Having regained the freedom of movement among the different italian regions, after the Covid emergency, we did not think too much about organizing this trip and we immediately left for Sardinia. Also this time, the island, and in particular the spots of La Cinta in San Teodoro, and Marina delle Rose, gave us some wonderful windsurfing sessions, with waves, lots of wind and warm temperatures.
Windsurfing, report: Sardinia, 4-7 June 2020
I had sensed and reported favorable wind forecasts for these first days of June in Sardinia in the Waterwind Forum. My friend Alessio from Modena helped me overcome my weak resistance ..... and, in a flash, I got the ferry ticket. Yet another order from the island's President was not an obstacle to traveling to heaven. As a man respectful of the law, I filled in the registration form for entering Sardinia, which, upon landing in Olbia, nobody bothered to ask us. I feared queues of hours, for the disembarking operations. I am 50 years old, and I still have not understood how this country works ....
It was from November 2017, that I hadn't come for windsurfing in Sardinia, and I realized, on returning, that I was really wrong to spend so much time, without being here. Sardinia with its exciting panoramas, and its epic conditions for windsurfing, is a land that really conquers your mind and your heart, and makes you sick, not from Covid, but from .... Sardinia disease.
La Cinta, San Teodoro - 4 june
Thursday morning, June 4, after having breakfast in Olbia, immediately finding a temperature of 25-26 °C, I headed, calmly, towards San Teodoro, as a day of Syrocco (SE) wind was predicted.
Driving along the road that follows the coast, I immediately recognized and admired the silhouette of the island of Tavolara, an unmistakable reference in this stretch of coast, which dominates La Cinta spot.
Arriving at La Cinta beach, I took the dirt road that runs between the beach and the large parking lot used by summer tourists (read the spot review), so as to bring me as close as possible to the point of entry into the water.
To my surprise, at 9.00 in the morning, I already found on the spot the camper van of a German boy, who had also just disembarked from the ferry, coming from Livorno: I asked him if he had spent the lockdown in Sardinia....., but the simple truth was that he too ran away as soon as the cages were opened.
The wind entry was predicted for the late morning and so I took the opportunity to take a walk on the beach: there was only me, and 4-5 other people. Wonderful!
As punctually foreseen by the Arome model, around 11.00, the wind gradually started to blow, and prompted us to start preparing the equipment.
First, I hypothesized to go out with the Ezzy Elite 5.3 and the Tabou Pocket 2016 94, setting it with G10 fins (18 MFC central, 11 original Zinger as side ones). Preparing the board, I understood that the 5.3 would have been big, and I started preparing my Goya Guru X-Pro 2020 4.7, with which I entered the water around 11:30, already suspecting a possible over-powering. And, in fact, I rode some minutes, during which I realized that the 4.7 was already huge. I didn't insist too much, and I went back to shore, to rig the 2017 Ezzy Elite 4.2.
How wonderful to go out with the syrocco at La Cinta beach! The water is of an incredible color, the beach is made of white sand, and to the north the silhouette of the island of Tavolara closes the horizon. Moreover, the regularity of the wind allows you to maneuver in a more precise, and effective way, and, therefore, allows you to experiment, and make many tests to progress. On this occasion, the water level proved, in reality, less orderly than on other times I was here. About 200 meters from the shore, some waves were sometimes chaotic, while near the shore the water surface was characterized by a rather close chop, which made it a little tricky to perform fast tacks and jibe while gliding offshore, or near the beach.
I have forgotten to say, so far, that on the beach I have also met the nice Genoese friends of Max, my travel companion to South Africa. Marco, Luca, and Nicola enjoyed with me, and with a few others, the beauty of this session in San San Teodoro. Around midday, the wind increased further, and the 4.2 and 94 liter set proved to be difficult to manage. In particular, the board started bumping too much for my taste (I regretted, at this point, not having set it with the K4 fins - read test). I took the opportunity, then, to get out of the water and eat something, having, however, already in mind to go out, again, with the Tabou Da Curve 80 2016, with the K4 fins, which I no longer removed from the Da Curve for the rest of the holiday….
In the afternoon I alternated the Tabou 80 and the Pocket 94, depending on the intensity of the wind, which had some phases of greater strength, and others in which it was lighter. Anyway, I used 4.2 and 80 for a good hour: thank goodness that this was supposed to be a day of light wind to relax, according to the forecasts .....
Around 15:30, the wind started to drop (as per Arome model's forecast), and therefore, satisfied with the day, we unrigged. The day ended very pleasantly at Arduino's, i.e. in the restaurant of the Hotel Corallo in Porto Pozzo, with Marco, Luca, Nicola, and Filippo, Adriano's son, who then hosted me for the night. Spaghetti alla Pescatora, mussels, anchovies fried at will, and the holiday has taken off
Marina delle Rose and La Ciaccia, 5 june.
June 5 gave us a very intense mistral day, especially in the Bonifacio Channel, and in the closest spots on the North West coast of the island. I decided to try going out in the morning at Marina delle Rose, which gave me a memorable session, I will remember for a long time in my life.
Marina delle Rose (read review) is a spot that I love, for the wild setting, for the majesty and beauty of the bay, and also for the somewhat adventurous access, which makes the day more fascinating, as a whole.
Arriving on the spot, I parked in a niche along the dirt road, near the wooden access ladder to the beach, and went to measure, with the anemometer, the intensity of the wind in a well exposed point of the coast. Having detected 30 steady knots, I decided to rig the Ezzy Elite 4.2 again, and to couple it with the 2016 Tabou Da Curve 80, with the K4 fins.
The wind, on the spot, blew a little more side, near the shore (probably because it bounced against the coast high on the sea), while was a little more on-shore, at open sea. In any case, it was of such intensity as to guarantee me an almost immediate gliding, and to manage well waves, when riding out.
The waves ..... From the beach I had estimated them to be no more than 2 meters high, while in the center of the bay I found myself facing both on the exit and the return some beautiful mountains of about 4 m, i.e. logo high, not breaking, and which had a fairly steep, but very long face, on which, on the way back, amazing surfing could be set.
For the first time, since I have it, I had the feeling that my 80-liter board was too big; perhaps, even because of a slight over-powering, when I went down the waves, I took an excessive speed, which did not allow me to have the board in full control. In fact, when setting the first bottom turn, the board tended to drift a little on the internal rail. In any case, a more capable waverider than me, would have had a lot of fun in these waves.
I forgot to tell you that I was alone in the water in the all bay! When I passed by car in the morning, I had seen another rider only in Cala Pischina. I must say that the situation has given me more thrill and pleasure, than fear. When I told my wife about this, then,she reproached me up a bit. But I must confess that the pleasure of having the freedom to windsurf in the whole spot, without worrying about anything else than concentrating on the riding technique, was bloody pleasant. And solitude has made the relationship with the majestic natural scenery even more intense and exciting. I then realized that in addition to the recent release of the restrictions due to Covid which has reduced the number of Italian and foreign riders present on the island, even the working weekday has prevented local riders from being present on the spots from the early hours.
Despite the rather demanding conditions, I immediately felt safe, as the intensity of the wind allowed me to scour the spot at will. In addition, Marina delle Rose offers sufficient stretches of sandy beach to land safely. However, it is necessary to take good references when you are at sea, and absolutely avoid the area of submerged rocks leeward in the middle of the bay. The feeling of security has allowed me to go out on several occasions enjoying an hour of amazing windsurfing. After an hour, I went out from the water to rest, and eat something and update some friends and the waterwind chat, on the conditions encountered in the spot.
Around 12:40, I went down to the beach again with the idea of returning into water, but, alas, I realized that the sea was foaming almost everywhere, and the wind had increased considerably in intensity. With the anemometer, I measured gusts close to 40 knots, and I understood that, in those conditions, it was useless to try to go out again, as I would only have got tired very soon, compromising, then, the rest of the day.
Therefore, I unrigged, and I decided to go and explore the spot of La Ciaccia, in Valledoria, near Castelsardo. In retrospect, I can say that, perhaps, it would have been better to wait until late afternoon, when the wind dropped, to enjoy a second session in Marina delle Rose. It's also been a pity not to have arrived in Marina delle Rose earlier in the morning, to better enjoy the still not extreme conditions. But the dinner out, of the night before, and a war night with some Sardinian mosquitoes, made me laze in bed, in the morning, a little more than necessary ....
After about three quarters of an hour, driving southbound, I arrived at La Ciaccia, where there were only two windsurfers in the water, and a dozen kiters. I prepared again the same set of equipment that I had used in Marina delle Rose (perhaps, the fins in G10 would have had more sense here - read further), and I entered the water shortly after 2.30 pm. The conditions, in a nutshell, immediately turned out to be quite difficult, especially due to the fact that the wind was very on-shore and unstable, i.e. not ideal for overcoming the beach break, which also rose at a certain distance - 200 meters - from the shore, with a considerable height (up to about 3 m). I went out a few times, however, often finding myself in unpleasant conditions, i.e. in front of breaking waves of 2-3 m, with little thrust, or floating, with little wind to overcome them.
Of course, my level as a waverider is still to improve, however, I have to say that I didn't like very much the conditions here. In the last start from the beach, I got a very nice wipeout, also due to the tiredness for the day, and also for the session in San Teodoro, the day before. I must, however, point out that wipeouts in waveriding are part of the game, a natural condition for those who try, and must not be considered dishonorable. I have also seen some good riders having difficulty overcoming the breakers and being spit ashore downwind.
To better understand the situation, I also spoke with a local rider, who literally said to me: "today, Ciaccia offers shit conditions ....".
Around 16.30-17.00, all the other locals arrived, about a dozen, and quickly entered the water, showing, however, on average, a rather high level. Among these I recognized Andrea Mariotti. Alessio told me that also Gianmario Pischedda, 2008 national wave champion, was present on the spot (see photos in the slidegallery). Many of them, at the end of the session, complained about the conditions offered by the spot, considered in reality not so worth of riding.
In a few words, I must say that La Ciaccia, on Friday, offered conditions that can be defined as technical, and very physical. Of course, La Ciaccia can offer much better, when it works with nice swell and side wind.
On the spot, with me, my friend Alessio from Modena, who went out with the Goya Banzai 4.2 X-Pro 2020, which is testing for us. He fought, and had fun, not only in the water .... (having known a Sardinian girl...).
On my return, I was, as usual, fascinated by the beauty of the Sardinian landscapes (it also happens to me when I am in South Africa), and I stopped to photograph Isola Rossa and then Cala Pischina. I kept Filippo waiting a bit; we went to eat a pizza in Palau around 9.00 pm, chatting about many things, both about his experience as assistant windsurfing instructor in Sardinia, and about my sessions here and my family affairs.
Marina delle Rose (and Porto Liscia or Coluccia), 6 june.
Marina delle Rose, on Saturday morning 6 June, gave me another very nice ride. The spot offered wind between 20 and 25 knots, and still some beautiful waves of about 3 meters, in the center of the bay, long and always, mainly, not breaking. This time, I showed up on the spot earlier, and went into the water at 10:30. Having detected, upon my arrival, a rather weak wind base (around 15 knots), I wisely decided to rig the Goya Guru X-Pro 4.7, and to go out with the Tabou Pocket 94 2016, with the K4 fins set. The equipment proved to be the right one, even if, in the first hour, the wind was a bit unstable, while, in the second hour of the session, between 11.00 and 12.00 approximately, the wind stabilized well around at 20 knots, with something more on the gusts. Also on Saturday, in some moments, at open sea, it was still a bit onshore, while it was decidedly side, and good for riding, near the beach.
The Tabou Pocket 94 on this occasion really surprised me positively: it should be a medium-small waves board, but it impressed me a lot for its very good behavior, even among relatively important waves. The slightly backward mast foot position also helped to prevent the board from bumping too much on the water surface. Moreover, the board performs very well even in jumps, as demonstrated on the occasion of a really high jump that I did, taking off on a breaking wave of about 3 meters (see video at the end of the article).
As in the previous day, I windsurfed alone in the middle of the bay, being able to choose the directions, and how to ride the waves to my exclusive liking: a unique, rare and wonderful condition.
In the late morning, Luca also arrived on the spot, as well as some kiters who came out in the downwind part of the spot, with just one more windsurfer.
After 12,00 o'clock, having noticed, as expected, a slight drop in the wind, I preferred to interrupt my session in Marina delle Rose, and I went for a nice walk along the coastal path. The clear sky, the bright light, and the full colors allowed me to take the beautiful photos (see link to the sldegallery at end of the article) and to enjoy the beautiful panoramas.
In the afternoon, after taking a few photos to Alessio, riding in Cala Pischina, I reached Porto Liscia beach (otherwise known as Coluccia), where I went out for an hour, with very gusty wind, extremely variable as direction.
The end of the day was very pleasant, as, finally, Adriano and Elena, Filippo's parents, arrived, and we spent a wonderful evening out for dinner.
La Caletta (Siniscola), 7 june.
No significant wind was expected on Sunday, according predictions, since many days before. At first, it seemed that the Alghero area had to give some wind. Then, on Saturday, the chance of riding in the North East island coast again with the Syrocco (South East) appeared. On Sunday morning, we were in doubt whether to try Murta Maria (a freestyle spot), again La Cinta, or La Caletta at Siniscola. In the end, the choice fell on Siniscola, which, in theory, had to guarantee a few more knots. Once reached the spot with Adriano and Filippo, we still met Luca and Nicola with other friends.
In the early afternoon, South East wind actually began to blow at 20 knots, beautifully constant and quite strong, which deluded us to give us one last (for me, not for others ....) nice windsurfing afternoon. I entered the water with the Ezzy Elite 5.3 2019, and with the Tabou Pocket 94 liters, set as a single fin, with a 23 cm freewave MFC fin. For half an hour, we really enjoyed ourselves, with really constant wind conditions, very regular water level, and a wonderful intense emerald green color sea below our boards (see video at the end of the article). In such conditions, every maneuver can be closed easily. They were the ideal conditions to try and experiment with more particular maneuvers (Duck, Laydown Jibe, Push Tack, 360, Hely Tack), which I would like to add into my repertoire.
Unfortunately, the wind soon turned from South / South-West, and started to become unstable, coming down from the hills of the hinterland, instead of coming from the sea. So we all stopped our session and unrigged quite soon.
After a quick shower in the parking lot, with my camp shower connected to my car 12 V socket, and some ecological soap, I took leave of my friends, and I took advantage of the time still available before embarking, to go and explore Golfo Aranci and its surroundings. And until the end Sardinia has thrilled me with its embarrassing beauty.
I left with the 22.00 ferry from Olbia to Livorno, already planning the next trip to this fantastic land.
Hang Loose. Fabio
Click here, for the slidegallery of La Cinta (San Teodoro).
Click here, for the slidegallery of La Ciaccia (Valledoria).
Click here, for the slidegallery with Sardinian landscapes.
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The video about the session at La Cinta on 4 june 2020
The video about the sessions at Marina delle Rose, and La Ciaccia on 5 june 2020
The video about the sessions at Marina delle Rose, Coluccia and La Caletta on 6-7 june 2020