Our June Rider of the Month is none other than British slalom racer, James Dinsmore. James is a not your usual PWA sailor, spending his days (or nights) as a doctor he is also and force to be reckoned with on the BSA tour, as well as mixing it up in on the international scene. James shares his plans for 2012, why competing adds excitement to his windsurfing and his top tips for cranking up your slalom speed.
Name: James Dinsmore
Sail number: GBR659
Years windsurfing: 23
Home town: Born in London
Current residence: Hayling Island
Sponsors: Starboard, Severne
Boards: What is your history in windsurfing? When and where did you learn and first compete?
Dinsmore: My first memories of windsurfing were as a kid on a gravel pit lake. My father had an original F2 Lightning and I vividly remember the excitement when he bought a clamp-on boom for the first time.
However, it was not until after I got a job and a car in my twenties that I really got hooked. Windsurfing started to dictate my movements and soon I took a job in Australia in search of wind and sun.
My first experience of racing was at the Lancelin Ocean Classic in Western Australia. At the time I only owned wave gear and whilst the front-runners disappeared over the horizon I slogged on and off the plane for 25 kilometres. It was a frustrating business, but gave me an appetite for more racing. Several years later it was a lot more enjoyable coming back and finishing in 8th place just ahead of Scott McKercher.
Boards: Do you consider yourself a professional windsurfer? If not what is your profession?
Dinsmore: No. Windsurfing is a rather expensive passion for me and I have to work hard as a hospital anaesthetist to save money for the gear. I used to do a lot of night-shifts with the benefit that I could get out on the water in daylight when I wasn’t working.
Boards: What made you get into competition and what are your plans for this year?
Dinsmore: When I moved back from Western Australia to England, I wanted to keep my windsurfing exciting. On the South Coast more often that not the winds are quite light and there are no waves. It would be easy to get lazy and bored sailing big gear out and back aimlessly.
Racing gives you a focus and pushes you to always be trying to get more out of you and your equipment. Even when I go out in a light 12 knots seabreeze I push myself to sail at the limit and stay on the plane through every gybe. I constantly ask myself ‘would I go faster if I put on more downhaul, put up my boom or if I try a different fin?’.
Every time I go out I aim to learn something new that will mean I am better prepared for the next race. When competing you go outside your comfort zone and in doing so become a better sailor. This year I am doing the BSA series, PWA events in Italy and Costa Brava and the Defi event in France. Unfortunately neither the PWA event in Italy nor the Defi wind had good wind. I have my fingers crossed that Costa Brava will be a better event in a couple of weeks.
Boards: What is your best competition result to date?
Dinsmore: The highlight of my racing career was making one of the losers finals at the PWA slalom event in Aruba last year. I remember starting at the boat end of the semi-final next to Antoine Albeau and I am sure he was thinking ‘who the heck is he?’ I was PWA Sailor of the Day, which was pretty unbelievable as a career doctor from the South Coast.
More from James on page two…