Mauritius Freeride Challenge: A lesson from Defi Wind

Rate this item
(1 Vote)

... long reaches, a bit of upwind, a bit of downwind... trimming your kit for the Mauritius Freeride Challenge is a lot like trimming for Defi Wind. So as the Point-7 team gets ready for the biggest windsurfing race in the world, we take a look at how they are preparing themselves.


The trim for the Defi wind!

 Two months away from the Defi Wind are you getting ready?
I hope with the warm spring days are allowing everyone to be on the water more often! I got feedback from some of you, who started swimming, running and buying viagra over the internet safe training, great start!

  The Defi wind course is an figure eight long distance slalom. Meaning that you have to go half wind from one side to the other 4 times on the 12km reaches.  In theory it should be half wind, but often at Defi because of the way the bay is arched and the wind shifts, you end up doing half wind reaches, at a slight upwind angle. It comes also natural as you want to be sure to reach the mark on the other side so you point upwind without thinking... and also closer to the beach, the flatter the water.. but this is tactics and we will look at these next time.  As you will not see the mark where you will have to jibe as it`s too far, you will either follow the organization  boat if you are first, or follow the competitors in front of you. Everybody is pushing upwind, even the boat, so you need to trim yourself to be more comfortable upwind.

  Upwind. What does this mean? Simply having more power on the gear to push upwind. Do you though want more power on a long distance? Normally to be more comfortable to go upwind, you need the following setting.

 1.     Tighter foot straps.

 2.     Bigger fin

 3.     Short Harness lines

 4.     Higher boom position.

 Will this be the trick at the Defi? NO!

  In PWA we are mostly sailing downwind, so the tuning we have on our gear is completely the opposite. At Defi wind, the PWA pros are tuned for having a lot of power in their gear, tuned up for max 5 minute dowinwind slalom, comfortable for exactly that target. If you do the first race in the Defi with this tuning, you will suffer a lot and be tired for the rest of the days. I think most of the pros would agree with me.

  TDF 9919

  Defi it`s not about having the highest top speed through the 50kms, but it`s about having the best average top speed for the 50k’ with a trim which allows you not to be exhausted after one race. It’s not about going at 120% as in the PWA for few minutes, as you see on the live ticker in the PWA, but about going at 90%of the top speed you will need for 1hour. Some of you are thinking 1hour is nothing... I sail for 3h. Yes but never 15/20 minutes on one side!

 So how do we trim our gear? Let’s go back to our 4 points. You need the comfort and power for going upwind, but unfortunately you sometimes need also to go downwind, therefore you also need to tune up for having control in that direction. So let’s see what we mean by this.

  1 Footstraps.

 Normally in slalom you keep them a bit wider, so that if the wind picks up, or you need to go more downwind, you can push your feet more inside the strap, towards the centre of the board and gain control. At the Defi wind you want them to be tight that your foot feels the footstrap all the time. This allows, especially for the front foot, to pull up in the strap to go more upwind. If it is too wide, then you have to force your foot up even more to feel the strap, to pull upwind, and this kills the tibias in your legs... and for 13km in one reach you feel like crying. So do calibrate your foot straps so that your feet fit in nicely, and not only the toes, but that you feel the strap tight on top of your foot.

  2 Fin

 For going upwind you need a bigger fin. In this case you don`t. The water is flat. So there is no need to push upwind with power, but you can go more upwind with speed. There are 13km to go to the next mark so you don`t need to point high, but just enough to stay sufficient upwind from the mark. Also if you use a too big fin, where you have to go downwind, or where you have to go in a stronger gust it gives less control.

  3 Mast Track

 This is very important. Normally we have it balanced to get the most power, speed, and comtrol/. For Defi, your normal position will not work. Put your mast track 2/3cm further forward than normally. This will allow the weight and profile of your rig to keep the board down for you so you get less tired in keeping the board on the water when gusts or waves hit the gear. Sure you could be a little slower, but better than being half way through the race and cialis online in canada weekly having to slow down 50% of your potential, as you are too tired.

  4 Boom

 To go upwind you normally keep your boom higher to get more power out of the fin as you would be able to push more with your legs, but in Defi wind, as we said before, the upwind is done over a long distance so you don`t need so much power. Having the boom too high will get you tired. So lower the boom from even your normal position. A couple of cm will not hurt your performance over 50km.

  5 Harness lines

 This is something that we do adjust a lot according to how wavy and over powered you are. Normally in overpowered condition and waves you tend to have longer harness lines, and in light wind or flat water, you tend to shorten them. At Defi the water is flat or choppy. Plus as you are going half wind and a bit up, the best is to have shorter harness lines than usual. I would check what harness lines I have on my boom, and be prepared with some adjustable harness line for the race. I would use them a size shorter then what I would normally use them, but I recommend you to have the vario  models, as sometimes, the course can get very choppy and very downwind if you went too far upwind by mistake, or to use the flatter water by the shore, so to go down to the mark, if you can make them longer for that moment that you go downwind, it will make life easier. In the next article I will show you a map of how the race works, and explain all the tactics, and also where you can actually make your harness lines longer and shorter during the course

  6 Do you have the adjustable outhaul system?

 This is very important. As said in the previous article, the wind can be 15knots on the starting area and 25knots on the other side of the bay. So it’s not an optional but a need. This way if you feel that you have too much power or you are getting tired, just pull the adjustable outhaul, flatten the profile, depower the sail, and get some energy back. Or if you see that the wind is dropping, you are losing speed, and you have energy to take advantage from more power, then release the adjustable outhaul, and gain some speed.

  TDF 9771

  The concept is that you need to think that you will be on the water for a longer time on one side of the board. Longer than you normally would- Much longer. What you think is not tiring after 5km, can destroy you physically after 10km. A bit like carrying weight; for a short time is ok, but then for a longer time you need to start switching positions, hands, arms to keep carrying the same weight. When you are there on the water, you don’t have time to switch anything, so you have to plan your trimming that you are comfortable for the whole race, and for all the races.

  From the explanation above the concept is that you need to depower your gear to what you are used too (lower boom and levitra super active alternative mast track more forward), add the trim the gear for flat water (shorter fin and harness lines), be able to point little upwind when needed (tighter straps and shorter harness lines), at the same time be able to have comfort downwind when needed in some areas of the course ( vario harness lines and adjustable outhaul).

  Next time you go sailing, go out with your gear as normal. Come back to the beach. Shorten your harness lines, move the mast track 3cm more forward, lower your boom 4cm, check your foo strap sizes, and go back on the water. Find out if this new setting feels easier as that will be a kind of trim you will look for at Defi! Don’t worry if you lose a bit of speed. All we care about is to feel like we use less power than the ride is long! 

Andrea Cucchi
ITA - 1


Add comment

Security code

2014/15 WSA Final Slalom Results

# Rider Sail #
1 Steven Rhodes RSA-411 
2 Robbie Bense RSA-68
3 James Moore RSA-111 
4 Mitchell Wagstaff RSA-1111
5 Ralph Cromarty RSA-10
6 Donovan Fick RSA-59
7 Paul Burger RSA-36
8 Hennie Bredenkamp RSA-17
9 Jaco Conradie RSA-147
10 Greg Harrowsmith RSA-505
11 Eugene van Niekerk RSA-4  
11 Shayne Krige  
12 Mark Derman RSA-88
12 Nikolai Germann RSA-90
13 Matthew Rickard  
14 Justin Newcombe-Bond RSA-69
14 Reuben Venter RSA-330 
15 Chris Gippert RSA-14
16 Andre van der Walt  
17 Cameron Bruce RSA-29
17 Wayne Smith  
18 Deon Burger  
19 John van der Vyver RSA-13

Latest News



1.1           Notice is hereby given for the 2017 Kite-Windsurf Cup (KWC), scheduled to take place as detailed in this Notice of Race.

1.2           The KWC is sanctioned by Windsurfing South Africa (WSA)

1.3           The 2016/17 WSA Championship Tour will consist solely of the events of the KWC as detailed in this NOR.

1.4           Entries are invited in terms of this Notice.


2.1           The KWC will be organized by the WSA Club and Surf’N’Curve.

2.2           The Langebaan Downwind Dash is organised by Saldanha Beach Sailing Club.

3       RULES

3.1           In terms of the KWC, the events are governed by:

3.1.1           The WSA National Tour Championship Rules (WSACR)

3.1.2           The ISAF Racing Rules of Sailing (RRS)

3.1.3           This Notice of Race (NOR)

3.1.4           The Sailing Instructions (SI)

4       VENUE

4.1           The KWC will be hosted by Friday Island in Langebaan from 2nd  to 6th January 2017.

4.2           The event HQ and official Notice Board will be the Cape Sport Center lawn.

4.3           Racing will take place in the Langebaan/Saldanha Bay area.

4.4           Wind conditions in January are typically moderate to strong from the South East and can range from 10 to 35 knots. Water temperature in the bay ranges from 11 - 19°C, air temp 16°C (night) and 26°C (day).

5       The Events

5.1           The KWC will contest five events on five separate days.

5.2           Each event has a separate course and prize giving, and may be contested as a stand-alone event.

5.3           The Langebaan Downwind Dash is organised and services pills viagra canada run separately, and is not part of the KWC, yet we encourage all contestants to partake.

5.4           The KWC overall rankings will be determined from the rider’s results from all events.

5.5           Should four or more events be completed, the rider’s worst event will be discarded from the KWC overall rankings.


6       Classes

6.1           The competition will contest the following Classes;

6.1.1           Kitesurfing

6.1.2           Windsurfing

6.1.3           Kite Foiling

7       Categories

7.1           The competition is open to men and women of all ages and nationalities.

7.2           Results will be scored separately should there be 10 or more entries within the following categories:

7.2.1           Race (Slalom or Course Racing equipment)

7.2.2           Freeride/TT (Freeride or Twintip equipment)

7.2.3           Team Country (first 3 riders, kite or windsurf)

7.2.4           Ladies

7.2.5           Youth

8       COURSES

8.1           Five courses are planned around the Langebaan/Saldanha Bay area;

8.1.1           “Island Run”, numerous races starting North of Skaapen Eiland with 5+ legs of slalom ending at Cape Sports Center.

8.1.2           “Mykonos Challenge” starting North of Skaapen Eiland with 5+ downwind legs of slalom ending at Mykonos.

8.1.3           “Marks Beach Bar Bash” numerous races starting and ending in front of Mark’s Beach Bar.

8.1.4           “Saldanha Sprint”, numerous figure eight slalom races in front of Saldanha Beach Sailing Club.

8.2           The courses will be displayed on the HQ Notice Board. Cape Sport Center.

8.3           The organisers reserve the right to change the course at their discretion.


9.1           A wind minimum of 12 knots shall be required in the course area.

9.2           There must be sufficient wind to navigate to the course area within reasonable time limits of the start sequence.

9.3           A minimum of one completed race is required for an event to be considered valid.

9.4           A minimum of one completed event is required for the KWC to be considered valid.


10.1       Prizes may be awarded in the following categories;

10.1.1       Race (Windsurf, Kitesurf)

10.1.2       Freeride/TT (Windsurf, Kitesurf)

10.1.3       Foil

10.1.4       Team Country

10.1.5       Ladies

10.1.6       Youth

10.1.7       Overall winner


11.1       All competitors shall bring their own equipment and there is no limitation restrictions.


12.1       All competitors will be required to wear an event  Lykra.


13.1       The SI and event programme will be available at registration and on the HQ Notice Board.




2 Jan 2017




Skippers meeting @ Cape Sports Centre

Entries- participants given an overview of event Races, schedule and the point-system.



First Possible Start



15.1       All competitors shall be members in good standing of WSA Club or SAKA.

15.2       Competitors shall possess valid third party liability insurance.


16.1       Registration will open at Marks Bach bar from 09h00 to 12h00 on Monday 2nd January 2017.

16.2       Registration for the Langebaan Dash is separate and will take place as indicated on the event schedule (please check for updates to their schedule).

16.3       Competitors will be required to produce the following prior to completing registration formalities on site:

16.3.1       Original Regatta Entry Form.

16.3.2       Parental/legal Guardian Consent – for those under age of 18.

16.3.3       Medical Treatment Permission – for those under age of 18 or on their parent’s medical insurance policy.

16.3.4       Original Bank Transfer/Draft details.

16.3.5       Proof of age.


17.1       The KWC will contest five events on five separate days.

17.2       Entry for the Langebaan Dash must be made at the Langebaan Dash website (

17.3       Entry for the remaining KWC events may be made as follows;

17.3.1       Online entries can be made via

17.3.2       On the day entries can be made via registration at “Marks Beach Bar” 2nd Jan 09:00 am.

17.4       Entry fees are as follows:



Entry, all events (not incl. Langebaan Dash Entry)

R 750

17.5       Payment must be made to the WSA account;

Account Name:  Windsurfing South Africa Club

Surf and Curve bank Details

Surf'n'Curve (PTY) LTD


Acc. No. 62568126877

Business Cheque Account

Branch Name Woodstock

Branch No. 250655


17.6       Entry forms can be collected from the event secretary (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.) or at event registration.

17.7       Entry forms must be countersigned by a parent or guardian where the competitor will be under the age of 18 years on the first day of the regatta.


18.1       Recommended Accommodation:

18.1.1       Mykonos


19.1       In registering for the event, competitors automatically grant to the Organising Authority the right in perpetuity to make, use and show from time to time at their discretion, any motion pictures, still pictures and live, taped or filmed television and other reproduction of them, taken during the period of the event, for the said Championship as defined in the Notice of Race and Sailing Instructions in which he/she participates without compensation.


20.1       During racing, competitors may be required by the organisers to wear lycras carrying the event sponsors' branding; and carry the event sponsor's advertising on their sails in accordance with RRS B2.4


21.1       Competitors are reminded of the ISAF rules and regulations concerning the use of banned methods and substances.

21.2       Drug testing may take place during the event.

21.3       Sailing under the influence of alcohol will not be tolerated.



22.1       Competitors participate in the event entirely at their own risk. The Organising Authority, WSA or any of their officials or representatives or the sponsors or their officials or representatives, are not responsible under any circumstances for any damage, loss, injury or death sustained in conjunction with, prior to, during, or after the event either ashore or on the water, to persons or equipment. Participation in these events, supporting events and in each race in them is at the sole discretion of the sailor and at his/her own risk. Notice is drawn to RRS 4.

Read more

The first two days of the 2016 Surf N Curve, Kite Windsurf Cup have been completed in challenging conditions for the fleet of windsurfers and kites from around the world.  Mixing it up with the local South African Sailors are Vincent Langer, Danny Aeberrli, Craig Gertenbrach and Miriam Rasmussen has joined the fleet all the way from Norway, Chris Le Masurier from Jersey, and foils Jerome Bonieux,  Sunny Bonieux from Mauritius

Read more

The 2016 Kite Windsurf Cup is almost upoun us. This years event incorproates the WSA Nationals and Downwind Dash.  The event is generously sponsored by Surf n Curve and Grennel Security.

We invite all kiters, windsurfers and foilers to take part in 5 epic races including the Langebaan Downwind Dash from Jan 9 - 17, 2016.

Fun racing for all levels and lots of prizes to be won.

All Kite Windsurf entrants receive a discount on the Dash entry fee when entering both competitions through our website ( Enter now )

Book your accommodation in Langebaan as we will be racing in Churchhaven, Langebaan and Saldahna.

Meeting point in Langebaan Jan 9, 2016 at Friday Island at 10:00am.

Read more

Mark John Grinnell

New World production speed record and All African speed record -- 2015 Windsurfing

"Those who take part in windsurfing world attempts have to be more than a little crazy, almost fearless and driven by some impulse that most people will simply never understand."

Mark Grinnell again entered the Lüderitz speed challenge that takes place in Namibia in a man-made canal. The Lüderitz World Speed Sailing Challenge is the most extreme windsurfing event on the planet. A manmade canal with hurricane plus winds that the average person would take cover from yet alone sail down. It’s dangerous and unbelievably fast and on the extreme limits of control if there is such a thing.

He has been knocked out at least four times while windsurfing in his speed sailing career. In 2013, in the first week of the event he broke three ribs. He was patched up and ‘tied together’ with duct tape and in the second week (bolstered by anti-inflammatory pills) he managed to achieve his top speed, which secured for him the seventh place in international ranking and the top place in South Africa and Africa.

"This year, on the 2nd of November the World no 1 Antoine Albeau of France did a 53.27knots after 33 runs down the canal and sailing with custom equipment. World no 2 Patrik Diethelm of Switzerland achieved 52.33knots after many runs too. On the 14th November I managed an average of 51.83knots over the 500m run with a top speed of 53.51 which equates to 99.61kph. The wind was blowing over 109kph so the desert sand stings your hands and feet and makes it difficult to walk. Stones fly and it really is like being assaulted by the elements of nature.

According to the Beaufort wind scale, a violent storm consists pf 88.5kph winds and a hurricane 102.99kph, so my record run was achieved in insane hurricane plus winds whilst standing on a windsurf speed board and holding onto a sail for dear life. I was the only sailor in the water as the conditions were not only insanely windy but also choppy on the canal so danger of getting hurt and having an accident. I started my run crossed the start line and just continued to accelerate while trying to hold on and keep the board in the water. As I crossed the finish line and tried to stop, I realised that the water was just too choppy and impossible, so I let go of my equipment and rolled over and over in 30cm deep water at nearly 90kph. It was like being in a car accident while carrying an extra 10kg of lead on my back in a weight jacket. This is how I got the name Cannonball.

In short you get your speed board ( big water-ski ) going, hold on for dear life, "turn the corner" and accelerate from 20 knots to 50 knots in just over 50 meters! It’s like having a rocket up your ass and then navigate your way down the 500m long canal while getting pulled around by the wind, blasted by sand and small stones and when it’s all over you need to stop within 50 meters which is in itself near impossible. Far less control than being in a race car as the elements are in control and with the use of your weight jacket you hold on and hope to keep it all together.

At the end of the day I am 1.44knots off the world record and only 0.5knots off second place and all that with standard production equipment. Not bad as a recreational sailor compared to world professionals whose living is derived from the sport of windsurfing. Now I’m the third fastest in the world of all time.

The fastest production speed sailor in the world ever. No 1. !!"

Read more

WSA Newsletter : Signup!

Photos from the gallery

Copyright © 2018 - Windsurfing South Africa