After Royal visits in Aruba it was time to head out to Jericoacoara, Brazil. Travel trajectory: Aruba-New York-Sao Paolo-Fortaleza-Jericoacoara. Jeri would be the perfect place for me to get back into the windsurifng flow. There you can eliminate the most important and most unpredictable factor: The wind. Where in other spots the wind dies for a few days leaving you begging for more, in Brazil the wind never ceases and leaves your body begging for a break. Which of course is not possible because like any other wind addict my brain tells, or rather shouts at me that I HAVE to go sailing as long as it’s windy ( Really, my opinion does not count in that discussion!). So for the next 12 days I spent as much time on the water as I could. My body was left beat and broken but I complied with my orders.
My trip did start off with a bit of bad luck. In NY I had to bust out some Usain Bolt running to make my next flight. By the time I handed over my ticket at the gate I was squeaking and gasping for 02. But at least I made it ! Unfortunately my bags didn’t. So I was stranded in windsurfing paradise for 3 days without equipment or clothes.
The next three days had me looking like some kind of project. I was sailing in oversized guy shorts and a basketball jersy on other people’s equipment. That didn’t bother me though. Since the PWA freestyle event in Brouwersdam back in September I had only sailed once. So naturally when I got on the water I was over the moon excited. Judging by my constant shouting and jelling. Just getting planing, blasting across the water, hearing the wind and the water crashing against my board was already a rush !
I really like sailing at the main spot at Jeri but this is usually really crowded. And the conditions are pretty much always the same so it’s good to change things up once in a while. After a few days I entered the local wave competition. There were quite a few girls competing. Also the PWA girls Arrianne Aukes & Oda Johanne. In the men’s division you had local guys like Edvan de Souza, Ian lemos and Levi Lenz and a whole lot of Italians competing. For 2 days we had proper wave riding and jumping action to watch. On the first day I won the final against Maeli from Australia. And the next day I was able to defend my first position against Arrianne and win the competition. I am convinced that competition is the fastest way to improve. So this was a good opportunity to practice my wave riding and jumping skills. The best part of it was having the whole spot to yourself for the duration of the heat.
One day when I went sailing down at the dunes I met up with Guy Cribb and his clinic. They invited me to do a downwinder from Préa to Jeri with them. A distance of about 12 km. Of course I wanted to go on that adventure ! In total it was a trip of around 4 hours as we were a really big group and needed to watch each other. So we would all sail 1-2 km out to sea and meet up back at the beach a few km’s further downwind. It was a windy day and sailing in the rough waters was very challenging. But I absolutely loved this “exploring” type of windsurfing. Just following the shoreline and constantly adapting to the changing conditions. Even though I wasn’t really training anything it was quite the experience. Finally we were 6 sailors left that made the last stretch back to Jeri. Exhausted..but just in time for an amazing sunset.
Then on one of my last days I went to Camocim with 3 other guys. We buggied down the beach for 1,5 hours to make it to this freestyle playground. What a place!! Flat as a pancake and windy. I would advice everybody in need of a confidence boost to head over there. I promise you you will be able to land everything and then some more. I had an epic session landing all of my dream moves in one session: skopu, airfunnel 360’s, burners, kono’s, double spocks, triple flaka’s, culo’s. Sailing with local talent Hugo de Souza, Loick Spicher, Jeremy Pluss, Adi Beholz, and more was very motivating. After a few hours it was time to get back to Jeri. Due to the high tide we couldn’t drive back along the beach and eventually got lost in the dunes for a while. As our driver was cursing and cussing we were laughing at the fact that we could actually see the lights of Jeri but there was no way of getting there! Finally when the tide dropped a bit we made it back about 2 hours later than planned. Epic windsurfing, some adventure and great company. What a day!
I think Jericoacoara is an amazing place to go to. Everything is so simple there and makes you realize that some things are not as important or as bad as they seem. Besides the numerous options for windsurfing, to me it’s the people you meet and the friends you make that will make you want to go back every time.
Thanks to everyone at Pousada Do Maurizio for the good times.
Jeri250 and Bob windschool for storing my equipment. Until next time!
Next stop: Cape Town, South Africa
Photo Credits: Karel TYC & Guy Cribb
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