The UKWA which was formed last year from the amalgamation of the BWA the UKWA has elected a new chairman in the unenviable shape of Paddy Payne. Paddy has been around the British Windsurfing scene since the very early days of the sport, he made TV programmes of the national Windsurf Class championships as early as 1979 and the Pan Am Cup in Hawaii the following year. He then went onto to make a string of televised programs ranging from the Grundig Windsurfing Marathon to Speed and Slalom championships on Fuertaventura. He is a film editor by trade and his association with the TV side of the sport continues as his company is often used to edit programs for the PWA.
Competitively he moved from early long board course racing to develop a passion for speed sailing, he specialised in tandem class teaming up with legendary Aussie shaper John Hall, and latterly Jez Simmons with who he held the British A class record for many years and the world record for perhaps the shortest time ever two and a half hours!
He was instrumental in setting up the British Speedsailing Association, which went on to amalgamate with the British Funboard Ass to form the BWA. He sat on the BWA committee for 12 years and was deputy to a succession of chairmen. During much of this time was a committee member of the RYA’s windsurf management committee which he had lobbied the RYA to establish.
The Vass Class with it’s concept of one board and 3 rig racing was his baby. He organised the highly successful event in a variety of locations around the world, before drawing a line under it after ten years.
Five years ago he approached the BWA committee to establish a wave sailing series, the idea was met with blank looks and incredulity. He persevered and put together a series based on organisers putting on events and taking the financial away from the BWA.
He was and is a keen supporter for amalgamation of the UKBSA & BWA and hopes to take the opportunity of his time as chairman to bring together the various elements of the sport, raise it’s media profile, and put a smile back on the face of British competitive windsurfing.