June 24, 2004

Mark your calendars - june 10 pub crawl in the Grove meeting at the Sandbar Grill
Contents Its better to be ovapowad den undapowad
 

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  Rob Rubinoff speed sailing at Coche Island off Margarita, VZ.
 

Rob Rubinoff speed sailing at
Coche Island off Margarita, VZ.

   
  PWA Freestyle Champ Ricardo Campello heading out in Margarita, VZ.
 

PWA Freestyle Champ
Ricardo Campello heading
out in Margarita, VZ.

   
  Vela Windsurf girls posing for future catalogue in Margarita, VZ.
 

Vela Windsurf girls posing for future
catalogue in Margarita, VZ.

 

PUB CRAWL THROUGH THE GROVE - JULY 10

The SFWA is planning a Summer Pub-Crawl through Coconut Grove on July 10. Join us at The Sandbar Grill at 8:00 pm. Where we end up is anyone's guess!

Sandbar Grill (Old "Hungry Sailor")
3065 Grand Ave.
Coconut Grove
www.sandbargrill.com

GOOD EATS & WIND AT APRIL 18 BBQ

Although slightly off in their direction, the Wind Gods were kind to the SFWA in bringing some great 15-22 knot conditions to our April 18th BBQ at Windsurfer Beach off Rickenbacker Causeway.

  Grillin and Chillin
 

Grillin and Chillin

Notwithstanding some communication problems in getting the event details out to all our members (see website article below about how we plan to rectify this issue), some 20-30 current and prospective members joined us at sometime during the afternoon for some great burgers, dogs and of course frosty beverages...

Waterplay was kind enough to lend us some racing buoys that were put to good use in practicing gybes.

A special thanks goes out to Don and Joe Pachowitz for their help in supplying the beer / ice and helping recruit new members respectively. Thanks guys!!

MARGARITA TRIP REPORT

I recently completed my second trip to Margarita, Venezuela. I had an amazing time once again -- Margarita offers the perfect mix of wind and 'tranquilo' lifestyle that's the best way I know to get some great sailing and recharge the batteries on the cheap. Only 3 hours away by plane, Margarita seems worlds away from the hustle and bustle of Miami.

  Coche Island, just 20 minutes from El Yaque, offers zero-chop exhiliration!
 

Coche Island, just 20 minutes from El Yaque
offers zero-chop exhilaration!

My trip was for 12 days. With two days devoted solely to travel, I still managed to sail 8 of the remaining days. The wind was mostly in the 18-22 knot range with most people on 6.4 - 5.7 range. There were a couple afternoons however that I moved way down to a 5.2 ( I weigh 215lb) and sub 100l boards.

The hotels and equipment vendors all drop their prices in Mid-April but the wind stays up (at least it has the past two years) well into June. The crowds thin out and you can get some great deals - especially given Venezuela's current economic problems with the Bolivar reaching up to 2800 to the dollar.

By and large days start off with a leisurely breakfast, followed by some morning hours chilling on the beach enjoying the sights or reading a book. Around 11 am the wind usually starts to pick up. I'd head out on a 7.4 diablo and 140l board for some cruising and gybe practice. After a nice lunch in any one of the many beach-bars, I'd get motivated again to head back out. Usually, the afternoons were spent progressively moving down in sail and board size as the wind picked up like clockwork -- with the windiest conditions arriving around 3-4PM.

  Girls gone wild in Margarita!
 

Girls gone wild in Margarita!

If you make it to Margarita, I'd definitely recommend taking the day trip to Coche Island. About 20 minutes away via water-taxi, Coche is a low-lying island that offers amazing offshore, zero-chop speed sailing. The island is inhabited by more than a few macaws, parrots and iguanas which make the experience truly memorable.

As for extracurricular activities, don't expect too much in the way of 5 star dining, although I'd be very surprised if anyone ever lost weight in Margarita. The food is better than average and for the price you pay, I'd say its great. There are a few small pubs and bars that have pool tables and bring in live bands 1-2x / week which makes for a fun night when the whole town shows up and decides to boogie down.

I'd definitely recommend Margarita to anyone that's looking for a great windsurfing vacation. Don't expect any Club Med's or Marriotts or Hilton Resorts -- you won't find anything like that. If you're looking for wind in a super-friendly and fun 'wind-addicted' town, then El Yaque in Margarita is just your place.

Feel free to contact me if you have any questions about Margarita - I'd be more than happy to help you out anyway I can...

See you on the water!

Material Copyright © South Florida Windsurfing Association, 2004.

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