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American Windsurfer Magazine Article - There is an article by yours truly in the new issue of American Windsurfer magazine. It's the one with the 2001 equipment tests. I know very few of you have a subscription, but if you're interested, it's also on line at American Windsurfer Magazine. under the title "Saved by Windsurfing". (I also have a letter to the editor in there titled "Vis/anima".) The actual magazine article (on paper) has 2 more photos that show our Clark Hill (Thurmond) Lake clearly identified by the dam in the background. That's national exposure for the local scene. I know this is a very wierd, over-the-top-philisophically-speaking article and letter, but remember, it's written for entertainment value, a little toungue-in-cheek.

Fins - Fins - get your close-out fins right here! First quality Rainbow Fin Company product at near half price. $60 to $70 for fins that always sell for $100 to $130. You know I can't stock all the various bases and sizes but I can get 'em quick, that is, till they stock out. Most are in less than 13" lengths, but WEED FINS are included up to 14" for $70!

Wind Report Hurray!
The weather pattern in the Pacific Ocean is now in a near normal state! I KNOW you don't sail there, but why are you happy about that? It means the southern US should return to it's normal late winter/early Spring weather conditions -- really warm days followed by really cool days with lots of air moving. It is now the end of the 3-year El Nino--La Nina weather situation in the Pacific that typically washes out the weater extremes in the southeastern US. This winter HAS officially been the coldest EVER recorded which the National Weather Service says is the planet's attempt to balance out the several years of mild winters we've had. The jet stream's southward trough is back. We windsurfers like the extremes -- it requires moving air. Looks like we're set up for a normal -- which means excellent -- March to May season. I'll make sure all the wind comes on weekends and during Master's week.

To you Beginner's out there... wha'cha waitin' fer? Life is short. If you are attracted to this sport, now is not "as good as", it's a BETTER time, than any to get on with it. Rejoice! The Revolution is over! We're now enjoying the Rennaissance (not in my spellchecker) and the Enlightenment of the "widestyle" revolution. You can now buy equipment that: 1) you can learn on from your first lesson and NEVER outgrow 2) will allow you to learn in days and weeks what took months and years before 3) is so "rangey" that you will need less gear than ever before, even as an expert 4) looks and feels much more like the short boards of your more advanced friends 5) is easier by far to rig and handle out of the water, and 6) most importantly, permit you to sail successfully (plane) in less wind than ever so you can have FUN on the day you're off from work. It's a wonderful time in the development of equipment. Advanced/expert sailors are racing the same boards that people learn on! The board that won the Canadian National Windsurfing Race Championships is also the world's #1 selling board for beginners and teaching schools, the StarBoard GO. ALL the sails made today are very, very good. Today's economical sails are as good as anything at any price produced just a few years ago. It's an easy time to make the commitment to the equipment. And if it doesn't work out for some reason, avenues for reselling used gear are convenient and effective. To see more of what I'm talking about in detail, go to Beginner's Gear.

Windtalker at Lake Thurmond You think YOU are tired of hearing that this thing is a couple weeks away from being turned on...and it not happening? Well, last month was the one-year anniversary of my first letter to the Corps on this thing. But, it really is installed -- really. You can see the detection devices as you drive across the dam on the front edge the SC side 2-story concrete structure that raises above the highway level. I swear, there is just one little software glitch to fix and then setting up the web pages. The National Weather Service guy who handles this is one of 3 who man an office that recently required 7 people until recent budget cutbacks. He's got too much on his plate. (Now you know why that prediction is so accurate.) It will happen; there are offficial documents and public money involved that I can beat them over the head with if neccessary. The NWS guy can't make it his top priority but, trust me, THIS THING IS JUST A COUPLE WEEKS AWAY FROM BEING TURNED ON!

Hatteras Trip wind, shallow water, a beautiful setting, and stoked friends to share it with -- that's a windsurfing Outer Banks trip. There are a few spaces left to join us April 7th to 14th. Lodging cost will be about $150 for the week if we fill the house. This is the week BEFORE Windfest which is very good because it never blows and always rains during the Windfest. We have a prime windsurfer's sound-side house in Avon that has everything -- board and rigged sail storage, front yard water access, hot tub, hot outside shower, etc. (You can see it at It's house #203HC, called Le Spot.) This is a Whitecap sponsored trip. We'd love to have you join us!

Web-site Updates e-Swap Meet, Beginner's Gear pages lead web site enhancements I think you've all heard about the "e-Swap Meet" on the website . It has easy-to-read categorized charts of regional used gear and quick links to the seller. Trade among people you know -- or almost know-- and avoid expensive, risky long distance shipping, and blah, blah, blah.... People ask me, "Chuck, why are you dong this -- what's in it for you?" Well, it's totally selfish motivations: I want you people to leave me alone about where to buy used stuff. I figured I'd just list it and then stay out of the transaction. Also, I wanted to make it easier for some of you reluctant ones to get appropriate cheap used stuff so you will get out there and get ADDICTED. Then you'll HAVE to buy new stuff someday -- maybe from me, that is if you're a considerate, prudent individual concerned about justice, fairness, and the American Way. Other website enhancements include a great page on new Beginners Gear. (Yes, it has prices.) Also, many better links to area weather sites, windtalkers and web cams at popular coastal destinations, area clubs, and all the best manufacturers' web sites.

New Whitecap Trailer Summer clinics or events anyone? Anybody out there want to help sponsor* a Beginner's Clinic at your favorite place. Whitecap will soon have a new enclosed trailer to make it practical to come and set up at places like Lake Murray, Lake Greenwood, Tybee, St Simon's Island, J I Y C in Charleston, Lanier, etc. Call me, call me NOW! I'm keeping the Thrillwagon Road Yacht to pull the trailer. My first job is still DAD. (*Just provide a location, and a few interested potential students.) This is pretty darn amazing wind information page for our area. Wind only current conditions, forecast, and historical data. Click on >animate< and you'll go, "'Wow". The historical wind data is really neat. Enter any day, any year and see if what you remember as the "good 'ole days" really was. Thanks, Jeff Asselin, for bringing it to our attention.

B.E.A.C.H. Bill passes -- this concerns you! Do you get in the water at the beach? In 1999, over 6,100 beach closings and advisors were posted on US beaches due to the presence of bacteria and viruses from polluted stormwater and runoff, overburdened sewage treatment faciities, and malfunctioning septic systems. People get sick. It can and does happen at your favorite beach --you just may not know it because no one is required to monitor the water quality in our states and you attributed that gastroenteritis, hepatitis, ear or throat infection to some other cause. But, as usual here in America, we let things get bad...and then do something about it. HR 999, the Beaches Environmental Assessment and Coastal Health Act (get that acronym?) of 2000 was signed last Octobr by President Clinton. It amends the Clean Water Act to require ocean and bay states to (1) adopt specified minimum, health-based criteria for water quality, (2) comprehensively test recreational beach waters for pathogens, and (3) notify the public when the water is unsafe for swimming and WNDSURFING. It authorizes $30 million of your tax dolars for states to set up the monioring and notification programs. "Surfers have become the indicator species and this is a personal achievement that our members and beach users in general will benefit from," says Christopher Evans, executive director of Surfrider's Foundaton. The Foundation's 10-year old grassroots volunteer testing program inspired the whole thing and Foundation members helped write the actual bill.

American Windsurfer magazine's next issue will have an article and a letter by yours truly, according to the editor/publisher. He also asked for pictures which I sent him. Maybe our lake or Station 29 might show up. Cool, huh? I've produced a magazine myself, so I know anything can happen, but you might want to check it out. (OK, I'm tooting my own horn -- so sue me.)

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Chuck Hardin
(706) 860-0639

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