I thought life was great in Aruba, but after seeing a picture of our lake fully frozen, covered with snow, and reading the temperature of -2F, it feels even better down here. Good winds, warm and sunny weather started out the week. Today brought light wind and a little rain, but by afternoon the sun returned and the wind again picked up. I had a great slalom session last night sailing with several of the Vela staff and some local hot shots! The iSonic 107 and Hellcat 6.7 worked great but it was tough (impossible??) keeping up with the guys on carbon slalom boards and full on 7.8 race sails who were tuning for this year’s Hi Winds.
Guests have really started to pick up this week as we are in peak months. Our regular gang from Canad-eh, with their ‘adapted’ (and proud of it) Mass. contingent, arrived this past weekend and have gotten right back into taking the fast gear, speeding the blue highway all day, then having a great ‘after sailing’ session discussing the day’s events and planning the evening. It looks like cold Balashi beer helps relieve the pains from the day and loosen up the planning process. They came with special shirts this year to help tell each other apart! Gary had a close encounter today, sailing along on the blue highway he was suddenly surrounded by around ten dolphins. They stayed with him for a while, one coming up and grazing the side of his board, another surfacing near the front of his board and lifting the bow a little out of the water.
Last year’s (2010) video – another great job documenting their vacation and showing the great conditions, gear, and fun waiting in Aruba. Check it out at
John Chao, President and Designer of Windwing in Hood River, was in town for a few days this week and brought along some of his kites for friends and a Windwing Hammer RDM 6.9 for himself. The Hammer is unique in that it is a cam sail designed around a skinny mast, with 2 tack straps to better control draft Check out the Windsport 2010 sail test - we found it to be very stable and fast, with smooth rotation in the jibes. John’s black sail really stood out as he and the Vela iSonic raced with guys on the Neil Pryde sails.
With great fan fare (at least the Vela staff was excited) we finally got the new Oasis on the water and guests immediately lined up for a refreshing cool drink of water. This year’s edition does not have a flag pole and Vela flag. Seems like the kiters were having a problem running into the pole last year! So much for control and steering!
For anyone who MIGHT need an afternoon from windsurfing or more likely something to do in the evening, a new ride just opened at Palm Beach Plaza called the FlowRider. Body boarding or stand up surfing on a single wave is simulated by a large pump pushing water up a curved incline. Dennis, a friend of Vela who runs a surfing school, is working part time there as an instructor (video below is not Dennis!) helping out people who give it a try.