With the first event of the BSA (British Slalom Association) kicking off this weekend at Hayling Island, Boards thought it would be the perfect time to catch up with some of the top names on the tour and look ahead to the 2013 season.
Name: Ross Williams
Sail No: GBR 83
2012 results: I didn’t do any UK events, I just focused on the PWA but I am looking forward to doing plenty of racing this year on the BSA.
Where have you been training over the winter? I spent a bit of time here in the UK, but then I went to Cape Town for a month and a half, wave sailing and testing out new equipment.
What did you want to improve after 2012 season? I just hope to show off the new Gaastra and Tabou equipment to the UK sailors and shops. so they know if they want to buy amazing, reliable, fun equipment they should take a good look at the Gaastra, Tabou and Vandal brands.
Do you think you’ve achieved this? I think the equipment will speak for itself and on the race course the best guy will win.
What competitions will you take part in this year? I will do as many UK events as possible, as long as they don’t clash with the pwa slalom, I will do them. Also I think I will do some of the UK wave events too.
What are you aims for this year? I would like to win as many races and events as possible and help promote windsurfing to the younger up and coming sailors.
Have you changed/improved your equipment or equipment choices for this year? I will stick with what I know works (gaastra and tabou) and suits my style.
Fighting talk…I think the level is pretty good in the UK and I look forward to competing against everyone. I know everyone will want to beat me, but I won’t make it easy and will try my hardest in every single race.
Name: Sam Latham
Sail No: K15
2012 results - 4th Mens Pro – Kit had some alterations from previous year that took a while to set up. My first result was my worst but it progressed and continued to stay consistent. I also always fall ill for the Aberdovey event. I had a very weak ankle from a loop crash at Beach Break.
Where have you been training over the winter? To be honest I haven’t sailed much. I didn’t have the money to get away somewhere warm. The wind has been pretty poor and very cold. I have wave sailed more than slalom sailed but two training weekends in Weymouth have given me confidence on new 2013 kit.
What did you want to improve after 2012 season? A few of my starts put me on the wrong foot, so nailing them will give me a good chance to attack top guys at marks.
Do you think you’ve achieved this? Yes, Ross Williams gave us great practice at Weymouth.
What competitions will you take part in this year?
All the BSA events except Aberdovey again as I have other commitments already paid for. Also aiming to do all the BWA events.
What are you aims for this year? The competition will be fierce this year with Ross doing some events, if not all. I hope Dinsmore manages to do them this season too. With this in mind I am going to make sure I fight for top 5 again!
Have you changed/improved your equipment or equipment choices for this year? All 2013 Fanatic Falcons and North Warps. Plus, this is the first season with North Shox that should improve control in the choppy stuff. Also playing with my fins this year with some Black Projects from Chris Freeman.
Fighting talk…I would love to get speed machine Kevin Greenslade, but as long as I stay ahead of Uncle Simon and Pa Pa Smurff Crossley I will be content!
Name: Kev Greenslade
Sail No: K 82
2012 results - 3rd Pro men.
Where have you been training over the winter? The mighty Weymouth.
What did you want to improve after 2012 season? Acceleration out of the gybe.
Do you think you’ve achieved this? Yes I think so!
What competitions will you take part in this year? The BSA series, speed week and may be try a PWA event before I’m too old.
What are you aims for this year? The slalom title would be nice but with Rossco doing most of the events this year it will be tricky (even with a fractured ankle) hope it repairs quickly for Ross as he’s flying. Oh and regaining the British speed title.
Have you changed/improved your equipment or equipment choices for this year? I have signed with Tabou boards and F-hot fins with the Simmer Sails as always.
Fighting talk…May the best man win! The biggest rivals are the usual suspects: James, Ant, Si Cofield and I’m gonna throw it out there Si Pettifer has been flying in training on his new Tabou boards, he’ll cause a few upsets this year!
One to watch without a doubt Ross Williams will show what we all need to be striving for. In the Amateurs Tom Wells could be doing well.
Name: Simon Pettifer
Sail No: K67
2012 results: 6th Pro fleet.
Where have you been training over the winter? Been training in Portland this winter with Kev, Si and a bit with Ross, it’s been pretty cold as we all know, but I’ve sailed loads more than I did last year after a knee op.
What did you want to improve after 2012 season? Really bad start to the season last year, then couple of bad events, some bad luck, some bad performances, then got better at the end of the season couple of better results to finish 6th for the year.
What are you aims for this year? Aim for 2013 is to finish in the top 5, get a good start for the season this year, be a little more prepared than last year with my sailing and my equipment. Last year at one event we only had one round of slalom that counted, somehow I missed the start so that was the whole event down the pan, that will NOT be happening this year. I know my board speed is up there, my starts are generally pretty good, I need to get my gybes up there and I’ll be away, lol.
What competitions will you take part in this year? This year I’ll be doing all of the slalom events, plus speed week. Also probably be at the Caldy Island relay event layed on by Jim at PURAVIDA Boardriders in Wales and of course the NWF at Hayling.
Have you changed/improved your equipment or equipment choices for this year? I have changed my equipment this year, the new Simmer SCR race sails should be arriving any day now, so I’m sure they’ll be even better than last years sails and I will be riding Tabou boards this year. The mantas are amazing boards to sail, really comfy and according to the boys I’m a lot faster this year so that’s got to be good. Also I’ve got some new fins from Steve at F-Hot, these are also super quick so it’s going to be a good season.
Fighting talk…Who to watch for…well James Dinsmore, SImon Cofield, Kev Greenslade, Ant Baker,Sam Lathem, Keith Atkinson, Jim Crossley, myself of course and I hear there could also be another top contender in there too. The Tabou team captain may be making a couple of appearances aka The Sheriff, he’s pretty hot on a slalom board.
My biggest rivals this year have got to be Jim Crossley, Mike George and I’d like to beat Si and Kev a few times. This year I’m going to be a bit meaner at the gybes and quit being a pussy so watch out boys, after all it is no rules slalom haha!
Check out the UKWA website here for all the info on the upcoming slalom and other events this year.