Our two Surfaris to Northland in July couldn’t have been much more different from each other. They were only one week apart, but had a completely different character. Whereas one was 4 days of Groundhog-Day, the other one showed a few different facets of the Far North.
Northland Matariki Surfari Trip
For our Matariki Surfari (13-16th July 2023) we had 4 amazing days of “Rinse and repeat” in Rangiputa. SW wind, 15-18knots and sunshine every day. Our group was very seasoned, with a 2:1 ratio between repeat guests and new customers. It was also a 2:1 mix between wingers and windsurfers. Well, actually that’s not entirely correct. A few guests were choosing the best of both worlds, competing for the multi-sport-award and changing toys and tools as the wind changed.
As most days were Groundhog-day and I’m struggling to distinguish them, I’ll go directly to the awards ceremony:
Multi-sport award: On the water Martin and Melvyn were fighting it out hard. Martin was definitely ahead at the beginning of the weekend, changing between windsurfing and winging effortlessly. However, on day 2 Melvyn tried wingfoiling for the first time and did get hooked (as long as there wasn’t enough wind for windsurfing). From then on the battle was tight and we couldn’t determine a clear winner.
If off-water-sports are included in the challenge, then Graham and Richard chipped in nicely with going for runs in the morning. Not sure where they took the energy from. 5 hours on the water every day didn’t seem to be enough for them J!
Guinea-pig award (first person on the water to test the conditions): Highly contested between Martin, Melvyn and Jill. Or was it Graham? It wasn’t Richard or Gavin, that’s for sure.
Most improved rider: This award clearly goes to Melvyn. It was absolutely amazing to watch his journey from not having wingfoiled before to foiling confidently in both directions and attempting to jibe. And all of that within 3 days! Just good that the Surfari was only 4 days, otherwise he would have showed the rest of us completely off!
Most time on the water award: This is a hard one, as everyone showed so much enthusiasm and spent such a lot of time on the water. Everyone arrived early on Thursday, made the most of the wind on that day, and then didn’t stop until Sunday afternoon! It seemed, nobody wanted to be last on the water or first one off! Would be interesting to know how many hours or kilometres did get sailed and foiled between all of the group.
Northland Bonus Surfari Trip
The July Bonus Surfari (20-23rd July 2023) had a bit of a staggered start, and the weather forecast was all over the show.
Joel made it up very early on Thursday and just in time to join Bevan and myself for a 2 hours session in Tokerau before wind and rain did go completely wild.
Fergus and Rafe spent most of that time driving in pretty rough conditions and arrived in time for dinner.
Neill and Brendan made the smart decision not to drive in rain and dark after work but rather come up on Friday morning, especially as the forecast wasn’t very promising for wind early in the day anyway.
And indeed, there wasn’t much wind on Friday. We spent most of the day exploring the Karikari Peninsula, ending up late afternoon in Rangiputa, where there was the best chance of wind. It didn’t look promising, however Joel and Brendan decided to stick around. And they did get wet! Only Joel made it on the foil though…..
Saturday was the winterless North. No wind, sunshine, time to explore.
Sunday was the day for Rangiputa paradise! What a shame that Rafe and Brendan decided to leave early to get on the water around Whangarei. The rest of the crew (Fergus, Neill and Joel) scored a beautiful day in Rangiputa.
As predicted, the wind kicked in between 10 and 11am with 12-15 knots, picking up to 16-20 knots as the day progressed. With the winds a bit up and down due to passing clouds, everyone spent time swapping around between bigger and smaller wings. It was super fun to play in those crystal clear waters and Joel, Neill and Fergus thoroughly enjoyed their Fiji experience outside of Fiji. Though the long wetsuits gave it away – it wasn’t quiet as warm as Fiji. Still better than the rest of the country!
Late afternoon it was unfortunately time to say good bye to everyone and start the drive home. I’m sure it wasn’t the last time I did get on the water with those guys! Thank you for your great company!
What a wrap up of our Northland Surfari’s 2023. Next stop Great Barrier Island. Have you booked yet? It’s gonna be epic!