Go with the FLOW: Cape Verde Clinic
FLOW goes international holding their first action packed, but relaxed week for female windsurfers on the beautiful, unspoiled island of Sal, Cape Verde.
The world class breaks of Cape Verde are often misconceived as too tricky or hardcore for many, especially the ladies, however as British born CV local, Vickey Abbott can confirm the island has a lot more to offer than the most talked about break.
‘Sal is a great destination for water sports of all kinds. Although, thanks to its recent inclusion on the PWA wave tour, Sal is now widely known for Ponta Preta with its perfect and large cross off shore waves.
Sal also hosts a large variety of conditions from flat free ride – cross onshore bump and jump/ mellow waves – perfect cross of shore wave riding of all sizes. The North Easterly trade winds kick in towards the end of September and blow until usually the 1st of July when the doldrums creep up and the calm hot summer starts. The wind is generally fairly light averaging 15-20 knots, strongest in the months of Jan – June. Due to the diminutive size of the island all spots are within 20mins of the town allowing multiple sessions at different locations throughout the day.’
The week organised by FLOW founder, Amy Carter, and Vickey, director of Cape Verde Imports, will combine yoga, windsurfing, surfing, SUP and many other day/evening activities, making the most of all the island has to offer on and off the water.
Top PWA competitor and approachable, experienced coach Nayra Alonso will be on hand all week to offer an abundance of coaching sessions and top tips. As a highly skilled wavesailor Nayra is an excellent instructor at all levels, to make the most of both Nayra’s abilities and the fantastic range of conditions we are aiming the week at experienced female windsurfers, who are comfortable planing, waterstarting, ideally having windsurfed on the sea, wanting to build confidence in waves, and get into/improve their wavesailing. Don’t worry we are not looking for pros, we just want to make sure that all women attending will be able to make the most of the conditions, just drop us an email to discuss further.
‘“I am super excited about running this clinic along with Amy and Vickey. They are both really enthusiastic water women and I am sure they are organizing a hell of a holiday for the girls that will join the clinic!!. The aim is to help girls to start getting into the waves or improve their wave sailing skills. When it comes to waves there is as much ability and technique involved as mental preparation. We would help you trying to get more comfortable on the waves and try to get your riding and jumping better, feeling confident about it and going one step farther.” Nayra Alonso
Condition dependent the trip will also include the opportunity to learn/improve your surfing and SUP skills, meaning what ever the weather we will be able to hit the water. Off the water we will relax and restore our muscles with a series of yoga sessions, giving all the opportunity to unwind before the rest of the days activities. Of course all waterwomen also love great food and drink, the odd adventure, exploring and the odd bit of shopping, all this plus more will be available, island style.
Will be in the Surf Activity guest house which is situated on the east side of Santa Maria town, 200mtres from the majority of the windsurfing centres and 5mins walk from the centre of the town. The surf house is run by a very friendly Italian Windsurfer who loves to welcome people to Cape Verde for the water sports and he and his wife are always delighted to help. The atmosphere that has been created here is very friendly, hospitable and the rooms themselves are kept clean and tidy. Please check out the website http://www.surfactivity.it it’s in Italian but the pictures tell you all you need to know! The rooms vary but all have a double and single bed with ensuite, there is a communal kitchen with cooker/oven/fridge, freezer and a dining table and sofa area.
Dates: 12th - 18th March 2012
Price: £850 - £1000 (dependent on participants and exact package) to include coaching, food, accommodation, kit rental, transfer, vehicle hire and fuel.
We are recommending a flight from the UK with Thomson, and will help arrange your flights from any locations, email for further details.
Package is flexible and can be individually tailored to dates/needs of each participant.
Minimum windsurfing level requirements comfortable planing, able to keep upwind, waterstarting, experience of windsurfing on the sea/coping with shore break.
Minimum of 6, maximum of 8 places available.
The clinic will rely on a minimum of 6 women confirming their entry by no later than 1/12/2011.
Once minimum entry has been reached the clinic plans will be finalised allowing entrants to book their own flights after this date.
Please do not book your flight until we have confirmed the clinic has 6 entrants.
For further details and full booking information please email email@example.com
More on Cape Verde:
The Cape Verde islands are an arrow-shaped archipelago of ten islands off the coast of West Africa on a latitude with Senegal and approximately 1000km South of the Canary islands. This puts it firmly within the tropics and thus providing year round sunshine with the average temperature never falling below 22 degrees C. It is generally agreed that the islands were discovered between 1455 and 1461 and given the name Cape Verde not because of the abundant vegetation (because there isn’t any) but because of the green point off Senegal which was the last point of land for many sailors before they reached Cape Verde. Cape Verde has been a stable democratic republic since they won independence from the Portuguese in 1975. The official language taught in schools and spoken in business is Portuguese but each island has its own adaption of Creole Portuguese which is the language used from day-to-day, you may find that the non-educated can only speak in Creole. Each island has its own charm and they differ a lot in their appearance. Santo Antao, Sao Nicolau and Santiago are probably the most visually attractive of all the islands with their mountains and riberas (valleys) abundant with fruits and vegetables. Likewise Fogo has some dramatic scenery as a large active volcano. While Sal does not have the dramatic scenery or vegetation it is certainly not without charm and delights of its own. The whole south of the island offers large white sandy beaches running into the startling blue ocean whilst in the North of the island you can hike up Mt Leao with the sea eagles nesting a top or Serra Negra with it’s perfect deserted bays (a favourite nesting spot for the logger head turtles that nest between June and December). A little further North is Pedra de Lume, the old disused Salt pans from the 16th Century when the Portuguese used to mine for salt inside an extinct volcanic crater (now a spa set up here for bathing in the salt pools and covering yourself in apparently skin cleansing mud!) and Buracona, an exhilarating natural swimming pool carved out of the rocks by the persistent waves which on even a calm day produces an impressive spray.
The town of Santa Maria itself is a charming town which started life as a small fishing village with a few huts but is now based around three main cobbled streets and filled with charming bars, shops and restaurants. Every day the fishing pier offers a great spectacle for tourists as the fishermen arrive in their painted wooden boats with their mornings catch of large Tuna, Wahoo and Marlin (still caught by hand line or spear despite these being big game fish). Alongside the pier is one of the easiest surf spots on the island where all the local kids learn to surf and while away their days. The town has a strong surfer vibe to it as the ocean has always been a way of life here, you will often see the local surfers wondering around town with a board under their arm and trucks driving by filled with kit. The local Cape Verdeans themselves are very friendly and have a joyous attitude to life, they seem oblivious to the woes of the world outside of their desert island which is only 30km long and at its widest point 12km across. The lifestyle is very much outdoor and of a weekend all the beaches come alive with life as people pass the days frolicking in the inviting blue seas. Alongside windsurfing, surfing, SUP, kiting and scuba diving there is still plenty to do from deep sea fishing to off road quad bike trips, so there is rarely a dull moment especially as when you finally have time to relax at the end of an action packed day it can be done in a hammock with a Capirinha and followed by a dish of fish fresh from the morning catch.
The South of the island and part of the town:
Santa Maria bay in the South of the island offers 3km of sandy beach which is predominantly off shore to cross shore flat water free-ride conditions with Ponta Leme on the east side of the bay offering some gentle rolling swell allowing for a taster off some waves and then on the West side of the bay is Ponta Sino which is a gentle beach break (breaking onto a sandy beach). On occasion with a large period North or South swell Santa Maria bay can see some larger waves but this tends to be during the summer months or on the rare occasion during the winter, also there can be some shore break.
The South East coast and a 15minute drive:
Kite beach formerly known as Shark bay (until it scared all the kiters), is a 2km stretch of beach designated as nature reserve and protected during the summer months for the nesting logger head turtles. The sailing here varies from cross / cross onshore bump and jump to logo high waves. There is a small reef in the bay which produces some mellow port tack waves for riding on the way in and allows for some starboard tack jumping on the way out. It can be a little gusty and needs stronger winds to make it great for jumping.
The infamous West coast:
Whilst Ponta Preta may have given Cape Verde its reputation for perfectly groomed cross off shore point breaks, it is far from the only break available on the West coast for these type of conditions. The West coast needs a North West ground swell for the waves to form, this happens frequently between the months of October to March. The waves break all along the West coast and are rideable at numerous spots, offering cross to cross offshore riding for all levels. Of course there are the heavier waves for those that want, but there are other spots which are more cross shore and tend to be smaller as they are protected from the headland.