Windsurfing in Naxos 2002

Introduction

We were in Naxos from 3 May 2002 to 17 May. During most of this time, we had good Northerly winds. The Meltemi is supposed to blow in July and August, but our wind seemed very similar.

We were based near Agios Georgios beach, on the outskirts of Naxos Town. There is windsurfing equipment for rent here, at the Flisvos Sports Club. Mikri Vigla is also renowned as a windsurfing destination. You could windsurf from many beaches, with your own equipment.

Flisvos

The Flisvos Sports Club has two windsurfing centres at the Southern end of Agios Georgios beach. The centre near the hotels gives fairly direct access to the sea, with only a small reef offshore. This is the place with the best access to strong wind and wave conditions. Unfortunately, it was not open in May, due to the limited number of clients.

Out on the sea, the wave conditions seem quite gentle due to deep water and the long distance over which they develop. The waves are larger and more frequent than at Gullane, and are present even in large sail conditions.

The main centre is a large lagoon, which has a reef a long way offshore. The reef keeps the waves out of the lagoon, so the water is very flat, and it is difficult to judge the wind strength from the state of the water. The lagoon is also more sheltered than the open sea.

There are two gaps in the reef, marked by flags and buoys. The gaps are only about 3m wide, and represent a gateway between the safety of the lagoon, and the wave conditions of the open sea. The waves naturally build up over the shallow waters of the reef, thus enhancing the feeling of negotiating the rabbit hole from Alice in Wonderland.

The gaps are also the only way back to safety, short of the rescue boat which is on standby for this purpose. Even a broken harness line could be enough to make it very difficult to reach the gaps.

Flisvos Equipment

Flisvos have mainly F2 equipment. While we were there, they took delivery of 80 new boards, mainly very large. They use Starboard Go and Powerglide boards for beginners. They also have Wizzard, Ride 279, 274 & 266, Max2Air (100L), Mystery 256 & 252, and Maui Project 8'6", 8'5", & 8'4".

The board I found worked best in the conditons was the F2 Ride 266, which was equipped with an enormous 28cm wave skeg. I sailed this out in the waves quite happily with 5.3 and 5.7 sails. The Mystery 256 seems to be a full-on wave board, which needs a lot of power. The Maui Project boards may be appropriate for stronger winds.

Sails were by Arrows. As with the boards, there was a considerable variety of types and sizes, but limited numbers. There were very few sails over 6.5mē. There will almost certainly be more kit available in high season.

Mikri Vigla

One reason for the holiday was to check out the conditions at Mikri Vigla. We walked down one day to find the hotel being got ready for the approaching season. It took us about 3 hours to walk down from Naxos Town, and a further 2 hours back along inland farm tracks to Agia Anna, from whence we took the bus back. In high season, there is said to be a regular bus service, or you could take a taxi.

The wind here turns NE as a result of the local topography. The coast shelters the sailing location from any chop generated in a N or NE wind. Hence, you should expect nice clean waves.

The Naxos port authorities ask you to remain within 500m of the coast. This could well be a problem when the beach is busy. Some off-shore rocks extend the qualifying sailing area considerably.

In 2001, Mikri Vigla was a Club Mistral centre, but this does not appear to be the case for 2002. Club Mistral operated from June to September.

Early May this year, there was no sign of any equipment for rent.

[Update 12 Feb 2003]. I am very pleased to hear that the Mikri Vigla Watersports centre is still operational. In 2002 the club was open from May 17 until September 30. Their web site has also been updated.

According to their web site: "Mikri Vigla Watersports will open May 16, 2003. Our instructors speak English, German and French. For the windsurf, we have the latest Mistral and North Sails equipment."

I hope you will find the following links useful. Please let me know if you find this information useful, or have any other comments.