Life is good on the Azores

Just arrived on Terceira, Azores a few day ago and felt well from the beginning on. We stay a really relaxed hotel with a beautiful on the sunrise and the spot. It’s a spot located in a big harbour, which got built a few years ago and destroyed the natural beaches, but gives the village of Praia da Vitoria and the whole island, to grow economically. Praia de Vitoria is a little village with an historic part and a few modern houses. It’ s the home of Nuno Bettencourt, who published the famous song “More than words” back in 1990.

At the moment I am here at Praia da Vitoria to compete in the IFCA Slalom Worlds. It’s the fourth time for me competing at IFCA Worlds. And it’s great to be on the Azores for the first time.

The spot is special. A big harbour with unsteady winds, but so far not too bad for testing my biggest gear set 9,0 and 117 liters. And if you catch a gust it’ s cool to have a glide through the bay. Many great Slalom racers are here on the island to prepare for the season and fight for the world title. Last year’s winner Gunnar Asmussen, Ben van der Steen, Gonzalo Costa Hoevel, Arnon Dagan, Steve Allen, Ludo Jossin, Cyril Moussilmani, Antoine Questel, Pierre Mortefon, Maciek Rutkowski and many more. 52 men and 5 ladies are competing. So far the wind was not suitable to run any races. Two more days are to go. Let’s hope for abit more wind.

The wind limit to run a race is at 11 knots. During the last two days we had wind in between 7 and 14 knots, but quite unsteady. The life here on Terceira is very relaxed despite the not ideal wind conditions. It’s not an extremely touristic place, what gives the village and the spot a special charm. It’s definitely worth to visit this island located in the middle of the Atlantic ocean. And there a few more island just around, which are all worth to visit.

 

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Slalom Session on Gran Canaria 2014 – Video

Yes, let's go for another session!

The trip to Gran Canaria is still in my head. I spent three weeks in February there. Together with Kerstin. It was like a dream. We stayed at Pozo. The conditions were exciting almost every day with perfect waves and strong wind. I used 4,2 or 4,7 most of the time and it was great feeling the sensation of a wave board again. For the lighter days I decided to bring one Slalom set to the Gran Canaria. A 2014 iSonic 107 and a Reflex 4 in 7,8. At several days the wind was a bit lighter and we drove to Bahia de Formas near Arinaga. That’s a brilliant bay with flat water and choppy sections. Just perfect for Slalom or Freestyle windsurfing.

 

Fun at Vargas

 

“It was a cloudy day. A strong storm was around the corner and a lot of snow felt in the mountains of the island, what’s quite rare. The roads were slippery and full of snow. The waves were not really there this afternoon, so I decided to go a Slalom session at Bahia de Formas near Arinaga. German former bobsledder, was there , too It’s a brilliant spot for flat water blasting and jibing and one of the spots, where 41 times world champion Björn Dunkerbeck trained many times in his career. To me it was the third session in my life. I brought the brand-new iSonic 107 to the island plus a Reflex 4 7,8, what fits most of the time at that spot, when the wind is a bit lighter. This afternoon some raindrops felt down from the grey clouds, which were in the sky. And from time to time heavy rain squalls went down and stronger offshore gusts with 25knots + arrived in the bay. Kerstin got a few really cool shots and edited this clip. I am looking forward to have many more great sessions at that great spot in the upcoming years.  The oil-rig at the background is in the harbor for repair. Windsurfing next to this beast was scary. The wind changed directions next to the harbour wall and the big concrete monster.”

 

Watch a short Slalom vid, click on the pic!

 

Let’s see, what th efuture will bring. I definitely recognized how much I like windsurfing in strong wind and waves. It’s so special. You hit a steep ramp and get some air. And it’s so exciting to hit the lip during wave rides. At the moment I am back in Austria and will tune my Slalom gear, but really hope to sail in waves very soon again.

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Trade wind zone Gran Canaria

The Canary islands are awesome for windsurfing. It doesn’t matter what time of the year I travelled there. The wind was on in December, the wind was on in March, the wind was on in May. And no comment about the wind during the summer months, when the trade winds are on day by day with an average 20 to 45 knots.

This time it’s February 2014 and the trades are on almost every day. Had a few great Slalom sessions plus an excellent day on 4,2 in Pozo’s waves since the arrival on the February 9th. Actually a storm front has arrived on the Canaries and it looks promising for another wave session. And if there are days without any wind for my 107/7,8 combo there are so many places to discover: beautiful trails for hiking, waves for surfing, local gardens to visit or relaxed tapas bars next to the shore.

 

Check out a few shots by Kerstin.

Having a great Slalom session together with Kai Kaufmann at Bahia Formas (Pic:KerstinReiger).

Wonderful evening light (Pic: Kerstin Reiger).

Jumping around in the fun park Pozo Izquierdo (Pic: Kerstin Reiger).

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