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Northerlies and southerlies occasionally create a venturi that makes for outstanding conditions -- even better than the nearest hot spot, Sandy Hook. Look for these conditions in spring and fall when the huge storms move through. Unfotunately, prospects for summertime shortboarding are usually fairly bleak.

Even though the Croton/Haverstraw launches are opposite sides of the widest section of the Hudson, sideshore winds rarely reach the water on the lee shore given the river's steep banks. For example, nor'westers can be 'capping at Croton while Haverstraw on the lee shore is calm. Under these conditions, if driving around to Croton is not practical, you may have to swim your board away from shore to reach the windline.

There are many excellent launches along the Hudson River Valley as shown by the following contributions from area sailors:

Grassy Point (Stony Point): best on NW winds, launch as far north as possible near the northern tip of the park. Watch for strong currents, and the partially obscured pilings just north of the launch.

Haverstraw Marina: about a mile south of Grassy Point, most sailors launch from the Haverstraw Marina from a grassy strip to the south side of the restaurant. An advantage of this launch is its weaker current. One caveat, bottom is fairly rocky with some "fin breakers".

King George's Island Park: located in Montrose, Westchester County

Senasqua Park: located in Croton-on-Hudson, available to all sailors in the off-season. Great NW location. Launch is small recessed area just north of the pile of rocks at the point. Point high to clear the rocks when heading out. If you miss coming back in, a boat ramp at the south end of the park provides a back-up "de-launch". Note the two pilings close to the beach which are marked by buoys and the underwater rocks by the north tip of the park.

Croton Point Park: this launch located at the northeast end of the park is only suitable in north and easterly winds

Maui Beach aka Ossining Beach): located in a park just north of Sing Sing Prison, adjacent to the Ossining Train Station. There is a two acre grass park adjacent to a 100' sandy beach. Windsurfers have removed nearly all rocks from the beach so it is fairly foot-friendly and skeg-safe. The only risk is the ebb tide current which can take shortboarders down river from the launch site. The park is free year-round and the parking is very close to both the water and the rigging field. Note: there is an obligatory "no swimming" sign to limit the city's liability, but the police are very friendly and do not apply this ban to windsurfers. The water quality is not bad and lunching is easy except when the winds are out of the east or southeast.

Cold Springs On the East side of the Hudson in Cold Springs New York. The Hudson River is narrower here than Haverstraw and when the wind comes from the north it is wild river day and conditions become radical. Be careful to watch the tide if you are a novice. Launching is full grass and easy parking.

Croton park info: (914) 271-3293
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 Season: April-October 
 Water: Flood tide 1mph or less, Ebb runs up to 3mph 
 Ability Level: Intermediate-Advanced 
 Launch: Croton-King George's Island, Launch fee-$3:50 with pass, $7.50 if not. 

For the Haverstraw Marina, take Route 9W to West Haverstraw. Turn onto Railroad Avenue and follow to the marina. DIRECTIONS TO COLD SPRINGS: Route 9D or 301 to the village. The towns main road goes directly to the river, follow the road north to the grassy area, this area is state property and parking is free. The grassy area is for rigging. Launching is only a few feet away over a few protective rocks to the water.

The sensor is located atop the Half Moon Bay Yacht Club on the eastern side of the Hudson River. The northerly and southerly fetches are good, as is the westerly fetch. Given the river's steep banks, east/west winds are usually much stronger on the windward bank. This may require swimming a board to the windline if launching from the lee shore. It also means easterly readings will be much lower than the actuals you'll encounter at Haverstraw and Grassy Point. Area sailors report that the meter also does a good job covering conditions at Grassy Point in Stony Point.


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