Spring is the best time for Ora, at Lake Garda. And this weekend, we had a clear proof, since we enjoyed two days of windsurfing. On Saturday we had a really strong wind; on Sunday, it was weaker and gusty, but funny, anyway.
WINDSURFING, REPORT: RIVA DEL GARDA AND TORBOLE, 8-9 MAY 2021
We had an impressive week of Ora, with some days when the wind reached 30 knots, as evidenced by some photos that Simone Grezzi sent us . Not being able to take a day off on weekdays, we tried to enjoy the weekend.
On Saturday, I left around 9.00 from Monza, with the idea of going to Pierwindsurf. But, the usual accident on the highway A4, made me waste an hour of time, and so I miss the chance to ride at Pier (no parking, if you arrive late). But not all evils come to harm .... I took the opportunity to finally go out at the "Ponale tunnel" spot. When I arrived there, around 12.30, a truly remarkable spectacle appeared in front of me. The lake was foaming well everywhere, and the Ora seemed really well spread out. Therefore, I rigged the Goya Guru 4,7 X Pro 2020-2021 , and the Fanatic Skate 2014 TE 93. I had some doubts that the small could be small, and instead ....
The "Ponale tunnel" is a particular spot. A comfortable slope goes down to the lake shore, and offers a place for rigging. The main problem is given by the fact that a rocky spur, a little further south, protects the first 50 meters of the lake from the wind, near the shore. Sometimes, a few gusts come right under the shore, but mostly only the waves (chop of half a meter) arrive. Thus, there are not many alternatives: it is better to swim 50 meters, to reach the wind. And it is paradoxical to see how, a few meters from us, while we are swimming, other riders glide at full speed, and even with small sails.
Saturday was a day of really intense wind, as well as climatically pleasant (just over 20 degrees, blue skies, and a beautiful sun). Once out of the shelter of the rocky spur, the party began. The wind was oriented from the SE (best direction for the Ponale area).
In the first part of the exit, the sail, all in all, turned out to be right, or maybe I held it with less effort, thanks to better physical energies. The board, in terms of volume, was equally adequate, while the freestyle shape was confirmed, once again, to be penalized in significant choppy conditions. The chop was the other distinctive element of the day. In the middle of the lake, there were sets of regular waves, closely spaced, one meter high, as with the Peler wind in the morning, clearly distinguishable. And so, following them, with some hints of bearing (kind of bottom turns), I found myself doing back-side waveriding, with a freestyle board!
Approaching the coast, on the Riva del Garda side, the water level was a little more chaotic, perhaps due to the overlap with a little bouncing wave. My Tabou 3S 106 (freewave), or the Tabou Pocket 94 (wave) probably would have performed better in this chop.
Maneuvering on these occasions is not exactly easy. Chopped water level, and the sail too big in the gusts, require decision and good technique. The wind was quite steady, but, however, like all the thermic winds of the lake, not entirely constant, with some really bad gusts, certainly around 30 knots.
I alternated some good maneuvers, with many beautiful funny flights, which, however, are part of the game. It was impressive to see how, on the occasion of some jibes, there was no way of depowering the sail, neither by laying it down, nor by setting the maneuver with a wider bending radius.
The water turned out less cold than I feared. However, in order to be comfortable, I had a 5/4 chest zip wetsuit, neoprene cap, and 3 mm boots.
After almost an hour, I overcame my usual laziness, and stopped for a moment in the water to fix the boom end to the lower clew ring, and weaken the sail, leaving it with even less profile. The sail was thus more neutral and softer, but basically the right size on Saturday would have been 4.2! Not bad, for being Ora wind....
I did another short hour in the water, and then I decided to go back to shore, to rest a bit, since I was starting to be a bit tired when maneuvering. In reality, I never went back into the water, both because I had done almost two tough hours of windsurfing, and I had to retrieve my wife in Gargnano, and because, on the shore, I met Michele, and I started chatting. However, in anticipation of Sunday, it was better to stop in time, before running out of strength.
The day ended wonderfully in that fantastic restaurant that is "Alla Lega", in Arco di Trento.
The next day, to reconcile the session with the presence of my wife, I gave up going to Pierwindsurf, and I parked near the Conca d'Oro. And here the painful notes began ..... I found a parking place, on the side of the road, just south of the Conca d'Oro. There, however, the situation was chaotic to say the least, due to the vans and boats of one of the many sailboat regattas, which are held in the summer on Lake Garda ... Honestly, in Northern Garda, they should address the issue, because the chaos and the traffic jams that are generated, on these occasions, are really excessive. Anyway, then, I went for a pleasant walk along the lake to the Sarca river mouth with my wife. I must say that the quiet atmosphere of the lakeside promenade in the early morning is always truly magical for me ....
Then, around 12.30, I again went to the Conca area, because the Ora wind was getting up well. I met Boris, Federica, and Luca, old friends of Waterwind, and regular visitors at the Conca spot. After some hesitation, I rigged the Ezzy Elite 5.3 2019, and the Tabou 3S 106 2015, with MFC freewave 25 fin.
At 1.30pm, I entered the water. The Ora, on Sunday, was more unstable, and gusty, also with significant changes of direction, in the different areas of the lake: more from the south in Conca, and almost from the east, towards the shore of Riva! I enjoyed the first hour, above all, for the more regular water level. I explored almost the entire lake, and I also came to tack, and jibe, in front of the Paradiso pier, where the water level is more orderly, and where, at times, the wind was even stronger. In some moments, on Riva's side, the wind was almost side on the chop! I must, however, say that I am starting to be a bit intolerant of these conditions of untidy water level and gusty wind, which characterize the sessions with the thermic at the lakes. And thank goodness, at least, in this period, in the water, the lake is not very crowded, since there are not many riders yet.
At 3.30 pm, I got out of the water, quite tired. These conditions, which require continuous adjustments when riding, are not very relaxing. I must, probably, also strengthen the muscles of the arms a little, with adequate training. However, in the last session at Rocky Point, Fuerteventura , with 3 meters high waves, I got less tired ...
At 4.45 pm I left Torbole and headed home, after having recovered my wife. And also from this point of view, the return from Fuerteventura, a few weeks ago, was less complicated .....
Click here, for the weekend slidegallery.
Visit Waterwind forum, and join our community. Visit our YouTube Channel.
Become a supporter, to access to reserved contents!
Are you a passionate windsurfer? Do you want to collaborate with us? Read here, then!
If you want to sponsor Waterwind and advertise with us, or place your banner inside this article, contact us.