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National Windsurfing Championships 2018
Iona receiving her trophy from Guy Cribb having come first in her fleet (4.5m)

NWF (National Watersports Festival) - 2013

N.W.F   hayling 2013
Host Host: Jackie
Date Date: 30/08/13
Venue Venue: Hayling Island
Forthcoming event Forthcoming event See the build up
Pictures Pictures: Pictures for NWF (National Watersports Festival) - 2013 (13)
Rating OMWC Rating: 3 star rating

Last updated: 03/09/13 08:38 By: Andrew
Views: 1343

Diary for Jackie at Hayling Island on 31/08/13

After today, I can die happy
Rating:5 star rating
Board:110 litres

"I think I'll just watch the first race and see how it pans out..." "Oh come on, Jackie, you'll enjoy it and you can work up the rankings just by going in for the race. Not everyone does all the races." said David, a Sea Vet in his 70s, not that you would believe it.

This is how I found myself on the start line of my first ever windsurfing race, with the objective to finish at a number lower than my age and without getting my hair wet, due to the limited shower facilities!

I had been to the brief and was horrifically confused by the whole 5 minute countdown - red flag up, hooter, red flag down, hooter, orange flag up, down, hooter, green flag hooter etc business until they told me that this was for the benefit of the boat! Basically, all I need to know is that when the boat goes past you, you can start! There was quite a buzz on the start line with about 200 others; long boards, short boards, big sails, little sails. I struggled to get off the line in light wind (under the nose of Simon Bornhoft - embarrassing!) but it was quite serene sailing out on the sparkling, sun-kissed waters to the buoy, having a chat with my fellow competitors on the way, including Santa and a chap dressed as a Heineken bottle! I took a nice tight line around the buoy, which was not my first mistake. My way was blocked by a couple of wipe outs and I had nowhere to go. Didn't get my hair wet, though! I drifted miles downwind, despite trying to tack upwind, landed my kit and ran for the finish. But here's the thing about racing - even after the first race, I was already thinking about what I could do to improve my performance next time round!

In between taking part in 4 races, I managed to have a Eurika moment in a Sam Ross clinic, chat to Chris 'Muzza' Murray about how to improve my fast tacks, had the piss taken out of me by Ant Baker for wearing a helmet for protection on the start line and had my photo taken with 5x World Champion Gollito Estredo, who is a slight hero of mine. (Seeing him perform tow-in freestyle at the NWF Night Windsurf was out of this world - he is a once-in-a-generation talent!) I was knackered by the end of it, but quietly pleased with my performance. Completely clueless, never having raced before and on completely the wrong kit for the light conditions (here's the argument for long boards and wind-SUPs!) I finished mid-table. And as I watched the sun go down over Hayling after having a kind of bed bath by the side of the van, using a flask of warm water that I had brought to make tea, I still had dry hair!

Diary for adrian at Hayling Island on 31/08/13

Arenal - Javea
Force 5, JP 98, Search 5.4
Rating:2 star rating
Board:150 litres

No wind but plenty of sun. Just like last year. Oh well it's fun. Finished around 30th all races as race boards with daggerboard left me upwind. Great freestyle show in evening

Diary for Jackie at Hayling Island on 01/09/13

After today, I can die happy
Rating:5 star rating
Board:110 litres

Tim Frampton of Fanatic / North had warned me that racing was addictive. Overnight, from "I don't think I want to do this..." I had gone to forming a cunning plan to improve my overall rankings. I had brought ear plugs, so I hadn't heard the end of Saturday's beach party, but I sensed carnage in the early hours.

I was right; the start line for Sunday's 10am race was sparse, to say the least! There was no wind and the tide was pushing the nose of my board round so that I was facing the shore. Thus, I managed to please what little crowd had gathered by sailing backwards off the line, under the nose of Peter Hart (embarrassing!) Peter's commentary ran something along the lines of "Those upwind have got away to a fine start and have clean wind for a run downwind to the buoy. In seconds, they have opened up a 200m advantage over those downwind, fighting through their wind shadow and all that messed up wind." Yep - that was me! I got off eventually and thought life doesn't get much better than this. A beautiful sunny Sunday morning on the water with a whole bunch of like-minded individuals. I spotted my team-mates from Team Ladies That Launch and discovered that I didn't have to take one for the team and masquerade as No 99 because Felicity had, in fact, made it to the start.

My cunning ploy of simply participating worked and I moved right up the rankings - 41. Never mind finishing at a number lower than my age, I've shaved off nearly a decade! My pumping technique had improved markedly and the tuning (larger fin) helped. I was fully alert, feeling for gusts, wary of wind shadows and super-conscious of my stance (straight 7, hands together). See, racing really gets you thinking about squeezing every little bit of performance out of that board! I probably wouldn't have bothered launching in this and how much fun was I having?!

Staying out of trouble at the buoy also helped immensely and despite a couple of nightmare starts, repeated wipe-outs at the buoy and a couple of finishes in the next county, I finished 46th out of a field of around 250 and Team Ladies That Launch came 4th out of 9. I was pretty pleased with this for a first time out and I think it is fair to say that a couple of Likely Lads could happily say they got chicked!

Later, after the race was done, I got PLANING! A perfect end!

Diary for adrian at Hayling Island on 01/09/13

Arenal - Javea
Force 5, JP 98, Search 5.4
Rating:3 star rating
Board:150 litres

Well the morning started again with no wind so usual crap race.
Thankfully the wind filled in for the second race and I was able to challenge the raceboards.
The start gun went and I left the beach and FLEW. Finishing the race 1st by miles. Just need wind next year. Great weekend


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