Windsurfers catch wind and waves at GP Tarifa competition

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Photos by Heather Smith


WINDSURFERS from around the world filled the beaches and waters of Valdevaqueros this weekend to compete in the Spanish windsurfing championship, GP Tarifa. The competition, from June 19 to 21, tested more than 50 participants on their slalom skills, which requires athletes to race in a zigzag pattern around obstacles.
The Dutch master, Ben Van Der Steen, took first place in the men’s division, with Spanish natives Ludo Jossin and Pablo Ania taking second and third. In the women’s race, Spanish ladies took all the glory, with Maria Andres in first, Serena Zoia in second and Pilar Prieto in third.
The competition – which was held along the gusty beaches of Tarifa – couldn’t have asked for better weather, with the levante at more than 40 knots, filling sails and propelling surfers along the choppy raceway.
Tarifa, famous as a mecca for windy weather sports, has two types of wind. The levante – most popular among windsurfers – originates in Africa and brings warm air in at 30 to 40 knots. The more typical poniente – most popular among kitesurfers — comes from the west and brings in cooler air from the sea at six to 20 knots.


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