Ansa Vata Bay, Noumea (New Caledonia)
Ansa Vata Bay, Noumea
Ansa Vata Bay in Noumea is one of the world’s best locations for flat water blasting, so much so, that in recent years, the PWA (professional windsurfing Association) has selected this location for its annual finale to the world cup slalom racing tour. Consistent trade winds and blue lagoon like water provide ideal conditions for flat-water blasting as well as long distance cruising to other nearby islands.
The horse-shoe shaped bay, which forms a lagoon, is blessed with South Easterly trade winds that blow across the lagoon from left to right. This prevailing wind direction points the sailor in the direction of Duck island, which lies a kilometre away. Three kilometres further on is the island of Ilot de Maitre, a 600m long island surrounded by a vast and shallow lagoon, ideal for long speed runs.
Although Anse Vata bay provides year round sailing, the winds are most consistent between October and April during the summer months, with an average air temperature of 27 to 29 degrees, and a water temperature of 26 degrees.
- Flat water at low to mid tide
- Blue water
- Easy rigging on grass under palm trees
- Easy launching
- Close to the hotels
- Cross shore trade winds
- Seabed can be hard under foot
- Keep an eye out for turtles
The generally flat waters of Ansa Vata bay are ideal for freeride gear, as well as full slalom race equipment, where there are many local sailors to test your speed against.SAILING:
Palm trees provide cover over a thin layer of grass to rig up, or you can rig on the sandy beach.
The weekends can get busy with windsurfers, particularly slalom sailors coming out to compare their relative speeds with other sailors but there is always room to rig up.
The seabed at the launch point in Ansa Vata Bay is a mix of sand and fine pieces of loose coral which can be a little sharp under foot, so booties are recommended.
There is no shore break and the grade of the sea bed is gradual making launching very easy. At low to mid tide, with a slight current from left to right, the water is flat when the south east trade wind is blowing. As the tide rises the lagoon becomes a little choppier, but for a given wind strength is relatively flat.
The water can get very choppy in the expanse of water between Duck Island and Ilot de Maitre which is the shipping channel, although shipping traffic is fairly low.
Once at Ilot de Maitre, the sailor is greeted with flat water for long speed runs. It should be noted that it is only possible to sail in the lagoon at Ilot de Maitre between mid and high tide, otherwise your fin is likely to hit the seabed.
An alternative is to take one of the small ferries with your windsurfing equipment out to Ilot de Maitre, and rig up there.ABILITIES:
Ansa Vata Bay is suited to all windsurfing and kitesurfing levels from beginner to advanced. Although it provides no waves for wave sailing, it is a world class area for freeride blasting, slalom racing and freestyle. It also provides the ideal location for those learning to use a harness, get planing, water-start and gybe. At Duck Island, the sailor can dismount in the shallows, rest, and look back at the view of the bay, before sailing back to shore.SEASON:
Although Anse Vata bay provides year round sailing, the winds are most consistent between October and April during the summer months, with an average air temperature of 27 to 29 degrees, and a water temperature of 26 degrees.WATER:
The water in this massive lagoon is turquoise blue and generally quite warm with temps around 27 Deg C. You can expect some fabulous flat water for high-speed blasting as well as some chop as the winds gets up.RIGGING:
There are lots of rigging areas on the grass under palm trees or on the sandy beachLAUNCHING:
The sea bed can be tough on the feet so booties are advisable. Otherwise launching is straight forward with little to no shore-break.POTENTIAL HAZARDS:
Turtles frequent the waters surrounding New Caledonia. Many a local windsurfer will have a tale to tell of damaging their fin colliding with the shell of a turtle, so it pays to keep an eye out for them; same goes for foiling kite surfers.
There is not a great difference between water depth at high and low tide, and in between the launching area and Duck Island there are no shallow areas on which to hit your fin although foilers may need to stick to deeper channels at low tide.
The snorkelling area located a couple hundred metres from the main windsurfing launching area is rich in coral which lays just beneath the surface of the water however this is well cordoned off with the use of marker buoys so this shouldn't present a hazard.
As far as we are aware there are presently no centres where you can rent quality gear so you really need to bring your own. There is however a traing centre for kids...
- Aloha Windsurfing is a mobile windsurfing school operating in Ansa Vata Bay that is well setup for beginner lessons and SUP hire. They also have hire equipment for intermediate sailors as follows; 100 litre freeride boards 120 litre ‘heavier’ tuffskin boards Recreational freeride sails up to 6.7m There is no performance equipment, and the equipment tends to be ageing so Read more...
There are a dozen or so hotels to chose from in and around Noumea however the best located hotels for those wanting to sail that are within walking distance to the main launching areas are as follows ....
- Star Rating:
The Chateau Royal Beach Resort & Spa is located with direct access to Anse Vata Beach, just a couple of minutes walk from sailing launch areas. The hotel offers a variety of deluxe self-cater suites for up 5 guests. There is 3 restaurants & 3 bars to choose from as well as direct access to the casino. The fitness centre Read more...
- Star Rating:
If you are looking for a luxury romantic sailing holiday you can’t go past Le Méridien Nouméa Resort & Spa. This 5-star resort hotel is located right on the water’s edge just a couple of minutes walk to all of the main launching sites. There is a variety of rooms & suites of various standards catering for up to 3 Read more...
- Star Rating:
The Nouvata hotel is located across the road from the beach however it is about 5 km from most of the main launching areas (back towards Noumea) on Anse Vate Bay. They offer free parking so if you have a car this won’t be an issue. The hotel offers a variety of rooms catering for up to 3 guests from Read more...
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- Flat Water Blasting
- Bump and Jump
- Longboard Cruising
- Flat Water
- Small Waves
- Warm Water
- Salt Water
- Easy Launching
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