Peter and his WA adventure!
15th of November, 2012
After the PWA 2012 season ended in Sylt, I left for Australia a little earlier then usual to get away from everything and try to track some spring Indian ocean swells, where it's generally pumping this time of year.
There is no shortage of storms down in the southern hemisphere, and after the airlines were finished with me for bringing my windsurf gear across the oceans from Europe the fun could actually begin. With a new quiver of the Avanti Fenix hardcore wave sails, Fanatic 86 Liter Tri and some Maui Ultra Fins, preparations were made to explore some of the finer breaks along the wild west of Australia on the coral coast!
The first couple weeks in Margaret River provided some good sailing and quality time, but then the weather turned for the worse and so it seemed perfect timing to take off up North to explore and go on an adventurous camping trip. Here in Western Australia, Brand Highway can be the the gateway north up to hotter weather, strong seabreezes and world class waves.
Besides driving on the left side there is a lot of stray animals you might "run into" like foxes, rabbits, emu's, kangaroo's (they usually jump towards you instead of getting off the road), sheep, goats or even cows!
Visually maybe comparable or even better than traveling through a wildlife reserve, also considering everything flying overhead, we saw a huge eagle the other day. Trucks called "road trains" can be a challenge to overtake, as they are soooo long. From Margaret River it took us about 14 hours to get to the G spot of windsurfing and we were rewarded with days on end of long peeling left handers, and usually a 20-30 knot sea breeze making camping in a tent quite a little challenge! Despite warnings of tents taking off and tent poles ripping out on those sites along the front near the water, we pitched our shelter at some prime real estate close to the ocean overlooking the lagoon, beautiful reefs and ....... deserted waves.
There has been every opportunity to get the new sails out there in some radical conditions and take them for a serious spin and the sailing experience can be described as: what a nice light feeling, lively, soft but stable with a huge wind range - a typical trademark performance of excellence that Avanti Sails is starting to be renowned for. Waves were usually not massive yet so long it allows for over 10 turns and it just reels for more then 200 m along the reef with a lot of power and speed. On the low tides you must always watch out that the bottom doesn't drop out meaning the water doesn't simply "disappear" from underneath your feet while the water rushes off the reef at the bubbles, if you are just a little too deep on the wave at take off, the wave is so fast you won't even catch up so the wave can be very very challenging. I have even heard of stories of guys getting barreled in the past on a windsurfer!, in massive winter swells....
When you are watching the sundown with a beer in the hand by the fire at night, after solid water time with a few friends you just wish you could stay forever. But the time always comes to get back to reality. At night it's awesome to look at the sky, with little other light around apart from a few other campers and the station while thinking back to the perfect waves you had ridden all day and wish your trip could go on and on. Maybe some people wouldn't like being isolated far away from civilization, it can also get potentially very hot up there in the desert, especially on the non-windy days with quite a few flies, but you got to appreciate the nature and wildlife.
Time went by real fast and we cooked on the fire every night, it was really back to basics camping in the outback at the edge of the desert on the coral coast.
Windsurfing is fun and challenging at every level, camping and 4wheel driving just adds to the experience, and especially in Western Australia the adventure can be truly extraordinary and for sure unique.
Hope to see you out on the water and wish you nothing but good conditions, get into it!
H24 Peter Volwater is proudly sponsored by: Avanti, Fanatic and Pro Limit.