Vela is great!!!
Basic total immersion windsurfing camp. Boards are rigged at 6am, derigged
at 6pm and then you watch windsurfing videos.
The gear: All Mistral, plus a whole stable (8 - 10) custom shortboards.
The sails were all Mistral slaloms, from 9.0m to 3.5m. Bring your
own harness. Most of the boards were Equipes, but they had a few
Venturas (Transition board 160l) and Diamond heads.
The sailing: The location is at Playamile beach, N of Cancun, inside
Isle Mujeras. They are right on a sand beach. There is a nice gentle
sloping bottom (with some slimy weeds in places, bring booties), and
you can touch bottom 100 yards out. After that the reef ends, the
water changes color and gets deeper and some chop starts. The winds
run 15 to 20mph normally unless El Norte comes in. They are side shore,
and can come from either direction as I recall. Occasionally a front
comes in, it gets slow for a day, followed by El Norte. El Norte can
bring 30+mph north winds, and cooler temperatures. The distance from
shore to Isla Mujeras is about 5 miles. The chop in the channel is
mild by gorge/sf bay standards, but fun.
The weather: While we were there we had 1 slow rainy day, and the others
were OK to great. Bring sunscreen - lots of it.
When I got there I was still learning to tack. At the end of the week,
I could water start, use a harness, and had completed 2 jibes (on video
even :-). The cost including airfare from SFO for a week was about
$1000. We are planning on going back in January.
One other note, having all the sails rigged and ready to go on the beach
is definitely nice. I have also gone to Maui and spent way too much time
driving around, rigging, driving back to the rental shop to switch sails
etc. With pre-rigged sails, and sleeping within 20 feet of your launch
you get way more time on the water.
Marc (no they didn't pay me to write this)