by Amber, aka Defi Diva
The place was packed. Cars, people, and windsurfing gear fueled a buzz that quickly enveloped us both. As Chris navigated through the storm of wet-suited people, families, dogs and walking sails we caught glimpses of the water. The beach was blanketed in hundreds of sails and boards and there were equally that many out running their laps in the stiff off shore winds. As we watched masts slam down in the water with varying frequencies and locations, it became immediately obvious that the Tramontain was out toying with the racers like a cat with a newly caught mouse.
We found a parking spot a few lots down from the venue, and in no time managed to have our small gear up and ready. Chris had rigged his 4.5 Maui Hot Sail and a 88L Mistral Wave Score. I had my 93L Starboard Futura, and 4.2 Ezzy Wave SE. “How are you feeling?”, I asked knowing the answer but trying to ignore the reality. “I’m fine. Just a little stiff still. Let me go out and see how it goes. I mean this will be a good test to see if I can do this, right?” He smiled grabbed his wet suit and got dressed. I grabbed my UnDress ( https://www.theundress.com/ ) and did a quick parking lot change next to him while keeping an eye on him to see how he was faring in just putting on a wet suit. I have to admit, even with the no student left behind initiatives, his grades were marginal. I would need to keep an eye on him…
Finally we were suited up. As we grabbed our gear for the long beach walk to the water, we could see the big sail boats that are used to mark the starting and finish lines for the DEFI. Phillippe Bru’s black rabbit boat was making a practice run and sailors were taking advantage of the opportunity to also practice their starts. Watching the scene sent goosebumps down my spine. Like a kid eyeing her presents under the Christmas tree, I couldn’t wait to be part of that again. I smiled at the world, and the adrenaline coursed through me like a fire.
I stepped on my board, and took off. The Tramontain, welcomed me back with a gentle push and then a playful smack. “So you decided to come back, I see.” it whispered in my ear, as I went ass over tea kettle and skittered across my sail. Yes, as a matter of fact I did. I missed you, I replied, and swam after my rig. After I water started myself upright I took off again and assimilated myself into the sailing masses.
For the next two hours, I screamed through a cacophony of sailors and boards. The Tramontain playing with me like a yoyo. Barely hanging on one minute and floating out to sea the next while I waited patiently for a gust to lift me out of the water. The area in front of the venue is known for its gusty conditions, and I kept looking for Chris to see if I could coax him out on to the race course where the wind was cleaner…and stronger.
Finally I was getting concerned, I hadn’t seen Chris’s bright orange sail in a while. I made my way to shore to see if he was taking a break. As I drug myself and my gear back to the beach, I saw him walking toward me in his t-shirt and board shorts. My heart sank. While he still had a smile on his face, it had lost its usual luster. “I only made it out and then back. It was really painful sheeting in and out on the left side.” Ever the optimist, “But don’t worry I will take some more Advil and the race doesn’t start for a couple of days still, so we’ll see. I mean I am feeling better than I was!”
Chris sat by patiently and chatted with me as I took a break. Once recovered, I headed out for one more session. While I did have a few amazing rides, it was becoming apparent that the Tramontain was getting bored with us. The lulls were lasting a bit longer, and my water starts were requiring more patience. Eventually I decided it was getting a bit risky to stay on the water with such small gear and made my way to shore. Besides, the sun was getting low in the sky and we still needed to find our beach house where our friends Bart and Els were waiting for us!
Photos from Le Defi website