Classic Cape Town

Posted on Posted in Opinion, Travel
Burner on Rietvlei - Photo by Kiril Umrikhin
Burner on Rietvlei – Photo by Kiril Umrikhin

The wind blows nearly every day in the Cape Town area. Most days it’s a matter of looking out the window to know what the wind’s going to do, while others take serious meteorological analysis to know where to invest your gas money. Here is what one of the more common windsurfing days in Cape Town is like:

If there is a morning breeze from the South-East, then it’s game on! Coffee and an absurd amount of oats are consumed as the table cloth cloud droops over Table Mountain – nature’s sign of a windy day. Sleepy eyes quickly turn restless as the minute by minute live wind readings from Rietvlei, or “The Lake”, are stared at, frowned over, scrutinized, debated and finally refreshed. In reality everyone knows it’s a morning lake session and an afternoon wave session, we’ve all done the same many times before, but it’s not windsurfing without weather forecasting.

Kono on Rietvlei - Photo by Kiril Umrikhin
Kono on Rietvlei – Photo by Kiril Umrikhin
Chillin at the lake after some good times on the water
Chillin at the lake after some good times on the water

A classic day means the 20km stretch of coastline from Milnerton up to Melkbos will be good later in the day – but it’s got over 10 different launches. We start at the lake, the first spot to get windy, and as the wind picks up throughout the afternoon we make our way to the ocean beaches in search of jumping conditions.

By the early afternoon everybody wants first person accounts of the conditions from every spot. A flock of tiny vehicles draped with enormous board bags spreads out perilously squealing on 2 wheels round the roundabouts, slamming on breaks at the photo radars, all in search of the elusive steady wind and perfect wave. Parking spots are jostled over, wind and waves are carefully observed. Phones buzz and ding with carefully chosen adjectives from various spots, eventually leading to the stressful yet critical answer to the question – where to sail?