Session reports

Once again, South France has given us so much wind, and great windsurf sessions in an exciting landscape. On our tour, we touched the spot of Le Goulet (Leucate), Gruissan Plage, Canet en Roussilion, Barcares Eole, Hyeres - La Capte.

 

Windsurf session: South France (Gruissan, Leucate, Hyeres)

Left aside Sardinia, which in April gave us very good windsurfing days, checking the wind forecasts, we made up our mind to have a trip to Languedoc - Roussilion french department. This journey allowed us to know better the area with regard to how the windsurf spots work.

With my friend Andrea, the Doctor, we left on Wednesday, June 14th. The trip from Milan to the Gruissan area is not a short one, but after the first session there, it is inevitable to think that it was worth of doing .....

 

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Once we set in a Mobile Home, in a camping site, near Canet, on Thursday we went to check the spots for the next days; it was nice to let Andrea know the area, who came here for the first time. The forecasts gave the tramontana to entry from Thursday in the late afternoon.

While checking the spots, at Port Leucate, we came across SurfOne, and we immediately realized the level of some stores in France, which lets us understand how many people do windsurfing in area, at least in this area: the number of 2017 new boards , displayed in and out of the shop, is impressive; even the assortment of sails and booms, including some second hand pieces, appears to be worthy of note. In short, it is a real paradise for us, and I took the opportunity, after 10 years, to change my harness, buying a comfortable ION Vertex.

 

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While we are still in the store, we ask the guys who run the shop for the forecasts of the day, and they tell us that the wind should come strong late in the afternoon, and that the spots where it will first come are La Franqui, and Le Goulet (in the pond of Leucate). 

So we move to La Franqui, which is also a nice village on the seaside, and we take the chance to have a freshing bath in the sea, cause it's really hot (above 30 °C). We have a light wind session to practice some tricks. Light wind sessions are always very useful, and should be a must for every not experienced windsurfer, every now and then.

 

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In the late afternoon, as expected, the Tramontana comes in, and local riders appear, mostly with slalom equipment. Here, however, the wind seems to be too much gusty, and we decide to move to Le Goulet.

 

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It's almost 19.00. In the water, there are already several riders who are enjoying about twenty knots of wind. Being the spot super safe, you can stay in the water until dusk.

I prepare 5.5 and the Tabou 3s 106 LTD (Andrea 5,7 and RRD FSW 111). Towards 19.40 we enter into the water, and it is immediately pure fun. The wind, except for a few moments, is beautifully spreaded. In the pond, in general, you have water at chest height. Water is a really warm and we ride with shorty wetsuit. At 8 pm, the sun appears from under the clouds, and the picture becomes very impressive. It's a perfect spot where to try whatever you want.

At 9 pm, we decide to go out, because we have to go back to the camping site, to take a shower and to prepare our dinner. When we leave the spot at 22.00, and darkness has almost arrived, there are still a dozen people in the water. Probably, they sleep in the autocaravan parked on the spot, and they have all the time they want to ride. What a wonder ... We get dinner at 23.00, and we go to bed after midnight: it will be just the first of one of the many full days which will end late ... on this holiday.

The next day, we decide to go to Gruissan plage, which Andrea wants to try. We first drive through the village of Gruissan, which is very nice with the buildings of the old town center, which shine in the dazzling light of the bright sunny day. Even the green countryside around, scattered with vineyards and Castels, is very beautiful. We think that Gruissan can be a great place to set base on a next trip, though it is not barycentric for all the spots in the area. We overcome the village, and we follow the road along the canal leading to Gruissan Plage. The scenery is becoming more and more spectacular: to our right, beyond the channel, the immense wild beach of the spot; to the left, some houses leave place to the windsurf schools of the spot, where the flags already wave incessantly, and bend under the blow of the tramontana.

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I take a bit to decide, but this time too, like all the other times I've been here, I understand it's a 4.2 sail size day (my weight is 70 kgs). The flat surface of the water gives me the opportunity to use the 106 again, instead of Fanatic Triwave 86, which I could set as single fin. In this way, I can benefit from a bigger volume and more tolerant board, which can help me to understand more in maneuvering experiments.

Andrea, heavier than me prepares a 4.7, again with the 111 FSW.

 

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At 13,00, the show goes on... 

 

We go swimming ino the canal with the equipment (and this little adventure, for me, but also for Andrea, confirms the added value to the fun of the spot, although there are other possibilities to reach the spot beach), and we go the shoreline . I say to Andrea: "welcome to paradise" .....

 

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Beyond the crazy landscape, the quality of the conditions offered by the spot is unique: 15 kms of beach (up to Port La Nouvelle - other possible entry point in the water, but less attractive, due to the nearby industrial area); an always strong and almost constant wind, all through the beach, and 100 meters of flat and transparent water, with generally shallow waters.

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This is another fulfilling journey to France. Coming back, I can not help but thinking that the Gruissan/Leucate area deserves at least one trip per year, and that, one of the next times, it would be great to organize a nice group and come here all together.

 

A bientot. Fabio

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The videos of the holiday

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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