The 12th Bariloche Classic promises big waves

Windsurfers and kitesurfers compete at the foot of the Andes.

Bonnie Tucker / FST
Every year, the wind that blows across Lake Nahuel Huapi in front of the Argentine city of Bariloche attracts dozens of windsurfers and kitesurfers to a five-day competition known as the Bariloche Classic. Wind-driven waves on the lake at the foot of the Andes can be as big as three meters, and in 2005 the Coast Guard had to rescue several windsurfers who were competing in the lake crossing race. But precedents like this just keep them coming back for more.

For water sport lovers, the Classic is a good excuse to be in Bariloche from January 13 to 17, when windsurfers and kiteboarders from Argentina and the rest of South America, as well as some European members of the Professional Windsurfers Association (PWA), will put their skills, sails and kites to the test on Argentina’s fourth largest lake during the 12th edition of the competition.

Wind and kite surfers in the Professional and Amateur categories will compete in slalom, long distance and freestyle races.

The Bariloche Classic was preceded last month by the Patagonian Windsurf and Kitesurf Championship, held in Bariloche Dec. 19-20.

PHOTO CREDITS: Competitors were not discouraged by bad weather last year. A windsurfer and a kitesurfer do jumps, Bariloche Classic.