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Wind Chaser

Przemyslaw Jacniacki (otherwise known as Premo) is vice president of Windsurfing WA and more often than not, you’ll find him out on the ocean off the coast of Carnarvon, making the most of those sensational sea breezes.

Arriving in Perth over 15 years ago, Premo Jacniacki had no idea that he was about to discover windsurfing nirvana.

“I was a keen youth windsurfer back in Poland, competing at an international level in the windsurfing Olympic class,” says Premo. However, once he experienced the intense thrill of surfing off Carnarvon and Gnaraloo, there was no turning back.

“I fell in love with the place and decided to make it my home,” he says. “I took up slalom racing and wave sailing and been an active competitor as well as event organizer and volunteer for windsurfing WA for quite a few years now.”

The special conditions which prevail along this part of the WA coastline make windsurfing a particularly exciting sport to pursue, says Premo.

“The strong and regular side onshore coastal winds, between 20 and 30 knots make the best conditions for windsurfing and kitesurfing during the hot summer months.”

Carnarvon and Pelican Point are particularly great for windsurfing because of the summer sea breeze, which delivers such consistent strong winds, ideal for the sport.

“As it’s open ocean there is some swell and ocean chop which makes racing that much more interesting too,” says Premo.

“Add to this the fact the water is warm, the beaches are great and the people in town are very friendly and supportive of Windfest, the annual windsurfing competition which attracts competitors from all over the world, under pre-Covid circumstances.”

If you’re keen to try a different set of conditions, the broad estuary of the Gascoyne River is a bonus feature.

“It’s interesting as at high tide and with high winds, the flat water creates superb conditions for freestyling on kite or windsurfer, as well as speed blasting.”

If you’re a first timer, Premo recommends trying out the area in front of the Carnarvon Yacht Club, so that you can get back to shore safely if you run into trouble. For some extra tuition, during Windfest 2021 (January 15 to 17), some of the best in the business will be on hand to share their skills.

“Patrik Diethelm and Karin Jaggi from Patrik Windsurf International will be running free learn to windsurf clinics on Friday and Sunday during Carnarvon Windfest,” says Premo. “Karin is the most decorated female athlete in the world with 29 World Championship titles, and Patrik is a world-class board shaper and sail designer – and also one of the fastest guys on the planet who can sail over 50 knots, which is almost 100km/h.”

As a past competitor in Windfest himself, Premo is no stranger to the winner’s podium.

“During the first Carnarvon Windfest, I won third spot behind such amazing and talented riders as Bastien Escofet and Avan Griffiths,” he says. “It was fantastic to compete with many high caliber sailors from Australia and overseas. I’m really looking forward to an even bigger and better event in 2021.”

If you’re planning on heading to Carnarvon to windsurf or take part in Windfest, Premo has some tips to make sure you make the most of this world-class destination for kite and windsurfers.

“I would suggest you bring small sails and fast boards, and heaps of positive energy,” he says. “You also might need to have a weed fin handy just in case as sometimes there might be some seaweed on the course, but not too often.”

Even if you’re not a windsurfer, there’s plenty to do during Windfest. There will be market stalls, food and live entertainment as well as the thrill of watching those windsurfing adrenaline seekers doing their thing on the open ocean.

Premo is looking forward to the festival as a whole, as the town comes out in force to support the special event off its shoreline.

“I really enjoy hanging out at the Carnarvon Yacht Club, the presentation night and the festival party is pretty epic,” he says. “There are some great pubs on the foreshore and it’s definitely a great town to hang out, windsurf and have fun.”

When the excitement of the festival is over, Premo knows exactly where to go to rediscover his perfect windsurf spot.

“Gnaraloo is only a couple of hours away and I love to go there to recharge my batteries and windsurf one of the best waves in the world with a great bunch of mates.”

To register for Carnarvon Windfest 2021, visit Follow Carnarvon Windfest on Facebook. 


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