ASI AIR Retreat, Portugal February 2024

Posted: 15 January 2024


You are invited !   Networking and professional development for Instructors on Saturday 17 February 2024 at Sagres, Algarve, Portugal. 

It’s an opportunity to network with ASI instructors and others from across the world, gain some career information and have fun as well ! 

Includes guest speakers, dinner and drinks on the Saturday night, paddle /surf activities and ASI t-shirt. 

On the Sunday, we are delivering ASI Surf Rescue and ASI SUP Rescue workshops from 9am to 2pm (5 hours).  Ideal for instructors who need to update their surf rescue or SUP rescue certificates. Additional course fee applies. 

Saturday 17 February 2024
9am to 10pm

Sagres, Algarve, Portugal
ASI Portugal office Map
Rua da Nossa Sra. da Graça 189
8650-369 Sagres Algarve
Free parking on site.

The AIR retreat is open to anyone currently involved in the industry. 

Free for ASI Instructors and ASI accredited school owners.

Complete the enrolment form to register your interest at:
We recommend registering as soon as possible, to assist with attendee numbers.
Payment can be made at the same time or you can pay a later date (no less than 4 weeks prior to the event).
Credit card payment or bank transfer available.


Friday 16 February 2024
For people arriving early. 6.00pm meet up in a local bar for drinks and networking.

Saturday 17 February 2024
9am to 12pm: Guest speakers
12pm to 6pm: Activities: Wing foiling, SUP tours, SUP Pilates, surf/bodyboarding surfaris and networking
6.00pm: Meet for drinks.
7.00pm: Guest speaker and dinner.
10.00pm: Finish

Additional - Training Course

Sunday 18 February 2024

ASI Surf Rescue and ASI SUP Rescue course are being delivered on
Sunday from 9am to 2pm. 
Ideal for instructors who need to update their surf rescue or SUP rescue certificates.
Additional course fee applies. 
Complete the enrolment form and payment at:
Surf Rescue course
SUP Rescue course

Additional - Earn IPDJ Training Credits

Earn 2 credits. For instructors who hold the Treinador De Desporto Surfing Grau 1 or Grau 2.
Fees apply. Information and enrolment…
Also earn 1 credits on Rescue courses on Sunday 18 Feb at 9am to 2pm

Olivia Piana
Finding the Balance with Competition and Coaching - SUP and Wing Foiling

ASI Instructor Olivia Piana, is a celebrated figure in the world wing foiling and Stand-Up Paddling. Claiming 3 x SUP race world champion, 2021 wingfoil race world champion and 2021 wingfoil freestyle runner-up, Olivia now dedicates herself to her favourite discipline: SUP downwind foil.  

Olivia is completely at ease regardless of the discipline. From explosive sprints to gruelling distance events, she is a fierce competitor who consistently reaches the top. Her performances on the water have seen her become an influence within the research and design of boards, foils and paddles from a female perspective, and she has always been a champion of the importance of women in SUP.

In 2023, Olivia won the legendary Molokai 2 Oahu in SUP Foiling and she sets a new world record of 284,7km in one day, from Peniche to Sagres.

She will talk about what it takes to compete, coaching and updates on the fast growing area of wing and SUP foiling.

Olivia will also deliver wing foil clinics during the activities session.  Sponsored by Axis and Vayu there will also a range of foil and wing equipment to view and try. 

More about Olivia

Alex Botelho
Big Wave Surfing Competition and Potential Dilemmas

Alex Botelho, a Big Wave Rider from Algarve Portugal, became a standout in big wave sessions around the world, from Mavericks to Jaws and Nazaré.   On February 11, 2020, Alex nearly drowned on a live broadcast of the World Surfing League (WSL), Nazaré Tow Surfing Challenge.    He spent the next week in intensive care , then rehabilitation and has suffered physically and mentally since the event. 

Alex talks about big wave competition, event organisers' safeguarding of competitor safety and security, and the pressure dilemma competitors may be under in relation to their own safety, especially when sponsors, and live broadcasting are involved.

More about Alex

Andrzej Rybicki
Tips to Developing a Successful SUP / Surf School 

Andrzej Rybicki is the owner of SUP Baza, located at Orlowo Gdynia, Poland.   He has been instrumental in developing SUP activities in Poland.  

He is a sailor, a qualified account and IT consultant.  He was introduced to SUP many years ago and found it great for health and accessibility.  However, there was little in the way of accredited SUP schools or programs for learning to SUP in Poland. 

In 2023, he teamed up with ASI with a vision to get SUP known and available in Gdynia (city in northern Poland) which has perfect conditions to SUP.

In a short time, he has been successful in having SUP on TV, radio, in the news and being approved by the education department in Gdynia to have learn to SUP activities for school kids as part of many educational programs.

Andrzej talks about how he was able gain success in a short time, the benefits of instructor training in Poland, the ASI SUP Wise programs, and how to organise successful programs for school kids.
More about SUP Baza

Dora Carolo
Aquatic Safety Education and the Link to Blue Space Physical Activity

Dora Carolo specialises in Aquatic Safety Education research.   In particular, her ongoing research looks at how our aquatic physical literacy can contribute to drowning prevention and help us to be active for life through the enhancement in Blue Space Physical Activity behaviours.

Blue Space theory refers to outdoor water environments and the positive effects on physical and mental health. 

Based in Portugal, Dora is a PhD candidate (FCT Scholarship 2021.06516.BD), assistant lecturer, and researcher at the Faculty of Human Kinetics, University of Lisbon.   She holds a Masters in Physical Education and a Bachelor Degree in Sport Science – Sport Coaching Specialization.  Her passion is human movement, aquatic environments and knowledge.  Since 2014, Dora has been involved in professional lifeguarding, emergency medical response (Portuguese Red Cross), rescue effectiveness, swimming and surf coaching and delivering training courses in rescue and related skills. 

Dora will talk about: “Aquatic Safety Education and the link to Blue Space Physical Activity”

Including the latest research, rescue and safety techniques, equipment to use, operating in remote locations / without lifeguard support, and incorporating rescue skills and blue space activities in sessions you deliver to your students.

On the Sunday 18 Feburary, Dora will be delivering an ASI Water Safety Rescue course (5 hours).  

Sophy Aykroyd
Get on Board with Surf, SUP Wellness 

Sophy Aykroyd is qualified Pilates instructor and stand up paddler, based in London UK and specialises in health, fitness and rehabilitation.  She also helped create the ASI SUP Pilates instructor course and is the lead trainer.

Sophy will talk about getting on board with surf, SUP wellness, the mental well-being benefits when exercising on water, how to grow your client base by maintaining client loyalty and commitment and providing tailored classes that are challenging, effective and fun.

Originally trained as actor/dancer appearing in West End, UK and Euro productions, Sophy discovered Pilates in 2001 after suffering a back injury. Since 2013, Sophy has been stand up paddling and has been at the forefront developing and delivering SUP-Pilates classes on the Thames River in central London.   She holds a range of Pilates instructor and clinical qualifications, SUP technical coach qualifications and has an in-depth knowledge of anatomy and physiology.  

Sophy will also deliver a SUP Pilates session as part of the afternoon activities.  
More about Sophy…

Afonso Texiera
The learn-to-surf sector in Portugal: current state, challenges and where it's going.

Afonso is the Executive Director of the Associação de Escolas de Surf de Portugal  (AESDP) / Association of Surf Schools.   The Association is unique as it is the only organisation worldwide set up to be the voice for surf schools and instructors within an specific country.   

Afonso is a lifelong surfer, surfing instructor and holds a Masters Degree in Sustainable Tourism.

Surfing tourism is a major part of the economy in Portugal.  The AESDP represents the interests of instructors and surf schools , and liaises with government departments on all levels that can affect the livelihood of surf school operators in Portugal.  

Afonso will talk about the current state of the Surf School sector in Portugal, how it reacted to the Covid-19 pandemic, as well as how the government has been regulating surf schools in Portugal and what Surf Schools and Coaches must consider moving forward.  Thoughts to also consider for other countries worldwide. 

More about the association at:

Activities available on the Saturday afternoon include:

Wing foiling - learn about wing foiling, equipment and try wing foiling. Instructor is Olivia Piana, wing and SUP foiling world champion.

SUP tour - explore the coastline with stunning cliffs and coves. SUP tour guide is Nelson from Coastal Algarve SUP school. He has a wealth of experience delivering SUP tours in the local area.

Surfing / bodyboarding our - check out the local surf breaks with ASI qualified local instructor. Guaranteed to get the best conditions on the day.

SUP Pilates  - enjoy a fitness session with a difference!  On water activity.

Or enjoy the free time to network with others, and/or explore the local historic sites, walks along the coast, relax in cafes, check out the beaches, or head to nearby Lagos (famous for its walled city and cobble stone streets, bars and shopping).

On Sunday 18 Feb.
Surf Rescue workshops,  SUP Rescue workshops, extra fees and enrolment


This is for people who may be in Sagres, or arriving from other locations. 

6pm Meet up for drinks. (optional)
Chiringuito -  Praia da Mareta Resto Bar
Praia da Mareta, 8650-361 Sagres. Facebook
Great food, drinks, and view.
Located in the front of Mareta Beach only 10 mins walk from ASI office.


Morning Session:
The morning session from 9am to 12pm will be held at:

ASI Portugal office Map
Rua da Nossa Sra. da Graça 189
8650-369 Sagres Algarve
Free parking on site.

It’s a central location – walking distance shops, hotels, and beaches.

Afternoon Session:
Activities held are various locations in Sagres and nearby beaches.

Evening Session:
Evening session from 6pm,  will be held at:
Mar a Vista.  website
One of Sagres the best kept secrets, delicious food, local cuisine
In front of Mareta Beach

Bring surfing, SUP, bodyboarding equipment - for practical activity sessions.

  • SUP boards are included. Or bring your own.

  • Foiling equipment is provided.  Or bring your own.

  • Surfboards and bodyboards can be rented for a small fee or bring your own.

  • Wetsuits can also be rented.

If you are travelling and don't have your board or surf gear, you can hire it from Algarve Surf School.
Contact:  Debbie

Please contact the centre in advance to ensure availability.  
Or contact ASI on

Sagres is one of Portugal’s most historic towns. 

The town is on a headland overlooking a picturesque harbour and surrounded by protected national park.  Due to its position on a headland, you can see the sun rise over the ocean and also set over the ocean.

The sunrise and sunsets are spectacular. It is an area of unspoiled beaches and parkland and dramatic cliffs, with blue clear waters.   The coast is ideal for paddling and exploring the caves and beaches. There are also inland flat water lakes and rivers in the nature parks.

The town itself is small with many cafes and restaurants and hangout surf shacks.  There is also an abundance of surfing locations to choose from.  As Sagres is known for its great surf breaks.

The area has an average of 300 sunny days per year.

Closest Airport:  

1) Faro Airport –  is closest to Sagres  - 113km from airport  (1 hour drive).  
Very good motorways.
Car hire:  available at airport.
Private transfer:   Yellow Fish   website    €100  approx. each way
Train: From airport take the bus to Lagos and change bus to go to Sagres.

2) Lisbon Airport  (3 hour drive).  
Very good motorways.
Car hire: available at airport.
Public bus to Sagres.  From Lisbon to Sagres. . Approx.  €25 each way – about 4 hours) (comfortable, with wifi)
Train:  From Lisbon bus station depot (about 15mins from airport), direct bus to Sagres.

Closest train station:   
Lagos station.  
No direct train to Sagres.  

Closest bus station:   
Sagres bus stop (right in town centre).

Sagres has a large variety of accommodation, all within walking distance from the ASI office (venue).

Some are listed below

Mareta Beach Hotel  website
(5 mins walk to venue)
4 star hotel.
Approx  €50 per night, with breakfast

Memmo Baleeira Hotel Sagres website 
(15 min walk to venue)
a 4 star with stunning ocean views and excellent facilities, swimming pool, spa, sauna.


Puravida Divehouse website
15 min walk to venue.
Great value. Good quality, clean, kitchen. Dorm rooms, private rooms    

Algarve Surf Camp Hostel. 
(15 min walk to venue).
Quality accommodation.
Address: Rua Mestre António Galhardo 8650-384 Sagres Portugal   website 
Prices from:  Share rooms (4/6) 18€/pax.  Double room  25€/pax  for bed and breakfast
To book email:   Tel:+351 962846771


Tonel Apartments   Website
5 mins walk to venue
Approx.  €50 per night    

Pontalaia Apartments  website
15 mins walk to venue
1 bedroom modern, spacious apartments. Approx €80 per night

ApartHotel Navigator Sagres,  website
15 mins walk to venue
1 bedroom apartments.  Approx €50 per night   (slightly dated retro but good sized rooms with views.