VASSILIKI – general skills
Vass, is the original dedicated windsurfing, summer free-ride mecca, made famous by its strong afternoon thermal wind (strangely named ‘Eric’) that shoots down the hill. We base ourselves at the boutique Cosmos Hotel, which is flawless. A PH Masterclass clinic merges with a Neilson holiday to produce a very special experience.
Vass has a timeless charm. The Bay is almost a caricature of how you imagine a Greek island coastline – steep cliffs on all sides sheltering a gorgeous harbour .
One of life’s great pleasures, after a 3 hour planing session, is sitting down at one of the many waterfront restaurants to an extended dinner of meze (a bit of everything) and then strolling back down to beach for one last one at the Cosmos bar.
Light morning winds, ideal for skills training are followed by the arrival of ‘Eric’, the strong afternoon side-shore thermal which blows over flat water. It’s the strangest thing – you’re screaming up and down on the flattest water with your back to a cliff.
It’s driven by the heat so the high summer months of June, July and August are most reliable.
I schedule the clinic for the end of June just before the school holidays – it’s windy but you don’t have to share it with so many!
We are the guests of Neilson and stay in the fabulously understated boutique Cosmos Hotel run by the ever-affable Stellios. It nestles under the hill at the best end of the beach – ‘best’ because it gets the thermal wind first as it shoots down off the hill; the beach shelves more gradually and the water is flattest.
As with Rhodes, we offer B and B with the package. We may eat in the Cosmos a couple of nights, but it’s a crime not to sample the restaurants in town.
It’s a late start because sometimes the afternoon thermal lasts well into the evening.
But as with Rhodes the natural rhythm of the wind provides the ideal timetable with light wind mornings for a bit of skills training – followed by planing afternoons. If you’re going to crack the carve gybe, Vass with its easy flat water is the place to do it. But if your ambitions are higher, you wont find a better place to do freestyle. It was the venue we chose to film my DVD SHOWING OFF.
The Neilson centre overflows with RRD and Starboard boards, SUPs, and rigs from Tushingham.
The further advantage of his clinic is that you get ALL the Neilson activities for free – that means beginner tuition for partners, dinghies, mountain and road bikes, SUPs, fitness classes, yoga – it just goes on and on.
Suggested minimum standard: planing in the harness on a sub 130 ltr board.