Day 1 After a long flight from Cape Town and one-day break at my parent's place in Germany, I arrived very tired on Tenerife, one day early for the Morenotwins Roxy Training Camp 2007. My first impression was not so good, because our apartments are in the most touristy area one can imagine. Lots of concrete blocks right at the beachfront and restaurants with food from all over the world, but not from the Canaries! At this moment I didn't really care, because all I needed was some sleep. So I just fell into the bed in our really nice apartment.
Day 2 Some new arrivals: We took the "new" girls, Christin and Fi, for a walk on the beach. Elena and I were the only brave ones to test the water temperature, which is actually not so bad, compared to Cape Town. Elena found it bloody freezing though after having spent the last year in El Tur and Naxos. In the afternoon most of the girls had arrived and we had our first official meeting. The rainbow flags had been replaced by flags of the sponsoring companies and the Morenos are after all not as scary as I had imagined ;-). We all got an event T-Shirt and some Roxy-Stickers to stick into our sails. In the evening we went out for an awesome 3-course dinner with an incredible chocolate cake as dessert (mmmmhhh!). There are about 50 girls from all over the world and I am really keen to get to know them and, more importantly, get to sail with them. The wind forecast looks great for tomorrow!
Day 3 After breakfast we all hopped into the sponsored VW vans and drove to El Medano, where we'll be sailing for the rest of the week. The wind looked promising for 4.2, and I was really keen to try my new waveboard! There wasn't much of a wave, but outside there was some decent swell for big jumps :-) In the afternoon we were divided into 3 groups: "waterstart and beachstart", "jibing and tacking", and "learn the forward". I realised it was about time to work on my loops! We got some dry-tuition on the beach from Daida and Anne-Marie Reichmann and tried to get familiar with the movement. I wasn't really prepared to hurt myself on the very first day, so I had already decided not to try it and get more used to the conditions first. But out on the water I suddenly saw like 7 girls rotating all around me like crazy! Some had hectic crashes, but others got some really good rotation. And Anne-Marie and Daida were motivating us by throwing some loops right in front of us and shouting "go!" in the right moment. So I sailed full speed towards my personal ramp, in front of it floated a photographer with a yellow helmet I took all my guts, jumped off, pulled the trigger and got the full rotation and a loud cheer from Anne-Marie as reward! It felt quite good and I tried two more before the wind died. It was great to chat to the other girls after the session, who also tried for their first time. Nes, who had only arrived in the morning after a 24-hour journey from the US, even completely landed her 4th ever attempt! We were all quite excited and really determined to try again tomorrow!
Day 4 ... I made it!!! This morning we started with a Yoga lesson held by Anne-Marie. It's a great way to start your day, especially after a session like yesterday. You get a really good stretch and after the 45 minutes we were all quite awake and ready to go! Finally out on the water, I didn't even hesitate to try a forward on my first run out. And, believe it or not, I landed it! It was incredible, and so quick, that it took a couple of seconds for me to realise that I was just sailing away. I was relatively far out and many girls were still busy rigging, so (luckily) no one heard my Tarzan-like scream out there :-D. I sailed right back to the beach and must have come out with a huge grin because people were already assuming that I had made it. Daida said to me "You made it and came out of the water?? Go back and try some more so that you don't forget!" So I did that, but unfortunately had quite a bad wipe out, due to hesitating mid-air: Good time for the lunch break! Funny thing is that 4 other girls also made their first forward on the first attempt of the day. After lunch I had some more tries, even though I still had a headache from the morning. But I didn't want to let the fear build up. In the evening we watched a DVD with tips about wave sailing and got some more T-Shirts and caps. Before falling absolutely buggered into bed, a beer to the first forward goes without saying!
Day 5 No wind today. We started our day with Yoga again, and this time it felt a lot harder than yesterday :-P We went to the beach and had a fun day with beach volleyball, beach soccer, surfing and a walk to the "centre" of El Medano and Cabezo. The highlight of the day was the little video in the evening that Patrick and Kasia (the camera team) had made of us. The two had worked until early this morning to cut together some funny sequences and some good action, including some nasty forward wipe outs :-P.
Day 6 The wind again didn't look promising for today, so we all drove up to the "Pico del Teide", the highest peak of Spain (3718m). It's an active volcano and it's quite weird that you can drive up almost all the way. We didn't go up to the very peak, but we got an awesome view from above the clouds and saw some really interesting lava-rock formations. We had a minute of silence in remembrance of the two windsurfer girls who had been killed brutally on the Island of Sal a couple of months ago. On the way down from the mountain to the beach the road was so winding, that almost everybody got a little sick and arrived pale at the beach. It was ok, because there was still no wind, but I tried my big gear anyway. It wasn't too much fun, but at least I didn't bring it for nothing. In the evening Mario, the photographer, showed some photos he had taken over the last days, and we already had to say good-bye to Nicky, one of the sweetest girls in the camp (going home for a friend's wedding).
Day 7 Again the wind didn't really start at it's best, but in the late morning I managed to get a nice little freestyle session in; a whole new story for me on choppy water I had trouble landing my vulcans on my "good" side, but at least I got a "Hey, nice Volcan!" from Nayra Alonso in the lunch break ;-). In the afternoon it picked up again and I made some more forward attempts, but no more luck. I now got the full rotation almost every time though. Because a lot of girls are leaving tomorrow, we had a crazy party in the evening! Everyone just went wild and there were some surprises like dancing pyro-girls (weird!!) and 2 male strippers!! Crazy stuff!
Day 8 After breakfast (a little later than usual) we went to El Medano and had strong wind again. The waves were a little bigger so we could practise wave riding (still nothing compared to a small day in Cape Town :-P). Some of the girls sailed to the Cabezo bay, because the waves were a little bigger there. I was fine with the conditions in El Medano to practise my forwards, high jumps and tabletops. In the evening Merel, Kyra, Aruma and Marion were given a Fanatic board, for their special achievements. All of them more than deserved it! Most of the girls will leave during the night or early tomorrow morning, so we said Good Bye to each other, exchanged email addresses and made plans for visiting each other in the future. I hope some girls come visit me in Cape Town some time soon :-D
Day 9 Today was the windiest day of the week. I packed all my gear in the morning though, and rented a 3.5 sail and a small waveboard. We got a special deal with OTC, the surf-station in El Medano, so I could rent by the hour for really little money. The conditions were very rough and gusty, and my arms were quite tired from the days before, so nothing much happening today. In the afternoon the girls from Gran Canaria left with the ferry and all the local girls from Tenerife also packed up relatively early. Marta and I (the last not-local ones) went back to the apartments and had a chilled evening. The bar had already turned back to its queer normal, the rainbow flags were up again and some new gays had arrived for the following week :-) Unfortunately I had handed in my key at the reception in the morning and the staff had decided to take the evening off after this really stressful week with 50 girls :-P. So it was a bit of a struggle to finally get into my apartment to finish packing. But it turned out alright in the end. Tomorrow morning we'll be picked up at 5am to go to the airport and back "home" to Germany. I had a really good week here and wouldn't mind to come back next year!
text: Maria Lyness-Boesing, photos: Nicky Cotterill, M. Lyness-B. © windgirls 2008