Two-day trip to France (Coudouliere and Hyeres), to try to chase away the thoughts of everyday life, with some windsurfing .... The forecast was not great, but I must say that coming to France is always worthwhile, if only for the beautiful sensations that Southern France offers, and for the always exciting environments.
WINDSURFING, REPORT: COUDOU - HYERES (FRANCE), 1-2 OCTOBER 2022.
On Saturday I went out at La Coudouliere with easy conditions. I used my Ezzy Elite 4.2 and the Tabou Da Curve 88, resulting at times slightly underpowered. I went into the water around 4:30 pm, after the trip from Italy, with the idea of having a session until sunset. In reality, around 18:00, the wind dropped sharply in intensity, and, therefore, after an hour and a half the games were already over (who entered in the early afternoon, was able to spend several hours in the water). However, in any case it was a positive hour and a half session, in which to exercise useful maneuvers with the Da Curve, which confirms itself as a radical board; it wants beautiful wind conditions, and good water level, or important wave, for give its best, and let me have fun. The 88 liters, however, allow relative versatility. Due to the slight underpower, to maintain or get planing, I often had to bear away, or take advantage of a wave, often ending up riding 10-20 meters from the harbor breakwater, which, on days like Saturday, tolerate some confidence ....
The next day, as planned, I went to Hyeres (La Madrague). And someone will turn up their noses and say: "But how? You have surfed in Oman, South Africa, Canaries, Galicia, etc, and are you still coming here to Hyeres?" Many factors brought me back to this spot: the bad wind forecast at Six Fours Les Plages, the presence of Alessandro, with his daughter, for their first time in Hyeres, therefore with the added value of the company; and then the Amarcord for a place where everything, for me, has begun, and where, perhaps, everything will end one day ... Consider that in the water, there were people even over 80 years old .... But also kids, and beginners of all levels.
When I arrived at La Madrague I was amazed (I hadn't come here for a long time) by the quantity of cars and vans of local riders, but also of people from all over Europe (Italians, Germans, Swiss, etc.). This spot always remains a reference point for many water sports enthusiasts.
In the morning I went out again with the Ezzy Elite 4.2 2019, and the Tabou Pocket 94 2016, set as trifin (k4 fins), rightly powered at the best moment, slightly underpowered at the end of the morning session. Arome model is almost never wrong: it predicted wind drop in the late morning, and so it was. Reasonable water level, in the morning, that is, not too messy, to be Hyeres, despite the many windsurfers, wingfoil riders, and kitesurfers in the water. Carefree morning, enjoying a session of simple relaxation.
And suddenly, in the water I met the queen of the spot, Caterina di Torino (you can't get wrong with her, for her very small boards and her helmet - see photo above); she is almost always present here, when mistral blows. I then had the pleasure of meeting her on the beach too, where she told me that she had enjoyed the whole week of wind here in France. Now that she is retired, who stops her? And, in fact, she is leaving for Jericoacoara, Brazil, for a clinic wave. A bad girl who won't give up! Brava, Cathy: learn well, then come with us to the Coudouliere to explain us how to do it better!
In the early afternoon, the wind gradually increased again (this was also predicted by Arome) , giving us another nice afternoon session.
I went out with the Ezzy Wave 4.7, 2021, and with the Tabou Pocket set as single fin, with a 23 cm fin. The first part of the session was amusing, then the sail became big, and the water surface more and more choppy, also due to the crowding in the water (and from this point of view, La Madrague confirmed its limits, with strong wind). But being 4.00 pm, and therefore time to start thinking about returning, there was no more time for other sail or board changes. In hindsight, in the morning I would have had to ride with the equipment used in the afternoon, and vice versa; but that's okay.
I unrigged, I enjoyed a beer with Alessandro (thanks to the novelty of the portable fridge, positioned in the car), and I left for home, arriving around 11.00 pm.
In short, no challenging sessions this weekend, but sometimes even being in the middle of the sea, to try to switch off the brain, has its why....
Hang loose. Fabio
The video of the day at Hyeres