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A great Peler, this Sunday, let us really enjoy at Prà de La Fam. After an uncertain beginning, from 10.00 wind has blown at 30 knots and more, for three hours.


Windsurf, session report: Prà de la Fam (Garda Lake)


Technical data of the session: 

Wind: a somewhat strange Peler.... with cloudy conditions; probably, it was due to the high temperatures of the air in the plain south of the lake (due to the Syroccus effect), and the cooler temperatures of the air above the lake (because of the still fresh lake water), and in the mountains north of the lake (still covered with snow). Wind average speed between 25-30 knots, from 10.00 to 13.00, with peaks well over 30.

Water surface: Choppy, but not regular as usual, because of the wind direction and intensity frequently changing, especially at the beginning of the session. Every now and then half-meter waves sets, frequently interrupted by other small waves with chaotic direction.

Sail: Loftsails Wavescape 4.2 2018.

Board: Fanatic Quad TE 2013 87, set as a twinzer with 17.5 cm Maui Ultra Fins x-Twin fins.

Weight of the Rider: 70 kgs

Clothing: 5 mm long wetsuit, 3 mm surf shoes, neoprene headgear, prolimit mittens.

Air temperature: 15-20 degrees.

Water temperature: 9-10 degrees


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Comment of the session

After a nice session at Valmadrera (Como Lake), on Saturday morning, we completed this weekend with another good session at Prà de La Fam (Garda Lake), even even if it was almost unexpected, for how the day had begun, with a wind a little on off.

Given the still fresh climate, which keeps large crowds away from the spot, I arrived at Prà from Monza just before 8.00, still finding parking without any problem.

The sky is overcast, it is strangely warm toady (15-16 degrees at 8.00, which will then become 20-21 in late morning), and on the Mount Baldo it seems that it is raining. Windmeters keep on telling that at Torbole wind is blowing strong from the North ....

The first riders are already in the water, but the wind is really unsteady .... I go to the beach, I measure with the anemometer the intensity of the wind (which on a gust already reaches 33 knots), and I ask those already entered in the water which are the conditions. They confirm that it is really on off, but that the gusts are really tough!

As for the board, I easily decide to use the Quad 87, setting it as Twinzer. I want to verify definitively if the board goes faster as twinzer, and if it overcomes lulls better like this. As for the sail, after a bit of indecision, I decide not to risk the 3.7, given the reduced volume of the board, and I prepare the Loftsails 4.2, also because I have to finish testing it (soon test result, here on Waterwind). I trim it in order not to have it too powerful, sheeting a bit of outhaul, and fixing the terminal of the boom to the the lower clew buttonhole (to have a relatively loosen leech).

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Despite the wind is a bit on off, I take a gust at the beach and start my session (about 9.30). The first rides in the water are a bit frustrating, because the wind comes and goes, but the bursts immediately confirm already powerful. It seems that to the north of the lake the wind is more steady, and this accentuates my doubt that today it was appropriate to ride at Limone (if not at Malcesine).

However, the basic problem is that the wind is not coming from a right direction. It often comes from NW, which for Prà de la Fam is not good indeed. It is better to stay offshore, but given the still cold season, it's better not to exaggerate (in case of swimming for a possible wind drop, it would be a very refreshing experience). I start to fear a bad day, which would sound like a joke, since in Valmadrera, on Lake Como (ie half an hour from home) is blowing a nice Tivano ..... 

But Garda does not betray us, and after half an hour, it decides to show its muscles! Basically, the wind rotates from the North East, and it enters beautiful over the whole spot, with only a few very short breaks. And it will go on like this until 13.00, when the last ones will come out of the water (but at 14.30 pm when I leave the spot, there are still 15-20 knots).

Now, riding is a pleasure, with the possibility to explore the lake at will. The quad as a twinzer rides close hauled very well. Perhaps, the board is a bit harder under my feet, but, probably, it is also the effect of a slight overpowering. However, this set does not change the board nature, which is a show while carving, with a regular curve.

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The overpowering of the sail sometimes appears (on the worst bursts), but it is not unmanageable. The Wavescape Loftsails shows to be light and neutral (probably, I also trimmed it fine), with the 340 mast showing an effective Reflex, in these conditions.

Only the water level is not at its best, with a little mess, that causes some noisy bumping when gliding (but the relatively small volume of the quad board helps to manage it). At the best time of the session, for me, a board of 75-80 liters, and a 3.7 sail would have been my perfect quiver. And, in fact, some 3.7 sails appear in the water.....

The session for me is useful and full of adrenaline. I definitely understand that in power jibe, if I want to exit in switch stance, I have to flip the sail earlier (with wind from behind, or even before), so as to go out faster, and not to have problems with the front foot in the straps. If I do not want to go out in the switch, I have to change my feet position earlier (with wind from behind, or even earlier), and then I can ride clew first for a while, which helps keep the speed up.

Regarding the fast tack, I confirm definitively, even looking at the other riders on the spot, that the feet in front of the mast must pass in a flash, so as not to make the bow sinking. Before entering in the wind, the sail must go back towards the stern, both to go closed hauled, and to create space for the passage of the body in front of the mast.

In the central part of the morning, on the spot, also Mattia Fabrizi appears (PWA athlete - Challenger Sails / Patrick, see video at the end of the article), enjoys the best moment as for wind, and suddenly also comes out Claudio Bertagna, Simmesr style agent for Italy, who at the end of the day shows us the new collection of 2018-2019 Simmer boards  (soon, article on this topic, here on Waterwind).


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At 12.15, I leave the water and I start to take some pictures. Then, I eat a sandwich at the bar of the Prà, a chat with the locals, and, after that, back to family duties. Now, let's see what we can organize for April 25 - May 1, national feast in Italy (Sardinia?).

Hang loose. Fabio

Click here, for the whole slidegallery of the day.



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The video of the day


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