The most challenging Spiaggia d'oro (Golden Beach) I have ever tried so far..... The famous spot of Imperia, yesterday, gave decidedly tough conditions, and a windsurfing session with a rising waves, and a wind that reached 40 knots.
Windsurfing, report: Spiaggia d'Oro, Imperia - 8 April 2022. Hard Rock!
The predictions (Arome model) have been completely confirmed. At 15.00, yesterday, the Libeccio (SW) wind was expected to enter from zero to a thousand knots...., and so it was.
I arrived in Imperia just before 15.00, breaking all records (almost 4 hours from Milan), thanks to the endless and absurd series of highway construction sites ....
Upon my arrival, in addition to a magnificent and mild sunny spring day, Imperia welcomed me with a nice regular swell, and with a rapidly increasing wind. Lucky were those ones who arrived first, and managed to enjoy the early afternoon in the water with still reasonable wind.
I immediately brought my Tabou Da Curve, 80 2016 and 88 2020 (the latter just bought) to the beach. I wanted to take the opportunity to try the 88, but I soon realized that the session would have been a fight, and so the new purchase was soon brought back in the car. While I was rigging the Ezzy Elite 4.2 2019, some of the first riders who entered the water came back ashore saying they could no longer hold the 4.2 ... I realized that it was useless to waste time, and so I rigged the 3.7 directly.
At about 3.30 pm I entered the water, and my battle began. 5/4 wetsuit, helmet, and nothing else. 23 degrees ...
I entered the water from the windward side of the beach, without too many problems, apart from having almost smashed my foot on a hidden stone, emerging from the sandy bottom .... The wind yesterday was pretty strong even near the shore, facilitating departures and returns.
The 3.7 was big most of the afternoon, but still not unmanageable. But the main problem, at least in my first two sessions in the water, was bearing away to set the bottom, or even just to jibe. Too strong wind, considerable speed already on straight lines, which became supersonic when you got off the wave and went to bear away.
The waves, in the first part of the afternoon, were big, but still not huge, like at the end of the day. On shore, the sets that arrived were mostly two meters high. I caught the wave offshore, windward to the westernmost reef, followed it, started to go down from its wall, when it got quite steep, and .... Yesterday, I did some crazy falls at full speed at the beginning of the bottoms, since, how hardly I put down and opened the sail, the wind often tore it from me!
There is little to say: yesterday, in Imperia, the right sail for me would have been the 3.4 (like the next day in Mandello, on Lake Como). In the water, I started thinking about buying this sail size.... But I should change the boom and buy the top of the 340 rdm mast ...
Yesterday, being in the water for half an hour was like being out, in flat water, for two hours. So, I returned to shore after not long, a bit perplexed, and I took advantage of the break to start taking some photos (see slidegallery of the day).
The spot quickly filled with many familiar faces.
I went back into the water two more times. I must say that in the last session I started having a bit of fun, both because I shrugged off the tension for the demanding conditions in a beautiful but treacherous spot like Spiaggia d'Oro, and I started surfing a little more easily, both because the wind allowed some breaks, in which it was possible to surf the waves a little better. So I managed a few times to close some bottoms, and also set some cut backs, far from radical, or to jibe well, in the flat inside sheltered from the cliff above the wind. The sea, offshore, got bigger and bigger, and we started to see some breaking waves, mast high, on some of which I placed some huge jumps, not always landed properly ... I concentrated on not losing the equipment in any way, since such waves could also carry it up to the cliff of the port downwind ......
But, in summary, and with a lot of honesty, I didn't do much yesterday. Conditions were demanding, and more water still has to pass under my boards to surf well in these conditions (and perhaps, it would help being a bit younger...). The session in Funtana Meiga (Sardinia) last February (read report) had exalted me; yesterday, the D'Oro beach made me put my feathers down.
However, these are sessions that serve to gain more and more experience to learn how to manage such demanding conditions, without (too much) damage.
In the water, yesterday many struggled and fought like me. Even the best were put to the test. Among the riders present in the spot: the stainless Gigi Le Carro Colombo, who always shows a beautiful technique, Fabio Duracell Calò, who remained in the water until dusk, with all the rest of his crew. Corrado Avagnina who defended the lightweight category with honor ... And Derox Mazzetti fighting in the heavyweight category. And finally, my friend Marco from Bergamo also arrived, returning from a nice session at the Coudouliere (France), on Thursday.
And then that phenomenon of Andrea Franchini from Bordighera (with his wife Adele), who with his talent made yesterday's conditions seem almost banal. As you can see in the photo I took of him, he performed some incredible devilry, such as riding backwinded on the waves, tacking on the lip several times, many loops and much more; everything always characterized by a cleanliness and fluidity in the movements, always beautiful to admire. Andrea, why not going to defend the Italian colors at the PWA or at the IWT???
Are you a passionate windsurfer? Do you want to collaborate with us? Read here, then!