Monday, March 30, 2009

2008 F2 Formula Board for sale

This is the first edition of 2 boards, F2 released in January of 2008. I used it for 4 regattas + training over the spring and summer of last season with 1 small repair on the nose. No leaks. 9.2 kg Bone dry! Available mid April 2009 in San Francisco. Contact me @ for more info

Friday, March 20, 2009

Spring Equinox

Today, March 20th is Spring equinox.
The center of the sun is vertically above the Earth's Equator.
It Happens only 2x a year!
Historically, it opens the spring season but for sailors, it represents the end of winter!
And with that come some traditions.

The story goes:
During one particularly harsh winter a small group of these workers led by Bob Turner at Annapolis Harbor Boatyard decided that they would do something about these long, cold winters. They set up a paint tray with some wood and a little fuel to get it started, doffed their socks, placed them in the inferno and broke out an ice cold case of Budweiser. Having done this, they decreed an end to winter and commenced with activities that were more in line with the newly decreed spring season. Mother Nature, having recognized when she had been outdone, acquiesced and banished the winter weather for the season.
I think Ill stick to my traditions and just go windsurfing instead.
Forecast is 15-25k at the Golden Gate
Happy Spring.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

It's all about the flood....

This week, it's all about the flood!
With the spring tides still quite strong and the regular thermals- not quite here yet, it took more than just the slalom board and 6.3 to get going this week at crissy field.
As luck would have it, a friend dug out some older formula equipment for me to use- while awaiting the rest of my gear to arrive from Europe. Despite, it's age and lack of monofilm SNAP, the ML5 and 11. North Warp from 2005 got me out on the water again while the wind snobs waited on the beach.
Soheil, Lyn, Royce and I managed a few decent runs on Tuesday up and down the city front- lining up and testing speed and angle. Even with the older gear, I remained competitive in terms of getting up on a plane, staying on a plane, and upwind and downwind speed. The only thing that suffered was upwind angle with the narrower board and stiffer R13 fin. The newer generation of wider tailed boards and softer fins allow you to really maximize the formula expereince! The dynamic feel just isnt there with the older gear but thats a tribute to the evolution of the gear over the past 3 years.
The biggest thing I noticed was how you use your gear.
If you are efficient in terms of pumping, transitions and sail trim- you can go a long way...but not quite to the south tower on wednesday as the flood tide prevented us from getting close.
Soehil and I noticed the 'crazy eddies' forming just inside the south tower of the Golden Gate as the flood reforms. It comletely washed me out a few times as we rode the swell in under the midspan. Once we turned downwind though, it was a mgic carpet ride back to Crissy with the help of the 4knot flood pulling us along.
The currents and tides in the SF Bay can do some amazing things. In one area, you might see a jacked up voodoo chop- like a wall of water- then in another area of the Bay, the water is as smooth as butter. Its intersting to note, how your VMG changes as you sail through different tidal areas. Pinching up on port tack in the flood is that way to go- keeping your bow into the current but on starboard tack, youve got to take advantage of the speed the flood offers- even while grunting upwind.
It's never a dull moment windsurfing in the SF Bay with all the different conditions the tides and winds throw at you!

Saturday, March 14, 2009

sunset slalom

Its been a blessing in disguise but my one board and sail quiver has got me out on the water 5 days in the last week. The season officially started last weekend with daylight savings kicking in giving us an extra hour of daylight to play with at the end of the day. Combined with a late afternoon ebb at the end of the week, Ive been dialing in my ML slalom and 6.3 north warp. There's something to be said about sailing the same gear over and over- really getting to know how the board gybes and in how much power you get by cracking off and inch or 2 of outhaul.
Just as you get comfortable, windsurfing always seems to dish you a serving of humble pie- even after 22 years of sailing!
I got tossed today- catapulting myself head over heels- still hooked in, lying twisted in a heap- entangled in my rig, wondering what the hell just happened.
Ah but, its all worth it with awe inspired moments at the south tower of the Golden Gate bridge. Friday night I got carried up to Ft. Point on the ebb tide and got the chance to revisit on of my favorite spots. Just outside the south tower was a gnarly set of rolling and breaking waves. 10 meters in at the tower, lay the smoothest water you could ever imagine gybing on. Every few sets, the swell would break through to give you a standing wave to ride all the way over to Ft. Point. Its an exilerating feeling being swept backwards up a wave face while you come charging down the line. Talk about being at the right place at the right time!
I ended the evening off with a rules seminar at STFYC where Bryan and I got some good tipes from Dave Perry about the new racing rules for the 2009 season. Check them out here

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Windsurfing Beach Clean Up

It looks like other windsurfers are up on the idea that they play a huge role in the oceans' health.
Good on the guys at the Fuerteventura Wave Classic with the help of the Clean Water Project to have organized a beach clean up during their event.If you want to get involved locally, there's no signup required: just go to the beach and leave it cleaner than you found it!

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Being a Friend of the Water

I was inspired enough by Tillermans post last month regarding his 'confessions of a serial polluter' that Ive decided to expand this blog into something more meaningful than just me ranting on about windsurfing and racing.
As many of you might know, I created a site a few years back called Friends of the Water which gives some tips on reducing water pollution, the SF watershed and other water conservation and pollution prevention resources. The idea was if sailors don't look after the water they sail in, who will!
Ive always tried to be an advocate of being aware and conscious of the decisions we make in regard to pollution prevention- especially as it deals with the water I sail in. There are simple things like washing your car on the lawn, so that the grass can filter some of the runoff phosphate that can make a huge difference in water pollution (or better yet- use environmentally responsible cleaners with no phosphate!)
More recently, Ive begun to study for the LEED exam- which deals with green building techniques, sustainability, and environmental and energy responsibility in construction. In my studies, Ive come across some great some great suggestions on how buildings can use resources like water more efficiently.
Moving back to California this month really opened my eyes as the state is facing is biggest drought in decades and imposing water rationing and asking its cities to reduce their water consumption by up to 20% or face fines.
I think everybody realizes these days, we've got to do more with less so my first entry in this new chapter of has to do with water conservation techniques.
By reducing potable water use, the local aquifer is conserved as a water resource for future generations. Furthermore, water conservation techniques can lead to a reduction in waste water.Techniques can be as simple as using rain water or grey water as a source of non potable water supply to meet irrigation needs. This can easily be achieved by utilizing a rain barrel as a source for irrigation water.

Other techniques include re-using grey water as a source for irrigation water but involve significant more planning and are easier achievable with new buildings. Additional water conserving techniques use alternative plumbing fixtures, such as dual flush water closets, composting toilets and non water using urinals.
If we can reduce the amount of water we use, we can reduce the amount getting treated by municipalities and further reduce the amount of pollution in our waterways.
Let me know what you guys think- but rest assured- the windsurfing post will continue, I just thought Id diversify things a bit.
Additional water conservation resources can be found at

Friday, March 6, 2009

back on the water again...

Its been since last July that I sailed my home spot of Crissy Field in the San Francisco Bay but man did it feel good to be ripping again. With my favorite miles lab slalom board under my feet and a 6.3 warp, I managed an hour of back and forth sailing as the tide switched from a 4 knot ebb to a full on flood near shore. The voodoo chop was in full effect until the flood eased in to make a smooth butter carpet of flat water.
Thanks to Jean for getting me on the water with a boom and the rest of the Crissy crew whom I haven't seen last summer!
Finally on Day 3 of the regatta- things picked up enough to get 3 races in with Gonzo, Sherman and Jesper all taking a bullet. Full report and results @

For once, it looked like I made the right decision as the midwinter's got skunked on Day 1 of the regatta in Florida. Photos of the new Exocet formula board and more at miamiwindsurfing.
Midwinters Day 2 update from Ron Kern:
The day started out flat and unridable but picked up enough to move the flag off the pole and move the anemometer a bit, but not enough for the formula fleet to race. Three Kona / Hybrid / Open races were run, but the formula fleet never rigged for racing.
Day 2, no wind for formula racing. Alternate activities were explored: formula pingpong.Finally on Day 3 of the regatta- things picked up enough to get 3 races in with Gonzo, Sherman and Jesper all taking a bullet. Full report and results @