Mauritius: Kite Surfer Gabi Steidl’s Paradise

I came back last night from Blue Bay to greet a friend who has been in the island for the last week. Yesterday was the only day of sun she enjoyed. For the whole week it rained and the guests spent most of the day in the hall and lobby of the hotel, as the beach was too windy and cold. I thought that the weather has not been kind to our tourists, at least those who chose Blue Bay area.

I personally witness the strong and cold south-easterly gusts sitting at the bar of the hotel. I was lucky to have my wind breaker jacket and a thick sweater. My return trip on La Vigie motorway was not a comfortable drive with the fog and drizzle.

I felt much better for Mauritius and our tourist industry when I read Reuters today. The cold weather is nothing to the keen kite surfers. Wind is what they have come for and this last week has been bliss to them. “A man’s food is another man’s poison” goes the saying…  

LE MORNE, Mauritius (Reuters) – Her blond hair dripping with salt water, top Austrian kitesurfer Gabi Steidl cuts through the translucent, emerald green waves of the Indian Ocean.

Kitesurfing — a hi-tech hybrid of surfing and kite-flying — is fast winning converts: riders harnessed to kites who stand on boards and skim, surf or even leap, often hanging in the air for several seconds.

With its world-class winds, plenty of breakers and calmer lagoons for beginners, Mauritius is determined to cash in.

“It’s just the most beautiful island and the conditions are perfect,” said 31-year-old Steidl, who gave up a career in publishing to follow her passion full-time.

“It’s like a huge wave playground.”

Back on the beach, a dozen kite surfers check lines and launch their kites as the midday sun hits its peak.