21 Oct 2015

Tiree BWA Event

By Luke Smith

Had a fantastic time in my first BWA comp and finished 6th in the ams out of a fleet of 10. Everyone was so nice giving me lifts around the island as I was without my own transport! Such a top week, had 2 decent windsurfs and countless surfs on the very cool island! Cannot recommend the week highly enough, bring on the freestyle champs next week – turns out competing is addictive!

At first when I was asked if I wanted to go to the Tiree Wave Classic I was a little sceptical, will I be good enough, will it be massive, how cold will it be, these were all questions I had in my head. I hadn’t been to a BWA event before and Tiree seemed the most ‘full on’ of them all. Luckily I’m easily persuaded as I had the best time with the nicest people in brilliant and not crazy conditions! 
Sam Ross was traveling up for the RYA youths coaching week and offered me a lift up. When we arrived we realised that myself and Sam would probably be on different beachs and that I would need some form of transport. Job number 1 would involve making some friends! Luckily that was easily done and I buddied up with Ben Page, his dad Andy and mate Phill who very kindly let me and my kit hop in the back if their van.
Day 1. 
Jumped in the darkness of the back of the van and reappeared at a spot called the maze to watch the pro’s do a little bit of there single elimination before the wind dropped to below a level to compete. I decided to rig up and test the spot out but the wind dropped to nothing. So back in the darkness to re-appear at the lodge for beers and an eary night!
Day 2.
Hopped in the ‘magic box’ at the lodge to reappear 15minutes later at the maze again for a chat from head judge Sparky. Officially released for the day, but enough wind and small waves for us to get out and enjoy some waist high float and ride. Rigged up my 5m Bolt with medium downhaul and medium outhaul for easy pumping and nice neutral pull – the perfect float and ride sail. Light and powerful paired with a 82ltr Kode, fantastic for my skinny build! Had a great time on the water and came in when the wind went away. Back to the car park and into the magic box to reappear at lovely little surfing beach called Balephuil. Shared some clean small waves with more seals than people. Back to the lodge for a couple of beers.
tiree 3 copy
Day 3.
With the forecast looking like a large swell coming in later on the (Tuesday) evening and staying until early Thursday we chilled in the morning waiting for the waves to arrive. Later on at Balevullin the swell arrived we had a brilliant ‘head and bit’ high session until it was too dark to see. Was really fun surfing with everyone involved with the comp.
Day 4. Mega day.
We went to several different beaches from first light to finally decide on the Maze as the contest beach as it was cross shore 15 knots and head to logo high sets were rolling in. I rigged my 5m Bolt and 82 Kode ready for contest. My first heat in the single elimination was against a chap called Ruben and I went out to see what I could do. I got a few decent waves and tried to make the most of them as much as I could. My opponent had the better of me here and beat me, that was the end of the single elimination for me! With rumours of a double elimination and a chance to go again I headed off downwind for some training. When I got back to the main breach for the double, I realised that I had left my watch in the van and had wayyyyyy over done it training so was shattered! My first heat was against Tris and George and I was determined to make it through! Thankfully I did well and went straight back out into my next heat full of fire. I was sailing against Tris, Ruben and Mike, and waited for the best waves of which to my advantage really opened up! Being so light the conditions really suited me and I was able to win this heat! After watching a heat I was back out on the water, now with legs and arms full of cramp, and did my best against Tris to see who would windsurf against the finalists from the singe. After a fair few workings (the Bolt is definitely well indestructible) I was beaten by the better sailer and that was the end to my windsurfing for the day! Safe to say that after my first day of competition I was pretty stoked about finishing 6th!
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Day 5.
Another early start to finish of the super final between Ben and Scotty for the ams, and Daniel and Graham in the masters, it was a joy to watch the brill sailing from all! There was still enough swell and wind to go out for a sail. There was only 5 of us out despite being head high clean and 10knots cross shore, perfectly float and ride-ably. Had a brilliant time, a great final sail for a fantastic week! Back to the lodge for a couple of beers and packing. 
I have to say I am very, very glad that I accepted the offer from Sam to go up for the event! And it really really goes to show how kind and welcoming the windsurfing community is! Big thanks to everyone especially Ben, Andy and Phil for the lifts!! Cannot recommend the week highly enough! Bring on the next one!!

9 Oct 2015

Stokes Bay: The Final Round

By Louis Morris

I have to admit, at one point, the forecast didn’t exactly fill me with excitement for the last event of the UKWA National Championship Series at Stokes Bay, Gosport. However, after about 1.5 hours of postponement, racing got underway in …

I have to admit, at one point, the forecast didn’t exactly fill me with excitement for the last event of the UKWA National Championship Series at Stokes Bay, Gosport. However, after about 1.5 hours of postponement, racing got underway in about 6 knots of wind.


 (photo by Robert Hajduk)

Due to the constrictions of the shipping channel, racing took place on a windward/leeward course set close to the shore, with wind shifts and tide playing a very important part in tactical decisions. By the time we started racing, the tide was fairly slack, but probably still running in the deep water, so the winning tactic was to head right and make use of less tide, and possibly some kind of wind bend by the shore. Tom Naylor had really impressive light wind speed, and arrived first to the windward mark. I managed to pass him, but had to really work to keep him behind me in the first race. In race two, it was a similar story, but this time it was Rob Kent who had a good race, finishing just behind myself. Mark Kay was particularly impressive upwind all weekend, and beat Tom to take 3rd. With a late start to the racing, we were treated to a third exhausting light wind race. Again, I won, with Rob in second, but this time Tom just managed to keep Mark from the top three.

After a well-earned break, we headed out for the final race of the day. The wind was now just strong enough to plane downwind, and with a bit of extra power in his sail, Mark Kay found his familiar superspeed self. It was a very close race between us on the first lap, but a good second beat gave me a large enough lead to pump a little less on the last downwind. Tom sailed a solid race, but was unfortunately one of four competitors to be pushed over the line early by the strengthening tide. Annette Kent had a solid performance, finishing ahead of Harriet Ellis in every race, which put her in a good position going into the final day to take the national title.

In the youths, it was Alice Butts who sailed the best in the light, tidal conditions. However it was very close, with only a couple of points separating the 4 youths at the end of the day.

On Sunday, the SE’ly wind was there early on, but took it’s time to build, and the two morning races took place in similarly light wind to Saturday, with a fast tide pushing against it. The best tactic upwind was to head out to deep water and catch the tide and stronger wind. I managed to get away to a strong lead and win both races, although eventually retired from the first race following an incident on the start line, and a lack of enthusiasm for protest hearings. Behind me, it was very close racing between Tom, Mark, and Rob. Mark and Tom managed to get great upwind board-speed in the short chop, whilst Rob’s strength was downwind.

The wind built to a nice 12-14 knots in the afternoon, and the tide started to switch direction. Myself, Tom, and Mark started to have a little bit of a speed advantage over Rob in the stronger conditions. I didn’t have an amazing start in the first race, but a strong downwind saw me take the lead, only to run out of outhaul rope at the leeward mark, forcing me to tack to pull on outhaul on the other side of the boom. This sent me into slack/wind with tide water, whilst Mark and Tom headed into the channel and established an insurmountable lead on me, with Mark winning the race. In the final race, I took the start a little too relaxed and was called over within the final minute. I had to go around the end, but couldn’t find a gap, and in trying to manoeuvre myself into a position to start on time, fell in and gave everyone a 1 minute head start as I had some fun uphauling my sail! Mark and Tom sailed off to take first and second, whilst I played catch up. I managed to pull back to about 5th or 6th at the windward mark, then pumped like crazy to arrive at the leeward mark in 3rd, a position I managed to keep to the finish.

Pretty frustrated with my silly mistakes, as my speed was certainly good enough to win both races. In the end, I could still win the event, and unfortunately my mistakes impacted Rob more than me: with two 2nd places, Tom was able to displace Rob from the event podium, and take 3rd behind Mark in 2nd.

Lewis Barnes was going quicker in the slightly stronger breeze, and took a 4th and 5th. Similarly, Jenna Gibson started chipping away at the points; with 3 top ten finishes on Sunday, she managed to snatch the youth prize from Alice Butts, who did just enough to keep Thomas Cave, who prefers stronger winds, behind her in the final result. However, with the most consistent performance throughout the year, it was Thomas who was first youth in the overall series, congratulations to him in his first year on raceboard.

Sunday was the day for Harriet to get some points back from Annette, but unfortunately  for her, it wasn’t quite enough, handing Annette both the event, and overall series win for the womens prize.


In two weeks, the final inland event takes place at Pitsford Reservoir near Northampton. After that, we look forward to more great racing next year. However, there are still the LWA icebreaker events to go to if anyone wants some more racing between now and next spring.

Event results summary:

1st, Louis Morris
2nd, 1st master, 1st heavyweight, Mark Kay
3rd, 1st veteran, Tom Naylor
1st supervet, John Pete (6th overall)
1st lady, Annette Kent (7th overall)
1st youth, Jenna Gibson (10th overall)

Complete results: http://www.windsurfingresults.co.uk/StokesBay2015.html

Series results summary:

1st, Louis Morris
2nd, 1st master, 1st heavyweight, Mark Kay
3rd, Robert Kent
1st Veteran, Tom Naylor (4th overall)
1st supervet, John Pete (6th overall)
1st Lady, Annette Kent (7th overall)
1st Youth, Thomas Cave (9th overall)

Complete results: http://www.windsurfingresults.co.uk/UKWACup2015.html


8 Oct 2015

Scotty Stallman retains his Youth title at Weymouth Speed Week

Every October the worlds longest running speed event is held in Portland Harbour, England. The event in its 43rd Year still attracts the top windsurfers, kitesurfers and sailors from around the world all competing to be the fastest over a 500m course set inside the Harbour.


The annual event is firmly fixed in local windsurfer Scotty Stallman’s calendar, not only because it involves his love of windsurfing and is held in his local waters it also involves speed sailing, one of Scotty’s passions alongside slalom and wavesailing.


 Scotty started windsurfing just after his 9th Birthday, a couple of taster sessions at The Official Test Centre (OTC) soon had him hooked on the sport, and under the watchful eye of Tris Best Scotty progressed quickly in windsurfing soon becoming a competent sailor who tended to prefer challenging high winds…


Portland Harbour has a strong tradition of speed sailing and it was not long before the local speed sailors, notably Pete Young started mentoring him and introducing him to speed sailing, he quickly progressed from rotational sails to fully cammed race sails and at just 11years old broke 30knots for the first time (his current max speed is just over 36 knots). The speed sailing discipline clearly runs deep within Scotty making it even more important to win the local event, this ethos is also seen in local sailor Kevin Greenslade who also places great importance on winning the event.


Alongside speed sailing Tris Best at The Official Test Centre has made sure Scotty has been introduced to all the other styles of windsurfing, the winter slalom training series run by the OTC introduced Scotty into the world of Slalom sailing, again supported and encouraged by some of the top UK slalom riders Scotty now competes in the Amateur fleet on the BSA National Slalom Series, where not only topping his age group he has placed very highly within the whole fleet, even winning the Weymouth event in the Harbour earlier this year! Now sponsored by the OTC, Starboard and Severne. Tris has also made sure Scotty has been bitten by the wave sailing bug, taking him sailing to local beaches alongside longer trips away to Cornwall even allowing him to test kit and provide a perspective from a younger and lighter rider. It does appear the time spent speed sailing in 40-50knot winds has paid off well with Scotty soon settling into wave sailing enjoying the usually associated high winds the conditions often need.


Sailing all year round Windsurfing has become Scotty’s main sport with Rugby and Football making way to ensure he is available to sail when conditions allow, on dry and very light wind days Scotty will be out on his road bike clocking up the miles keeping him fit and active, and if its wet the mountain bike comes out.


Sailing all year helps in the training and preparation for Slalom events and of course Weymouth Speed Week. This year’s event saw no little or no wind on Saturday but a steady 20 knots on the course for Sunday. “The wind had built up nicely to a steady 20 knots on the course, unfortunately it was from South Easterly direction making the water choppy, far from ideal conditions for speed sailing but this was the last day of the Junior competition and we all had to sail in the same conditions. I soon settled into the conditions after a couple of runs, I was really pleased my best runs averaged just over 25knots over the choppy 500m course and were fastest in the Junior Fleet, I was very pleased to win the Tushingham Trophy for the Junior Fleet for a second year running”. 


With the final Slalom event of the series looming Scotty is busy tuning up his new kit from Starboard and Severne. The combination of 2015 ISonic Carbon Boards and Reflex 6 sails is working incredibly well for Scotty with some fin upgrades on the near horizon it looks like Scotty will be kept busy all winter. 


At 14 years old Scotty already has a fantastic grounding in windsurfing, he is quickly developing into a well-rounded sailor who enjoys the competition side of windsurfing along with the personal challenges he sets himself not only speed wise but by learning new skills and techniques.


Team Tweets

TushinghamSailsTushingham Sails
RT @JoWright592: Picked up all my new kit for the year on Saturday! Thankyou for the continued 8 years of support @TushinghamSails http://t…
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RT @BOARDS_Magazine: Team15 is amazing, read about some awesome kids: http://t.co/KwUVXXd9vF @RYASW @polkerrisbeach @StarboardWind @Tushing
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Jo Wright picking up her new kit at the weekend! http://t.co/9HTXLa5AX6
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samrosswindsurfSam Ross
Great second day with the Techno Class Association at Queen Mary Sailing Club, everything from 70 litre wave... http://t.co/L6ASfeg1z4
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samrosswindsurfSam Ross
RT @windsurfmag: Need a technique brush-up? Our Gurus’ comprehensive guides listed here might hold the magical key you’re looking for! http…
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samrosswindsurfSam Ross
All seasons in one day at Queen Mary Reservoir today. Big storms but still plenty of water time, round 2 tomorrow.
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samrosswindsurfSam Ross
The Neilson Holidays clinic are filling up fast, great to see so many returners but also some new faces.... http://t.co/QpY2MXhlr4
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