Last Saturday the Mauritius ATTITUDE Windsurfing league held its first regatta of 2017, served with strong wind to begin the season. Although the local scene can take a while to wake up, 15 hungry riders showed up to slam some gusts into their sails. Starting on time was still too much to expect but we won’t be too harsh about that: the whole island was being drenched by rain and some West-coast dwellers were wondering if racing would indeed happen.
Being on the South-East corner, the playground of the day (Pointe d’Esny beach) gets generally less irrigated as the clouds pile up further inland. Jokes about each other’s fitness profused, Christopher eventually gave a briefing, the guys rigged mostly too big sails (in the absence of small sails better suited to the conditions), I jumped in the boat with race officer Manou and off we were along the Blue Bay reef, away from large chop in the wider lagoon. That said, a few swells still rolled into the lagoon with the high tide, just to keep things interesting.
After Yan and Julien showed us where to place the buoys, we dropped anchor upwind of the start buoy creating a virtual line, which the riders were to cross at the GO signal. We hoped to run 4 races, but after each one some riders dropped out – broken harness line, uncontrollable board, too overpowered, whatever. We saw some good fights at the jibes between Julien and Christopher, Laurent and JF, a few crashes but great action overall.
After the first two races it became clear the next one would be the last, and last opportunity for me to get some shots from the water. I jumped in straight after the GO as riders sailed away and swam to the buoy. Thankfully no-one crashed close enough to slice me up with their fins or knock me out with their masts.
Definitely an fantastic day overall, even though Manou and I had quite a scare on the way back as the boat had slowly taken in a lot of water! All were pumped-out from holding their big sails and beers were thoroughly enjoyed. Dark skies, stormy weather, endless fun. More photos and results on the league’s facebook page, till next time.