Lake Neusiedl by Kerstin Reiger
Since we returned from Brittany and our trip to Paris – it was the first one and it was fantastic – back home to Austria, the windsurfing conditions were excellent. Normally it’s really foggy during November. It’s the real start of the cold period, the pre-winter season. This year it’s a bit different. A lot of wind from southern and south eastern direction hit the lake, kept the water temperature high and the temperatures during day and night, too. We didn’t have any snow fall yet or temperatures below zero during the longer night. Just made it on the water two days go and had a good session together with Kerstin. I definitely windsurfed much more compared to what I did when hanging around at the windless World Cup events on Sylt and La Torche. Plus we probably had the most windy day of the season with southern wind on the lake. What a nice November so far!
Jibing from the bird’s eye view with iSonic 107 and Reflex 7,8m. Kerstin takes a shot from land (reverse angle)
The same moment taken from the beach
Kerstin and I in the beach park during a grey windy November day
The time runs quick! 6 days are over at the La Torche PWA Worldcup. During the first 6 days we saw a lot of swell breaking at the beach of Pors Carn next to the Pointe de la Torche. It’s my first time spending time in Brittany and it’s definitely worth to visit this place. Renting a little stone house around 12 km from the event site was definitely the right decision. It’s located in the middle of the green country side. No traffic, just a main building, a horse breeding and a nice green cultivated garden next to the little stone house. So relaxed. We bought fresh fish at a local market in Loctudy, one of our favourite places. The taste was delicious…
Chilling in front of the little house we rent.
On the fourth day strong northwesterly wind kicked in the left bay and we followed the most radical wave competition of the 2014 season. The starboard tack conditions were challenging and the wind picked up over 30 knots. We saw crazy jumps in mast high waves. Wild double loops, massive Backloops and Pushloops and excellent wave riding. All top riders hit the lips quite vertical. The action happened quite close to the beach. Thousands of spectators stood on the rocks or on the beach next to the water watching their windsurfing heroes. Ricardo Campello won the single elimination. Congrats! Next time we will bring wave equipment. La Torche is definitely a great spot for wave sailing and surfing.
Having a coffee in the local creperie at La Torche in front of an old A.R.T. sail of Monty Spindler (Pic: Kerstin Reiger)
Not really sure how often the spot works for Slalom. It would have been possible to run Slalom eliminations two days ago, but it was definitely smart to give the wave discipline priority. Probably a lot of racing gear would have been destroyed by the huge white water walls and the strong current would have dragged the marks away from their origin spots.
Rigging in the green next to Ross Williams with a view to the event site and on the dunes (Pic: Kerstin Reiger)
At the moment the wind is far too light from being suitable for any Slalom racing. The two biggest sail sizes, 8,6m and 9,0m are rigged and ready just next to the beach. I will race in heat 6 in the first elimination. Three days are left to start the Slalom competition. Looks like we are racing on the right hand side of the bay, if we will race. For the wavers the forecast doesn’t look so promising. They would need to sail 10 or 11 more heats to complete the double elimination.
Rigging for the first time at La Torche, the wind will kick in later, hopefully (Pic: Kerstin Reiger).
The beach is beautiful and the scenery with over mast high breaking waves is just breathtaking. It’s so great to see breaking waves like on the first day here in Brittany. And Ricardo Campello had nuts and made it out in just a few knots of wind. He was surfing the waves. Big respect. I really hope we will see more wave action and get proper wind for a few races during the next 8 days. Most of the big names are here to compete in the 6th PWA Slalom tour stop of the 2014 season.
Here are a few shots from the trip to La Torche and the first day at the French land’s end with a lot of friendly people, tasty crepes and a really wild coast. Definitely like this area from the first day on!
Driving through the Champagne on the way to La Torche (Pic: Kerstin Reiger)
Team Autriche (Pic: Kerstin Reiger)
Team Autriche, Marco Lang and I at the opening ceremony (Pic: Kerstin Reiger)
Huge waves at the right hand side of the Point of La Torche (Pic: Kerstin Reiger)
At Penmarch, checking the surf (Pic: Kerstin Reiger)
A real Galette de Saucisse, the local street food . A real revolution and quite tasty! (Pic:Kerstin Reiger)
Less space in the tiny gear tents, but better than nothing