On November 2, 2014, Waterwind group went to try the Peler (early morning thermal wind) in the famous spot of Pra de la fam at Tignale, on Garda Lake. We guessed a great day, incredibly mild for the period, and with wind at 25-30 knots.
Windsurf session: Prà de la Fam (Garda Lake)
Since the season for the afternoon thermal winds from the south of the lake is over, and given the favorable weather predictions, on Saturday morning 1th of November the proposal to go to try the legendary Peler soon became serious chatting with friends. The choice fell on the spot of Pra de la fam, closer to Milan (our home town) with respect to Malcesine, also because Pra de la fam has some other advantages. During this time, the spot, South facing, is quickly kissed by the sun and protected from the wind, so it is comfortable while you are dressing or assembling you equipment. Moreover here the Peler comes a little later, allowing you to reach the spot with relatively more calm.
So, we decided to reach the spot on Saturday evening. We meet each other on the highway near Milan, and after 1 hour and a half, we arrived in Bogliaco di Gargnano, where we stayed and dined "Al Marinaio" (double room with breakfast for 59 EUR).
Sunday morning breakfast at 6.45 and at 7.30 we are on the spot. In fact, we want to get to the spot soon to have no parking problems.
At 7:30, the sun has not yet risen, but the temperature is already 16 Celsius degrees. Promising. We ask for info on the spot to a few local riders. The wind has not yet come, but there's something off shore. We are told that the day before was quite good for 5.5. Some of the riders begin to prepare 5.3/5.5 sails. We explore the beach from where you enter into the water (in front of the Snack Bar at the Pra), and the payment parking in front of the B&B Torre degli Ulivi, accommodation right on the spot.
The landscape is magnificent: the day is beautiful, the lake water is clear, there's a lemon garden behind the spot, and a rocky cliffs falls on the spot beach. On the horizon to the south, we can admire the profile of Sirmione, of Manerba Castle, and in general of the southern coast of the Lake, whose profile lies thin, bluish and amber above the surface of the lake, in the clear light of early morning. The sun is about to rise from behind the Monte Baldo.
I want to enter. I begin to prepare a 5.5, and the RRD FSW 110 liters. The other friends are doubtful.
When I finish to rig the sail, I hear the excited voices of the other surfers on the spot: it's 8.30 and Peler also entered strongly at the Pra. The lake is foaming, invested by quite a strong wind. I hear someone start talking about 4.7, and here I make a mistake. Beacuse of laziness i do not unmount the 5.5. to rig the 4.7. From now on, I will always do, because getting into the water with the wrong sails take part of the pleasure away. Also, but this is the price to pay when you try a new spot, at the Pra it is better to wait and understand well which sail is better to use. The wind does not come at once, and not to be fooled, you have to be patient. In addition, the shore is repaired, and it is difficult to make measurements of the wind (unless you move a bit more to the north, where many enter into the water from the steep banks of the lake).
Michele has rigged the 5.2 to use with his Fanatic freestyle 100 liters. Carlo (90 kg ...), as usual, chooses sails at least 1 square meter above us (even if this time he will regret it a bit...) and opts for a Ezzy 6.3 to use with a 130 liter Fanatic.
Mik goes out, and soon me too. On the off shore direction, there is an annoying glare of the sun. I plane with precarious visibility .... It is not right. I am suprised by the water temperature, which is still pleasantly warm (though I have a 5 mm wetsuit, and 6 mm and shoes). Back on shore. I take sunglasses (tied with cord behind the head).
In the water again, and I finally can plan with pleasure. I can also go upwind and earn water well. The wind is now quite manageable with the 5.5 and the gusts are not very bad. Up to 100 meters from the beach, however, it is a bit more gusty and unstable, with some significant holes. The RRD 110 FSW performs well.
Meanwhile, the spot is becaming crowded. After half an hour in the water, the average wind strengthens again, and some gusts now become tough. This are conditions for a 4.7 or better, something less. Even the board, now, begins to be large. Offshore, there is a wave of almost a meter. It would be better 86 liters. In some waterstart, the board is raised from the waves, and turns up side down. In the gusts I fly...., but I have the unpleasant sensation of not being fully in control.
After an hour of riding, I return to the beach, because I feel tired....
On the rack at the beach, the greatest sail is a 5.3, then only 4.2, 4.4, some 4.7.
So, I devote myself to take photos and videos. Michele pass me the Go Pro and I find myself at the same time filming with his and my camera (maybe penalizing the quality of the shots .... at some point). In the water there are a few very good riders.
One, in particular, strucks me for the fluidity of the movements. Someone closes maneuvers on the beach, threatening to smash the board ....
Michele and Carlo, however, enjoy the day. Michele is better than us. I see him to close some duck jibe without losing the plane. It is 11.00 past, when they stop, because the wind is starting to give up near the shore.
On the beach now, climate is really mild. It seems to still be in the summer, and instead it is November! Sheltered from the wind, you can stay in swimsuit. Behind the beach there are some flowering bougainvillea.
We dismantle, and then we go to Toscolano - Maderno to eat the a sort of pizza in a quiet and pleasant beach.
In conclusion, it was a very positive day. The spot of Pra de la fam turned out very nice, and we will surely return.
Clicking here, you can read a detailed english review of the spot.
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To watch the slide gallery of the session, click here.
Here below the video of the day.