Carl's 2012 / 2013 Cape Town Trip

This year is my 7th visit to South Africa, and I was again lucky enough to be able to take some extended leave allowing me to stay for 30 days.  Jane & I took 5 days to do some sightseeing at the beginning of the trip when we visited Franschoek and Hermanus. Needless to say I missed a couple of good sessions but South Africa is such a beautiful country and it has to be done; I’d encourage you to do the same if you visit……too many surfers just hang out in Cape Town and miss out on this amazing county.  

Getting back to Cape Town it was clear that there were good waves forecast with long period (12 seconds plus) and of a good size 4m plus.  The wind however was not quite so forthcoming and we had a bit of a spell of light westerly winds and it was at this point I started to get worried that  I’d get any sailing in at all! However I need not have worried because we had some fantastic wind and waves come in at Sunset, Haagkat, Paternoster and a most memorable day at Elands Bay which I last sailed about 5 years ago. It’s a very fickle spot for windsurfing requiring many factors for it to work so it isn’t often sailed. Even on the rare occasions when it does work you have to make sure there are only a few surfers on the take-off zone, after all it is their spot.

I guess we got lucky and the day turned out to be one of my most memorable in 25 years of windsurfing. I felt incredibly privileged to be in the right place at the right time and to have the company of Piet a good friend and Cape Town “Local”. Stefan, another SA local who we stayed with that night, joined us later and we watched him ride some massive waves with great style and commitment right until sunset, all of us on Ezzy sails!

Haagkat was also firing and we had several really great sessions with at least one with over mast high waves and really clean around New Year.  It was really nice to see the “team boss” aka Jem Hall, and to have a great riding jumping session with him at Sunset. The last few days were spent at Sunset Big Bay, Haagkat and then we had a mellow “float and ride” session to finish the trip Cape Point Day which I again shared with Piet and just a couple of others.

This trip I took my trusty RRD Hardcore Wave 76, it’s fast loose and handles big surf and strong winds effortlessly. There were a couple of days were I needed my Wave Cult 83 which would have been awesome on a couple of light wind days we had. All up I sailed 13 days out of a potential 25, all of them in really good side or cross off waves. Kit takes a real hammering in Cape Town, it can get windy and the surf is powerful with a punishing shore break. It’s no coincidence that most the SA locals use Ezzy masts and many use Ezzy sails too. Even though I got tumbled many times in big surf the only thing I broke was the super spinatus in shoulder which will need a phyisio attention when I get back!

I should like to wrap up with a special thank yous to Jane for patiently taking pictures and to Piet, Ronel and family who looked after me during my last week and another thanks to Piet for the great pictures , he’s a demon windsurfer, surfer and photographer.