We caught up with Björn Dunkerbeck ahead of his event in Fuerteventura for a quick run down of the spot and a few bonus speed secrets. Being a relatively new spot for an international event we picked his brains on the location, the conditions expected, what gear people will be riding and much more…
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Over to Björn...
June is already one of the peak wind seasons for the Canary Islands and in Fuerteventura it is no different, we can expect the local effect to increase the wind strength from what can look like a light forecast to anything up to 45 knots each day.
The beach is a great size for a speed course, you can fit in a good run within the area where the wind is at it’s best. The only place where it can be a little gusty is on the entrance to the course, but this does depend on the direction a lot. What I must say is that it is nowhere near as gusty as Karpathos, for those who were competing there before, it is way better than that.
Towards the end of the run you can experience either a bit of a lull or a strong and powerful gust to pull you over the finish, this also depends on the wind being northerly or north-easterly.
The sea state is very smooth and there is little to no swell rolling in, which makes it very easy to windsurf there, one of the reasons why we chose this location. We don’t get this running swell that happens down at Sotavento due to that slightly different wind direction and the longer fetch from the usual swell direction.
Well, I would probably say that a small slalom board or a big speed board is going to be most suitable. Anything from 45 to 55cm wide will be ideal, and for those who are slightly heavier than a 60cm wide board could be useful. What I must stress is that we will not run in bad conditions, basically 7.8m and down will be the cut-off. I think we are most likely to be competing on 6.2’s, 7.0’s and maybe even 5.6 if the local effect really kicks in. None of that gusty light wind situation… *laughs*
Well for the 7.0 it’s best on a 30/32/34cm, depending really on the ability of the sailor. For smaller boards then you could go as low as 26cm, it’s not really a place where you need to bring small fins because the starting area is a little gusty, not bad like Karpathos but enough to consider a couple of cm more. You also need to get upwind in the starting area to get a good run. I’ve been doing my best speeds with the 44 and 54, and I was constantly achieving higher than 42 knots on these boards last time I was testing there on a speed course over 250m.
Our experience at this location is that there is sometimes small rolling swell that travels into the wind, never more than a few cm high but enough that it can provide you with a push to accelerate quicker if you sit on it right, we suggested this idea to Björn.
Yes often you can get a bit more acceleration of these small bits of rolling swell, it’s quite a rare thing because the angle works quite well with it. However, as you pick up speed you begin to be too fast for it and so whilst it works to accelerate you it isn’t long before you out run it. Really it’s not needed; we are quick enough as speed sailors already.