Still hesitating about entering your first windsurfing competition? Not sure if you can cut the mustard? Well fear not as the National Windsurfing Festival is the perfect opportunity to have a bash at racing without the pressure of needing to perform.
We hand over to Phil Plume for a little more inspiration -
Right! If you’re out there reading this and have never entered the NWF before because you don’t think you’re good enough, read on…
I was in your position in 2008. I could just about sail in a straight line in powered up conditions, but was a million miles away from the elusive gybe and I thought a tack was used to hold two bits of wood together. However I took the plunge and registered.
That year saw strong winds pushing me to my limit but was the most unbelievable fun! And friendships were forged in those first 5 minutes alone.
I managed to get off the beach and completed the race by swimming around the gybe mark. The next day was calmer and perfect for my ability. I competed in all the races without completing a single turn.
I have entered every year since then and have competed in the freeride, pre ’85, and wind-SUP fleets on equipment ranging from normal freeride gear to an ex-Olympic eBay special costing 99p! I have also raced at night by getting into the top 50 on a SUP board last year, and taken part in the Tag Team Challenge twice with pro riders such as Ben Proffitt.
And don’t forget the awesome parties!
The National Windsurfing Festival is organised for the ordinary sailor like you and me and what you get out of it is directly related to what you put in. I would encourage you to sign up and give it a go. As long as you can sail in a straight line you’ll be fine – and the smiles on the way home are guaranteed…
The NWF takes places on Hayling Island from 7 – 9 September – get your entry in here