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El Nino Year in Boa Vista

The 2 different groups joining us on the annual pilgrimage to the Cape Verdi Islands enjoyed the same steady daily trade winds of 16-20knots with a 5 degree rise in temperature caused by 2016 being an El Nino year, heading anywhere south in January is always a massive bonus but to have enjoyed 26 degrees air temps and water temperature not a lot different was a real treat.
A huge bonus to the group on the first week, Jeremy Wait reminded us all of why kitesurfing is such an incredible sport to be around, boosting hard, going upwind on a way smaller kite than anyone else, catching waves on his big twin tip and introducing new skills to everyone in his path. His company and natural coaching ability were infectious: lets hope we see more of Jez in the future.

The foiling group was a symbiotic relationship formed by Geoff Bowen, Ray, Conrad Humphries, Happy Nick and Matt Causon. The team work and perseverance paid off and their approach to learning enabled solid progression in Bay 1 Ervatao – (mosquito bay)
On the early part of the learning ladder, Paul & Mark, John & Patrick showed their new found upwind skills while Mark Trout found his back hand to start ‘sending’ it! Paul jacobs became a kitesurfer & I am sure we shall see a new entry from him this year for the edge Race Cup.
Some quotes from our Paul Russel this week:
‘Swimming with sharks/ marooning of shipmates on deserted beaches/ donuts in granny’s greenhouse after the great meal at Bahi / smuggling Geoff to the Ecuadorian Embassy to avoid a traffic fine. 9 days for the price of 6! As for Martin Meredith, this was his first time to BoaVista & in his words; ‘I feel my kiting has moved up a level or 2. The teaching & safety provision you made was terrific and allowed me to concentrate on progression. the company, venue & eating out were brilliant’

Our second week we were joined by team RD&E: this was not a week to need a shoulder, anesthetic or pediatric appointment. It quickly became clear that the boys demand wind & waves 24/7 so we soon booked that in & some stretch zone activity began. Ervatao was the norm, scoring some world class waves and wind on one of the days which for most only get a few times these conditions in their lifetime. The beginners took to the challenging conditions well, dealing with waves and often more than enough wind. Superb to have Teg who has progressed from a timid kiter to someone now in attack mode, controlling stance well even when on too much kite. Colin , also pushed the envelope by learning new footwork & having his first taste of flying on the foil board.
Matt, Harry & Gerry shared the same passion for wanting to learn everything that was thrown at them along with Steve who was addicted to the ‘Woo! Following one of the days was asked ‘what he got out of the day & the reply was 5.2mtrs! Steve probably holds the Boa Vista record with 8.2mtrs on the final day! Had Polish Matt been wearing a ‘Woo’ he would have recorded some fairly high numbers this week. Stefan looked like he would be doing more of this sport in the UK – gleaming from cheek to cheek, he found his kite legs and will soon be joined by Debbie who we have great hope for in learning to kitesurf. Meanwhile Patrick, who had stayed for week 2, completed his first official ‘downwinder’ – a 6km??? stretch from Ervatao towards Currel Velho.
We had arranged a final day competition which bought a new dimension to the daily shenanigans in a show down of height/ best trick and overall impression. The riders had a 10minute heat to demonstrate their skills to the panel of judges. A close final resulted in a unanimous decision that the winner was Richard (TP) followed in 2nd by Harry then Carl 3rd & Jim 4th. A brief prize giving was followed by the downwinder and a return trip back for one of Strava’s specialties- ‘The strava bbq’ with the fish he had been catching all day, his wonderful fresh dressings and some local grog. A special way to end another awesome week on Boa as we share the final sundown at our favorite beach, Ervatao.

Until next year, a big Thank you to BoaVista for allowing us to share another journey and adventure. The innocence and naivety is what makes it still very special, however we fear not for long.