Commodore's Notes: Guilty!
of wind jinxing by Chester
Well, just like I predicted, I finally got
healed up enough to get back on the water and the great winds we have been
having quit. While it probably was sailable for me with a 7.5 most
every afternoon, I just couldn’t get motivated after watching Pam and all
the rest of the “Grassy Gang” sail on small stuff all of July. Going
fishing Labor Day weekend so it probably will blow.
The Getaway at Goose Island State Park in
Rockport is scheduled for September 8, 9 & 10th. The state park
has camping facilities with electricity, showers, and restrooms.
For those that do not wish to camp out, just come out for the day on Saturday
the 10th. It is only a 45 minute drive. We will have a pot
luck that evening around 6:00 PM. The campsites are located on the
water and sailing right from your site. Booties are recommended since
the are the normal oyster shell, and fishing gear scattered on the bottom
at the launch. Conditions are typically onshore wind with rolling
bay water ( over your head). Pam and I have sailed there often and
it is quite good sailing. To make reservations call the state park
reservation center at (512)389-8900. ASK FOR BAYFRONT SITES
The Fall series is coming in October and Craig
Greenslit has volunteered to coordinate. Rumor has it that Guy Racette
has volunteered to assist, and Worldwinds has offered to host the site.
Craig is planning on making this an “instructional” series and I hope that
you can participate. If you have any suggestions contact Craig.
Also plan on attending September’s meeting where we can discuss it.
Regrettably, I will be chasing pheasant the first two events, but look
forward to the rest.
Another thing coming in October is the nominations
for club officers. I haven’t checked with the other officers yet
as to their plans, but I need to announce that I will not be able to serve
as Commodore next year so we need someone to step up and assume the role.
A little secret, it’s less work than the newsletter editor!!!. Anyone
not attending the October meeting (myself excluded since I will be out
chasing those pheasants) is vulnerable for a nomination. All kidding
aside, the CCWA is an important organization for the windsurfing community
and we all need to take a turn at making the club viable. In
the past little attention was paid (except perhaps by the outgoing commodore)
to the nomination procedure so that is why I am bringing it up early this
year. So please give some thought to the possibility of taking a
turn at the helm or other office.
See you on the water. --
Mark Roundings.....'00 Navy Regatta
by Guy Racette
The umpteenth annual Navy Regatta took place
August 5, organized and ably run as always by our very own Crab Lumley.
We also had the good fortune to have the snappy flag work of our own Nick
Antrobus, all under the watchful eye of Commodore Chester.
This year was not so much the skinny guy's
heaven. There actually was some wind. And heat. Aahhh, the
heat. Every year I try to remember back to last Navy Regatta, and
think to myself, "No, it couldn't actually have been THAT hot. I
must have exaggerated the heat in my mind". And every year I attend,
I realize that it really WAS that hot. And then some. All that
asphalt sure does cook around early afternoon. I think the combination
of oven-like temperatures and free beer affects participants' memories.
But now that I think about it , it wasn't that hot...
Anyway, I was running WAY late and had time
only to rig one sail. It was -ahem- a bit big. Although I was
proud to finish every race, I was not too much in contention. The
racing was Big Fun, as always, snaking through the beautiful sailboats
at anchor within the NAS seawall. Dodging swimmers and anchor lines
is an exciting way to race, and the wind gets REALLY fluky about halfway
downwind. Interspersed were sunfish races, where our own Jonathan
Bright competed, and of course the Anything That Floats But a Boat race,
always a goofy undertaking.
As always, the Navy hosted the big luau-style
buffet complete with entertainment. Not bad for ten bucks!
We all watched our skins turn redder and redder as the sun sank slowly,
and accepted the awards as follows. Men:
1st: Craig ("I sold my soul to the Devil for 5 more degrees to windward")
2nd: Olivier ("Ah'm right 'ere be'ind yeoue") Jallais
3rd: Jon Jay (I can't believe I drove all the way from
Houston for this") Ernst.
4th: Guy ("I need more watertime or I'll be looking
at these skinny butts for a long time")Racette
5th: Charles ("gol'durn young whippersnappers") Allen
6th: Jonathan (If I'da shown up on time, I coulda
beat Charles") Bright
7th Biff and everybody else
Women: 1st: Pam Hulme 2nd:
Buphy and everybody else.
It was nice to get back on the water for all.
And Then There Were None...
by Dick Ward
Many years ago, Native Americans had free
use of the land to hunt, fish, and play as they chose. Along came
the blue coats to powwow with them. Many blue coats came one after
another. Each broke the promises of the former blue coat chief.
Eventually the native people were moved off the land they loved and placed
in distant camps. Nowadays there are many native American wind warriors
enjoying the land and waters known as Bird Island Basin. They have
colorful cloth and strange looking tools which they ride across the waters.
They use a pathway to reach their sacred site and co-exist with the powerful
machines used to hunt fish. Several years ago a green coat named
Butch came to our powwow to announce he found favor with us and would preserve,
improve, and protect our sacred site. Nothing was done. The
next green coat coat named Pat came to our powwow and announced he would
rebuild our beach. The grand men form the Corps of Engineers would
supply the earth. He would then lay rubber matting to help hold this
new earth in place. Our tribe volunteered to assist in this task-
NOTHING WAS DONE. Then yet another green coat, named Jock, came to
our powwow at our sacred sailing site. This man spoke in large circles.
Meanwhile, the passage for the fish hunters was rebuilt causing further
disappearance of our land where it meets the waters. Two members
of our tribe met with the chief green coat and were told to forget about
our land- it belonged to the sea now. There has been talk of enlarging
the reservation where the big engines carrying rolling homes and even small
engines come to stay and spread their blue carpets- we fear they will come
in ever larger numbers and fill up our reservation. We, who reside
in teepees in the village, must share with them and transport our colorful
cloths and tools some distance to in order to pursue our games. Meanwhile
the green coats close our sacred sailing site when they please to remind
us of our privilege I suppose. Now we are called to another powwow
and to give up our sacred full moon bonfire to listen to green coats speak
yet again. This time two green coats spoke in even larger circles.
Many braves have sent smoke signals to the suits and skirts in Washington
(where the green coats green originates) hoping they will become aware
of our threatened extinction.
ED’s Note All braves are urged to get into this battle.
Editor's Puffs: by
The meeting with Park Superintendent Jock Whitworth attracted a crowd
including the hottest Blues harmonica in the Coastal Bend- it was Dickey
Neeley’s first CCWA meeting in a long time. Jock and his Resource
Management Chief, Ken McMullen, said nothing new, presented no set plan
and spent most of their evening discussing the National Environmental Policy
Act of 1983’s (NEPA) specified process for implementing change on
Federal property. From my admittedly skeptical perspective I now
believe this issue of parks resources allocation is going to come down
to a numbers game and those who push louder and longer will probably come
out ahead of those who just sit by and watch. We’ve been told that
windsurfers are a minority of the park users and that the boaters, fisherman,
bird watchers, and environmentalists far out number us and therefore our
concerns are not all that important since the Park Service folks will be
quite happy to make any changes they feel comfortable with as long as 80%
of its users don’t object. The sad truth is all of us pay taxes
to support a park for both recreational use and wildlife preservation.
But in this park 95% is not open to most of us. Oh sure with a four
wheel drive you can enjoy almost 35 miles of beach on the Gulf side and
there is a beach house with showers and other amenities, limited camping
grounds, a boat launch ramp all provided for public enjoyment (of course
you must ante up even more bucks than just your tax dollars to enjoy these).
We’ve got less than 0.5% of the park from which to access the warm flat
water of Bird Island Basin and camp. And park management is openly
considering reducing even that because of environmental concerns?
Obviously we need to be more than 20% of the respondents and we also need
to be loud and determined.
Behind us is a tourist industry that
has never been shy about doing anything to make a buck. Somewhat
allied but not entirely in favor of us are the boaters and fisherman.
The bird watchers and hard line environmentalist are our biggest opposition
(Jock seems to me to be decidedly aligned with the latter). The bird
watchers are concerned we will annoy all their feathered friends who hang
out at BIB- partly because we feed them (I urge you not to continue that
practice for numerous reasons).
Having said all of the above, I’ve included
the NPS insert about how we are all invited to help them decide how to
take care of our park. We should at least play the game and give
them our thoughts and ideas then get ready to stop anything they come up
with that will in anyway limit our present access to either launching or
camping space at Bird. Get on the NPS mailing list for this ‘plan
development’ so you will be aware of what Jock and crew plan to do
and get set to join in a fight if the final plan ignores us. That
1983 NEPA provides a lot of room to make it a real fight and our resolve
to carry on that fight may well be all that’s needed to get a satisfactory
response from the current park management. Even a minimal effort
on our part can force years of delay of any action at Bird but we will
have to be informed and make sure we follow the specified route outlined
in the NEPA. A concerted effort on our part could even improve windsurfing
conditions at Bird. No response and it may well become a preserve
for Piping Plovers, overgrown with grasses and eventually off limits to
windsurfers or any other recreation seeking tax payer- just like the other
95% of the park already is. PLEASE FILL OUT THE MAILING LIST
FORM AND SEND IT IN BEFORE THE 29th.
OF DRAFT PLAN
BIRD ISLAND BASIN
This is the first of
a series of newsletters designed to provide information on new planning
projects at Padre Island National Seashore (NS).
We are beginning the
public involvement in the proposed development and recreational use of
Bird Island Basin. The Development Plan and accompanying Environmental
Assessment (EA) will be available for public comment and review this fall.
The purpose of the Development
Plan is to determine needed facilities, asses recreational use, camping,
and parking needs, and to address continued visitor pressure on adjacent
wetlands and land resources. High visitor use and limited camping
space has has led to impacts on the adjacent wetlands and vegetation resources.
There are also more
issues of user conflicts and vehicle parking space needs. Padre Island
NS is looking to implement management practices that enhance recreational
opportunities and protect important area resources. Values and purposes
of the NS are presented, and management goals and objectives for Bird Island
Basin will be developed.
There will be opportunities
for public input at the open scoping workshops and periodically during
the environmental review process.
The final plan will
be used by the Superintendent of Padre Island NS to make informed decisions
regarding the land use at Bird Island Basin and the recreational opportunities
that are provided there.
We are compiling a mailing
list for this planning effort and its associated public environmental review
process as required by NEPA. If you are interested in assisting us
in this effort, please fill out the information below and return
Padre Island National Seashore
P.O. Box 181300
Corpus Christi, TX. 78480-1300
All responses should be received by September
29, 2000. You will be added to our mailing list for the upcoming
public review, and a copy of the draft plan will be sent to you.
____ Yes, please include my name on the mailing
list for the Draft Development Plan process.
____ Check here to be on the list for future planning
WINDSURFING NEAR KITESURFERS:
Reprint from the AWIA/Windance
The year 2000 is upon us, and with it a new
sport. As with anything new, some adjustments are necessary. Although most
windsurfers may never try kitesurfing, all windsurfers need to be aware
of them for their own safety.
Here in the Gorge we recently had a meeting
discussing the hazards of this new sport and came up with a few ideas.
Although there is a host of safety issues directly related to users there
are also some safety issues for the bystanders.
Whether you like or dislike the new sport, it is important that we
each know a little bit about it to keep people from getting hurt. Here
are a few guidelines (pardon the pun) to keep in mind.
1. DON'T TOUCH THE KITE LINES! Kite strings for kitesurfing are very
strong. They have at least a 500 lb. breaking strength, and are capable
of cutting skin. The power that a kite has is incredible, like a fully
sheeted in sail, or a power boat. You don't want to get tangled in the
lines. This is also important if the lines are slack, because a kite can
suddenly catch wind and turn the spaghetti lines into the taught lines
of a water-ski boat.
2. STAY CLEAR OF RUN-AWAY KITES. If you see a kite blowing down wind,
on the water or on land, stay well clear of it, and keep in mind that there
will be kite lines being dragged behind the kite, which can grab unsuspecting
victims. These two rules will probably keep you out of trouble as
a bystander. Following are a few important issues with kites that may also
RESCUING KITESURFERS: As one kite manufacturer suggested to me recently,
"Don't rescue kite surfers". Although this is easy to say, it may prove
hard to do when someone is in obvious need. If a kite surfer is waving
his arms in the distress signal, this may be a time to approach with caution,
keeping in mind where the kite may be. Ask the kitesurfer (from a distance)
where the kite is before approaching to determine your next move, all the
time referring back to rule #1 DON'T TOUCH THE KITE LINES. The kitesurfer
may ask for a few minutes to wind in the lines before you give him assistance.
One rule that is recommended for all kite
surfers with water re-launchable kites, is to utilize a leash system. The
reason for this, is that if a floating water re-launchable kite gets away
from the user, it poses a hazard for anyone in its path. If the pros set
a good example by using leashes, then others will also, hence keeping the
sport safer, and help keep it from being banned (as is being threatened
FOR THOSE INTERESTED IN TRYING KITESURFING:
1.Take a lesson, and consult experienced kitesurfers.
2. Watch a video. There are already a few good learning videos out
there, which can be a big help in learning.
3.Learn to fly a trainer kite on land before attempting a full sized
one. Trainers are about 2 square meters, so are much easier to handle and
cost about $100 to $200. You really should get the trainer wired before
thinking about launching a full sized kite.
4. Have a spotter, when launching a full sized kite. You seriously
may need someone to hold on to you.
5. Learn to fly a full sized kite on a light wind day. The ideal location
is in shallow water (knee to waist deep) where there are no hazards downwind,
like people, wires, buildings, boats etc.. Keep in mind that when learning
you most likely will be dragged downwind for a while, so plan for it. Dragging
on water, sand or grass is a lot more comfortable than dragging over boulders,
uneven ground, or pavement. If you decide to fly the kite in the water,
wear a wetsuit, and a life preserver. You may end up spending some time
organizing your gear and/or swimming in.
6. If or when you are finally ready to actually try kitesurfing with
a board, find a location where there are no hazards (OR PEOPLE) downwind.
You most likely will be exiting the water downwind from where you started.
Choose a light wind day, wear a life preserver, and a warmer wetsuit than
you would for windsurfing (you will be in the water more- a lot more).
2nd Annual Longboard Event - September
After last years one man regatta, I decided
not to repeat the sail through Padre Island’s canals thus maintaining my
record of 1 hour 39 minutes to circumnavigate the back winding nightmare
of narrow passages.
In its place this year’s event will be a leisurely
cruise from the Oso Bay Park to marker 37 (next to Snoopy’s) or visa versa
depending upon the winds. If interested, contact Roy Tansill soon
because we’ll need to know how many folks want to give it a try and how
much ‘back-up’ (chase boat, shuttles, etc-if any) will be needed.
This is NOT a race and ideally we’ll be able to stick closely together
and enjoy cruising rather than competing. Come on, dig out that huge
hulk hiding in the garage strap on your cooler and recall how much fun
gliding on a 12’+ board can be. e-mail to: LooseClu@prodigy.net.
The above course is not set in stone
and if anyone has a more interesting route in mind speak up- we’ll
be happy to alter the route for a better one. The only non negotiable
part is the board- this one is for long boards which can easily weather
a variety of conditions plus provide room for ‘extra amenities’ (like the
cooler) and really don’t require chase boats for safety- just carry some
AMERICAN WINDSURFER TEST 2000+1
AWIA press release
Back by popular demand, American Windsurfer is pleased
to announce the making of the 2001 test and review session on Maui from
September 30 to November 4, 2000. The five week equipment review
session will take place once again at the famous Club Paradise, the prime
two acre windsurfing estate on the North Shore.
This year's efforts will focus more on "review"
rather than "test". The on-water sessions and the subsequent publication
and video production, will be designed as a forum for feedback by consumers,
dealers, and professionals. Our goal is to gather a well organized and
evenly distributed feedback session on the products submitted and present
a constructive and entertaining display for the world to digest.
Riding on last year's success, this year's impact
will be greater than ever. Daily updates will be delivered on http://www.americanwindsurfer.com
which registered over three million hits last year with a highest weekly
hit of 248,000. The video Test 2000 was widely distributed by Chili Video
to various European publications and will continue to be used as a perk
and added value to the readership of these publications. American
Windsurfer will also deliver a full issue celebrating the joy of windsurfing
and the equipment facilitating such joy. We will display the products in
the most elegant, entertaining, and lifestyle oriented fashion possible.
Heading up the review sessions will be Andy Gurtner
whose sole responsibility is to make sure that all equipment submitted
are properly tuned and fairly reviewed. Andy's Swiss background makes him
the perfect person for the job. Along with Andy will be a solid team of
staff members who will facilitate in this year's review. They include:
Heidi Gurtner, Glenn Fuller, Annabella Hoffman, Laurie Nadel, Susy Chafee,
Raphael Bach, Martin and Kristen Trees, Steve Hutchinson, Claudia Groegor,
and John Chao.
This year's test/review will also focus on celebrating
windsurfing as an environmental icon, a symbol of man in harmony with nature.
Our goal is to bring continued media attention and promotional considerations
as we head into the 21st century regarding environmental issues and to
highlight windsurfing as the new age vehicle to influence such awareness.
We hope you can join the celebration. Those interested in becoming a tester,
please email: firstname.lastname@example.org. We are looking for consumers
of various levels to be part of the test. You must be able to waterstart
and mastered the use of the harness. There will be an instructor at the
test who will provide group and individual clinics. Those sailors who don't
qualify can still sign up for a week of clinic during the event.
The cost is $1500 per person. This includes accommodations,
breakfast, lunch, equipment usage, incidental insurance for the first $200,
and clinic instructions. The Test 2000 +1 review sessions will begin on
the 30th of September. Each weekly session will start on Saturday and end
SEE YOU THERE!