The best thing about dating a professional windsurfer is the roadtrips to events. The worst thing about dating a professional windsurfer is the roadtrips to events. It’s sweltering heat in June in Europe and the next World Tour event is in Costa Brava on the Spanish seaside. Which happens to be 2,300km from our summer homebase in Warsaw, Poland. Sure you can fly it, but with all the windsurfing gear we need (including my stuff) it’s much easier to drive. The quick way through northern France takes around 21 hours but if you REALLY want to see the most amazing parts of Europe you need to take the long way, cutting through Switzerland and down through Italy to the French-Italian border; the beginning of the Côte d’Azur (French Riveria), bringing the drive-time up to around 25 hours. A bit pressed for time on this trip we decided to do the site-seeing on the way “home” after the contest – which timed with the weather to be the perfect way to see this part of France and Monaco.
As you know I’ve started my first steps on a windsurfer recently and to continue the trend of only doing it in stupidly glamorous locations I figured the next time should be during Sean’s World Cup in Costa Brava. This tiny (but still pretty famous) little town is just over the border in to Spain and has beautiful sandy beaches and crystal clear waters. It’s known on the tour as a fairly “light wind” venue so there’s a lot of sitting around waiting for the right conditions to race over this 5 day event, which made it perfect for me as I made the most of every single day.
Armed with my brand new Starboard GO board we picked up on the way from one of Sean’s sponsors, I was out on the water every single day. This board has a foam top so it’s soft on the feet and also we have the colours matching the sails now which is a win.
God dammit windsurfing is still really hard. But at least there aren’t any sharks here. I ended up having a lot more fun than Sean who wasn’t too happy with his result at the event and only raced on 2 of the days. Sean was happy to spend his time out sailing with me actually (at least helping with taking some photos!). The event was run out of the La Ballena camping which has quite luxurious grass areas for rigging and storing the windsurfing kit – anything you can do to make windsurfing easier is a must.
Once the event finished we were back in the car and on the route home. Not long over the border in to France and we are on the Riveria coast. The highlights of course are the famous cities you’ve heard of – Marseille, Nice, Cannes and no trip would be complete without a stopover in Monaco and the Monte-Carlo casino. This week was the middle of the EURO-2016 football championships and the cities were teaming with tourists making parking damn near impossible for our little pitstops in to each city.
After a decent amount of searching we did manage to find a park in each city (Monaco was probably the easiest, surprisingly) and ticked a few of the tourist boxes in each. If you were to pick one to visit, Monaco is probably the highlight. Beautiful tiny streets among some of the wealthiest people in Europe. If you’re a sportscar fan it’s worth sitting out the front of the Monte-Carlo casino for a coffee and car spotting.