Ollie Acton became the SWA 2012 North Fanatic Freestyle Champion and was runner up in the 2011 UKWA freestyle tour, and has now entered the EFPT King of the Wind. Sam Burnett SWA head honcho and organiser of the King and Queen of the wind catch up with Ollie to find out why he has entered and what the event is all about.
SB: Ollie, your freestyle competition CV seems to be expanding quite rapidly of late. Have you matured like a fine wine aged over many seasons, or is this the start of something larger?
Haha well, Sam, I love the competition side of windsurfing and I really enjoy competing in both the SWA and UKWA freestyle events, I seem to do quite well in the amateurs but the step up to Pro level is quite big so we shall see….
SB: What made you decide to put yourself forward to the most awesome exciting freestyle event to ever invade the UK shores?
Apart from SWA events of course… The windsurfing at this event is going to be another level and I’ll be more than happy just to watch but also I can’t refuse the chance to compete at a European freestyle event!
SB: I saw you using the new Tushingham Rock at the UKWA event in Weymouth, tell us about it, is it a freestyle/wave sail?
The Rock is Tushingham’s main wave sail, but because it rigs quite flat with little downhaul it also makes for a perfect freestyle sail. I mainly used the Tushingham Edge but wanted something with power and stability at around the 5.5 size and the Rock ticked all those boxes.
SB: There should be a good SWA following at the event, knowing the bunch as you do, how do you expect the party time to be at King of the Wind?
I’ve heard a lot from the guys about the Globalshot parties held in Vass so I can’t wait to go! We will be bringing a few members from Southampton Solent windsurf-team so expect some outrageous behaviour but maybe not as much nudity as the Aussie Kiss 11 party!
SB: Do you have a target standing to aim to achieve at the King of the Wind, or are you just going for broke?
I have no targets for the competition at all, I’ll just try to be consistent with my moves and let’s see what happens.
SB: You did a few seasons, do you think the watersports season community experts are the main force behind UK freestyle, or do you see a few weekend warriors kicking ass fresh from their weekly desk jails?
Well, being on season you will have more opportunity to windsurf, but the UK is a windy place and there are loads of UK based sailors who defiantly sail at the top level. The guys who sail in the UK will be better suited to the conditions, which might favour them during the competition.
SB: If you qualify for the Monday night bonfire tow-in, with another chance to win some cash, is this an aspect of your freestyle you feel confident about? Being relatively new aspect on the freestyle scene, I doubt everyone has had the opportunity to try it yet.
I had a go at tow-in at the UKWA West Wittering Event and Aussie Kiss 11. It’s really different to anything I’ve tried before and I do find it really hard but have finally managed to land a few moves more recently.
SB: What are you most looking forward too about the event?
Seeing the top pros sail in the UK and the Global-Rave Party!
SB: Finally, do you have any advice for any freestyle newbies or young guns thinking about stepping into the scene from T15, or developing freestylers who are thinking about competing?
For freestylers new to competition, I’d say go for the easier moves but ones that you can land consistently, as the heats are quite short landing just 4 or 5 moves should get you though most heats. UK competitions are always fun and with the addition of tow–in to most events it’s definitely worth coming down and giving it a go.
Ollie Acton is supported by Southampton Solent University – Andy Biggs Watersports, Tushingham, Starboard
Entry closes for the King and Queen of the Wind on Friday 26th October at midnight so if you haven’t already get yourself entered today right here http://www.kingofthewind.co.uk/