Mauritius Attitude Challenge 2018
Mauritius Attitude Challenge 2018
As the only Australian, well, half Australian he he, to enter the event this year, I thought I would share a bit of insight about the epic week I had at the Mauritius Attitude Challenge 2018.
Christo the local organiser is very fired up to make the event even better for 2019 and would love to see some more Aussies there. The idea is to take part in the team challenge against the other countries and show them who is boss. Any level of sailor's are welcome and the whole event is based on having fun and enjoying the warm turquoise waters that Mauritius has to offer.
There are some main points that have been discussed and for the future it is very positive I would say, especially for those travelling from abroad. I know the previous years have been amazing, 2018 was a big success, but I have the feeling that 2019 could be the year where everything really comes together and takes the cake.
In general, they try to do the package and pricing more fixed, with as much discount as possible. This enables everybody to know how much they would expect to pay up front and can plan the trip in advance. This goes for airfare, excess baggage, accommodation.
The gear rule is currently two boards, two sails or one board and three sails. You have to choose which works best for you. The new rule would possibly change to be three sails and two boards to help cover a broader range of conditions. The organisers are working with the airline to have a gear allowance to suit the new system.
There has been talk about adding a few more days for the event. This means that the 4 racing days (currently over 5 days) can be chosen for the better days and as a plus side the days off can be used to explore the island, free sailing or just chilling out.
GPS sailing will also have more focus and which might include a daily challenge with category prizes.
For families or partners the extended event length is a good thing as you can get a good mixed holiday for all. If windsurfing is your only agenda it really is hard to get enough of blasting along the crystal clear and endless flat water inside the outer reef. The location is based only 15 min from the airport with pick up and drop off will be available making the trip a breeze.
Renting a car is relatively cheap and opens a lot of options to explore the island allowing you to experience the culture and take advantage of the cheap local markets and restaurants.
We raced four out of the five days of the event. Each race is held inside the lagoon and is protected from the outside reef. This creates a safe environment for mostly easy flat-water conditions.
Every race has a rabbit start boat. This makes it quite easy to understand and is a fun and fair way to do it. Bring your start watch as there is still a count down time for the boat to start at the pin end.
Rabbit boat starts makes it fun and easy to understand.
Relaxed atmosphere on the beach in between racing
First day was the 40km long distance that varies from dead flat water to up to 0.5m choppy conditions. The scenery is amazing with the mountains and landscape in the back drop.
7.0, 7.8 / 106, 115L combos were mostly used. You might have to push a little upwind at stages, so make sure not to go too small especially on the board size.
Amazing backdrop scenery.
It's important to point out that because of the flat water you can use a bit bigger gear there. Most locals would have a 7.0 as their smallest sail and around 108L boards. On average most sailors are on 7.8 and 115L combos. When it gets light wind, then you do need at least your 8.6, 125L combo.]
Rigging and access to the water. Doesn't get much easier than this.
It's advised to get at least 1 day of sailing there, if you haven't been before. The first time out you will be a bit intimidated about the coral reef and heads. Ask the locals sailors first and check the high and low tide times. After a bit of sailing it all make sense where and where not to sail, so don't worry as it is easy going from then on.
First day out and getting some tips from the other sailors.
Day 2 rest day. We didn't really rest as the wind came up shortly and allowed for some fun sailing with friends and drone footage from the guys on the beach.
Day 3 we ventured up north of the island. Another amazing flat-water place to sail. The organiser took care of getting all the gear up there on a big trailer and we, the competitors without a car, had a mini bus taking us up there. The wind was quite light for the downwind slalom, but regardless 4 rounds were completed. After the racing we got spoiled with some surprise dinner and drinks at the local Zilwa Attitude hotel. I have to say we were well looked after.
Surprise dinner and drinks at the exotic Zilwa Attitude Hotel
Day 4 was probably the most fun I personally had there. We had 4 races in smooth flat water and everybody was going fast on the long reaches inside the lagoon. You could sail really close to the outside reef and the water was silky smooth. There was no really losers this day as it was just so much fun blasting around there.
Silky smooth water.
Day 5 was another light wind day and 2 races were attempted. One race counted and the other was a fun race. The pop up local, free tasting rum bar on the beach was a welcoming sight after the racing.
Free Rum tasting after the racing.
Besides the amazing racing and conditions, then the atmosphere is super friendly and relaxed.
It's one of those weeks you look back at sitting at home and think to yourself. Did that really happened? It was so much fun on so many levels. I can't wait to get back there.Below is a little teaser video on the conditions there ??, get ready for next year!