S – Sotovento, Fuerteventura: long time speed sailing venue, PWA event site and reliably windy holiday spot

Fuerteventura’s south facing Sotovento is a world famous speed windsurfing location and host of the PWA’s freestyle and slalom events that roll in to town during summer. Firmly on the map as a bona fide windy location the Sahara like landscape had little more than a bar and a few apartments 20 years ago. But once windsurfers started clocking serious knots along the renowned speed strip it started to take shape.

Pascal Maka stole the World Speed Record in 1986 from Crossbow after screaming down the Sotovento speed strip at 38.68 knots. At this point windsurfers became the fastest wind powered craft on the water.

These days a professional set up, in the shape of Rene Egli’s pro centres, make good use of all the conditions on offer. The speed area still remains, but the tidal lagoon is a huge draw for any beginning and improving windsurfers. Out in open water the breeze can be ferocious – especially during summer. And whilst it’s a choppy and often gusty spot the reliable wind brings riders back time and again.

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