articles, stories, and announcements from Austin windsurfers

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Summer's Last Fling: Learn 2 Windsurf

A forecast for rain did not stop the last Learn to Windsurf clinic for the year. Cooler temperatures, but low wind, found our students sailing placidly.

One student, Jon, said, "I'm ready for my lesson in humility." But on such an easy-going day, all our students really excelled at the basics.

With twelve registered students, Mike S kept the on-land instruction running from 10-2. Our water coaches, Brian S, Tim M, and Chris D provided one-on-one help to the students. Without Erica S on registration and set-up help from Brian N and Alex, the event would not have gone so smoothly.

This August, the cove is smaller due to the low water levels. With yet another coaching twist, our water coaches easily were able to keep up with their students. Ditching the sail, they sat on the old-school boards and paddled with the centerboard!

As always, a big thanks to everyone who lent a hand (sorry to those I missed). And even bigger kudos to our president Brian S for driving all five clinics throughout the summer. The club trained approximately 107 students throughout the season.

In September, learn-2-windsurfers and more advanced sailors are invited to join the club in Corpus Christi at Bird Island Basin. Watch the email list for more details.

Saturday, August 02, 2008

July 2008 LTW Event

The fourth installment of the 2008 AWC Learn to Windsurf series was held on July 26. Concerns about volunteer availability led us to reduce the class size to three students and the number of hourly classes to four. This adjustment worked out quite well, and we even managed to squeeze in a couple of students from the waiting list.

Mike S was definitely the heart of the operation. He brought all the gear (as usual) and ran the whiteboard and simulator instruction. Water coaching was handled by Brian N, Dean, Andre, and myself. Kate kept things running smoothly at the registration table, and Tim and Mike joined everyone else in equipment setup and tear-down. Apologies to anyone I forgot to name or give proper credit for their contribution.

I only managed to take a couple of photos at the beginning of the day, before getting too busy and forgetting about the camera. My usual m.o. at these events is to wander around, assist where I can, and maybe even sneak off for a little sailing if the wind is good. Since there was plenty of work to go around this time, I ended up spending most of my time coaching students on the water - my first real experience in this capacity. I even gave the "towing method" a try, which worked out pretty well except for a couple of incidents where the wind died completely and we got a little tangled. But I don't think I inflicted too many scars on the students - mental or physical.

All in all, I think it was another successful event. The wind was mostly cooperative and the students seemed to enjoy themselves. In fact, a couple of them are already shopping for some beginner gear - resulting in a great discussion on the Austin Windsurf Club mailing list.

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