Scottish Windfest Preview

Duncan Slater
Scottish Windsurfing Festival action from 2007
Scottish Windsurfing Festival action from 2007

On the 17th and 18th of September all eyes will be on Troon on the West Coast of Scotland, where the 2011 Scottish Windfest will be taking place. Over the course of the weekend, hundreds of participants and thousands of spectators will attend the largest wind sports event ever held North of the Border!

Inspired by events held on the South Coast, including the National Windsurfing Festival, the Scottish Windfest is set to be a spectacular free-ride festival, featuring windsurfing, kitesurfing and a range of complimentary sports and land-based activities. The full programme is still being finalised, but one thing is for sure: there will be something for everyone at the Scottish Windfest!

Events already lined-up include Kit Demos, Beginner Sessions, Master-Blasters (all ages and abilities), GPS Speed-Sailing, as well as the “Scotland’s Most Extreme” Free/Wave Expression Session.   However, the highlight of the 2011 Scottish Windfest is certain to be the “Beach-to-Beach Challenge”– the UK’s only mixed Kitesurfing and Windsurfing drag race!

Rippers from both sports will line up on Troon’s iconic South Beach, before putting the hammer down for a 5km dash around the harbour to the finish line at Barassie Beach.   While the race is sure to be great fun for all those taking part, we can be sure that the outcome will be on everyone’s mind:  will the winner be kite-powered, or can a windsurfer reign supreme?

SWF ambassador Alan Jackson at Barassie
SWF ambassador Alan Jackson at Barassie

Legendary British slalom champion, Alan Jackson, who is backing the event as an official ambassador, can hardly wait: “Fingers crossed we get the conditions for the Beach-to-Beach.  Everyone knows that the kiters think they are fastest, but I’m pretty confident that a windsurfer can put them in their place!”

Alan continued: “Joking aside, it is really good to see an event like this taking place in Scotland.  Having travelled to loads of events across the UK over the years, I am sure that this one will be totally unique and I hope that it is a real success!”

In addition to the amazing wind sports on offer, anyone who has experienced Scottish hospitality will know that things are sure to go off with a bang at the Saturday night party which is being held in aid the RNLI. Hundreds of revellers will pack the beach-park marquee for a top night of music and all round Scottish bonhomie.  This is going to be the party to end all parties, and you definitely do not want to miss it!

Scottish Windsurfing Festival action from 2007
Scottish Windsurfing Festival action from 2007

The Scottish Windfest is a not-for-profit event, organised by a committed bunch of enthusiasts from the local windsurfing and kitesurfing scene, with financial support already pledged by South Ayrshire Council and the MV Hillhouse Trust, a local charitable organisation.

Festival director, Robin Nicol, today called on the windsurfing industry to embrace the event: “The response so-far to the Scottish Windfest has been tremendous, and we are really grateful to everyone from the industry who has confirmed their attendance.  We are hopeful that all manufacturers and distributors can attend and support the event.”

He added: “Scotland offers some of the best conditions in the UK, and Tiree has for years provided a showcase for brands and their sponsored riders.   Growing the sport within Scotland will benefit everyone involved in windsurfing, and so we hope that folk travel up.  In return we promise them a fantastic weekend, as well as some top action on the water!”

The official website of the Scottish Windfest is now live at www.scottishwindfest.com, where you can find out all the latest festival news. Online entry for the freeride events will be opening in June.

Scottish Windfest logo
Scottish Windfest logo
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