Learning to Windsurf in 40 Knots... Easier Said Than Done!

In 2012/2013 Southampton Solent won the prize for ‘University of the Year’ bagging themselves a coaching day for the whole club with Sam Ross, SWA Marketing Director Jo Wright tells us more:

Learning in 40 knots with Sam Ross...
Learning in 40 knots with Sam Ross…

The most coveted SWA prize is the ‘University of the Year’, this prize is calculated by adding all of the club’s members SWA results together. To do well in this prize, it is necessary to get members competing across the 3 disciplines (Wave, Freestyle and Race) but also and more importantly at all levels. Beginners score just as many points as the advance riders.

Last year due to a brilliant team effort, Southampton Solent University won the prize and were crowned at our Nationals event last Easter.

In the past, prizes for this award have included a windsurfing board, stash and more. This year the prize was a days coaching with Sam Ross (www.sam-ross.co.uk). With also help and advice for the fresher’s fair in order to facilitate generating as many members as possible for the Club.

The Solent Windsurfing team scheduled the weekend for the end of October, which turned out to be the windiest weekend of the year with gusts reaching over 40 knots. However, this did not deter them. Over to Solent’s president Fi Allen to tell us how it went:

Last weekend Solent Windsurf team headed to Poole for our day with Sam Ross. The conditions were pretty challenging with up to 40 knot winds! The morning started with the beginner session, 5 students took to the water and despite the conditions did fantastically.

Dibbley who joined the team last year said:

“With very gusty weather and choppy water it was a seriously tough day for us beginners, especially when stinging, torrential rain dropped visibility down to 20 metres or so – but despite my small rig throwing me into the water more times than I could count, Sam’s teaching really shone through. The difficult conditions forced everybody to really work on their position and technique to stay upright, and Sam was always on hand to advise on how to improve. So the next time I went out on the water on a less manic day, I picked up my rig and… suddenly, I found everything easy for the first time, realising I’d made brilliant progress just in one session. Everything clicked into place. Thanks Watersports Academy and Sam!”

In the afternoon the wind really kicked off and so with some very small sails Adam Scott-Mackie, Milly Joseph and I braved the condition, gaining some really top tips on carve gybes, beach starts and getting in to the foot straps.

Personally, I have never learnt so much in one session, Sam pointed out a few things that I was doing wrong that I hadn’t realised, like having my front hand too far forward, it’s made everything a lot easier!

Sam also sorted us out with an unbelievable good value kit hire deal. We had an amazing day and we all learnt a lot, a huge thanks to Sam Ross, the Watersports Academy for providing the kit and the SWA for the prize!

The Solent team did fantastically well despite conditions with everything from first introductions to carve gybes, water starts and jumps all in one day. It’s also been great to see the guys coming down multiple times since and getting on the water to make the most of the kit and facilities at the Watersports academy. I always love coaching but it was a pleasure to take out groups that were determined to have a great time whatever the conditions.

This year’s prize for the ‘University of the Year’ is still to be decided but rest assured it will be bigger and better than ever!

To be in with a chance encourage as many members of your club to come to events, put on their wetsuits and get stuck into the competitions, whatever level they are!

The next event will be Cardiff Wave on the 23rd and 24th November, see you there!

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