22/02/2012 | 1 comments
Situated in the small village of Ses Salinasin Fornells Bay, Minorca Sailing Holidays is a great place to dramatically improve your windsurfing skills especially for beginners & intermedaites. The combination of Spanish culture, a hot climate and an idyllic setting is the perfect recipe for a great windsurfing break.
If you are into racing, this must be one of the few windsurfing resorts that has a full fleet of the latest Formula and Free Formula kit. For anyone into dinghies, it also has quite a few of those as well. Whilst the Island of Minorca itself has got plenty of more challenging beaches to sail, Minorca Sailing is really aimed at the improver and beginner. It has also geared itself for the ‘family’ holiday with full creche facilities and specific instruction for Juniors and Youths.
|Windy Season||April to late October. The summer months are the hottest but the wind the lightest. The early and late seasons often have stronger winds.|
|Water Temp In Summer||Flat to windblown chop.|
|Wet Suit?||None in the Summer. Shortie or 3mm wetsuit at other times.|
|Average Wind Speed||Early and Late Season Tramontanas can get up to 35knots. Summer ranges from Force 3-5.|
|Flight Time (From UK)||2.5 hours.|
- How To Get There
Minorca Sailing Holiday offer package deals inclusive of flights. Driving is a possiblity, with a ferry from Barcelona to Mahon in Minorca.
Transfer From Airport:
You will be met by a Minorca Sailing Holiday representative at Mahon airport.
- How The Wind Works
There are three types of wind that you may experience in Minorca.
These are the famous Mistral winds that the south coast of France experiences. Often they can be balistically windy and they happen at the beginning and the end of the season (April to October).
During the warmer months, the Fornells Bay often starts still, with the wind swinging and rising to a Force 3 – 4. Perfect for big sail cruising or light wind freestyle. But late July and August are generally pretty light.
As in any place, Minorca will often experience a good old low pressure system. Great when it happens!
- The Sailing Spots
Ses Salinas Beach
A sandy beach with a sheltered launch: the learning Hot Spot!
Beach Faces: East.
Best Wind Direction: Northerly.
Tide: Mediterranean so not much movement.
Water Temperature: Very warm in the summer months.
What’s on the bottom: Sand and weed. The launch area and gradient of the beach is very shallow.
Other water users: Sailors from the centre, rescue boats and the odd yacht.
Suitablity/levels: Complete beginner to Formula sailing.
Wipeout Factor: Very low.
All the accomodation is situated around the launching spot in Ses Salinas. Most of the kit is kept on the beach and with so many instructors at hand you don’t even need to get it out let alone rig it!
- Water State
Fornells Bay, where all the instruction takes place, is very sheltered from any swell. The water varies from generally flat to windblown chop. Occasionally you might venture towards the mouth of the bay, where you will find some rolling swell.
- Instruction And Kit Hire
RYA Instruction covers all levels, from beginner to Advanced Formula, freestyle and the new RYA FastForward scheme. We sent one of our Boardseeker Babes, Ramona Waite, and challenged her to learn to windsurf in 7 days. She was in the harness, turning nicely in non-planing winds and just about got that front foot in the strap by the end of the week. Read her experience here: Funboard Challenge 3.
Instruction is inclusive of your package price as is rescue which as Ramona found out, comes in very handy!
Beginner and Improver boards, Freeride, Freestyle and Formula boards are from a range of brands including AHD, Starboard, Fanatic, Mistral, F2 and Naish. There is even the odd wave board for any hectic days when that wind chop turns into a wave or two. Sails come from Tushingham, Gaastra and Neil Pryde and cover all their ranges.
Accommodation is available either in self-catering villas, apartments, or a small hotel. When booking the holiday you can tailor the accomodation to your requirements. Villa share options are available to singles or small groups of travellers.
All the accomodation is fairly top notch and a stones throw from the beach, local shop and the two local restaurants.
Ses Salinas itself has two that are mighty fine.
Margas has lush pizzas and beer to go with it. But best of all is probably the fillet steak with Roquefort sauce. If you want to prove that you are a real man, then order the T-Bone steak and see if you can finish it.
The Ses Salinas Restaurant has fantastic sea food and paellas and some great sandwiches for lunch.
Fornells is a twenty minute walk from Ses Salinas and has more restaurants than can be mentioned here. From cheap and tasty to expensive and really tasty. If you are after seafood then this is the place to be. Further afield there is Ciutadella and the Capital in Mahon, plus plenty of small restaurants hidden up random, winding side streets.
Ses Salinas itself is on the quiet side. Marga’s has a nice bar with an excellent Table Footy table. For a bit more of a lively atmosphere head to Fornells where there are a number of busy bars including Subaca in the main square. The Island comes to life during the Fiestas, where each town takes its turn to go crazy. If you get the chance, fill up a plastic bottle with Pomada(Mahon Gin and Fanta Lemon), and get involved.
- Bored Of Windsurfing
Shocking though that would be but the great asset of Minorca Sailing is, well, the sailing side. The instructors offer “one to one” sessions at the end of every day. This is your opportunity to get to grips with anything from a Laser Pico to hanging off the wire on a 49′er or many of the other high performance dinghies. There is more than enough to keep you active throughout the week.
Don’t expect any of the Cabaret evening entertainment that you might get with other companies, Minorca tends to focus on chilled evenings after long on the water sessions.
There is a briefing every morning held by the most experienced instructors outlining the weather forecast and the agenda for the day.
If you are thinking of purchasing some kit, then Minorca Sailing is a great place to try out different combinations. The range is really diverse and covers many brands and disciplines.
Minorca Sailing is probably the only holiday company that can offer a fleet of Formula boards and Formula racing. The head instructor, Jono, is also one of the top ranked racers in Spain.
From a windsurfing point of view, Minorca Sailing is probably best visited in early and late season. The set up is perfect, the atmosphere is very mellow and the island is great to explore if the wind doesn’t co-operate. Ok, it is on the pricey side, especially in the summer months, but there is no expense spared in terms of equipment, instruction and generally being well looked after for a week’s warm weather windsurfing!!
Editor Clyde Waite