January 2018, a low-pressure system hit Cabarete over three days. Winds varied between 15 and 45 knots in gusts and violent squalls side swiped the spot. Strong swell brought tons of seaweed hindering sailing, and turned the usual blue-green waters into an inhospitable brown. The following videos and photos from the beach were captured by Andrea from the Vela Cabarete center using a one-of-a-kind camera + binoculars combo to reach us over the reef.

The Cabarete Storm Chase Video!
Cabarete Storm Chase! top ⇧
- Difficult winds, barely sailable, 17 to 45 knots, gusts and changing direction
- Large wind shadow over the shore, side-off direction on the beach, side-on to side in the waves
- Water state rather correct in the bay, North Sea conditions over the reef, 3m min, 4m+ in the biggest sets
- Tony 180lbs 4.5 overpowered, Manu 150lbs 4.5 (umm... what's after overpowered :D ?)
- Bonus point: 0,0 kites
Manu's End Result:
- Dozens of backloop attempts including one landed flat with one foot in the straps
- Survival wave riding
- White water up the nose
- Small muscle tear in right quad and left hamstring
- Hard to walk the next day and climb downstairs
- Head filled with images, hard to find sleep the first night :)
- Almost forgot... blisters beneath hand calluses :D !
Manu and Tony
Me and Tony DOM-1, the only 2 riders in the morning 45-knot squalls :D !
Cabarete Vitesse du Vent
The dotted lines are the actual base wind. Overall what the wind gauge shows matches what it felt like on the water. The wind would come with the rain, it was magic and chaotic all at once.
Cabarete Beach - Seaweed
Islands of seaweed that would clamp onto our fin(s) every 20-30 yards, jump timing was critical!
Cabarete - Seaweed
Darn seaweed!!! Even for those on multi-fins, they were a problem because of their branches...
Manu alone
Priority rules? Well not to worry too much here... :D ! Alone in the bay, just me and the seaweed. They would come in cycles every 20-30 minutes.
First run out, where's the exit?
Edwin aka "Bladdy" (or Vladi, or Vladdi, or...), a youngster from the Vela center, been windsurfing since a kid. On 4.8 !!! He tried one backloop and was spending time watching us resting on his board from time to time but at least he was out !
Bladdy coming in
Bladdy coming in, watch the shorebreak!
Backloop, Tony
Tony, the master, backloop.
Backloop 1, Manu
Manu looking to mimic the master :D !!! Don't make fun of the height, well rather... go for it :D !!! I didn't have my best tries filmed but at least I got some. With nice vertical ramps, it was at least one attempt with each run.
Backloop 2, Manu
Slightly inverted on this one. On higher ones, I have a tendancy to open the sail and untuck my legs which causes me to land flat ! I need to focus on keeping my back hand sheeted in and really try to get the nose of the board to touch down first to keep control of the sail when the board hits the water.
Backloop, Manu
The same jump at the same time from a different angle.
Andy hungry 1
Andy G-121, joining us in the afternoon in more manageable winds between 20 and 30 knots.
Andy hungry 2
Love the colors, so flashy!
High Jump 1, Andy
One of my favorite shots, with the board straight up and vertical, perfect timing with the wave, clear photo. It only lacked a bit of speed to reach the heights that Andy is used to flying, absolute beauty, really!
High Jump 2, Andy
The same jump, just an instant later, the board tilts back down to control landing, classy Andy!!
Big Wave Riding, Andy
Here, after riding the wave, he pumped a couple of times to try and get out of the wave which is trying to suck him back in :D ! Not so easy as the wind had already come down a bit, I was already back to shore.
Chercher Andy
Today's Game... Find Andy before he disappears.

Late Forward Loop, Andy
A nice late forward loop over Tony, show-off!!!!
Backloop, Tony
Tony, backloop, style and elegance...
Pushloop, Tony
Tony, pushloop, a ballerina, beautiful!
Shorebreak, Manu
Side-off shorebreak, a good meter, boom!
Shorebreak, Manu
Complicated to enter and exit, haha :D !
Overrotated Backloop, Manu
I truly went for it on this backloop but over-rotated and at around 3-meter height, it could have ended badly!
Not Getting Through
Sometimes, it's just not happening!
Weeding the board!
Jumping to get the weeds off!
Wide Angle Camera vs Regular Camera
An interesting comparison between a classic camera showing nice elevation variations vs the wide-angle camera where the horizon looks completely flat even though so much closer.