Windsurfing & Stand-Up Paddleboarding in Michigan
The weather has been beautiful this Memorial Day weekend. On Friday and Saturday it was 70 degrees with a 5-10 knot ESE breeze. That’s not enough for me to plane. Instead, I spent each afternoon sailing (non-planing) at the Lake Lansing swimming beach (closed for swimming due to Covid-19), trying to hone basic sail- and board- handling skills. This weekend’s goals were all varieties of helicopter tacks (and its close cousin, the upwind 360), e.g. clew-first, switch-stance, fin-first, back-to-sail, etc. I rode my usual RRD 105 liter freestyle board (to get incidental balance practice) and used a small sail (4.1) to make the sail handling easier and because I knew that I couldn’t plane even with my biggest sail.
On Sunday, there wasn’t a cloud in the sky, the temperature hit 80, and the wind was a solid 10 knots from the WSW. I launched from the boat launch instead of the swimming beach to get clear wind and to continue my non-planing practice.There were occasional stronger gusts, but they were not consistent enough for me to switch to a larger sail for planing. However, during one big gust, I got on a plane with the 4.1! I cannot remember the last time I planed comfortably with a 4.1 in 80 degrees and sunshine during a holiday weekend in Michigan. It felt glorious. The gust lasted for 4 reaches and 3 jibes before evaporating. I was reminded of the saying “you gotta be in it to win it.” If I hadn’t been on the water for non-planing practice, I would have completely missed it. It was a nice surprise.
The ability to appreciate and take advantage of light wind days I suspect comes from attendance at many ABK camps. Glad you got out. I'm still dry.