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REAL BVI Session Report
February 3rd, 2008
REAL BVI Week #2 went off again with 2 days of glassy, overhead surf followed by 5 days of excellent Northeast tradewinds. Participants were in the water all day, every day!
Week #2 started off with light south winds (offshore on all north facing beaches) and overhead swell. This wind direction is opposite of the normal NE tradewinds. This light offshore wind, combined with a strong Northwest groundswell sent our way from a cold front leaving the eastern US, turned the surfing conditions into absolute perfection. Straight out of the blocks, epic surf sessions were scored along the north coast of Tortola and Virgin Gorda. January 27th started at 5am with a surf session in front of the Bomba Shack at Apple Bay, then we traveled by boat to “Spanishtown”, off the northwest coast of Virgin Gorda. After these two overhead surf sessions, the Welcome Party kicked off at Saba Rock Bar from 9pm ‘till after midnight, then moved to The Bitter End Yacht Club until they closed at 4am. A 23 hour day full of sessions !! What a way to start off week #2 of REAL BVI! Day #2 saw much of the same, with surfing, standup paddleboarding, sailing and snorkeling all day, enjoying the sunshine, the blue water and what was left of the NW swell.
Day #3 saw building north/northeast tradewinds in the 20 knot range. It was GAME ON for the kiters in the group! Kites ranged from 11m to 16m with sessions happening all over the island. One of the most memorable sessions happened on the southside of the island with all the boats anchored near each other off a white sand beach. The view was simply unbelievable. BLUE water, white sand, swaying palm trees, with kites lit up all over the water. It was a great day that everyone was able to enjoy together. Two VIP guests that day included David Rohr (Marketing and Brand Manager of The Moorings) and David Combe (Publisher of Kiteboarding and Windsurfing Magazines). Both were stoked to be on the water kiting, hanging out with other riders and drinking the coldest beer in the Caribbean as the action took place right in front of them.
Also arriving this day were Bryan, Charlie (The Dinghy Captain) and Eric from Puerto Rico. They flew in on a twin prop plane, buzzing the entire fleet as they made their way to the runway. Little did Slezy and Sammy know that Bryan Carver would later take the week #2 Mustache Contest crown. (Bryan is now slated to face John Russomanno in the finals later this year). With strong winds forecasted throughout the rest of the week and another big swell forecasted on the way, it was shaping up to be another unforgettable week!
Day #4 was a near repeat of day #3, with strong north/northeast tradewinds along both coasts, then off to Potter’s for the group lobster dinner. The dinner started with drinks at the beach bar around 7pm then moved to the table with fresh lobsters, then back to the bar, then off to one of the REAL BVI boats for an after hours party. Long days on the water, followed by great food, friends and spirits equals long periods of comatose sleep!
Day #5 saw more northeast winds, with kites ranging in the 9m to 16m range. Wind, waves, kiting, downwinders, surfing, standup paddleboarding, ….the fun was rocking! Peter and Darcy aboard the Moorings 62ft Catamaran “Sea Leopard” held one of their famous Happy Hour Parties to wind down the day, which was promptly followed by a dinner party on “The Palmeranous” (don’t ask, it’s a long story…) This party went until about 1am with fresh fish tacos (yea Jamie, killer!), bountiful Margaritas (thanks Jen!), music, dancing and a late night costume party courtesy of Dave and Spunky Loop. Thanks everyone for a great party, we were glad to be able to claim “hostage status” when our boat was looking for us during the middle of the night. “There are red shirts everywhere and I am being force fed fish tacos and margaritas. I can see some lights on tall aluminum poles…HELP!”
Day #6 saw the group split up with some staying to score some more wind and waves, while others forged forward along the scheduled track to hit up the next kiting spot. No matter which choice the riders made, this was another day of fun on the water. A new swell had filled in, winds were in the 12-16m range and riders were loving it!
Day #7 was the grand finale of the week with everyone riding off a picturesque, sand island with a left hand reef break wave on one side and butter smooth water on the other. Sammy, Slezy and Nuzzi were killing the wave, which was overhead on the sets, breaking in about a foot of water over live coral. Many of the riders followed them into the wave and got some incredible rides and jumps. Riders in the flatwater downwind of the island enjoyed incredible views of the surrounding landscapes. The action went non-stop from 10am until dark, with kites starting in the 12-14m range then picking up to 9-11m range. “Sea Leopard” hosted yet another Happy Hour that night with each boat bringing their best appetizers and drinks to the mix. Trip broke out the cocktail shaker and killed everyone with his Outside Magazine acclaimed “Manatinis”. That last night saw everyone in at Foxy’s Beach Bar for dancing, drinks and celebrating REAL Coach Trevor Murchie’s 23rd birthday.
REAL BVI 2008 has come to a successful close. 12 out of 14 days of Caribbean Tradewinds. Great waves every day. Dawn Patrols, Triple Sessions, Happy Hours, Dinners, Dancing, Beach Parties, Manatinis, Dinghy Missions and more. The sessions of the trip take only a second seat to the friendships, laughs, smiles and good times had by everyone on the trip. 13 boats each week with the best captains and chefs, hitting some of the best spots in the world for the sports we love.
THANK YOU to everyone who made REAL BVI ‘08 possible and to everyone who participated in these two unbelievable weeks on the water. Riders are already booking their weeks for REAL BVI ’09, the anticipation for another great trip going off the scale! For more info on REAL BVI ’09 call us toll free at 866-REAL-KITE or International at 252-995-6596. REAL BVI ’08 another one for the record books!
REAL BVI Session Report January 25th
We apologize for our lack of correspondence over the past four days. We sailed off the BVI map into the world of no internet and no phones, just good, clean wind, peeling waves and endless downwinders! During this time we saw everything from wound out 7m kites on head high waves to glassy, peeling rights, …absolute surfing and standup paddleboarding perfection. The kiting over the last few days has been unbelievable. We are 7 for 7, with wind every single day. Returning participants from REAL BVI ’07 Week #1 are now 14 for 14, every day being a good one on the water for two years straight! During the past few days, kites have ranged from 7m up to 13m with a wide array of water conditions : flat tropical butter, Caribbean swell and peeling right hand point breaks. You name it, we had it. Even with 13 boats in our REAL BVI fleet, crowds were non-existent as riders gravitated towards their favorite riding spots and conditions. It was hard to find a “crowd” of more than 6-8 riders on the water at any given location. Island scouts on “The Big Dog” and “Sea Leopard”, both Moorings 62 Catamarans, scouted every corner of our island paradise and found many new riding spots. It was the endeavors of this group that kept them in wide-open water, taking downwinder after downwinder, until they literally kited their arms off! Brady King kited until his harness exlploded, then continued on a 4 mile downwinder without his harness! Andy Caputo kited until his 13m kite exploded at the leading edge…the result? He rolled up the kite and secured it with his kite leash, letting it float downwind to the Sea Leopard. While his kite was floating downwind, Andy grabbed onto the harness of John Russomanno and they both kited tandem behind John’s kite for the remaining 3 miles. The fruits of finishing the run? A gourmet lunch served in the shade aboard the Sea Leopard!!…and yes, the kite floated all the way downwind to within a hundred yards of Sea Leopard. They paddled over on a standup paddleboard grabbed the kite and brought it back aboard the boat! The same group took off for downwinder #2 right after lunch, from the Sea Leopard all the way to the west end of the island….. New kiteboarders. At REAL, “We Make New Riders Everyday”. REAL Coaches Adam Mitchell and Trevor Murchie have been teaching their students daily and making the most of the ideal conditions. Every day you can see new riders taking their first runs, their first upwind runs or launching their first jumps. Several riders also hit the waves on their kites for the first time this trip. It’s great to see new riders getting up and feeling the power and speed of kiteboarding. Literally every day, there was a brand new, first ride kiteboarder screaming at the top of their lungs. Ear to ear grins are a cool thing to see in the BVIs! REAL Head Coach Stan Radev joins us for week #2. Life in the tropics for the REAL Coaches is pretty golden! The waves the past few days have come up, ranging in the waist high to sometimes well overhead depending on the time of day, wind and tides. The kiting at some of the wave spots has been perfect for lining up really long waverides and connecting all the sections of the wave. With side to side-offshore winds and peeling, right hand breaking waves, this is heaven for wave kiters. Kiteboarding Magazine Editor Aaron Sales is with us and he has been RAVING about the conditions, both wind and waves. He simply can’t get enough of the action!!! Aaron has been riding the Naish Cults and Liquid Force Havoc 2’s, both on the new Jimmy Lewis Chamber 6’0 and 6’3 Surfboards. The look on Aaron’s face as he rides wave after perfect wave is priceless. Hey… it’s work, right Aaron! The wind in the waves has been strong and steady, with daily winds ranging from powered 7m’s to perfect 12m’s. Early and late day surfs and standup paddleboarding sessions go off when the wind fades of the mood changes for another session in the hundreds so far. Yesterday, the swell came up in the afternoon with no forecast for it to do so. Who’s going to complain about a bonus swell that wasn’t on the map? We ended that day with a Happy Hour Party on Sea Leopard complete with fresh sushi and a full spread of 4 star appetizers and cocktails. Then off to Potter’s for barbequed lobsters, more drinks, dancing, pool and general mayhem. Not a bad day when you get 2 kite sessions, 2 surf sessions and end on a note like this, all in one day! With all the time in the surf, we’ve had the Jimmy Lewis Standup Paddleboards out on the water every day. The new ”Surf Series” JL SUP’s (10’, 10’4 and 10’8) have been getting RAVE reviews for their insane speed down the line and their control and maneuverability, even in larger surf. Today we sail to Jost Van Dyke, a 24 mile sail, then hit Foxy’s tonight for the big party. We got in one more surf and kite session this morning before pulling anchor and raising the sails. The wind is still blowing a steady 20knots out of the NE making for a fast broad reach the entire way. Tunes cranking in the cockpit, cold beers on ice, BVI perfection, …a good time to catch up on some sleep ! REAL BVI Week #1 ends tomorrow, Jan 25th. Week #2 runs January 27th – February 3rd. Thanks for tuning in to the REAL BVI Session Report!
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This morning started out early with a 3-mile standup paddle around Prickly Pear Island on the standup paddleboards at 7:30am. After that we headed to Eustatia Island for kite sessions, powered on 7m – 10m kites. Everyone was having a blast both on and off the water! We had all the new 2008 kites out today including the Naish Cult and Helix, Slingshot Rev, Liquid Force Havoc 2 and Best Waroos.
At 3pm we held a group downwinder from Eustatia Island downwind through Saba Rock all the way to the west end of North Sound near Mosquito Island – again about 3 miles. The downwinder was an unbelievable sight as 25 kiters zig-zagged their way through all the moored and anchored yachts. Kites ranged from 12m down to 7m for the downwinder with riders using twin tips and surfboards. At the downwind end, beers were popped and the music cranked as we brought the crew back upwind on the host boat, “Backside Rights” our Moorings 4700 Catamaran.
Sunday we take off for our next destination well before the crack of dawn. Sunrise over open water is a spectacular sight that has to be experienced. We have 14 miles to sail and then three sessions on the water planned for Sunday. Oh yea,…thanks to satellite TV, we ‘ll also be watching both football games in between the sessions in the water! Thanks to Nick and the crew at Eustatia Island for hooking us up with the white sandy beaches and blue water paradise of their special nook of the world. REAL BVI Session Report signing off!
Well a day has gone by and so have 4 more sessions. Yesterday we left Roadtown, Tortola and sailed to Spanishtown, Virgin Gorda. There we found a nice reefbreak wave, peeling left and right over bottom very shallow coral. We got in about an hour and a half surf session in before the sun set and we motored our way to Saba Rock. We had all the new surfboards out on the water including the Jimmy Lewis Destroyer 7’0 and Chamber 6’5, Stretch TL2 5’11 and a Rawson 6’4 Quad Fish. We also had the new JL 10’8 Standup Paddleboard out there on the water,…FAST and drivey down the line…
Several other boats sailed directly to Saba Rock and were powered on 12m’s during their evening kiteboarding session. The group met for the REAL BVI welcome party at Saba Rock Bar and Restaurant at 9pm and partied into the night celebrating the pumping breeze and excellent forecast for the week. thanks to Saba Rock Restaurant for hosting the party and showing everyone a good BVI time! REAL BVI Session Report signing off!
We arrived in Tortola on January 15th and have been feverishly putting together all the gear to get ready for trip! We’ve got PILES of new kites, kiteboards, surfboards and standup paddleboards to rig, assemble, unpack, etc. All 2008 gear, all ready to rip!
In between the unpacking and rigging sessions, we’ve already been on the water 2-3 times a day, either long distance paddles in Roadtown on the new 2008 JL Distance Paddleboard or surfing sessions on the new 2008 JL Surfboards at Apple Bay (near the Bomba Shack, Full Moon Jan 22nd!)
The forecast is looking really good for the entire week! Two good North swells hitting Friday and next Tuesday. Strong NE trades the entire week. Kiting begins Friday afternoon in Virgin Gorda with flat water, waves, course racing and downwinders planned throughout the entire week!
All of the riders in the first week of REAL BVI show up tonight (Thurs 17th) to a welcome party, steel band, cocktails, etc. Should be a really fun night! We set sail Friday at 12noon with 13 boats between 46ft and 65ft.
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Interested in REAL BVI? Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. It only gets better every year!