El Yaque: an uncrowded day in Venezuela

El Yaque Beach, one of the most famous windsurfing spots in the world, is becoming a party destination full of drunken tourists and gee-strings.


Located on the south Margarita Island, in Venezuela, El Yaque Beach was the perfect windsurfing destination. Trade winds blowing steadily at 20 knots throughout the year, beautiful sandy strips, warm water and an exotic Caribbean vibe.

Fifteen years ago, you could easily count more than 500 windsurfers sailing in the region. Unfortunately things have changed, and El Yaque is no longer a windsurfing paradise.

"Windsurfing offered a lot of the local kids here an option. Now I see kids trade in their sails for drugs", pro windsurfer Yoli de Brendt tells The Guardian.

Apparently, the party industry is taking over. Sails have been swapped by beer bottles, and of the 15 windsurfing schools, only three remain.

The number of crimes has been increasing, and direct flights from Germany, Holand, France, Italy and Canada are rapidly decreasing.

However windsurfers like Yoli de Brendt and Jose "Gollito" Estredo don't want to let El Yaque fall at the hands of alcohol.

The Venezuelan spot will open the 2014 PWA World Tour, and the local authorities have understood that one of the spiritual homes of Freestyle windsurfing must be protected.