We have been sailing since the early 80's. Walker has owned and raced keelboats -- a J/35 and a J/22, a Laser, and Illusions (miniature 12-meters). However, when he learned to windsurf, the boats were history! The thrill of zooming along over the water at 20 to 30 knots with only yourself as "crew" is unmatched by any other type of sailing.
We first tried windsurfing in 1989 in the Virgin Islands. The boat we chartered had a windsurfing rig aboard, so we figured "That must be easy!". Well, Walker got up bright and early the first morning out and rigged the board. Nancy assumed that Walker could sail anything, so she slept in late. She was awakened by the sound of the outboard of a dinghy pulling alongside. Fortunately for Walker, there a very nice woman on another yacht at the far downwind end of the anchorage. The woman recognized that Walker was, well, either having a bit of difficulty (as in, he didn't have a clue what he was doing) or that he really did want to drift to Venezuela. Thankfully, she hopped in her dinghy and rescued Walker and the sailboard, towing him nearly a mile back to our boat!
On that trip our sailing was at best comical. That board seemed to be attracted to every rock along the beach at Cooper Island's Manchioneel Bay. Surprisingly, the painkillers didn't help our sailing ability, either. As it turns out, Manchioneel Bay is about the worst possible place a beginner could try windsurfing. Although the wind there is quite gentle, it literally blows from every conceivable direction as it comes over and around the mountain above the bay, creating little zones of backwind everywhere.
When we got home, we decided to buy a
windsurfer and really learn to sail. We figured a board and a sail and you are all set!
Within a few short years, we were carrying around 6 boards, over a dozen sails, and
countless other pieces of equipment in a customized enclosed windsurfing trailer.
|These are some
shots of Walker, having a blast. TX131 is Walker's US Windsurfing Association racing
He is proud of having won 1st place in the the men's Superweight Division (190+ lb.) of the 1992 Tudor/Mistral North American Championships, which were held in Pensacola Beach, Florida.
We have left the racing scene behind us now, though. We simply sail for the pure fun of it. A day of windsurfing in a good breeze is an excellent way to clear your mind and feel totally relaxed.
And, the physical exercise helps us keep our childhood figures. NOT!
Photo albums from area windsurfing events:
"Dinosaur Races" - Windsurfer Classic Boards - September, 2004
Gulf Coast Windsurfing Championships - Seabrook, TX - April, 2004
Gulf Coast Windsurfing Championships - Lake Texana - April, 2003
Here are some windsurfing links:
|U. S. Windsurfing Association - The national organization for the sport.|
|Mistral - We sail Mistral gear - the best production equipment available.|
|Sailworks - Great sails!|
|Boardsailing BVI - Putting it all together - windsurfing and the British Virgin Islands!|
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