After much, much chat and procrastination (where would windsurfing be without such endeavours), Oceansource El Tur was to provide the setting for the latest overseas Club Trip. As such, 7th June saw a random bunch of 16 Bray Lakers descend upon the various breakfast locations Gatwick Airport has to offer for a early flight to Sharm.
Anybody who knows me will not challenge my admission that I’m a lazy sailor. I have the odd spurt of needing to achieve something, but generally plod steadily forwards and have managed in 6 years what most people with a bit more gusto than I can achieve in 2, but whatever! Part of the whole experience for me is the escape, the opportunity to chill out, enjoy some banter and potter about the lake on one of the Kona’s.
So what was I expecting from El Tur? Not much, except Windsurfing it has to be said. Having had a small contingent from Bray check it out the year previously Frostie had played down the place for all non windsurfing activity and luxury, but when selling to somebody who works in the travel industry who can get herself a good deal or two, that’s probably a good move! Needless to say, on arrival I was pleasantly surprised not to find a complete hole. Yeah, the hotel was a bit tired and a bit basic, but it was clean, the staff friendly and food edible. Evening entertainment consisted of the beach bar (which we readily made good use of), a pool table and table tennis (dabbled at a bit at by a few of us), but with sixteen of you to have a couple of drinks and warble amongst yourselves of an evening – who cares. A good mix of personalities ensured that we all ticked along and once we’d relaxed into the El Tur lifestyle, laid back completely towards the end of the week, Kathy woke us all up and ensured we stretched the grey matter with a Quiz night. Some relaxed more than others – Not sure I have a photo of Big Dave awake – asleep in hammock, asleep in the Beach Bar, but then he’s a tall chap holding up a tall sail for most of the day.
Oceansource – How could we not have been looked after by our old Bray buddies, Phil & Danielle and the guys? It was like a home away from home – kit sorted, carried to the water and off you go – Platinum Card with sand and sunshine (not a goose dropping in sight) – Fab! This being only my fourth overseas windsurfing venture, I’ve not got a lot to go on, but I was happy. The couple of Lake Garda trips were a lot less predictable on wind, but had a good turn out on members so company was good and it has enough to keep you busy when not sailing. Ventured to Dahab last September with Gary M & Gav – A lot more in the way of post sailing activity, and organised Neilson instruction, but what it is with the inability for people to sail upwind in that place!
The lagoon at El Tur was great for me. Sixteen of us, four other guests at Oceansource and only a couple of sailors from the Russian outfit next door so I had plenty of clear warm sailing area to be throwing myself into (regularly). Some of the more advanced amongst us would have liked a force 1-2 upgrade on what we had most days so to have got out on smaller sails, but at least we all could get out and we didn’t have to resort to working on our tans. We were joined in the lagoon on a couple of the afternoons by dolphins, which was squeal and “awesome” inducing for Kathy, Lindsay and I – completely missed by some (Gavin, in his own zone again), or just greeted by a tired rolling of the eyes if too close to a squealing female (Yes, Eustace – that’s you)!
Tuition was available to those who wanted it, so Claire and I took some time out with Danielle to work on our beach starts and try and make some headway with our waterstarts. We are no way near consistent, but had got a couple of waterstarts each under our belts by the end of the week. Some of the boys opted for a ‘Phil Master Class’ to work on that perfect carve gybe or learn a new trick. And let’s face it, even without tuition you’ll always be in company at the waters edge with people on hand to offer support, hints and tips (sorry for swearing at you Gav, just a moment of exasperated overload on my part) so everybody had the opportunity to come away with something other than mosquito bites (for which Pete won the prize). On his last musing in my direction, I don’t think Ra Ra (Ian) had quite cracked his goal for the week, but was confident in what he needed to do and close enough to be smiling at his achievements and ready to carry on the challenge back in the UK.
So, my El Tur routine was pretty much – breakfast, windsurfing, lunch, windsurfing, bar, dinner, back to bar, bed, and so we did it all again, and again, and again, and again and again. The last day we had a slight over lap with the contingent arriving to take our place – it was a shock to the system having to share our sailing area after being in selfish luxury all week – still plenty of room though, with no upwind walking! And then it was all over….. I left El Tur with my instructions from Danielle, not replicated that waterstart at Bray just yet – but I will. With renewed enthusiasm for my next spurt I’ve booked myself a spot on the SB Windwise Tour at Bray on 24th and may tell you about that if you don’t think I’ve bored you with this.
As a result of meeting in El Tur, Gary and Kathy are now looking to hook up for regular sailing at the coast, so always worth checking out the forum to see whose heading out and about. Once that penny jar contains enough money for my own kit I hope to be joining them.
Now, Club Trip Trip 2010? Where are we going?
Contribution by: Candice Betts