Session reports

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A vacation day spent just very well! On Friday, excellent Peler right for a 4.2 at Pra' de la Fam, and sufficient Ora wind at Pier in Riva del Garda. Nice day of windsurfing to ease the tension due to the mess of everyday life .....

 

Windsurfing: 4 September 2020, Pra de la fam and Pier, Lake Garda

Some intuition, and some luck ... allowed me to enjoy the best day with Peler wind, close to the first weekend of September. 11 Celsius degrees expected in Sarche (in the valley North of the Lake) at 6.00 in the morning, 18 ° C in Gargnano, expected at the same time, the sunny day, and the absence of currents from the South at high altitude, made me understand that it was worth to play the wild card (despite the contrary predictions of Arome, and other sites and models).

I arrived at the Prà de la Fam at around 10.30pm on Thursday evening. The Pra welcomed me with a wonderful and warm full moon evening, whose light was reflected by the lake surface, rippled by the Peler which was already starting to blow. A healthy touch for my nerves a little tense due to the usual complications of everyday life, and excellent omens for the next morning.

The Pra' car park, at 10.30 pm, was already 60% full: there are still many vans of German or Austrian riders, who come here only for the weekend, or who are still on vacation. The next morning, the last places still available, go sold out before 7.00 ..... 

Thank god, I told myself: I go on Friday to enjoy a slightly less crowded Pra' ....

 

 Windsurf Pra Pier Garda 08

Windsurf Pra Pier Garda 05

 

 

The next morning, having had breakfast at the Pra' bar, we began to scan the lake, which clearly showed the best signs. I started preparing my Fanatic Skate TE 2014 93 liters, and I thought for a moment about the sail to rig. Marco Maywald, a friend of mine, always says that it is better to look at the lake towards the south to understand how strong the Peler will blow: if it bubbles well in the south, then it will blow strong indeed! And then I rigged the Goya Guru X Pro 4.7 2020, and I advised others to rig small sails ...... Nice decision...!

The fact is that in the latest session I am trying not to go out underpowered, as I often do ...

In short, after half an hour in the water (I entered around at 8.00), even though I had fixed the boom end to the lower clew of the sail, I returned to shore to move to the Goya Guru X 4.2 2018. Although the 4.7 was not completely unmanageable, with the 4.2 things went much better, and I was more in control when riding on straight line and in full glide, except for a few moments in the strongest gusts.

With the 4.7, I would have continued the session, gliding longer, even in the final part of the morning, but, probably, I would have got tired sooner.

Once in the water, however, the sensations were positive. Gliding in Pra' scenery is always exciting: blu lake and sky, the cliff overlooking the lake, which the newly risen sun paints orange, and, even higher up, the green slopes, where the village of Tignale lies. Always a pleasure.

The session was also satisfying, even if the water surface was not perfect, with a slightly short chop that required attention both when jibing and tacking. In jibing, as always, I tried to start bearing away upon a more regular wave; but it was almost impossible not to drop the next wave during the maneuver, also due to the overpowering of the 4.7, and because I had the freestyle board under my feet, which never stops gliding and is therefore very fast during jibing. I would say that this time too the Fanatic Skate gave me a lot of fun .... I often jumped on that chop (even if on port tack is not my favorite side), and only in the final phase I realized that, if I want to try a speed loop, just before jumping, I should bear a little on the wave .... I would already be in the water now to try again.

Anyway, I did an involuntary half speed loop.... Once switched to the "new" 4.2, while I was checking how the leech of the sail was working in the upper panels, as soon as I lowered my gaze, I just had time to realize that there was a rather large branch in the water, that I took it with the fin (fortunately the freestyle short one). I got an unavoidable catapult, hooked in the harness, with both feet in the straps, and landed under the sail. Textbook stuff ....

The chop also made tacking delicate: you had to look for a point on the water level, which was a little flatter, and be quick ...

The crowding at the spot parking, of course, also meant traffic in the water, mostly near the shore, while offshore it was easier to find one's own space. Traffic in the water, of course, was partly responsible for the somewhat chaotic water level.

 

Windsurf Pra Pier Garda 03

Windsurf Pra Pier Garda 07

 

At around 10.30, the Peler began to drop. It didn't stop blowing completely, but to stay in the water, I would have to unrig the 4.2 and rig again something bigger. After two hours in the water, I felt satisfied, and I started to put everything away to prepare the move to the second spot, Pier Windsurf in Riva del Garda.

After buying the "inevitable" and delicious Speck and Tremosine Cheese sandwich at the supermarket Conad in Limone del Garda (a "must" for me, when I come here; moreover it costs only 2 euros and 50!), around at 12,00 I arrived at the Pier, and I also found a comfortable parking place (which is not easy at that time...), as well as finding another windsurfing globetrotter: my friend Chiara.

Still warm summer climate, and to cool off a bit, I took a bath in the clear and beautiful fresh water of the Pier (much cooler than the Pra'). I also enjoyed seeing my freind Sabrina and Jonathan again.

In this period, the Ora wind is the poor relative of the Spring Ora, and, except for reinforcements due to South East Bora wind from the plain at Sout of the lake, it does not enter before 14.00, and it doesn't blow that strong.

However, after 14.00 it started to blow, spreading quite well after 14.30. It was an Ora wind to enjoy with 5.2-5.3 sails for women of average weight, and with at least 5.7-5.8 for men, again of average weight ... And I (71 kg) rigged the 5.3 .... I glided only at times, mostly in front of the "pigs" rock. I put too much faith in Pier, while I should have remembered other September sessions, here, in which I had even enjoyed myself with a 6.4 ... (which I no longer have ...).

At the Pier, many Germans and Austrians, but reasonable crowding. Obviously there was also Fabio Calò, instructor of the Pier school, in the water to give lessons, and that I admired in an almost infinite series of upwind 360s, during a break from the lesson. There is little to say: he knows how to do it!

 

Windsurf Pra Pier Garda 10

Windsurf Pra Pier Garda 09

At 4.30 pm, also considering that the shadow now falls soon on the Pier and on the stretch of water in front of it, we almost all got out of the water. I unrigged and then ran to Torbole to bring a wetsuit to have it repaired.

The real Peler season has just begun. Autumn is a very beautiful period, because the Pra' still offers mild temperatures, as well as tense winds. And so we hope that Lake Garda will keep us trained, between one and another low pressures to catch at sea spots....

Hang loose. Fabio

Click here, for the slidegallery of the day (Pra' and Pier)

 

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