Weekend in Wissant

Weekend in Wissant

Every windsurfer knows the pain involved with decisions about when and where to windsurf. It becomes more and more haunting as the weekend draws near. You might think that with online forecasts and satellites, the decisions are easier but it seems that the opposite is quite often true. I have stood on many a windless beach when the computerised forecast has got it completely wrong!

With a public holiday coming up, giving us a four-day weekend to spend somewhere windy, the decision was even more critical. My friend Flo lives in Kiel, 500Km from me in Krefeld so there is always a fair bit of driving involved in a windsurf trip!

The original plan, which was to spend four days in Klitmöller, was looking good until Tueday. Then the forecast changed… It seemed that Wissant in France was the sensible option.

Wissant is renowned as Northern France’s best wave spot. It sits in the middle of the English Channel, opposite Dover, in the perfect position to squeeze Southwesterly and Northeasterly winds. Some say that it gets more wind than Tarifa!

Wissant was a long way for Flo, making the decision altogether more important! After pondering his options, he got himself moving. He had to make a difficult choice – an height hour drive with the risk of standing on a windless beach or stay home and risk missing four days of windsurfing…

We arrived at Wissant on Thursday and everything was looking good. Wall-to-wall sunshine, a nice view of the cliffs of Dover, 5.7 weather, but unfortunately, not a wave in sight!

The following day, the conditions hadn’t got a lot better but at least the wind had picked up a bit. Flo was starting to have his doubts about his 20 hours of driving… Saturday started slow, with no wind. In the late afternoon, we were finally shown the potential of the spot. We had two hours in un-crowded waves and the whole ordeal was finally justified!

After that session, it didn’t matter that all bars and restaurants in Wissant had closed after we de-rigged our stuff. It didn’t matter that the forecasts weren’t looking as promising as they did when we started our trip. It didn’t even matter that it was raining on our final morning. We kept to our plan and went out for another short session until the wind dropped and we packed our stuff, relaxed in the knowledge that we didn’t miss anything.

Words: Chris Hafer
Pics: Chris Hafer / Flo Söhnchen


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