BRAZIL

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BRAZIL – Jericoacoara. Waves and general skills

Nestling on Brazil’s equatorial north coast, ‘Jeri’ is windsurfing paradise. It is the most reliably windy place I have ever windsurfed. On top of that the sailing area with its friendly waves and flat water, appeals to all levels but especially those looking to get into and improve their wave sailing.

Having said that, the water inshore between the waves is flatter than flat so it’s also a great spot to work on gybes and the like.

Jeri lies in an unspoiled national park a 4 hour drive to the west of Fortalesa The last hour or so is off road and the last half of that is actually along the beach. You can’t believe where you are. Jeri is a fishing village built on sand. There are no tarmac roads – just sand streets. It sounds basic but actually it has all the luxuries – smart hotels, cosy pousadas (B and Bs), electricity, running water and Internet. It’s popular with Brazilians so there’s a thriving beach culture. For non-windsurfing partners it’s a joyous place to chill or party – and there’s a bewildering choice of shops, bars and restaurants. Eating out is delicious and amazing value.

 

Conditions

It’s the most consistently windy place I know.

Jeri’s windy season is from September through to end of January (and often beyond).

The wind in January, when I run the clinic, is 18-25 knots (4.7 – 5.7 weather).

At the right hand end of the bay, waves bend in around a point and roll up a sandy shore. They are clean, smooth, usually about waist to head high and ever so friendly.

With the wind blowing side to side-offshore, it’s ideal for learning down-the-line riding; and with the waves being so well spaced, the jumping is epic.

200 m downwind of the point is classic wave-free free-riding.

 

Kit

Renting from Club Ventos, which has all the latest wave and freestyle wave models from Starboard and JP.
The PH Masterclass group get a special rate from Club Ventos of about £250 for 10 days, which includes use of SUPs and surfboards on non-windy days.
And this is the Pro Pool which gives you access to the latest carbon multi fin wave and freestyle wave designs

To bring your own will cost approx €600 (return) from London to Fortlasesa for 2 X 22kg bags =  about 2 boards and 3 sails; plus the £150 transfer and storage fee. You have to stay over a month to save money over hiring.
BUT it means you can sail an hour later in the evening!

The Clinic

I favour January because the waves are generally better. Also it’s after the Brazilian Christmas holidays so there are a LOT less people on the water.

As a place to coach wave sailing, I know no better.

The solid wind makes it easy for me to sail and ride waves right alongside you; and with the wave breaking on a shallow shelving sands, I can observe and offer instant feedback. Jeri is where I see people make the most progress in the waves.

Accommodation
The majority of the group stay at Pousada Punta Pedra (Pousada means ‘guest house’ in Portuguese), which is in position A1 right on the beach next to the centre. It’s basic but clean and ever so friendly with an amazing breakfast with a view you won’t believe.
For those looking for a little luxury there are plusher options such as the ever so classy Hurricane Hotel and Mosquito Blue.
Sportif will talk you through the options.
But if you want a care-free, good value stay, come on down to the Pedra!

What else to do?

It’s a great place to learn to surf and SUP; there are SUP tours in the mangrove forests, beach buggy tours, endless cocktail sampling.

Non windsurfing partners delight in the climate and the ambience. It’s the best place in the world to do nothing. Also at high tide, I’ve never seen a more friendly place to learn to surf.

This, by the way, is not the Brazil of Rio and the favellas. The atmosphere is relaxed and unthreatening. It’s a party town but unlike the Brits, the Brazilians have mastered the art of dancing and smiling all night without ending up comatose in a gutter!

Suggested minimum standard: waterstarting and planing in straps and harness on a sub 120 ltr board. Confident swimming in, around and under breaking waves.