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  • Writer's pictureThe Launch Pad

Two more awesome beginners!

Updated: Aug 27, 2023

I think this is the first time I've had two beginners go out, sail for an hour+, never fall in and then sail back to the point without needing a tow. Having great gear from @fanatic and @duotone helps. Maybe I'm just getting really good at teaching? More likely it was also due to the really light wind which certainly helps with the students not falling in, but does make staying upwind and getting feedback from the sail a bit harder.

Jesse and Cam are the niece and friend of neighbours south of the Launch Pad. They were excited to learn to windsurf and arrived promptly at 11am. The wind was 5 knots from the south as we did our indoor safety briefing.

We carried sails out to the point and did the simulator work. Jesse was great and followed all of my instruction about positioning the board, uphauling, steering and getting underway. I taught her to tack verbally without even demonstrating it. She was super competent steering and sailing in both directions.

Cam was next on the simulator and also did very well. They both had some sailing experience which helped. So do my new yellow (uphauling) and green (underway) foot positioning pads. Sadly as we were getting the sails onto the boards the wind was dropping. Jes got the 2.6m sail and the Viper 80 board. I moved Cam up to the 3.2 Duotone Now sail on the big Viper HD board. (Normally I prefer to have the student use the sail they had used on the simulator but this worked out fine.)

They both easily got going and I was happy to be able to focus on giving instruction and left the photography to uncle Andrew and aunt Susan. The wind was now so light that I could loudly call out to them when it was time to tack. They both tacked without falling in! Then it was just slowly back and forth for them with the odd bit of instruction from me. "Oh, you've oversheeted and are now just going sideways, go back to safety position and start again sheeting in slowly with 2 fingers on the boom." "Oh, you've pointed too far upwind, go back to safety" etc.

Jes stayed upwind of the old cribs and managed a few of her tacks quite close to shore. Toward the end of the session it was clear I wasn't going to need to use the Seadoo at all. Jes eventually sailed right back to the point and stepped off the board, completely dry. Cam was working upwind and so for his last few turns I instructed him on how to jibe. One jibe was perfectly executed around the green marker! Then down to the point, stepping off dry too. Sweet.

The wind only picked up a little later in the day. I also got some shots of the muskrat and turtle!.

Jesse and Cam both expressed an interest in coming back next year which I will encourage! In the meantime, Toronto Windsurfing Club is worth checking out! And I look forward to teaching aunt Susan next year too!

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