Thursday, September 13, 2012

National Watersports Festival 2012

I've just got back from the National Watersports Festival 2012 (NWF). To be fair at this stage its more of a windsurfing festival then kitesurfing, but having said that we can take a way a lot from the event and learn from it. The event was rammed! 400 entrants in total! There were people of all ages and all the windsurfing Pro's were there too, so it was a great one for the windsurfing kiddies!
In the evening they held a cool race event. the kids each could choose a pro to be in their 2 man team then they had to race out to a bouy and back in a relay format. The sailors were covered head to toe in glow sticks and spot lights lit the water. There wasn't a lot of wind but it didnt detract from it. In fact it made it better. Instead the spectators - of which there were 100's sat on the beach with the beers and stayed warm from the good weather (bad weather for riders). The kids raced out at snail pace, but it was only a short distance so it didnt matter, some of them swam their kit out and back while the others crawled a long pumping furiously. When they got back to the beach the pro who they picked then did the same. Both the kid and the pro then had to race up the beach through a finish line to become the winner. It was really good fun to see!
After this the pro's took to the water being towed along by ribs on their windsurfers. They would take a wide circle and build up speed! A lot of speed! It was intense. The boat would finish the circle close to the beach at which point the windsurfer would let go then with the momentum created from the boat then do a move to wow the crowd! It was phenomenal.
Through out the day their were stands and marquees and food places, live stream tv and commentary throughout. Jem Hall, Peter Hart and Guy Cribb ran windsurfing clinics on the beach for the masses to take some quick tips back home to practice. From the kitesurfing point of view most of the industry was there from Naish to North to Airush and more. Big names there were Chris Burke, Mark Shinn and a few others.
We scored a little bit of wind on the sunday afternoon, but mostly the weather was super hot and sunny! Great for stand up paddle boarders. This is the shot of the weekend for me.
Next up a trip to my original home beach - Bigbury! Plllleeeaseeee let there be wind!

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