All kinds of windsport in one event
Last weekend Heli and I went to Lake Garda, where we spent some days in Riva del Garda. The reason was an exclusive event preview for “Garda Wind Garda – Your wind experience.” The organisers of Barcolana invited media representatives and partners to take part in this preview. No question: I was mightily proud that I had received an invitation!
To describe the event in a few words: It’s an action-packed mix of different sports around wind and air, from kite- and windsurfing through sailing to paragliding.
Lake Garda: Always windy
Until now I knew the Lake Garda only from climbing (a kind of sports which I carelessly neglected since I became a kite addict). To be honest I was really impressed about the wind: Even though the forecast said quite lousy weather and not the best conditions for wind at the lake, already in the morning we had 5 bft (Vento, north wind) and in the afternoon the Ora (south wind) came totally on time.
So Lake Garda for us has become quite interesting again as a kite spot – even if it’s a couple of kilometres to go there (but us kitesurfers know what we’re doing for some wind ;)). If you are interested in detailed information about the different wind systems at the lake, you find it here.
I collected some impressions from our first afternoon and the following morning at the Lake. What can I say … there’s only one word to describe it: Summer!!! After the last weeks in Austria I was really not used to sunny, friendly weather and higher temperatures anymore …
Wingsuits & kitepros
This year “Garda Wind Garda” was planned as a preview for the “real” event which will start 2017. The programme was quite impressing: The kick-off was a paragliding- and wingsuit show (with more action as expected, cause one of the wingsuit pilots landed into a tree after his parachute opened too late – at least this was the assumption). Luckily he was not hurt!
Here you find some impressions around the press conference (with organisers, media people and also the kite proriders) and the kick-off show:
Next point after the air show was the “On-Lake-Preview” on a boat, where everyone had the possibility to watch the different types of sports from close up. The windsurfers will compete in an “One Hour” regatta, which means that they have to surf as many rounds as possible in this time. Furthermore a competition for small foil sailing boats (moths) and an Optimist regatta for kids are planned.
But – of course for us kitesurfers is was most interesting what the attendant proriders would do on the water! I’ts not clear yet how the kite freestyle comp will exactly be in the event next year. However: The show of Matchu Lopes, Luis Brito und Elvis Nunes was an amazing and promising pre-taste!
Well, it’s better if you just take a look at the pics and see it for yourself. Here are some of the afternoon:
To be honest I was not only impressed by the performance of the athletes. What I found super impressive also is the way the organisers and tourism people from Lake Garda deal with surfers – and with which drive they work on pushing wind sports including kitesurfing! Especially as a kitesurfer in Austria I would say that I am not used to this friendly and respectful treatment. Unfortunately in our country as a kiter often you don’t have the feeling to be welcome, and the surf events are decreasing. But ok, this is another topic.
So thumbs up for Garda Wind Garda – I absolutely want to go there again next year and am looking totally forward. But in regards to the wind conditions it would be clever to arrive some days earlier … after all one should make use of all this heavenly winds!
Last but not least: Big respect and big thanks to the organisers (and also to Anna from Kommunikationsatelier) – from accomodation through food and drinks to the programme everything was amazing and perfectly organized. Not to forget the fun with the Austrian group … 😉
Fino al prossimo anno!