We always like Adriano's reports. They talk about windsurfing, but they also talk about much more. This December, he was in Porto Pollo, Sardinia, at a time when the mythical spot of the island almost becomes a spiritual place, where you can enjoy windsurfing sessions with a few riders in the water, or even a solo session, in in the midst of an even more fascinating nature.
Windsurfing, report: Porto Pollo, Sardinia, December 2019
We are happy to leave the word to Adriano, and we thank him once again for this beautiful story.
ESCAPE FROM THE CITY
Here I am again, fleeing the city. A month has passed since the last time, and thanks to this fantastic alibi provided by my son Filippo (who lives here), I am ready to go back to Sardinia. The excuse, but above all the pleasure, is to go and visit "the child", now a Sardinia resident, based in Porto Pollo.
This time the transfer took place on a plane departing Wednesday evening and returning on Monday evening. However, before leaving I had a quick look at the weather forecast and I verified that there would be good wind even for the days following Monday; so I had to postpone the ticket for return....
Having said that, let's return on Wednesday night!
On Thursday (first day in the Sardinian land), in mid-afternoon a grecale (NE) seems to have entered a little "soft", and guys, here, have not even the idea of entering the water; and I understand them! Filippo goes out, on average, three/four times a week. So, zero problems: tomorrow is expected stronger West.
But I see that the water surface begins to show some "curls", and I get entangled ... Filippo proposes me to take his equipment already mounted (and always ready for use) at the Portopollo.it school. I willingly accept and so I rush to spot; when you enter the structure of the Sporting Club Sardinia you are captured by a special "energy" ... I meet the dear friend Riccardo (Genazzani), who immediately shows a wave prototype, of the sails with the trademark "Portopollo". It will be called "Horus", as the Egyptian divinity, and he puts it at my disposal, already assembled and perfectly trimmed. The sail area is 4.8 square meters.
The desire to get into the water is so great, even if I have doubts about the size of the sail because it seems small to me; there will be 15-16 knots (but here is the biggest sail they have in the quiver which consists of the following measures 3.6 - 4.0 - 4.4 - 4.8). Furthermore, as board, I get the Tabou Twister 90, also a bit small in my opinion due to the conditions at the spot today.
The sail that Riccardo gave me is very beautiful chromatically. The colors have changed compared to the previous models (already very appealing), it has four battens, and is very sturdy with an “eye shaped” patterned window, which, however, doesn't affect the lightness of the product. The 4.8 is rigged with a 400 cm mast, and has very appreciable construction details, such as the downhaul protection, the top and the leech profile, which gets your attention.
By the water, and at the first ride, it seems to me "all too light and soft", both the board and the sail. I immediately realize that everything is totally different from what I usually use. I bring the board slightly to a reach, I immediately feel the sail that "pulls", and I immediately start gliding, and I keep going great despite the wind ... I wonder if there is any entity that pushes me… .and instead I keep gliding at full power. I'm in the water alone, with the wind and the sea ... it's so beautiful!
The sail is beautiful, powerful, beautifully fat and when sailing, looking at the top, you notice that the leech opens well and discharge power in the gusts, without straining your arms and without giving annoying tugs. It is beautifully light in tacks and jibes (my catalog of maneuvers is quite small!) It is really easy to handle, which makes it easy to understand how it would behave in the hands of a good windsurfer. Not by chance, these sails are appreciated by strong local wavers and other riders, such as the Ligurian Christian Ferraro, who in this period we see him in action on Sicilian waves.
In short, I am amazed by the product and enjoy it for about an hour, easily moving from moments of light wind, to good gusts during which you get strong accelerations, without having to change much your stance.
This sail is born from the evolution of the previous model. The sails with the Portopollo brand were born two years ago from the hands of the sailmaker Claudio Badiali (Challenger) and from the fundamental contribution of the Portopollo Guys, namely Riccardo, Alberto, Augusto (and other guys who know how to windsurf, and above all in the water you notice right soon), and have been extensively tested by a lot of users who over the last two years have widely scrambled them during all the windy days, here at the windsurfing center (so really a lot).
The sails work well and how! Also, think about how many times they have been in the water in two years of hiring, and those few left (since almost all sold for the arrival of the new collection) are intact overcoming countless crash tests! These circumstance say a lot about the strength of the materials used and the tough construction with which they are made.
On the ground, Riccardo describes me and explains very technically the sails construction peculiarities, and above all the innovations that they introduced in the 2020 models. Even from this point of view, I understand and see how much passion and competence there is in the development of these products. We promised ourselves, during the Christmas holidays, to make a nice review, of all the models in the catalog, for all Waterwind readers.
Saturday and Sunday, there are similar conditions in terms of intensity, that is West wind at 16 knots, with some stronger gusts. Saturday, I still have the "prototype 2020" 4.8 combined with my "comfortable slipper" (definition by Mr Waterwind a.k.a. Fabio Muriano), that is my faithful RRD Wave cult 99, which has now also transferred her residence to Palau. I use the sail for a good time, about two hours, and I confirm what has already been written: it is simple, soft and manageable and for an average level windsurfer like me, the sail, despite being a beautiful technical product, forgives a lot thanks to its lightness. In short, it is pleasant in the water.
In the water, once again we are few (many more kiters), but a few definitely good. In fact, they are part of the group: Riccardo Marca, Jacopo Testa, and Andy Lachauer, who are “monsters” in the water, compare to us; they keep on maneuvering, and, believe me, they close all of them!
Other riders, all with Portopollo sails, are in the water all headed by the Coach Riccardo Genazzani. A nice group of very young and wind-thirsty kids who get in the water as soon as there is a minimum of wind with all the equipment, made available by the Sporting Club, with the junior sails, always Portopollo branded, specially developed by the Portopollo crew, with the Challenger master sailor.
Monday is expected mistral strong, and here when it is strong, it goes over 40 knots.... In fact the portion of the water area to the left of the isthmus that leads to Isuledda (better known as Gabbiani Island) appeared as a boiling pot. The Sail I use today is the Portopollo 3.6 mq, TAO Wave model, which i s also large in gusts; as board, the Starboard Quad 81 lt.
Equipment always made available by my son Filippo, and I would see that he has something to say, adds daddy! By now, he has been using Portopollo sails for over a year, and although he is not a "Lord" in the management of his equipment, everything is still in good condition, with several sessions on its shoulders. So these sails are resistant, and Filippo is a good benchmark tester from this point of view! Everything always ready for use. I enter the water in the afternoon, after having taken Filippo from school in Arzachena, and I immediately understand that it will be a day of "survival". In the water there are some great chops, that make you take off, but the thing for which I am really amazed is to see the kids (they are in 5 from eight to fourteen) entering the water with their 2.0 and 2.5 and jumping like crickets without any fear (the photos clearly show the conditions and their skill).
Every 3-4 rides, they come back to shore for the advice and correction of Coach Riccardo, and then with great enthusiasm and courage back into the water. I must say that it is really nice to see people who dedicate themselves with passion and tenacity to teach but above all to transmit the passion for a sport that allows you to be in contact with nature. (... it seems to me that Ricky has raised, in his time, a boy named Jacopo, and surname Testa - the PWA adn EFPT champion... I would say a guarantee without taking anything away from the athlete's talent).
Near sunset, the wind drops a little and the 3.6 is more manageable and I enjoy the beautiful, more controlled rides, managing the sailing and jumping a little better. I finish the beautifully session, quite tired. I forgot to say that the session happened with a very pleasant temperature.
Tuesday, at mid-morning, a nice north wind enters, as tense as the day before. Once again, I pick up the Sardinia "emigrated" son at school and immediately go to the "Gabbiani (seagulls) Island" immediately after lunch. As soon as we arrive, there are already friends in the water ,and the conditions, however, seem not so good: it seems very gusty.
Now having all the sails of the school available, this time I go for the Portopollo Ninja Freestyle 4.8, but the 2020 version (Riccardo's private set sail) with my faithful RRD. I enter the water and the wind is actually a bit gusty, but I have to say that I feel good (the material makes the difference, the man not much the same, in my case).
After a while the wind turns more from the east, and BOOOOOMMM, here is a blow, with its beautiful 40 knots, and a little bit more, maybe. Equipment change with the Starborard quad, and Filippo's Portopollo 4.0 Ninja Freestyle. The water surface is beautiful because, in the bay to the east, there are beautiful long and orderly waves, not as when there is mistral, in the west bay. After two hours, it's almost dark, and it's time to come out fully satisfied.
The most beautiful session in these Sardinian days, both for the conditions in the water, but above all for the context in which we find ourselves: towards the end of the session, on one hand the sunset, on the other the moon in the sky, like a switched on lighthouse. I couldn't to stop ... it's a goose bumps scenary!
It is time to return to the continent and, once again, this place haunts me, every time for a new reason, and also for all the old ones that are now innumerable.
I keep coming back to this place, with great enthusiasm and it is perhaps for this reason that I reduce the time, each time, between the start and the return. This time, thanks also to the Christmas holidays, I will have to wait only 15 days!
It is also true that "people" make the difference, and, here, there are a lot of people who make a difference…
Thanx a lot Portopollo.it crew!
Click here, for the complete slidegallery of the sessions of Adriano and Filippo.
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