sail-world.com
 
 
News Home Cruising Photo Gallery Video Gallery

 

Sail-World.com : USA 4 Windsurfing Campaign - How I almost got run over by a train

USA 4 Windsurfing Campaign - How I almost got run over by a train

'USA 4 Windsurfing Campaign'    Steve Bodner
USA 4 Windsurfing Campaign update from USA National Windsurfing Champion Steve Bodner:

How I almost got ran over by a train while windsurfing.


I scoped the beach out the weekend before meeting Zaijeck to pick up my new slalom board. The launch looked sketchy. The hike down, the gate, the train track.

I wrote it off.

Honestly, I had more on my mind - with the excitement of a brand new lightweight slalom board!

But the next weekend came and the SF Bay was still plagued by NE winds.

Crissy would be amok with kook kiters from Third Ave all looking for on onshore wind.

Granted, Wednesday and Thursday were epic in terms of sailing in some solid breeze again. I saw some gust above 30 and was well powered on my slalom 6.3 and 85l board.

I knew I should have gone early when on Saturday at 10 am it was a solid 20-25k but dying. I thought, maybe just maybe I'd get an early session in.


The lesson I continue to learn - in the off season - the early bird gets the worm.

If its blowing at 10am on a Saturday morning - go for it.

The thermals will not be there to back you up come mid afternoon after a few hours of procrastination.

From March through October this strategy works oh so well.

You can procrastinate (I mean get other work done) and get to the beach by five and still get a solid session in.

I decided to wait and meet some buddies to sail up at Pinole shores - which has been reliable on a NE breeze. After all- we had a score to settle.

Kiters vs windsurfers. The battle never ends.

I made the trek to the north bay against my better judgement- leaving a good wind at Crissy for an unknown wind 45 min away and breaking the cardinal rule of windsurfing: Never leave wind for wind!

Upon arrival I checked out the scene.

USA 4 Windsurfing Campaign -  Steve Bodner?nid=91554  

The wind was dying. 20k+ on the outside but a shlog to get there.

USA 4 Windsurfing Campaign -  Steve Bodner?nid=91554  
I hedged my bets and made the trek in with four kiters to Zaijeck beach.

The sign at the trail head should have been the first warning but went right on by.

A 10 minute hike in down an access trail, down a dirt trail, through a locked gate. across the railroad tracks, back up the hill and finally down the bluff to the beach.

At least I had my flip flops!

My gear fit nicely in a board bag that I carried over my shoulder.

It’s all about the journey I thought to myself.

I got there and immediately knew I made the wrong choice with my 7.8 rig.

I should have packed the 9.5!

It was low tide and the beach was super clean extending out a few more feet from my previous visit.


What I wasn't accounting for was the walk out in the mud till I could get to thigh deep water and keep my 39 cm fin from hitting the bottom.

The shlog out to the wind line was like a graph of diminishing returns.

The further I got from shore, the further the wind line receded.

The kiters on their race boards and 11m kites were whizzing past me and I could hardly break onto a plane in 8-10k.

If there was any way to covert me to kiting, this was probably it.

I got going a few times only to have the wind die even more. I decided to pack it up and head back before losing any further ground as the wind switched more east. I knew I would be downwind of the launch but there was no real good exit from water.

The low tide exposed some nasty rip rap with exposed rebar, razor sharp shells and oh, I forgot the 10 min minute walk up to the beach in the calf deep mud - sinking with every step

All I could think of was climbing out of a power deep day at Tahoe but this was no powder- just mud and I had no epic runs, Just a shlog.

With the gear above my head I began my exit from the water's edge up the rocks.

The balancing attempt was not working.

I disconnected the rig from the board and made my was up and down the rocks two more times.

It looked to be about a 1/4 mike walk back along the train tracks.

I tidied up rig into a manageable package rolling up my mast in the sail and tying it into the boom with the up haul and outhaul.

The extension fit nicely in the boom head and the harness around the short end of the boom.

Did I mention my feet were already cut up from the climb up and down the rocks.

Now the only way back was along train tracks.

If you've ever walked along the train tracks you know those rocks aren’t the smooth polished ones you find at the ocean.

No - they are jagged crushed rock that bruise the soles of your feet with every step.

There had to be a better way.

I looked around - a path of thorny bushes and poison oak to the right or the train tracks.

I opted for the latter and was actually enjoying the trek getting a nice soft massage on my feet with every step on the wooden planks of the rail track.

That was until I head the train whistle from behind and looked back to see an Amtrak train coming around the bend at full speed.


My first reaction was to drop the gear and jump out of the way.

A split second went by and I imagined my new board, carbon mast and boom all getting run over by the train.

I hobbled down the bank with about 10 seconds to spare - rig and board balancing between my arms.

The rush of wind in front of the train nearly knocked me over.

I could see the conductors face looking down at my nearly two stories above on the double decker train wondering who in the world is walking on the train tracks in a wetsuit carrying what looks like a surf board and a rolled up sail.

Then again, This was Pinole. Stranger things have happened.

I made the rest of the walk back avoiding two more trains as the whipped by but by this time I figured out the system.

The tracks start to vibrate and make a high pitched noise about 20-30 seconds before the train arrives so I had plenty of time to jump to the side and wait for the trains to pass before continuing on.

Still some strange looks on those train conductors' faces

Zaijeck met me about 3/4 of the way back and helped me carry my board back while I handled the rig.

We laughed and decided maybe this wasn't the best launch on a dying breeze.

As I waited for the rest of our group to derig and drink an few beers on the deserted beach, I thought - it probably could have gone a whole lot worse.


Cut up and bruised feet sure beat a pile of carbon and Styrofoam splinters along the edge of the train tracks.

I’ll check that beach off the list of places I’ve sailed but probably won’t be making the trek back anytime soon.

Steve
USA-4

Steve Bodner blog




by Steve Bodner

  

Click on the FB Like link to post this story to your FB wall

http://www.sail-world.com/index.cfm?nid=91554

6:36 PM Tue 6 Dec 2011 GMT






Click here for printer friendly version
Click here to send us feedback or comments about this story.


News - USA and the World































A complete recap of the most successful Melges 20 World Championship by International Audi Melges 20 Class Association,




ISAF Santander - Upwards path for Austrian women's 470 crew + video by Luissa Smith, International 470 Class Association,


























2014 Rolex Big Boat Series - Farr 40 Day 4 by William Wagner, San Francisco






2014 Rolex Big Boat Series - Two long races today for the J70 fleet
2014 Rolex Big Boat Series - Impressive to sail out of the Golden Gate
Extreme Sailing Series - Istanbul delivers four days of great racing
Extreme Sailing Series: Emirates Team NZ bounces back for series win
Santander 2014 ISAF Worlds - Light winds and current test six classes
ISAF Sailing World Championships - Solid Day 3 for US Sailing Team
ISAF Sailing World Championships - Day 3 images by Jesus Renedo
Marseille One Design 2014 - GC32 Armin Strom blitzes final day
Volvo Ocean Race 2014-15 - Una Etapa 0 complicada para todos
Santander 49ers: Olympic Gold Medallist says two into 90 does not go!! *Feature
GBR aiming for first ever Nacra 17 Games berth at Santander Worlds
Volvo Ocean Race: Man and sail overboard as Leg 0 serves up drama
ISAF Sailing World Championships Santander 2014 – Images by Dan Ibsen
Santander Worlds – already a spectator success
ISAF Sailing World Championships Santander 2014 - Day 3 morning report
Volvo Ocean Race 2014-15 - Tales from the extreme
Volvo Ocean Race: Latest starter wins opening race
2014 J/70 World Championship - Healy, Abdullah, Becker and Borges win
2014 Rolex Big Boat Series - Full-blown, once again
ISAF Worlds - Americans jump up Laser and Laser Radial leaderboard
2014 Rolex Big Boat Series - Farr 40 Day 3   
America's Cup: Luna Rossa sailing with two foiling AC45's + Video   
Extreme Sailing: Emirates Team NZ retain second overall   
ISAF Sailing Worlds, Santander - Rio Olympic Laser spots snapped up   
Rolex Swan Cup - All set for final showdown   
Upper Midwest sailors need help to take it to the next level   
ISAF Sailing World Championships - RS:X action begins in Santander   
ISAF Sailing Worlds, Santander - Americans rise in Laser and Radial   
Extreme Sailing Series - A remarkable penultimate day’s racing + Video   
Marseille One Design - GC32 GDF Suez unstoppable in the light   
Rolex Swan Cup - Day 3 images by Carlo Borlenghi   
ISAF Sailing World Championships - Images of the leaders in Santander   
Rolex Big Boat Series - Good day for Double Trouble   
Rolex Big Boat Series - Day 2 images by Erik Simonson   
Royal Cup Marina Ibiza - TP52 fleet ready for tricky race tracks   
Rolex Big Boat Series - Plenty maintains lead   
2014 Asia Pacific Student Cup - Count down begins   
Extreme Sailing Series: Live coverage of Day 3 - view here   
Volvo Ocean Race 2014-15 - Going away   
Volvo Ocean Race 2014-15 - Practice makes perfect   


For this week's complete news stories select    Last 7 Days
   Search All News
For last month's complete news stories select    Last 30 Days
   Archive News







Sail-World.com  


















Switch Default Region to:

Social Media

Asia

Australia

Canada

Europe

New Zealand

United Kingdom


http://www.sail-world.com/event_images/image/Twitter_logo_small.png http://www.sail-world.com/event_images/image/FaceBook-icon.png  http://www.sail-world.com/event_images/image/RSS-Icon.png

United States

Cruising Northern

Cruising Southern

MarineBusiness World

PowerBoat World

FishingBoating World

 

Contact

Commercial

News

Search

Contact Us

Advertisers Information

Submit news/events

Search Stories/Text

Feedback

Advertisers Directory

Newsletter Archive

Photo Gallery

 

Banner Advertising Details

Newsletter Subscribe

Video Gallery

Policies

 

 

 

Privacy Policy

 

 


Cookie Policy

 

 



This site and its contents are © Copyright TetraMedia and/or the original author, photographer etc. All Rights Reserved.  Photographs are copyright by law.  If you wish to use or buy a photograph contact the photographer directly.
XLXL NEW US
LocalAds   DE  ES  FR  IT