In addition to being known for its beautiful landscapes and towns bordering its shores, Garda Lake is well appreciated by sporty people who kitesurf, thanks to the steady-blowing winds.
The funnel-shaped drainage basin’s conformation: narrowing from the low side-lake towards the top and its position between the Baldo mountain on the East and the Trentino-Bresciana mountains axis on the West, creates different draughts, breezes and winds, some of which are steady, whilst others are totally unpredictable. These winds always allow the sailing-lovers to practice their favourite activity. In addition to sailing, practiced sports at Garda Lake have expanded to include, amongst others, windsurfing and kitesurfing.
Due to the width of its drainage basin and the winds, Garda Lake is the destination of various sports competitions, involving many towns on the Garda coast. Among the best known, surely is the Centomiglia, which involves 300 boats and 4.000 sailors, but there is also the Gorla trophy, the Gentlemen’s Cup and Bisse regattas, and many other regattas and minor trophies, in which anything from big trans-oceanic sails to kitesurfs, take part.
The Peler wind affects the entire lake and come from the north. It starts picking up during the night and subsides around 11 am. It intensifies, from the moment the sun rises due to temperature increase. This wind is much loved by sailors and those who practice kitesurfing, and on the East side of medium Garda it reaches 15m/s by forming a large wave-motion.
Among the best known winds of Garda Lake, is the one called Ora. It is a land-wind which comes directly from Pianura Padana and picks up as soon as the Peler wind subsides: that is from midday until 5 p.m. or 6 p.m. This wind reaches an important speed, mostly in the medium and high Garda where it is channelled from the mountains. It is the more loved wind by those who practice kitesurfing in the central and high Garda area.
The Ander wind is a steady wind, which comes from the South-West and starts picking up from the very early afternoon. It is a short-lasting wind and it blows mostly on low Garda. Sometimes, it even reaches the high side of the lake and persists throughout the night. It can reach a speed of up to 10 m/s, creating an irregular wave-motion.
In addition to those already mentioned, there are other lesser known winds, such as Vinessa, also called Spuca or Neta. It is a steady wind, which comes from the East, and is caused by disturbances in the high Adriatic area or by the Bora wind. It usually brings bad weather and creates a particularly violent wave-motion.
The Fasanella wind has a much lower intensity than the above mentioned winds. It picks up in the late afternoon from the West and blows towards the East until sunset.