We arrived in Aruba today late but missing one piece of luggage. At least no ‘Tragedy on Flight 662’ (see Windsurfing Gypsy), my gear is already here! Stepped off the plane - HOT and SUNNY were the first thoughts in my mind, but where was the wind? Arriving at Vela I realized the wind was light but there was big swell coming in! All the SUPs were all out on the water with everyone having fun learning to surf. The big decision was surfing with or without paddles! Guess life is full of tough decisions even in Aruba, but at least we didn’t have to worry about the water being warm or snow in the forecast.
Christmas arrived early the next day with a truckload full of new 2011 gear arriving from Neil Pryde. In the container was almost the full line of sail models and sizes – 150 new sails. The next few days were spent between working with guests and rigging. We now have a full range of each of the 7 models we received, with at least 2 of each size rigged. Smaller sizes are rigged on skinny masts and feel great. The guests have been blasting and learning on them with positive feedback. The speedsters/slalom gang has loved the speed of the new Hellcats (Heliums for the big guys!), blasting and drag racing out on the blue highway. Tricksters like the Firefly and new Atlas (replaced the Alpha). While designed as a wave sail, the smaller people and beginners have enjoyed the lightness and easy power of the The Fly 2.
Yesterday I had a nice session with a new 6.2 Atlas and a Starboard Kode 112. Getting back to cruising the clear, flat waters and gentle swell of Aruba is a sure cure for the dull, snowy weather blues of WAAAY up North. I’m happy to report that the new Atlas felt great (nicely powered conditions), lots of power with good speed and upwind ability, but it felt stable in the gusts. The sweet spot was big enough to make finding and controlling power easy without it being too large. The Atlas had decent maneuverability and handling in jibes and for old school freestyle. While a year old (wow, and already being replaced!) the Kode112 had a real nice top end, smooth acceleration, and matched up well with the 6.2, but most of all was really fun to sail. GREAT TO BE BACK!
We’re hoping the new boards arrive next week. More guests have been showing up for the Christmas and New Years break. The sun and wind have also been returning, and with our new boards and sails life will be complete – what stress? Come and visit for a chance to try all the best 2011 gear.
It’s a little quieter on the water this year; Sarah-Quite (congratulations on your 3rd straight World Freestyle championship) is in Holland for University. Hopefully she can come back for the holidays and add some Flare to the sailing; we all miss the cool moves and screams of joy in the water. Check out the new video the Arabian government has put out, promoting her accomplishments and great windsurfing here in Aruba.