The long beach of ‘Cabedelo’ opposite Viana do Castelo is probably North Portugal’s most popular spot – and certainly one of the best. With its thermal turbo-boost, the Nortada regularly reaches 25 knots so it’s often busy on the water. Cross to cross-offshore wind combined with more than 2m of W swell generates classy waves over a hard sand seabed. However, wave quality and power recedes with the tide and it tends to close out when it’s big. Viana is often just a freeride area though – the water’s super-flat by the large harbour wall, and in summer the waves often disappear further south too. Parking is behind the breakwater, about 400m from the water – windsurfers tend to launch further south at the campsite. There a few rocks in the water, so watch your fins.
Quite a trip it was from Costa Brava to Viana do Castelo . With a overnight in Zaragosa we arrived after driving some 1300km for the first time in Portugal.
What an AMAZING new stop of the PWA-Tour.
This 4th PWA Slalom-event (men/women) was combined with the Women Freestyle. I had 2 days to relax and recover from the Foil-excitement in Spain, but on June 14th the action continued, and really action it was !!
Windconditions with around 40 knots, using my smallest equipment it was sometimes surviving on the race-course.
On June 13th the freestyle-ladies came into action and we could get used to the amazing conditions here in the bay.
Day-2 was slalom all over. Excellent wind and at noon elimination 1 started. Unfortunately I missed out by just a few meters to advance into the semifinal in the first and in the next I clinched with Koerdel at the first mark and finished last in the 2nd round. Not a good start of the event, but with an awesome forecast a lot of more chances would come.
Day-3 Elimination 3 was a go and was in heat 1 together with my friend and Theislandboy Taty Frans. We finished in 1st and second place but in round 2 both crashed . Over and out in El. 3 and eager to fight back in Elimination nr 4.
Elimination 4, won the first heat, a 2nd place in the 2nd round and happy to be in the quarterfinal again. The quarterfinal was a battle but could claim a 3rd spot to advance into the first semifinal here in Portugal.
The wind picked up with gusts up to 45 knots and all riders on their smallest gear. My gear was the JP-Australia Slalom 62 and SeverneSails Mach1 5.5 .
It was Formule1 on the water, it was surviving and just don’t crash. After a hard battle again could not make the final but happy with my 5th place in the runners-up-fina; and a 13th overall place in Elimination 4.
Day-4 Started with the double elimination of the women-freestyle before nuclear conditions kicked in and the slalom-adventure continued. I could not sit it out on the beach and went out to warm up on my freestyle-gear. With AeroworxGP and the drone we could film some great footage. Also John Carter, the PWA-photographer caught me with his camera.
Received a massive amout of messages about the freestyle-clip. Good advertisement for me but also Viana do Castelo. Really hope to come back with the tour next year and have a Men-Freestyle competition here as well.
Check out the clip.
The slalom later on that day was crazy. Elimination 5. In heat 11 I could again make it into the semifinal. It was a fight. In 2nd position at the first mark, overtaking and leading from the 2nd mark and after a one-handed gibe at the last mark and a short dip it was all or nothing to claim the 4th qualifying spot. See for yourself in the videoclip.
A huge bummer in the semifinal, was in 2nd position behind Moussilimani F-71, going really wel ahead of the pack as he crashed right in front of me and could not avoid him and went in the drink as well. In the runners-up final I finished 7th, still happy with a 15th place in Elimination 5.
In elimination 6, quarterfinal the same thing happend to me again. This time Dagan ISR-1 was the reason I crashed, but that’s all in the game and especially in the challenging conditions. Everybody is flying around. Happy nothing broke and no injuries and on to the next. Overall event – 25th place.
Looking forward to elimination 7 and make it happen this time again to at least make it into the semifinal and use the 2nd discard to climb a little in the event-ranking.
In the morning the Women -Freestyle was on and congrats to Sarah Quita, winning her 2nd double elimination. #QueenofFreestyle.
Back to work, elimination 7 !!
I’m a lucky guy, but in Elimination 7 I did not feel that way. Right before jibing the first mark someone crashed and I could not avoid him in time and went down again. What a bummer to exit this important elimination already in the 2nd round.
Result after 5 days, 7 eliminations and 2 discards: 25th place. Need to step up the game !!
Day-6 After 5 days of insane wind, it did not kick in and all riders could enjoy a day off, although some of them, including me were eager to do another round to improve the results.
Day-7 Another warm and windless day, but no time to get lazy. A Team-jumboSUP race was organised . Big fun and we won !!
On the last day of this epic event it was soon clear that we could pack and crown the winners of the Men and Women Slalom and the Women-freestyle.
Congratulations to all winners, congratulations and a massive thank you/ Obrigado to the Feel Viana-Organizers. I had an amazing time, conditions were TOP and hope to return next year for more !!
Again the PWA-crew, John Carter and not to forget Ben Proffitt with his excellent coverage on the live-stream : Thank you
Had hoped to give my sponsors a better result at this 4th and challenging slalom-event. The smaller slalom-gear works perfect and can’t wait for the Fuerte-super conditions to be out on it again.
Event-result : 25th place
Overall 2018 result after 4 slalom-events : 18th place. ( still the best result since 2011)
Source : http://www.pwaworldtour.com
Already back in The Netherlands to take some much needed rest and gym-time. Next up : Junior Summer Camp and Foil clinic in Denmark from July 1-7, 2018
Looking forward to encourage, support and coach the new generation windsurfers who signed up for a week full of windsurfing, fun and action.
Get back to you soon with more news about my passion and please enjoy the scenery pictures by John Carter of beautiful Viana do Castelo below.
Viana do Castelo
Hotel Feel Viana (Host)
Hotel Feel Viana
Surfshop at Hotel Feel Viana