs supplied by Windsurfer International from a warehouse and spent all day getting them set up while winds were howling over 30 kts out on the river. Today we are supposed to race but the forecast is for more extreme winds so who knows if I’ll get out. Anyway, I’m inspired by all the very fit mature sailors out here and will report back at a future club meeting.
Happy and grateful sailing to all!
June 17-18, What a weekend !!!
The weekend was busy, fun, and just one of those feel-good weekends. To begin with, our lesson day was for the Venture Crew, a group of young people we have had the privilege of getting on the water since 2012. Some have been with us in previous years, but these kids still enjoy the time and did well. The morning started off a bit hectic because one of the trainers was not feeling well and another on vacation, leaving us with 3 experienced trainers in Joe, Tina, and me and Charlie, still learning himself, helped where he could. Fortunately, Bill Olson, who has been very busy traveling for work so hasn’t been able to help much over the last couple years, came down early and pitched right in to help, and then Baab came on down, albeit a tad late, but better late than never, so we were flush, and everyone stayed busy. The Venture Crew was kind enough to share their lunch with us.
Then Sunday came around, a practice day. One of the things I have started doing is pedaling my kayak from my home on Walker Creek around to the training trailer to use as a rescue boat if needed. Didn’t need it until now. The weather started out calm, with a little breeze from the west, but slowly rotated around until 3pm when it was coming from the south. We had 16 members (Ron, Judy, Katie, Marguerite, Tom Moffett, Tom Madden, Joerg, Pia, Rudy, Tyler, Emit, Eleanor, Brent, Nancy, Charlie, John) come down to use the club equipment with five members (Vaughn, Mark, Jeff, Rob, Joe) who brought their own gear joining in.
One of the rescues involved a member ending up way west of the beach, unable to head back. I went down in my Kayak and attempted to sail back as well, but with the light wind and strong current, was making very slow progress. Fortunately, I had a line on the Kayak that I was able to hold onto and rode back. Going down wind is tricky for someone new to the sport, whereas sailing on a close reach or close haul is not, so there is a tendency to tack yourself southerly. One person was out there and had difficulty getting back in, something to work on next time, so the kayak went out, we switched crafts, and everyone made it back.
Practice days are a lot of fun, and many of the new folks are getting to know each other, sitting around and just chatting. They are all eager to get better at windsurfing and their time on the water is paying dividends.
Ted Avellone came up with this and I thought it might be fun for other creative folks in the club to come up with their own Haiku’s to share. Ted submitted several, but here I will publish 3 to get YOUR creative juices flowing.
Submit your Haiku to firstname.lastname@example.org and get published! These rules apply to writing haiku:
There are no more than 17 syllables.
Haiku is composed of only 3 lines.
Every first line of Haiku has 5 syllables, the second line has 7 syllables, and the third has 5 syllables.
These were submitted by Ted:
Crinkle slap of sail
rush of foam over my feet
sun and salt on skin
Hidden at high tide
remnant root and iron pipe
lay in wait for skegs
Grey and white and sharp
cutting feet and sail alike
oyster shells in sand
New 20knot Snobs!
SPSC has participated in the ABYC sail camp for kids for the last four years they have done it. The sail camp has a Windsurfing day when we teach the kids. The other days are spent learning how to sail smaller sailboats, such as the Hobie Holder and this year the Bic open skiff, as well as nautical terminology, rights of way, different points of sail, and the different knots that are useful on a boat.
This year was particularly challenging due to the weather. There were three weeks of summer camp, each week bringing in different students. The last two weeks saw very high winds for teaching kids that weighed between 70 and 120 pounds. The only sails we used were the two 2.0 and one 2.5 sail that we have and the larger boards. However, we moved one of the boys, who was only 13 but was having is way with the 2.5, to a 4.0 sail and he did great. The problem with small sails on big boards in heavy winds is you really can’t tack them, so we started having the kids jibe. Most of the time we just went out to deeper water and have them sail straight into shore with a big smile on their face!
These kids did great and had a good time. There were no complaints, and since there were 12 kids and only three boards/sails they could use, they were each anxious to take their turn. As with anything, some of them excelled and some had to work harder, but they didn’t quit.
A shout out goes to Tina, Joe, and Perry who were there for all three windsurfing days over the three weeks and Vaughn who helped out the first week.
Summer Series Race Results
Thoughts - Andrea LeBeaud
Summer of 2021 I was looking for some sense of self and normalcy after a year of new motherhood and pandemic chaos. I wanted to learn something new and regain some of the spirit of adventure that came so naturally to my prepartum self. I remembered being a young girl and riding along with my dad on his windsurfer…the wind and salt spray flying as we ripped through the waves at St. Teresa or Alligator Point. Talk about exhilaration!!!
A quick Google search brought me to SPSC’s website, and I was floored and excited to learn that they offered a FREE lesson and had gear for use…unheard of! I signed up, and in May I headed down to the coast for my lesson. Mac showed me the ropes, and I quickly learned that I was a long way off from getting up to those breakneck speeds I used to experience with my dad. The physical aspects of the sport came fairly easily for me, but 2 years later and the mental game is still a mystery to be puzzled out each time I sail! This dual nature of windsurfing, the physicality of hefting and controlling your sail and board paired with the cerebral challenge of reading the wind, is what I love most about the sport. I fell in love!
Fall of 2022 rolled around, and Bob said they were looking for some new blood to serve on the board of the organization. I felt deep gratitude to the experienced sailors who have generously shared their gear, expertise, and wisdom on the water, so I happily volunteered. It’s been a very enjoyable experience to get to know different aspects of the club and to forge relationships with the other board members. The once monthly board meetings, hosted at a different member’s house each month, are a chance to plan club happenings, learn about events, and enjoy a nice meal and some laughs together…good vibes all around! For me, it’s an easy way to give a little back to the organization that has meant so much to me. To any of you suckers considering, I highly encourage you to talk to one of the current or past board members to find out just how easy and meaningful participation can be!
SPSC Club Minutes, Tuesday, 6/13/2023
Place: District 850
Got the BIG room and with 16 people in attendance, it worked out great. Prior to the meeting, Tyler worked with our esteemed Commodore to get the projector working properly.
Commodore: Called to order at 7:04. Minutes approved. The Commodore was interrupted by the scribe in order to introduce new members Pia and Tyler.
Vice Commodore: IGN (I Got Nothing)
Scribe: Thanked Thomas and Ted for two great articles.
Purser: Absent. We have money in the bank and 94 club members!
Upcoming events and actions:
Rum ‘n’ Root Beer – A budget of $1,000 for the event was approved.
Beach Planter – Read the article in the newsletter to get the low down of what was done
Trailer – Mark appointed a Pabst Blue Ribbon committee with Joe as chair to look at how reliable the trailer is. Jeff volunteered for the committee.
Social Hour – 4th quarter June 30.
Training – Training coordinator requested $1600 to purchase a new board, sail, and some universals. Request approved.
Endless Summer – put phone number under event notice so people can volunteer.
NIMBY – probably a no go.
Great video on how to gybe/jibe. Coming up programs are a history of the SPSC and Jack May on planning as a silverback, or something of the sort.
Adjourned at around 7:44.