Corpus gets a new (old) launch
About a dozen years ago I retired to Corpus Christi in search of wind and warmth (in that order). Back then there was a locals only launch called Grassy Point on the mainland side of the Laguna Madre in Corpus… it became my second home. In 2002 a developer bought the rundown marina that blocked entrance to that launch. After resenting that developer for the past five years, I now am happy to report the launch will officially reopen on April 1. Bluffs Landing Marina no longer looks like a place out of a Steinbeck novel and Grassy Point has also been vastly improved. It was called Grassy because of the abundant supply of seaweed- the only green on the point itself were a few really hardy weeds. The improved launch has been planted with grass, the Marina totally recreated, and they have even put a fresh water shower next to the rigging area for us. The Marina includes a new motel, restaurant, bait shop/office and present plans call for the addition of a shade structure at the end of the grassy area and a ‘Tiki bar’ outdoor bar on the adjacent point. This is not a public facility (its too nice) and there is an annual membership fee for windsurfing of $70, daily visitors are $4 a day and access is free if you stay in the motel. The fee is reasonable for locals, especially those who had sailed there since 1980 and know how good it was (once you left shore). Now the shore has been upgraded from the home of derelicts, hulks and late night parties into a very upscale marine business complex. Grassy Point is back and with the added amenities; I won’t mind paying for that. A friend has put some photos of the launch area up on the web at
The marina also has a web page
which should have a windsurfing portion added soon. If you are in town before April, you can check it out free- just check in with the office before you go out to the launch parking area.
RE: Corpus gets a new (old) launch
This is good news, that sometimes things turn the right way. Good for our Texan windsurfing pals!
Unfortunately, things not always go the right way. My experience at my home spot is that of things getting worse year after year and launch areas getting more and more limited and difficult to access. We never asked for such things as showers or Tiki bar, but just somewhere to park cars within (young athletic man's) walking reach to the shore; and it's getting more and more difficult.
Mind, I am not whining about some unknown home spot: in Talamone bay thermal winds can grow to 5-6 Bft. It is one of the very very few places over Italy where good sailing can be enjoyed once all the Atlantic storms are over and Summer high pressure sets in. Typically in its season it gathers sailors from all over central Italy, and quite a few from the North; everybody agrees that no other sailing area offers comparable conditions during high pressure weather.
I think that windsurfing manufacturers and distributors could play a positive role in this, by taking care of free access to the beaches; after all, they have direct interest in this. Hope that our friends at Starboard will launch a new campaign about this in order to make our sport grow even more.
This is of paramount importance: having light wind planing materials or organizing Formula Experience races is of no use, if people are asked to challenge laws, parking regulations, tranquillity and good sense just to enjoy a sailing weekend.
If any help is needed, here I am.
RE: Corpus gets a new (old) launch
Sorry to hear about your plight geo but don't look to the manufacturers for help. Their primary interest is retailers- they don't have many other options for ears in any given community. Local matters most often require slogging through local government seldom is it a quick process. When 'free' is in the equation it takes public support (either a majority or an effective vocal minority). We had neither cooperative dealers nor friendly politicians and had to settle for paying a business for access. We feel lucky to have gotten that.
Fortunetly, the folks at that local marina have put in things suggested (the Tiki bar was their idea) by several local boardsailors to make the membership cost less objectionable. I hope it works because its the windiest launch in windy Corpus Christi throughout most of the year. The new launch is one of several in Corpus Christi but it is the only one on the mainland side of the laguna Madre and IMHO the best flat water launch west of Cape Hatteras.
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