There’s a buzz around the beach at Las Cucharas as the summer trade winds lift the rainbow sails of Lanzarote windsurfing and send them riding across the waves. It’s a little over two weeks until the start of the 2011 PWA Windsurf World Tour and everyone’s looking forward to seeing some spectacular freestyle sailing.
Like everything else, the PWA (Professional Windsurfers Association) World Tour has been affected by the world economic crisis with the result that this year, it’s only the freestyle men who will get to compete in the Costa Teguise event. But that won’t dampen the spirits of the sailors and spectators who will crowd the beautiful bay over the four days of the event to enjoy the sun and the spectacle. Costa Teguise is hoping that the weather puts in a better performance than at last year’s competition and musters its trademark constant 15 – 20 knots with good waves to produce some world class moves.
The PWA rankings currently have last year’s winner, Jose ‘Gollito’ Estredo, sitting in second position to Kiri Thode who stood in second place on the podium last year. But with Kiri currently sitting in pole position at Bonaire and Gollito in fourth as I write, it’s likely to be another exciting battle of the waves between the topped ranked players when they set sail in Lanzarote. With valuable points and prize money of 30,000 euros at stake, there’s plenty to play for.
For spectators, Playa Cucharas is a perfect crescent-shaped bay backed by shops, bars and restaurants where days usually slip by in sun-filled hours of golden beach, clear waters, finger-licking lunches and chilled beers. But when the PWA Tour comes to town, the adrenalin is notched up and everyone gets carried away on the tide of excitement and the party atmosphere. If you’re lucky enough to be staying at Sands Beach Resort, an idyllic coastal stroll takes you to the action within minutes and later in the day, back to the Mai Tai for a chill out and a sundowner.
PWA Freestyle Windsurf Tour; June 30th – July 3rd 2011; Playa Las Cucharas, Costa Teguise; the Championships move to Gran Canaria (July 5th – July 10th), Tenerife (July 14th – 20th) and Fuerteventura (July 22nd – August 1st)
Photos from PWA World Tour gallery