Previous Edge Holidays
Boa Vista Febuary 2011 - Banging Boa!
Leaving the UK in middle of winter with 3 stars showing on wind guru, we board the 5 hr Thomson flight south to the remote island of Boa Vista. This really does feel like our second home now & with so much discovery over the years it is a great feeling to be sharing it with a bunch of enthusiastic kiters. Met by ‘Strava’ our local guide, friend & driver along with a handful other 4 wheel drive Toyota trucks. We hit the water for a quick hour following a speedy check in at the 5 star all inclusive & enjoy warm winds before darkness falls & the beer on tap.
Day 1 & we get the entry level riders up to Ponta Antonia in the north of the island. Other trucks head south to Ervatao & enjoy cross shore wave riding & 9 mtr weather.
Day 2 started with a brief on surf board technique, wave riding, using the kites power to make bottom&top turns with style. Everyone embraced the day & really got to grips with linking turns. 3pm we buddied up & did the 8 mile downwinder to currel Velho. 15 kiters charged down & we only had a few incidents but many arrived challenged but really satisfied to have achieved it. Steve had a final swim in following a deflating Orange Warroo & will next time remember to pack down shortening one of the lines first!
Day 3 was a superb day for Martin who really got the hang of board starts & made great progress at P. Antonia. The afternoon session was a lesson to be learnt on my behalf & I just should have known better! Approached by a couple of local Cape Verdians who greeted me like there best friend- reminding me that we kited together last year on some of the big wave days. They then tell me that they were going to kite from Ponta Antonia to Sal Rei & did I want to join them. Eric & I had always wanted to do this trip & with the group happy & ready for a lunch break I decided it would be a brilliant trip to do with Callum also.
Once one of the local kiters crashed their kite on the rocks before even leaving the bay -I should have turned back! It was full on challenging with big seas & travelling fast. Callum was racing as was I & we made great progress while also catching some waves off Santa maria (ship wrecks). As we rounded the north of the island & headed towards the port , the guy riding the toilet bag decided to drop it!!! Even with me rolling it over to get in the correct position it was not relaunching.
Callum sailed into Bahia to try to get a rescue boat while I stayed with the kiter. Time passed slow & I decided it was time to make decisions since we were both going downwind. In order to get this guy anywhere near land we would have to ditch his kite at sea. It was Sunday & election day so I was not convinced that Callum would be able to even get a boat. I was just worried that we would not make land if we did not get a solid body drag with this guy. I had to inform him that it was a crap kite & he should leave it at sea!!! (not thinking of a kite sale or anything) So, after 4o minutes of dragging with the kiter (Claudia) a welcome relief of the noise of the rescue boat. That was it, I could now make the upwinder back into the port & think about many learnt lessons!!
Back at the Riu the rest of the team had enjoyed another superb day of wave riding & have decided that Ervatao is the best spot & they just want to go back tomorrow!
Day 4 & we had another early start for Ervatao. A concentrated session on wave riding & back loops ended in a few damaged kites. The committment has to go to Tom who spent the morning stitching his kite by hand on the beach. Ralf managed a superb back loop to crash & decided he would save that for another day!
Day 5 was a return to more north wind so a group split with Shipwrecks & ponta Antonia being the choice kite spots. Martin now going well to the left & starting to show real smiles. Vicky had her first kite lesson & showed great natural ability with the kite. Chris spent much time learning front loops & got especially good at relaunching the kite. An evening out at Spinguera we ate fresh fish & drunk Fogo wine while enjoying the peace & beauty that this place inspires.
Day 6 we embarked on a downwinder from Bahia To Chaves beach which for many just felt wrong. Heading out in Off-shore winds which would soon become cross shore as we travelled downwind. Although the conditions were not epic everyone managed the gusty downwinder & larger shore break as we approached the huge sand dunes at Chaves. Some dune drifting with the kites & we packed up to head for Ponta Antonia for the afternoon. Our evening out in Sal rei began early with drinks in Cacoa & Migrante & Julian relaxing us to his guitar talents. Super at the Blue Marlin was fresh lobster & an awesome atmosphere with especially Ralf who kept us entertained with his definition of a 'Free Spirit'.
Day 7 a reduced number for morning stretches but the wind was strong & it was time to hit the water for the final session before heading to the outdoor airport for the 2 minute transfer. So relaxed & a no stress atmosphere we wave goodbye to Strava & all the Boa memories of our windy week. Leaving the island with yet another epic forcast is always gutting. However, the superb thing is that we have days getting longer & we are already making plans for 2012 to head 18 degrees north! Thanks guys for making this trip happen.
Boa Vista November 2011 - The Holiday that Never Ended
Trade wind reversal was the Edge Brief to clients prior to boarding the 5 hour flight to the Cape Verde islands. Little did we know that the wind switch off in Boa Vista was going to create such rain/flooding in Morocco and the huge disruption to transport in the Uk which would also leave us stranded on the island to endure more all inclusive & wind at last!!!
Tennis Rackets, Spear guns, SUP Paddles, Race boards, snorkels were all packed along with a bunch of kiters up for an adventure & keen to commit to the team atmosphere. A superb way to end our first day was a huge down-winder as the sun went down & all the group enjoyed endless turns as they went towards 'Currel Velho'. Following a couple of days on 14mtr kites the fun & games began with Paddle board trips to the island of Sal Rei while Tom Debo teamed a quad bike mission around the island thoroughly loved by all that had the nerve. A steep learning curve for many starting to get the hang of wave riding on the Paddle boards & it is Steve that gets the medal for the most perseverance, the funniest bit watching him in reverse.
Morning Pilates & Yoga with Justin (J.C) was one of the highlight's for many people's daily experience on Boa. 7am was about learning new moves including 'scouse break stroke, threading the needle, stirring the pot & the mandatory press up plank. This was the 1st time that we increased in numbers as the week went on. Hopefully many will take this knowledge, dedication home to continue on the cold lounge floor. It was J.C that really made this new experience & his prescence will be missed on the next trip.
'Danny's beach' - Bahia was the hang out spot for the bigger swell days mid week. However, it was not without morning visits to the busy SUP centre-Mar tine's!!! With a broken rib, Eric took Doctor Tom's advise which was keep the blood flow going & dialled his back hand riding. Along with Geoff, Darren was also a natural catching decent long rides. Excited about the development of the Island, 'Strava' the local guide/coach & route finder was over- enthusiastic with his approach to the time taken to get to different spots. The new highway to 'Ponta Antonia' in the north is yet to have the services built!
The final last days the breeze returned with always more wind in the south at 'Ervatao'. A longer drive, but always rewarded by the stunning view from the top, fresh coconuts on the beach, Strava & Rob's BBQ-ed Spear fish & one of the most special beaches on the island. Great progress made by Dave & Rob who was often seen with hat trailing out back or strands of beach string tying his board on.
As we re-live the funny quotes, experiences, drinking games, road trip & shared life for the last week we continue our extended journey back to the UK. 24 hour delay with Gatwick closed for snow meant that all had their best day kitesurfing of the holiday. However, imposed air strikes over Spanish airspace meant the plane did alot of re-routing & re- fuelling before an early morning landing at a very snowy wet cold Gatwick! BOOM - did'nt finish here- no baggage handlers on duty so a sleep on the floor for us kiters that just accepted that s---- happens!
Funny Stuff: Evening smash & grab with complimentary pints of port provided by Giles//Strava informing us of new road to Ponta Antonia & only taking 20 mins//Mike Reece driving- always have loads of fuel, positive about direction & nothing is ever a problem//Geoff's Point- How was that rebel 12mtr not trashed?/Geoff insisting we were flying back to Manchester!//Dave Birdict's constant reports from the bad weather in the UK//Simon's Stewart's Breaking down with Quad bike, leaving it in the south of island//Tennis games of testosterone//Rob Sweating//'Drifting' at Chaves
Despite the trade wind switch off, plane delay, re-routing round Spain the whole group made superb company always up for it motivated for other activities. Light wind kiteflying is what makes us better kitesurfers & all that put the hours in will reap the rewards back on UK beaches. Thankyou for all that joined us to make another memorable Boa Trip.
Boa Vista November 2009
A random check-in at Gatwick with huge quantities of kitesurfing kit split between twenty people joining us for the Edge holiday to the Cape Verdi Islands. It all depends on the person checking you in but the general rule is a letter confirming sporting or golf equipment has been paid for. A reasonable five and a half hour flight direct to Boa Vista and we were welcomed with a warm north easterly wind which did not stop the keener members of the group from hitting the water for the final hour of sunlight. The airport was built last year & now there are 2 flights/week from the UK. Like us, the best way to do Boa is staying at the all inclusive Riu Karamboa, a 5 star hotel just 2 minutes transfer!
Morning briefing at 9.30, we loaded the pick up trucks and headed for Ponta Antonia in the north end of the island. The lightest wind of the week, we worked 14M kites and big boards while a few people went with Strava to 'S' Bay for some underwater action! Classic comments such as ' that was in the email'- anyone coming on holidays with Edge does need to open the emails we send since there are some important ingredients that are worth bringing on the Safari. A sun-downer at Spinguera & we track back to the Riu for some all- inclusive.
Ervatao, the longest drive further south was a good call with cross shore winds and a decent swell, which was at first a little daunting for the less experienced. All managed and amazingly gained confidence during the day. Plenty of pack down experience.
Jonny Allen's quote "you go a long way to find cross shore conditions like that, can we come back here tomorrow?" The swell was a decent size & the point break was working well, althoughEric made it clear who has the right of way on the waves!
Watched the evening sunset before we followed the dirt track back to Jao Galago.
A small group head to Ponta Antonia to get the most out of the flatter water. David Burdict made huge progress, now riding back and forth on the 14M Evo.
A coaching morning with Geoff Bowen, J.C, Simon, Johhny Allen, Ric & Paul Hook all improving their toside riding, stance & jumping. Paul was working on toe-toe back loops, while Callum got the unhook kiteloop to crash dialled....!
David enjoyed his own space on the flatter inside ..... and went back and forth well. 'The Giant' became increasingly less of a liability although everyone kept upwind of him!!! A small group including Tom Youle took the afternoon trip to Ervatao where they were rewarded with a decent swell again. Callum made the drive along to Curral Velho and we gingerly took Tom Youle on his first down winder!! Perhaps not the best thing to do as the sun went down, however, a great sense of achievement when we found Callum! An evening drive back looking at the'windy' tree's and massive new construction on the south of the island where the next Riu will open.
It would not be the same without a trip to the shipwrecks at Santa Maria beach. Challenging cross/onshore winds with a "Westward Ho!" feel did not deter Nigel and Giles who loved these conditions. Poor Simon had a small sleep on the beach, after a dose of concussion, reminding everyone of the dangers of onshore conditions, and riding too close to the beach. Simon took the afternoon off and took on the role of chief photographer as we made the trip to Varandina. It is thanks to Simon that we have all these great shots. Tom Deb... loved the waves and wind from the right, while Callum carved huge bottom turns strapless saying ' idont know what all the fuss is about'!
A small party went to Ponta Antonia to have the bay to themselves, while the rest of the group travelled to Ervatao to enjoy the windiest day so far. I was on my 7M kite and spent the first hour dragging deflated or kite wraps into the shore!
We spent the day on the point where the waves were smaller but brilliant for practicing in, and learning to ride a directional board.
We watched the sun go down and moon arrive, ending the best day so far, with great conditions on the water. We went back in convoy, along the dirt track, feeling lucky to share this awesome remote place with such a great group of people.
A five minute drive south of the Riu to Chavis Beach with huge sand dunes and shore break. We launched kites at the top and used the power to pull us to the sea. A clean wave and 18kts of side shore winds. Big jumps from T. Youle, Giles and Nigel, catching up was the giant and poor Lee who has a slight sand pit issue to deal with!
The evening was spent at the exclusive Spinguera, where we shared a great meal with fresh fish, and decent wine, under the stars.
An under powered session at Chavis Beach with some downlooping practise. A brief pack, stuffing it all in the trucks before heading to the airport for check-in. Soon to learn that our plane, had stopped off in Grand Cannaria with an injured crew member, and we were to spend another night at the all inclusive!
Windy, and we all get an extra morning kitesurfing. We went with Strava, Jeff Bowen, Callum, and Justin to Varandena while the rest of the team kitesurfed from the hotel.
Life is a journey, and this week everyone had a fair chunk of it, with so much time on the water in decent conditions learning tips and tricks. Boa Vista Edge Holiday really is a kite safari. The island lends itself to riders that can stay up wind, many people will just go to the Riu and kite from the hotel, however, there is plenty more out there to explore and enjoy.
A massive thankyou to everyone that joined us on the trip:
To Callum for bringing some new kites, Doctors for all the cuts & bruises, Simon for Pictures, Strava for the local knowledge, Godfrey for steady driving, Giant for saying everything twice, Nigel for having the least sleep of all,Eric for the ongoing repairs, Tom Youle for his constant enthusisam for being on the water and everyone else for making the trip such good fun.
Boa Vista Feb 2009
KITE SAFARI- CABO VERDE- ILHA DA BOA VISTA
With snow falling all around the Uk, freezing temperatures and road closures it was one of our better calls to encourage the group of 20 kitesurfers to make the voyage to Gatwick the night before take off. After an easy check inn and 6hrs flying south we arrived at the island of Boa Vista to a huge swell and 20knots of wind! With my previous contacts from the November trip I manage to get local guide ‘Stravagante’ to collect us from the airport & get us to the hotel where we could enjoy an evening kite session off the Riu. For those that made the effort were rewarded with classic cross shore down the line wave riding! This was going to be some trip if this swell continued!!!
SATURDAY- DAY 1
Loaded the vans & we headed the scenic route to Prair de Santa Maria to the north of the island. This is a huge sandy beach with a wreck on it and a good size wave rolling in no matter what the swell direction. This was a rude awakening for everyone, many not been on the water for a while now having to face the white walls!!! It was funny when A.G. (BKSA Head of training Andy Gratwick) said to me so steph 'is this it????' I replied 'yes pretty much it never gets much smaller!!!' So, in at the deep end Edge style we set to work making sure small kites were the order of the day. I think it was Tom Yuole who made the funniest moment for Eric & I having suddenly experienced real pace there was no stopping him on his down-winders! Doing well to not kill himself it was only at the bar later that we got the full picture of the 'fin'impeded on his rear left buttock! No need for the doctor, Tom put a brave face to some of his tales of joy! Knowing that the North west swell would be dropping we went to find the wave on the west side of the island later that afternoon.We had a down-winder from Sal Rei to the Riu hotel where we enjoyed swells in cross-off. The peaks were holding up and we were able to get a couple of turns in before the wave powered onto the beach. Sam was first time on a directional & getting amongst it. Dan was ripping on the rocket fish, A.G & Eric shedded some on the sets and I just felt like I was fully on the green and getting ‘tubed’
SUNDAY –DAY 2
Awoke to a very windy start and headed to Santa Maria. All of the group got on better in the challenging conditions. We had the beginners getting up on boards & others just coming in & out trying directionals, kites and gaining from the array of demo kit & tuition on tap.
By 2pm we took a van load to explore a new spot at Ponta Antonia. This involved an hour's drive and took us to the most ideal bay with flatter water & small waves rolling in. It was perfect, we were on it, rushing to get the most out of the daylight left. Sam & Jonno loved the flat water for trickery while Dan, A.G & Eric enjoyed the outer breaks. We sailed till dusk fully stoked and happy to have found this spot. A swift drive back to the Riu for beers & capirinha's for a few strange stories from the rest of the group !!
MONDAY –DAY 3
We took the team to the beach we had discovered on Sunday, at Ponta Antonia. Cross –ON with waves and 12mtr weather. For many this was their best session so far. Everything was coming together & the team were all over this bay. By mid-afternoon the wind had died a bit so we went in the next bay which we called ‘S-Bay’! Plenty of sharks in the bay, we watched them play in the waves and many a thought came into peoples heads- ‘surely they venture out sometimes??’
The day was rounded off with beers at ‘Spinguera’ which is a small exclusive retreat with a very relax feel & although at 110 euro’s per nite per person many of the group said ‘steph can we stay here next time’!
Work stations around the beach with A.G running a ‘trimmimg session & ‘size is not everything’! After getting more questions and sorting everyones kite set up out, the wind had teased enough to get us playing on the water. Eric also ran into trouble with a session on self launch & landing-!
Strava had spent an hour with a spear gun in the water and came out with 10 huge fish that looked far to good to eat! Joe, Sam & Jono did some fishing & had plenty of bites & snaps! Although the wind was light everyone gained a lot from body dragging out off the beach- a new skill learnt. By afternoon we loaded the trucks and headed on a mission to find some cold beers to eat with the fish & a new spot! After a rather bumpy hour we arrived to find a bolt offshore bay blowing 18knots and just perfect for a cheeky little freestyle session. Camara’s were snapping so we all tried to do our thing with a cheesy grin! Strava had made a fire and prepared the fish, a couple of locals joined us & we all watched the sun go down while drinking beer & eating snapper that could not be fresher.
WEDNESDAY- DAY 5
The trip to Gata’s took us through the pretty towns of Joao Galego & Fundo das Figueiras. These are tidy, clean with chickens running around, people sitting outside playing cards & chatting & the distant sound of singing. Donkeys & goats dot the sun beaten dry tracks & we arrive at yet another insane spot. Everyone dispersed to discover turtle carcases’s or go snorkling with the sharks at gata’s!!! By the afternoon the wind kicked in late for a down winder and although this was the lightest wind day, many had enjoyed the chance to go on directional boards, big kites and gain kite knowledge in marginal winds. Simon won tghe prize for the best ripper of the day- it was all about the 14mtr 2009 north evo & any pointy board- he was ripping.
THURSDAY –DAY 6
Ponta Antonia was the choice destination for a building north wind. After getting the morning fix snorkling with sharks, many of the group pumped 14’s & 12mtr kites. Flat water on the inside allowed the freestlers to practice while all the lessons learnt in gybing came together out the back in waves.
As always Tom Deb was the last off the water, eating every ounce out of his strappless board. All satisfied to have had a decent afternoon’s kiting we drove to Spinguera for beers. Half of the group stayed for dinner and this was a superb way to end the week. By 10pm and after too much red wine we loaded the trucks and suddenly there was a race on! Mike was driving with steph on gears & we were tearing the back country to tunes from ‘pee-tong’. The truck was rocking as we bounced over dirt tracks & down revines in the effort to win the race Back at the Riu Joe stacked the tequila’s high & we sang to the Kareoke while Tom & Jeff did a sterlin job on the stage. Pilling into the on site disco, Pasha, it was Martyn who succeded in attracting the best girl at the club for some floor time. Followed by some naked swimming in the pool this was a great way to end the week!!
FRIDAY – DAY 7
For many this was now their 8th day going Kitesurfing- and again we took the group to another new beach. The wind was more northerly so we took the short drive to Chaves where the view is just insane. Although all slightly sore heads & feeling hung over it was time to pump the 9mtr’s & hit some ramps. For the first time in a week, there was local talent trotting along the beach and it didn’t take A.G long to get chatting & soon the lads were showing their stuff infront of the Italian chicks. By mid-day we had to make a brief exist off the beach- we essentially snow-kited back up the sand dune!! A superb way to end the week- all buzzing from a decent session and time to board the flight back to the uk. This place could not be easier- the airport is just a few minutes away & the all inclusive provides any last minute needs.
We thank everyone for making the Edge trip to Boa such great fun & it was great to spend some time getting to know everyone. We spend so many hours drinking, chatting, driving, kiting and being as a family it always feels sad to part company. We are pioneers to this special island, battered by n.e trades and full of beauty, nature & the best playground any kitesurfer could wish for. The photo’s show many good times & experiences- more to follow. We shall be back to Boa in November 2009 and February 2010 for more info contact us very soon.
Cape Verde January 2008
The tiny island of Sal, formed by the eruption of a volcano, is the oldest island in Cape Verde. Fifty years on it is fast becoming a major tourist destination. Those that have joined us in our adventure to Sal, a remote island off the west coast of Africa , have been rewarded with a wide range of world class conditions. The archipelago of Cape verde consists of ten islands which enjoy the combined influence of Senegal to the east and Brazil to the far west. You get there and you’re like "Bloody Hell - its just hardcore”. Windy, cross shore and the coastline is just incredible. It’s real Africa - totally rough and ready. Sal is in a mass of development and after a few days this place just grabs you and you never want to leave. Every part of the island is accessible with such perfect and diverse conditions - from consistent one foot kickers rolling in, not even breaking, through to flat water and full on waves. You’ve just got to go.
Since visiting Cape Verde in April 2007 Eric and I planned to come again for its wealth of wind and waves. With 18 kitesurfers of different levels and abilities we meet at Gatwick 7.30am Monday 28th with our fair share of excess luggage. Getting this lot on the plane was a mission and there was kit being taken out of one bag, into another to enable check in to be happy! A short delay meant that on arrival at our hotel, it would have been a rush to get on the water for an hour before it got dark. Not worth it, time to hit the swimming pool and start some competitive races. Beer O’clock soon came round and the group began to gel.
1st day of kitesurfing, 12-15knots north east on kite beach with all the edge team. Ideal breeze for the first day, many people not been out for a while with winter back home. Lee, Simon, Giant and Tony required the most of our time to begin with and the rest of the group happy to sail on 14m kites in our normal kite beach location. The Giant has been renamed ‘The Tank’ today and believe me it was well worth keeping out of his way on the water today, The Tank was always having the right of way!
Day 2 Morning run and swim followed by massive breakfast. We all arrived at kite beach to find a light wind day. Body dragging upwind followed by a snorkel out to the reef. Lunch at Punta Preta where the wave was building and we were to witness Steve catch some great waves on his surf board. Not enough wind for kitesurfing so we decided to head north and discover new places. Poverty was real however the children playing football, or outside their small shanty building, goats, pigs and cockerels these animals are proper free range! Discovery of Shark Bay was a big highlight of the day. This was insane we were driving past the ship wreck on the east side of the island and we stopped to take a photo then we look out and see a fin. Walking down towards the coral we discover very warm water, a lagoon for sharks to feed breed and live. This was a shark home! For an hour or so we watched and filmed the sharks very close - 3 meters away. Trip back salt mine. Night out at African.
Day 3 3 or 4 splinter groups. Run, swim, snorkel. Punta Preta session. We tried to catch a wave but it was directly offshore and we had too big kites to get amongst it. Later we heard that the wind went more east/south east and Mitu and his cousin were rippin! Gutted since this was the only chance to get Punta Preta working. With such a good wave down the west side we head off on a road trip to find a bit of cross in the wind. We discover Murdiera which is a bay up from Punta Preta and was windy from the east. It is getting late so I know we have to get on with it, I madly text everyone I think has got their phone with them and encourage to make the road trip. Although the spot had plenty of underwater obstructions it was a great learning experience for Tony and Simon. Teaching at new spot which has cross shore wind and plenty of it. Not ideal for beginners but we manage to get Simon, Ralf and Tony out on flat water 12m weather. Further north - kite spot Ali Bamba and little Ho’okipa discovery. Mad road trip. HGV the truck. The plant has a nose issue and has a new Cape Verde name - The Nose. The shag gets lucky at the Rui night club. Meal at The African, far too much all inclusive.
Day 4 Woke up to the sound of wind so as brief as breakfast can be we arrive ready for action at 09.30 kite beach to find 12m weather. Everyone was on it and trying to boost air or practice tricks. It was all about a full day on the water. Tony now going backwards and forwards well, nearly staying up wind and we made a deal that every time he dropped his kite he had to down a Caprini! Actually it worked and he did not crash the kite at all. Simon starting to edge well and getting back to the same place. Lee making his first few runs. Roger had his best ever kitesurf day nearly staying upwind and not looking so dangerous with the kite. Frank makes his second appearance on the water and still not looking happy. Dave Foa has an encounter with an Italian guy and has been re-named Mr Happy. Paul nails his toe side turns. Charlotte ripping on the 10m kite and now keen for some air time. Toby back loop kite looping with plenty of pull. Tom big jumps, the plant riding well and getting jumps to be proud of. New 10m Rhino 08 - magic kite. Afternoon - turtle head session. Pompey disaster. Carl lost his board then found it. Steph races Andy back from turtle head - not worth it! Fins seeen in the water so by 5pm felt it was shark feeding time and time to head in. Kite repairs. Chinese meal. Everyone tired.
Day 5 8AM bladder repairs. Looking windy at kite beach so we decide to head away from main crowd and go further up beach. Sunny and windy today with a great feeling. Busy getting everyone sorted and then Charlotte heads back to the beach in tears with what looks like a bad reef cut. After 10 minutes time out Charlotte is getting worse so all the doctors on the trip have a look at the foot. It is decided that Charlotte has had either a weaver/stone or ray fish bite which is why she is having a reaction to the toxins inside her. She is hyper-ventilating and in loads of pain so Tom, Simon and Tony administer prednisolone, paracetomol and anti-histamine. Charlotte makes a speedy recovery back at the hotel pool and has given us all a rather big scare. Everyone that has not put boots on now decides to! With all the action going on the shore side the wind has got steadily up and up. It is now 9m weather and pumping. Darren has a second kite mare, gets a big rip in his 9m kite. The Giant is doing well despite loosing a toe nail! Tony deflating kite. Lee improving. Simon on 9m Evo. Conrad getting every once of the day. Tom massive air. Conrad back loops. Paul toe side well and first jumps. Toby stylish with all his moves. BDF powered on the 14 Torch. Alasdair scares himself with a near death kite line experience. Ralf consistent, jumping higher. Downwind with Conrad back to the point. Everyone very happy.
Day 6 8am more bladder repairs! It is Tony’s other kite this time, perhaps all that sand on the kite as it gets packed away is not a good idea? Tony really enjoying this hands-on experience mending things and gaining plenty of valuable skills as Eric’s apprentice. We arrive on the beach normal time and it is 9 or 10m weather again. Today was all about getting the back loops nailed. Everyone was on it. Tom & Conrad can now back loop going both ways. Paul is getting round, Andy has moved to doubles and transitions including jump turns. Frank was on fire today, nailing big jumps, kite loops and sailing fast everywhere. Charlotte got back on the water and regained confidence with a few jumps by the end. Lee going to the left well and Simon sailing both ways with a small walk of shame. Tony and the Giant had their best ever day - now getting back to the same place. After lunch Eric decided he would have a head start to head upwind to turtle head for a wave session. He was on a 10m Rhino 08 and I was on 9m Vegas 08. He made me look like a beginner, he went up in 2 tacks and was going very close to the wind. Turtle head was best before the tide came in and although Eric had a few kite and board issues, we managed to see turtles and only 1 fin! By 4pm the group was thinning out at kite beach. Poor Paul’s hand looked like he had just sailed round the world. Andy decided that the last session of the day is the time to put all the tricks together and he was lovin it. Last off the beach (again) - cars back, shopping for the family, packing and plenty of Caprinis were the order of the evening. The evening table looked a picture of health, although people were hanging for a rest on the plane home. Conrad had made the decision to not kite tomorrow so played drinking games with BDF followed by a sleep in the yellow duck. Last
Day 7am breakfast with a 8am pick up to get to kite beach for the last and, for many, best session. The swell had built and there were some lovely steep sections to be had all the way along kite beach. It was colder and more cloud cover so felt a bit like the UK with warm water. To have to finish in these conditions is sad but it does leave you going home with happy memories of the place. Eric was the happiest he had been and was catching the bigger sets early and riding the reef break on his favourite tack. It was time to come in and start the mad pack to get our transfer on time. The hotel had never seen so much sand in their lobby! It was all very civilised with showers and even time for the final all inclusive meal with a cold beer! The Rui all inclusive concept truly works. We had an amazing atmosphere with a screen around us that meant we had no idea what the rest of the people on holiday at the Rui were doing! The hotel is huge with over 2000 guests, however we managed to create our own atmosphere and the fact that we could eat and drink as much as our tummy and head could take was unreal. Every time we eat or had a few beers there was plenty of beach banter to catch up on and with a good size group there was no danger of having enough of people! ‘I’ll get the next round’ - how easy was it to get far too drunk! One needed to be disciplined and remember that it was going to be windy the next day. We booked a table most evenings for everyone to be together and try different restaurants, however people did not have to join us if they did not want. Checking out you just hand over your key and there is no battle to work out the bar bill! In Summary Thank you to everyone that helped to make the trip a great success. It is the people and the relationships that develop that make these trips so special. People helping each other out and the team spirit that develops enables the group to enjoy the holiday. Wind, waves, good food & drink are obviously crucial ingredients also. This is the second time in 10 months that we have been lucky enough to come to Sal for kitesurfing and we have been blessed with good conditions. This time we came out on a poor forecast and got kites in the air everyday. The island is not pretty but will soon be much more developed and therefore busier on the beaches. Sal offers something special. That is that it is stuck in the middle of the Atlantic ocean blessed with wind and a wave somewhere. When you drive you can see the other coast, the place is 1 big sand dune in a mass of development that is slowly getting finished. We shall be back for its reliability, warm waters, easy flight time -- great January location.