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  • Writer's pictureThe Launch Pad

Great day at Northwinds Beach

Updated: Aug 27, 2023

Drew wanted a introductory windsurfing lesson in Collingwood and brought his buddy Phillip who hadn't windsurfed in 20 years.. The weather was perfect with a NW wind at around 7 knots and 21c air and 20c water. I was excited to be back at Northwinds Beach where I had taught just 9 days ago.


I did a quick refresher for Phillip and sent him off with my 5.4m Duke sail on the Kona board I'd borrowed from my niece. We cheered as he got underway and then again during his first tack. Andrew got some additional on land simulation but with his sailing background, it didn't take long till he was on the water with the recently repaired 3.5m Chinook rig on the big Fanatic Viper HD board. My goal for them both was to stay upwind so there wouldn't need to be any long walks upwind along the shore.




After taking a few photos I was out on the water too. I had Vanessa's Firefly 5.7 (from her Jibe City Bonaire days) on the Fanatic Viper 80. I sailed out to the guys. Phillip was already way upwind and Drew was already through a few tacks and getting upwind too.


I had fun taking photos (the first batch didn't actually work out) with the GoPro and chatting with the guys in the light wind and gentle waves. Phillip's goal was to get better at jibing which had been his stumbling block back when he had his own gear and would head to Hatteras over 20 years ago. I watched two jibes and diagnosed the issue. Sail flip was way too early. I mentioned it and demonstrated 2 jibes. Phillip's next one was textbook and legendary instructor Andy Brandt would have been proud of me. Drew was forgetting his own snowboard instruction advice and was spending a bit too much time looking at his feet while tacking resulting in over-corrections after getting around 180 degrees. A quick reminder to have steely concentration on the new tack's horizon solved that.


With the two of them out sailing confidently, I went to get the drone. I took a few shots including one of Drew perfectly timed where he is invisible and one staring at his feet! And two shots of Phillip jibing.



Niece Vanessa and LPWA windsurf instructor Len were now at the beach with Timo and Ollie. Soon enough, little Timo was out on the Fanatic Viper HD with mom. This was Vanessa's first time windsurfing on southern Georgian Bay. And Timo's first time on a board. What a great moment!



Drew then tried the 5.8m sail on the smaller Viper 80 and managed quite well. He and Phillip swapped boards and I was happy they each got to try a variety of gear. I also hope that Phillip gets that wetsuit on again soon and doesn't go another 20 years without windsurfing again! The session ended with my wife Jennifer getting out and having a few tacks back and forth on the little 3.5 sail.





As I packed up I was grateful to have such a wonderful place to teach, and also for the perfect wind and warm weather. With 10-15 knot winds predicted, tomorrow's lesson could be more of an adventure!

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Vanessa -
Vanessa -
Aug 28, 2023

Such an incredibly special experience to windsurf with my three year old, with my fifteen year old sail, and my uncle, on Southern Georgian Bay. Thank you Carl!!!

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