January 23, 2020 was our last vacation day in South Africa, this year. Sunset Beach, once again, was the spot that gave good conditions for a nice windsurfing session, even if the Cape Doctor began to blow a little later than expected.
Windsurfing, session report: Sunset Beach, Cape Town, South Africa, 23 January 2020
Infact, until the day before, checking the various models, it seemed that it would be a good day with a nice Cape Doctor (the thermic wind from the South-east, which blows over the Cape Town spots), and with the possibility of doing both the session at Sunset Beach in the morning, and in one of the more northwestern spots (starting from Big Bay), in the afternoon.
Instead, in the morning the Cape Doctor, at Sunset beach, was a little late to enter, even if, in retrospect, we should have trusted it ....
The wind reached a good intensity around at 11.00 - 11.30 (about 18-20 knots), and after some hesitation, slowly, the different riders on the spot started to enter into the water. I entered the water with the Goya Guru X Pro 4.7 2020, and the inseparable Tabou Da Curve TE 80 2016, which I set, given the light wind, with MFC G10 Side10 TF / FW combo fins, and with the original T-Lab Zinger 16 central fin, stiffer than the k4.
When I entered into the water, the conditions turned out to be easy and pleasant, even if the wind, especially near the shore, was still a little weak and unstable. Modest waves, around a meter as height, with some sets, however, rather regular, good for practicing both jumping, and for short surfing on the return. Rightly, the italian expert rider Raimondo Gasperini told to some windsurfers, skeptical about the conditions offered by the spot, that similar conditions in many of our spots would be fantastic! And in the water, Raimondo confirmed the validity of this statement, riding for short distance, so as not to tire unnecessarily, and to take as many waves as possible. With skill, I saw him jibing on the incoming wave, or tacking shortly before, to surf and enjoy it. I really like these "historical" riders, who always show a lot of elegance in maneuvering, and also in their stance on the board, when riding. Progressively, the other riders at the spots also entered the water, and even my travel companion, Max entered into the water with his Severne S1-Pro 2019 4.8, and Witchcraft board.
The wind, until 13.30, remained light. I got out of the water, to rest and eat something, and I took a wrong decision ..... I received a message on the phone from a friend of mine, in which I was told that in Witsand the conditions seemed good for a jumping session , and that he was heading there, as the wind was uncertain in Sunset Beach. Indeed, the day at Sunset seemed abnormal, although the wind was slightly increasing compared to the late morning. Instead of enjoying a relaxing day near home, trusting Sunset, I decided to unrig and go and see Witsand, which is a spot that I really like. Thanks also to some traffic, it took me almost an hour to get there. I arrived in Witsand around at 15.00, and I immediately met Andrea Franchini (a friend, and italian very skilled rider) who told me that he did not manage to hold the 3.7 ... The wind was very strong, and had smoothed out the waves a bit, which, however, were enough to do some nice high jumps, as shown by some professional riders in action in the spot. Andrea moved to 3.4 (and then I know it dropped to 3.1).
The idea to give me one last session in survival conditions quickly passed away (I don't have sails smaller than the 3.7). I said goodbye to Witsand, a little reluctantly, and went back to Sunset beach, to go out there. I got back to Sunset around at 5 pm, even a little tired from the almost two hours driving. I rigged again the Goya Guru 4.7, and went back into the water. The wind here was starting to turn unstable again. Max then told me that, in the early afternoon, the wind was nice, good for sails of 4.2-4.4 square meters, with waves of about 1 meter. We had to stay here.
The last session at Sunset beach was not fun: the wind went gradually down, and in particular, 150-200 meters from the shore, it was often rather weak, no longer allowing constant gliding. I stayed in the water for a while, but after about an hour and a half, I decided to close my last session in South Africa in 2020.
I managed the day badly, making the mistake that I often reproach to others: I went crazy in looking for the ideal conditions, without realizing that what I had under my eyes was not so bad. Definitely, I learned the lesson.
I went home, and I started, with Max, the preparations for the departure, the next day, by rinsing and packing the equipment.
Also this year South Africa has given me a lot: many beautiful emotions in the water and outside. I have gained even more experience and confidence in the waves, although I still have a long way to go. Once again, I saw moving panoramas, and had nice encounters with the people of South Africa. We left, already planning the return.
And even after coming back, the memory of South Africa remains in my mind and heart. I am aware, among other things, that South Africa this year has also left me with a desire, a purpose, both as regards windsurfing, and everyday life: after many beautiful sessions in the water, and many days spent in a full and satisfying way, I came back with the desire to "live well": I do not want to chase windsurfing sessions at all costs, when there are no good conditions, and think and dedicate myself to something else in those days , for a healthier relationship with this sport; and I want to spend better my time every day, with more normal rhythms, by giving me rest breaks, once the many family and work tasks are over, dedicating myself a little to healthy moments of leisure, and not giving too much weight to so many issues (for example at work), that it is almost impossible that they will turn as I would like. "Living well" is the motto that this South Africa 2020 leaves me. And it is not a small thing. Thanks again.
Hang loose. Fabio
Click here, for the slidegallery taken at Sunset Beach
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The video shot at Sunset Beach on the 22 and 23 January