Project Windsurf-UK represents a new way of windsurfing clubs, teams and groups of mates getting together and sharing their passion for the sport. Set up in 2011 by the RYA, we find out more about this exciting initiative.
On the face of it, windsurfing is a fairly straightforward sport; you head to a windy waterside location, rig up your sail, attach it on to your board and get out there with the hope of some high speed sailing, spectacular jumps, perhaps pulling off some fancy freestyle, whatever floats your boat, or in this case, board.
On the other hand, windsurfing is far more than this. By getting involved in a sport as absorbing as windsurfing, you are, one way or the other, tapping into a lifestyle as well. This might manifest itself in small ways; little things like the Naish sticker in the back of your car window and subtle differences in your clothing, but it’s still marking you out from the crowd. For others, the effect of windsurfing on their lifestyle can be all consuming: This can even be as drastic as jacking in your job and heading off to distant shores to chase wind and wave.
The point is that, in taking up windsurfing, consciously or subconsciously, you become part of a community. It’s not always obvious, because windsurfers are generally a fairly disparate group, but it’s there all the same. This all brings us rather neatly to Project Windsurf-UK, a new initiative set up by the RYA to tap into that sense of community and forge stronger links.
How does it aim to do that? The RYA believes that social networking is the key and at the heart of Project Windsurf-UK is a rather nicely put together website which allows you to sign up and share ideas, thoughts and experiences with other windsurfers either through blogs or an online forum. In addition to this, you can inspire others by uploading your latest photos or video footage.
The RYA’s Gillian Wright has been the driving force behind the project and she explains a little more about the basic concept:
“With Project Windsurf-UK we wanted to create a focal point within the windsurfing scene, which would not only bring windsurfers together into local communities, but would also inspire people who haven’t been out for a while to dust off their kit and get back out there.
Just as importantly we want an easy mechanism to be able to promote every windsurfing group and club across the country and a single website publicising all local opportunities to get on the water.
Windsurfers love to share and discuss their experiences, and the sport lends itself to spectacular photos and footage, which should generate even more interest. For keen windsurfers, this will also be a great way to get in touch with other windsurfers and share tips and experiences.”
The website will also provide the perfect platform for windsurfing clubs and groups which have already been established to further promote their various activities. Whether you’re a club or just a loose collective of mates who windsurf together, you can register and you’ll be given your own page where you can post comments and chat to other members, provide links to your own website if you have one and generally just let people know what’s going on and what your group is all about.
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