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Sotavento - Main / World Cup site

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General details:

This is the main Sotavento location for windsurfers - by Hotel Sol Los Gorriones - with Rene Egli's F2 Surf Centre. This is where the World Cup event is held each year.

Winds are cross-off here and can vary from force 0 to force 9, usually closer to the latter in July/August. This can be a seriously windy place, as witnessed by the large number of power-generating windmills on the hills above the beach. The wind accelerates over the narrow hills & drops down the leeward side over a 5-6km long stretch of coast. There have been times when I've not had a small enough sail with me, & those renting from the hire centre have been on 2.5m - 3.5m sails.

There is a rudimentary rescue service, but they do seem to only concern themselves with people who have rented their gear from the centre there. Don't sail alone!

Water at the World Cup site is predominantly flat/choppy, sometimes ankle-shatteringly so! Occasionally, after 2-3 days of strong winds, a larger swell is produced leading to seriously choppy water.

If you're bringing your own kit, it's quite a long drag across the lagoon from the (small) car park to the water's edge, except at high spring tides when the lagoon fills up & can even be sailed aslong as you don't have a long skeg.

The sailors here are 95% German & seem to spend all day blasting out, trying to gybe & blasting back - all with looks of grim determination & definitely not there to enjoy themselves, albeit many of them are very good sailors.

The rental centre rents out first rate equipment, with Pryde rigs to complement. For rental terms & prices, check-out Rene Egli's web site. The guys at the hire centre speak good English. The centre also has a café these days.

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Directions to the right place:

To get to the beach, heading S along the main road past the wind turbines, carry on beyond the sign for the hotel & take the next dirt track L signed "Villa Esmeralda".

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How the winds work:

Wind is always offshore and can be very gusty.

It can also switch off without warning leaving you with potentially a long swim back with your kit.

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Tidal conditions:

The lagoon fills up on spring high tides. At other times, the clay-like residue usually results in you slipping on it & falling on your bum as you're wrestling your kit to the water's edge.

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Hazards:

Offshore winds

Suspect rescue service if you've not rented kit from the centre.

There is no shelter here (apart from the rental centre) - neither from the sun nor from the sand storms. Those sunbathing horizontally on the beach can turn into sandmen within 2 minutes.

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Facilities:

Cafe at the rental centre.

Rental centre itself rents out JP & F2 boards & Neil Pryde rigs.

Sun beds for hire in the wind shadow of the rental centre - always very popular!

Very small car park - about 300m from the water's edge across a sometimes not-quite-dry-but-slimy lagoon, or a not-quite-deep-enough-to-sail-across lagoon.

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B&B's / campsites

Hotel Sol Los Gorriones is closest.

Costa Calma is 1-3km walk along the beach, 4-6km drive - there are loads of hotels and apartments there.

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Pubs and eateries

Cafe/bar at the rental centre.

Fuerte Action Surf bar on the main road just outside Costa Calma.

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Note: All comments and opinions mentioned in this section of the site are the personal opinions of the various contributors. Inevitably, one person's favourite may be another person's least favourite.

The information provided here is provided in good faith. We can take no responsibility for the consequences of any inaccuracies. Should you find any inaccuracies, then please take the trouble to tell us, using any of the update links.

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