Jump n' Jibe Journal
Happy Spring Everyone! Things are really starting to warm up and I am very excited to tell you what’s new.
Finally! we will resume our monthly club meetings on May 11th at 7:30P.M. at a familiar location (the old Beef o' Brady's), but now under a new name. Please join us at the Case Grande Margaritas and Cocina, 1800 Thomasville Rd Tallahassee, FL in the back room for the Club meeting. Come early and grab a bite from an incredible menu which you can check out here if you would like a preview. If the tasty food and drink menu is not enough to entice you to join us, we will also have a free drawing for a one of kind original collector's item Wind Ceremony shirt.
Speaking of one of a kind, lately many of you have been submitting fond memories of Mike Boll and we Thank you for your submissions. We don’t want to forget anyone that has been a part of this amazing club. In order to honor all of our club members who have passed on we have created a link on our website called Legacies. I know many of you have fond memories of club members who have departed and that are missed so please consider adding pictures and memorable stories to our Legacies page. The Legacies page link is in the top navigation bar of our website. The Legacies page is part of our club forum. Yes, you will need to sign up for making posts, but it is painless.
I am looking forward to seeing everyone again at our club meetings, lessons and practice days.
All my best,
A BRIEF HISTORY OF OUR BELOVED SHELL POINT BEACH PARK
by Marianne Gengenbach
When it comes to the existence of a public beach park that allows us to store windsurfing equipment and hold our events there, it may seem like ‘it has always been thus’. Some of you may be surprised that this is not the case. Others in the club will smile sagely and say, “oh yes, I remember,” and to those people I say please excuse me if I get some of this story a bit wrong. It was, after all, long ago in 1993, somewhere between Wright’s “salad days” and now, that the fate of Shell Point Beach was determined.
You see, the current park was at one time an actual platted and vested subdivision. It was owned by George Taff, Sr. and consisted of nine waterfront lots. This was at a time when Shell Point still had a restaurant, hotel, marina, and a marina store. Mr. Taff had allowed public access to the area for years, and the beach was even listed as a public beach on the Wakulla County maps published each month in the now defunct Wakulla Times. During this time, it had become a local rigging and sailing mecca for the ‘crazy windsurfers’ as they were often called by the locals. But late in 1992, word began to get around that Mr. Taff was about to allow those lots to be developed. SPSC was much disturbed by this prospect, as were at least some of the locals who used the beach on a regular basis. Initial pleas to the County Commission to save the beach were rebuffed, citing lack of funds to acquire the property.
But the intrepid SPSC folks were not to be deterred. We formed a group called “Save Shell Point Beach” and began to meet to look for alternative ways to preserve what was one of only two coastal areas in all of Wakulla County that was not salt marsh. We found out that, just three years prior to our current dilemma, Florida had created the Preservation 2000 Program (P2000), one of the most ambitious conservation land buying programs in the entire US. Ten percent of P2000 dollars each year were dedicated to the Florida Communities Trust Program (FCT) to assist local communities in implementing conservation, recreation, open space, and coastal preservation. We kept hammering the County Commission until they directed a committee of citizens to research the potential acquisition of Shell Point Beach under these programs. For months, a group of SPSC folks worked with the County’s grants coordinator, Becky Porter, to create a plan for a public park at Shell Point Beach and submit an FCT application for funding. We even made sure that the plan would qualify for funding without requiring a local match, since the Commissioners were unfriendly (as is so often the case) to spending even a dime of the county’s money for what was surely to become a great local public resource. I remember sitting in a cubicle in front of a monochrome monitor (some of you may remember those) in the County offices on Trice Lane, researching and typing out the natural resources inventory and impact statement for the proposal. Perry Morris rallied supporters in the Shell Point Community. Mark Voigt and Mark Brackman worked on the drawings for the conceptual design. Other names that show up in meeting notes include Joe Reid, Stan D, and Greg and Jim, but the last two I just don’t remember. We completed the application and got approval to submit it. We were told we had a great chance of getting the grant!
A new public park that preserved beach access in a county with little of that, landscaped with parking. Piece of cake, right? But not so fast. Our proposal actually caused protest and consternation in the community! There was the developer who had hoped to profit from the construction on those lots, there were folks who didn’t want the county to lose the tax revenue of about $12,500; there were folks who were afraid of riffraff and noise (even though it had been used as a public beach for at least a decade.) There were commissioners who said they didn’t want to maintain a park, and there were folks worried about liability.
So, the “Save Shell Point Beach” folks morphed quickly into the “Friends of Shell Point Beach Park” and began to research answers and solutions to all those concerns and more. We lobbied the Commission and local community leaders, the citizens of Shell Point and anyone else who complained or who would listen. Local celebrity Jack Ridner helped. It all culminated in a meeting of the Shell Point Community Unity Group on November 19, 1993, where we made a very polished slide presentation addressing all of the community concerns. We did not win over everyone, but enough progress was made so that our ideas were included in the proposed management plan for the park, which was submitted and approved with the help of FCT staffer Grant Gelhart in 1995. And the rest, as they say, is history.
Grant Gelhart, although he doesn’t windsurf, still attends our events today. In exchange for SPSC efforts to create the park, and because we always also kept the beach clean and gave free windsurfing lessons, we got some of the “perks” that we still enjoy today—the equipment storage, access to the “chase”, ready permitting for events, etc
And just so you all know, I went to the Wakulla Historical Society (housed in the old Courthouse on Crawfordville) to take a look at the documents and notes from our efforts now stored there (including the slide presentation), just to refresh my memory so that I could reasonably recount this tale. The kind woman who retrieved the documents told me that she was so glad we have that park now—that it is such a gem in the community. I have to admit, I almost got tears in my eyes. So, when you go to enjoy Shell Point Beach Park, remember that SPSC had a huge role in making sure it is there today, instead of nine big houses on stilts, marring our beautiful open beach view.
(Webmaster note: The community cries of "Not In My Back Yard" birthed our yearly NIMBY Regatta that is not held in their back yard. So consider attending this year's NIMBY which is contingent on having enough participants. )
2021 WINDSURFING MIDWINTERS
by Bob Graves
This event usually brings top caliber sailors, and this year was no different. Unfortunately, I am not of that caliber and was fortunate to find others there that I could “compete” with. One of those other sailors is a guy named Tom from Indiana who I have seen in Clearwater every time I have been there. He is part of a group called MOWind (mowind.org) which stands for Midwest Organizers of Windsurfing and they run a series of races from Minnesota to Ohio. Once again, as in every year past, Tom beat me.
Other folks I am familiar with were Steve Gottlieb, Steve Campbell and Jerome Sampson (US Windsurfing President), all great guys. Heck, Steve Campbell talked up the SPSC events more than I did. We do have a reputation for having a great time and great designs on our shirts. I met Steve Callaway who is an old-time friend of Mark Powell, but I swore not to disclose our conversation to anyone. All the young studs were there sailing IQ Foil such as Alex, Noah, and Maverick. Maverick is known for crashing into people when he was first starting out years ago but has turned into an incredible sailor. Justin, the chair of the event, was out there in the IQ Foil class competing (and losing) to his former students. It was great to see both Steve Gottlieb and Steve Campbell wearing shirts from one of our Endless Summer events.
The event this year was smaller than in the past with no beverages or food provided to the participants, which is why registration cost was considerably less than in the past and there were no late registration fees. Other than the young folks, everyone was careful about distancing and wearing face masks.
For those that have not been to Clearwater Community Sailing Center (CCSC), it is located on the east side of Sand Key, across the street from Sand Key Park. IQ Foil is an Olympic class with 18 boards competing. It was fun to watch those guys take off. The first two days we had a west wind, so they would take off from the sailing center and sail under the bridge to race in the gulf. The last day, Sunday, they sailed in the bay where we did, just a different course.
Kona class had 14 registered sailors, though only 13 sailed. The biggest problem with sailing in the bay is the number of boats that go through to get out to the gulf. They do not physically interfere with the racing, but their wake creates a washtub effect that, when going down wind in light air, is difficult for someone like me and, from what I observed, quite a few others. Ten races were run, and I raced in 7 of them, finishing 8th overall. I want to thank Linda Downey for loaning me her 7.8 Kona sail which, considering the number of times I had to grab it or uphaul it, I was glad was not bigger.
On Saturday and Sunday, the 15 and under age group, aka the Green fleet, sailed with us. They usually finished about 10 to 15 minutes after the Kona fleet, though they did start five minutes after. Coming back into shore on the last day meant sailing down wind. There was a young kid near me, probably weighed about 70 pounds, who had his arms folded, resting on the boom whereas I had a death grip on the boom trying to keep the board stable. CCSC’s youth program is amazing.
The race committee did a great job even though all the races were upwind/downwind. I do not think there is a windsurfer anywhere that enjoys sailing downwind. They kept the course to a size wherein we could finish the course in a decent amount of time. The difficult part is, with this being the first regatta of the new year, and many of us not having sailed in a long time, there were a lot of muscles that ached that I forgot I had!
You can check out the standings of the racers in the different fleets on the events webpage.
SPSC Board Meeting –Tuesday, March 2, 2021
Food served up at 6:30 pm and meeting started at 7 pm.
Place: Kristin & Bill’s home.
Attendance: Wright Finney, Rose McCaffrey, Mark Powell, Bob Graves, Joe Sisson, Jack May, Kristin Korinko, Dave Denmark(zoom), Deb Berlinger (zoom). The menu was international, with Chicken Vindaloo from Goa, India, fish from Brazil and Batatada cake from Macau. Bill is a master chef.
Commodore: Mentioned having our club meetings at the Mexican restaurant, Casa Grande Margarita & Cocina, where Beef O’ Brady’s used to be on Thomasville Road. Totally unrelated, the Commodore also just returned from a snow skiing trip.
Vice Commodore: He has nothing new for the Order.
Scribe: Thanked Mark P. for the article on wing foiling and is waiting for the promised article on Puffin sailing.
Purser: We have $12,024.96 in the bank. Paid Stan $736.32 for the new training trailer doors. Saved $200 by Stan buying the doors. Have 61 memberships. Only upcoming expenses are $61.25 for incorporation fees.
Flagpole: Need a warm day to paint pole. Need to sand it first. Wright will set up day.
Windy: Need calm day which we have had none of.
Club Meetings: Check out Casa Grande Margarita & Cocina.
Constitutional Revisions: Kristin was wanting to make some changes in regards to virtual meetings.
Training: Dates are set and published under Events on the website. Going to keep classes small at around 4 or 5 with practice days the day after a class. Practice days are not listed on the calendar.
Wind Ceremony: Nothing until vaccinated. Will need about 6 weeks of practice to be ready. Perhaps in May.
Events for 2021:
March: Mid Winters: March 12-14 – some discussion ensured about where Bob was staying and who might be going.
May: Wind Ceremony: TBA
June: Stephen C. Smith Memorial Regatta: June 11–13, 2021.
July: NIMBY TBA
August: Rum ‘n’ Root Beer: August 8, need a chair
October: Endless Summer: October 16-17 and Atlanta Fall Classic: October 23-24
November: Presnell’s: November 18-22
December: Christmas Party: December 11
Festivus: December 19
Other Events: Wright mentioned the 'Sip and Squirt' where folks go to Ochlockonee Shoals, 11 miles south of Shell Point. These will be scheduled on non-teaching weekends. Some discussion about tailgating and football also ensued.
Club Meeting: It was agreed to schedule the May Club meeting at the Casa Grande Margarita & Cocina
Board Meeting Locations: NOTE: Sunday, April 11th (Mark Powell’s SP home at 4 pm), May 4th (Jack), June 1st (Joe), July 6th (Dave), August 3rd (Wright), September 7th (Rose), October 5th (Deb), November 2nd (Bob), December 7th (Wright).
Meeting adjourned at approximately 8:30pm