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Is the Wind Going to Blow ANY this Winter?

Of course it is. Just like it has the last two weeks. We've had 5 good days in the past two weeks that were suitable for the wind snob and soul-windsurfer alike. That's 5 out of 14 days, or 35.7% of the time.

OK, OK...so 4 of those were week days. Can't help that, but I feel your pain if you couldn't wiggle out of the various life obligations. Let's don't get into all that. Anyway, these have been 10 to 20 mph days that ANYBODY could enjoy. The snobs on light boards and their souped-up high performance sails could rip; the soul surfers could relish the brilliant sunshine, fall colors, and the fun of going a little further a little faster.

So, what can we expect the rest of this winter? LOTS OF GOOD BREEZY DAYS. How do I I know this? I asked Ed Gould, the "Stoked One" himself, of Columbia, SC. to reveal the secrets of his Lake Murray windsurfing journal in which he has kept records of each sailable day for the last 14 years. We looked back only 3 years, the la nina years, known to moderate the cold fronts in the SE states. All the hard core regulars have been bummed about how sorry the wind has been during this stretch. But, what we found out is that EVEN WHEN IT'S BAD, IT'S PRETTY GOOD. Dec. '99 thru Feb '00 -- 22 days total of sailing. (25% of all days) Dec. '98 thru Feb '99 -- 15 days (17% 0f all days) Dec. '97 thru Feb. '98 -- 21 days (23% of all days) (My journal shows simlar #'s at Clark Hill, about 5% less due to all the travel I do.) Some months had 8 or 9 days. These are the BAD years. The GOOD years should be returning, starting now, say the meterologists. I know you can't schedule wind for the convenient days, but opportunity to "do it" compares favorably to just about any other outdoor sport --exceeds most in our climate (except mountain biking, I admit). So take heart (and a good semi-dry or dry suit) and

Welcome to a New Boardhead...

Alan Biebeshhiemer of Aiken who had a very successful first day on Nov. 11th under the tutelage of Doug King. From Doug's report, I don't know who was more stoked, teacher or student.

Wind Indication System at Clark Hill (Lake Thurmond) Yes, Virginia, there is a Santa Claus...and a windtalker at Clark Hill!!!

Well, anyway, the hardware is installed! Really. I ain't lying. Did it on the 28th and the 30th of Nov. with the National Weather Service guy. Phone company will hook us up Tuesday, the 5th of Dec. The NWS will have the web pages ready to post wind info soon after that. I'll send out a special announcement when it's up and running. Remember, it will only be internet accessble, but later we may be able to add voice so we can just call it up on the phone from anywhere. Thanks for believing. Your faith has been rewarded -- allmost.

Low Water Creates Opportunity

Under the "Look on the bright side" department, the extremely low water levels ain't all bad for us. There's a huge play area of smooth water in our predominant W to NW wind at Scott's Ferry Landing due to the exposed peninsula that is usually covered by water. This is a great opportunity to learn new stuff. The best point-of-sail feeds you right into this area. I mean, if Roman can nail his duck jibe, as he did last week, then ANYBODY can learn a new move here.

Windsurf Cam at Station 29 -- Sweet!!

All you ocean sailors got to check this out >> Sail Sullivans (www.sailsullivans.com) For those who don't know, Station 29 on Sullivan's Island, Charleston area, is the most popular ocean sailing spot within reasonable drive time. All conditions: smooth, chop, waves. Lots of current but always lots of really great regular windsurfers there who welcome new faces. For a nifty, very informative chart of the numerous sailing spots around the Charleston area, go to www.egroups.com/files/CharlestonBoardsailing/

Christmas and Hanukkah Wish list for windsurfers:

(Definition of "gift": something worthwhile, but not necessarily essential, given to you because YOU NORMALLY WOULDN'T BUY IT FOR YOURSELF.) Misplace this list under the nose of your significant other.
Windmeters (analog) -- $47
Windmeters (digital: most useful -- it averages) -- $75
videos (instructional, inspirational, and/or extreme) --$24
Rigging tool, deluxe tug tool w/screw driver and socket (very nifty) -- $18
Downhaul "Rigmaster" tool (super easy rigging, saves your spine) -- $57
Fin bag (protects, removable compartments) -- $44
Safety pak (for harness includes knife, whistle, etc) - $28
Cold gloves / hoods -- $22
helmet, dense foam (looks cooler than the bucket kind) -- $35
Gear bags, many sizes and kinds -- $45 up board bags (we HATE to pay for these, but they're so needed) -- $75 up
W.H. "Feetbelt" foot straps (repalce those ratty staps!) -- $16.50/ea.
Windsurfing Hawaii "GSX" harness (ultimate thermo-formed comfort) -- $89 (Note to Significant Other: call Chuck for advice and more info on above: 860-0639 )

Local "e-Swap Meet" is coming

Yes, we all know there's numerous sites on the web for used windsurfing gear where you can sell your stuff. So why aren't you? You're not because YOU yourself wouldn't buy used gear from some dude in Cape Cod or the Gorge who swears, "Trust me, I've only rigged it 3 times!" So you figure why bother. How's he gonna ship a board? Who wants to horse trade across the continent IF you can get good exposure and trade among friends...well, at least among friends of a friend? Exactly, that's what I'M saying. So, I figure let's have an ongoing "e-swap meet" in our neighborhood. I have visited my web masters, Elizabeth and Chris Campbell and got the training so I can maintain a "Local e-Swap Meet" on the Whitecap's website (www.whitecapwindsurfing.com) When it's set up, it's going to be an active list that I will maintain as a service for friends of Whitecap. I think I have figured out how to be effective with it and avoid overly burdening myself with detailed maintenance. It will be an easy-to-read chart organized by equipment category. Besides my ever-growing e-mail list of windsurfers, the list will be promoted regularly to the Atlanta, Charlotte, and Charleston ws clubs' e-mail groups and web sites. It is a front-burner task on my to-do list. Before we reach 2001. I'm open to your thoughts on this. I mean, do ya care?

Dry, Semi-dry suits for Women (and little men) -- stupid cheap $200 off MSRP -- can you believe it! Neil Pryde just sent a list of '99 closeouts that are mostly women's suits -- all kinds and most sizes -- at stupid prices. (For example, a Jenna dry suit that cost $340 in '99 I can do at $139.) Also lots of S, XS, and XXS in men's suits so cheap you could consider suiting up your kids in these. Spring Windsurfing Trip, Anyone... Any of you KNOW you're interested in a spring trip? I'm sure I'll do one. There's always Hatteras, but I'm thinking about Corpus Christi, even Venezuala or some other exotic locale that offers a super-special air/windsurf/ hotel package. If interested, let me know your opinion. Till next time...

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Chuck Hardin
(706) 860-0639

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