While waiting for Liguria and Sardinia to give us beautiful conditions, once again it was France that let us have fun. Three days of wind and waves at Carro, Martigues, which allowed us to enjoy some beautiful windsurfing sessions, very useful to practice waveriding.
Windsurfing, report: Carro, Martigues (France), 28-30/10/2021
Carpe Diem (catch the moment)! By now, I have understood that we must not think twice, and when a good wind forecast is looming, it is better to do everything possible to get yourself rid of the usual commitments of everyday life, and leave, to enjoy the sea, the wind, and its waves.
So, given the good forecasts for several days, and mindful of the last beautiful trip to France last month (read report), I left on Wednesday evening, to be at Carro, in the front row, on Thursday 28th. And Carro has kept its promises.
But let's move on, without wasting time, to the telling of the trip.
28 october 2021
I arrive at the spot around 11.30. The wind has yet to come in and the temperature is mild. I take this opportunity for a relaxing walk, after the trip from Italy. But there isn't much time ...
The wind starts blowing already around 12.30, even earlier than Arome model expected. I immediately meet Massimiliano, who has arrived here from Ancona! We are the only two Italians today. He too is a globetrotter, and together we talk about Galicia, Portugal, South Africa, and many other beautiful places ..... There is also a guy who comes even from a farther place, from the Czech Republic (chapeau!), As well as a German guy. Slowly, all the other French locals arrive.
We think about the sail to choose. In the end, I decide for the Ezzy Wave 4.7 2021 (initially, left fatter), and the Tabou Pocket 94 2016, set with the K4 fins. 4/3 wetsuit, bare hands, feet, and head.
I enter the water around 1.30 pm, and immediately get gliding.
The wind is from ESE, side off, in the inside, a little more side, offshore. It's not particularly strong. Along with the direction, the intensity explains why it is gusty. Coming from inland, and not being too strong, the obstacles it encounters, before reaching the sea, make it unstable. However, there are good moments when it blows better, and it just makes us have a lot of fun.
The equipment is right. As usual, the Tabou Pocket does its duty very well, and, as for the sail, I am now very confident with the Ezzy Wave 2021 (read the test).
I enter into the water motivated, and I maneuver quite well. I try to surf the waves again and again. Initially, they are about one meter high. I surf them even getting very close to the shore, to wait for them to become steeper. But today it is a forgiving Carro, and you can risk it. I practice getting out of the bottom carving, and pushing with the front foot to maintain speed. There are also some nice ramps for jumping (see video). Conditions would be ideal for trying the forward loop (although port tack is not my favorite side). But once again I hesitate, and just jump. But sooner or later, I will be able to overcome the fear, and I will also get this maneuver into my repertoire.
After a first hour, I get out of the water. I rest a little, eat, and take some pictures. Two kids of about ten, with Fanatic / Custom boards, and Duotone 2.8 sails put on a show. Maybe they are relatives of Raphael Filippi, the strong French local rider, who has his home spot here? Well, they train in a great spot. It is always striking to see how, here in France, they work hard to build new windsurfing champions, or simply sportsmen, able to enjoy this sport at best.
At 15.00, I return to the water and ride for another hour and a half. The wind has picked up, and I get the sail flatter to depower. When I enter the water, however, I realize that the wind is still unstable. The waves height has grown. Some sets reach 2 meters. The spot has got crowded.
At the end of the session, I realize that I would have to switch for the 4.2. But I'm a bit tired now, and I decide to save some energy for the Friday that promises to be pretty intense, with strong wind.
29 october 2021
Unlike what was expected, on Friday Carro offers a day similar to Thursday, with wind around 20 knots, a bit unstable, until about 16.00, stronger in the further phase of the afternoon.
However, I have fun with two nice sessions, with the same equipment as the day before. I continue to experiment in surfing, even if the starboard tack bottom is not my favorite. The conditions are really very didactic. I continue to surf the waves, even close to the shore, sometimes more upwind, in front of the legendary "Le Marin Surfshop", other times more downwind. Today, any wipe-outs aren't too dangerous. Coming out of the bottom, I try to maintain speed, going up in switch stance on the wave wall. I look at the best ones and the pros. In spots like these, having high level riders around, there is always a lot to learn. Even today, the wind is side, almost side off. The waves, however, are not parallel to the shore, and therefore the wind is slightly side on, over the wave. It is not easy for me to close the cut back in these conditions. Then, I look at Antoine Martin (F-193), who turns the board repeatedly with a tight radius, and I feel like an idiot .... I notice that Antoine (see photo of the slidegallery) pushes a lot with his front leg stretched, on the wave wall coming out of the bottom , and in the cut back. I have to try it.
Taking a cue from a little boy I saw the day before (see video below), I try to tack, anticipating a lot the side change, and coming out backwinded, with the board still gliding. And in some cases I succeed! Small satisfactions. I realize that I keep improving. How I would like to go back to being twenty, to make up for lost time ....
In the afternoon, during the second session, there would also be some nice waves to catch (although, from this point of view, it is not the best Carro). However, in the meantime, the all world of riders has arrived on the spot, and often, at the time of the bottom, downwind in the wave, there are often other riders, or castaways, who force me to change course. There is also a phenomenon... that jibes just downwind on me, to steal a wave that I am already surfing. I shout ....
The pros have also arrived, including Antoine Martin, Adrien Bosson, Antony Ruenes, Martians who immediately stand out from the others. Adrien and Antony show that the Carro is also a freestyle spot ...., or rather that the two disciplines are now hybridizing. I also notice a little boy, fra3003, who also shows excellent style, and already some good jumps. Another young French promise.
But France is beautiful for another reason as well. On the spot, there are riders from 10 to almost 70 years old. Each one, with his own style and equipment, brand new or vintage.
At 4.30 pm I get out of the water. There would still be wind for me right for the 4.2, but I save some energy. Arome model promises a 3.7 Saturday morning ....
30 october 2021
As expected, Gale day.....
I arrive at the spot at 9.30; it rains lightly. In the water, Loick Lesauvage, F780 is already showing his skills. At the beach, I measure 25 knots on average, and at least 36 on the gusts. Offshore, at sea, there will be surely 40, on gusts. The water surface alternates foams, moments in which it is flatter, and others, in which suddenly very steep ramps of 3 meters rise. Farther offshore the sea is very rough and huge. The wind is from the SE, and later it will also turn from the SSE. Conditions are more suitable for high jumps than for surfing. And in fact, Loick is riding back and forth, looking for the right wave for a big jump. At one point, in fact, he turns a truly remarkable push loop into forward (see photo sequence in the slidegallery). Here in November (from 12 to 21) a PWA event will take place, and pros have to train.
I meditate on what to do.
The conditions are physically demanding, even if the first time I went out here it was even worse (read report). I could take a 30 minute / hour ride of pure adrenaline, for the glory. But for me it wouldn't be very didactic, I'm afraid. I might even get hurt on a jump, or do some damage.
In the end, I let it go. I try to scour other spots further east, in vain. It is pouring rain.....
In hindsight, traveling by car on the way back home to Italy, I regret a little for not having taken the opportunity to go out. Sometimes, even sessions, with a knife between your teeth, are instructive (as well as memorable). In other respects, I am very happy and satisfied with the previous two days ....
I leave France, almost flooded, under a heavy shower never seen by me here. I hope it doesn't do any damage ....
I pass Cannes, on the motorway, and it seems to be on the ring road in Milan on a rainy day, in December ... It is not the usual bright and colorful France that I leave when I return from my trips, when I enjoy the Mistral.
Next time, I would like to try the Carro also with a strong Mistral.
Au Revoir. Fabio
Click here, for the slidegallery of the 28th, and click here for the video of the same day.
Click here, for the slidegallery of the 29th, and click here for the video of the same day
Click here, for the slidegallery of the 30th, and click here for the video of the same day
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If you want to sponsor Waterwind and advertise with us, or place your banner inside this article, contact us.