Louis Morris

Race

2014 Raceboard National Champion and Inland Champion, 3rd at the 2013 World Championships using the XR Race. Off the race course, Louis can often be found chasing wind and waves around S. Wales and the westcountry with his Rocks.

"I started sailing at the weekly kids club at Siblyback lake when I was 8, but I found windsurfing too hard! When I was 10 I rediscovered windsurfing, and went sailing and windsurfing alternate weeks until I got planing - then I was hooked. I went to the occasional Team 15, but it took me a while to get really keen on competing.

My first UKWA event was on 4.5 in 2006, but I started UKWA racing properly on Techno 7.8 two years later, and got into the National Squad. I switched to RSX at the end of 2009, and although I didn't go for any squads, I really enjoyed it, and got 6th at the RYA Youth Nationals in 2011. I figured that I didn't have the time for an Olympic program, I just wanted to have fun racing, so I switched to Raceboard, knowing that there is always plenty of friendly competition. In 2012, I had my best year ever, and won 3 of the 4 UKWA events I entered. I'm currently a Chemistry student at the University of Bristol, and I'm the Student SWA racing champion.

Besides racing, my recent discovery is wavesailing, and love to get out in the Cornish waves at home whenever possible. I've worked as an instructor for a few years at Siblyback, where I first started, and I'm really keen to promote Raceboard windsurfing to up and coming young ex-Team 15 and Techno windsurfers, and everyone else! Future plans: compete internationally, win some UKWA, push my wavesailing, maybe try slalom in a couple of years if I have time".

Louis Morris

22 Apr 2015

Spring 2015

It’s been a busy couple of months for me. But mainly a studying kind of busy rather than a windsurfing kind of busy. With the end of my degree on the horizon, I’ve had to sacrifice some on the water time, but that doesn’t mean I’ve not been windsurfing!

I almost forgot! I never wrote anything about the last SWA event I went to!

It was Pondlife in Nottingham = all the fun for everyone! We had decent medium wind on Saturday which was perfect for all the beginners and inters to brush up their skills, and for me to enjoy some fun blasting on the 7.8 Bolt. I can’t even remember what the sail feels like, that’s probably a good thing, it just let me forget about it and have fun!

Spring 1

Cruisin’ on the Bolt 7.8 twin cam freeriding machine.

With the wind building (although still pretty gusty), there was some fun slalom racing to be had. And I won, yay! :)

Spring 2

Cameron Coghill gatecrashed the racing on his RSX! Photo by David Eberlin

With just enough time and wind for a bit of freestyle on 5.2 and 86 Kode to end the day :).

Spring 3

Freeeeshtyle! Photo by David Eberlin

Sunday started mega windy and sunny. But in classic SWA style, it was early afternoon before the freestyle competition got underway, by which time, everyone was somewhat underpowered on their small sails rigged from earlier. It was hard, super gusty, and in a very confined space. Alex Mitchell deservedly took the win with a clean e-slider and kono, and amazingly, I took 2nd, with a forward, an almost-spock, and a vulcan.

Spring 4

Forwarding the 86 Kode and 4.2 Rock to 2nd place in the freestyle comp.

Then a few fun wave day trips: super fun logo high 4.7 Gwithian with all the (x)swa crew. Also a fun session in South wales, ending in a sore ankle after being a bit too optimistic on the size of wave required for a table-top. Full power Bigbury, the best I’ve had it, cross shore, up to head high.

Spring 5

I’m somewhere in the middle of that sunny Bigbury scene. Photo by Chris Mortimer.

Scored a rare easterly day at Pendower. Soooooo good, 3.7, decent waves, crashed backloops, a couple of long-ish wave rides, a crashed arial, and a good crowd of windsurfers out.

Spring 6

Loop at Pendower. There were bigger waves than that, honest! It’s just my mum couldn’t hold the camera straight for long it was so windy ;) Photo by Emma Dales

And then racing. Yes, racing. I trained a few times this winter, but to be honest, not as much as I should have done. I’m also feeling much less fit than last year, because I have been studying and only exercise has really been occasional wave sessions. The first event was the Round Hayling Island Race. I’ve always wanted to take part in the legendary event, but this was the first time I got round to it. With contradictory forecasts, fog, and of course all that tide, it was pretty interesting! I took off with a knackering non-planing downwinder to the bridge, leading ahead of Rob Kent. Then I got a bit of a wake up as Rob slowly reeled me in upwind. He and Alan Jackson overtook me by the ferry point, and whilst I got past Alan pretty quickly, Rob disappeared off into the distance as I struggled to keep my speed upwind along the seafront into a short chop in about 3-5 knots. Anyway, I got 2nd, which isn’t bad, it’s just I’ve either got slower, or Rob got faster upwind compared to last year!

Spring 7

Round Hayling Island.

So there we are. 

This weekend is the SWA/BUCS Nationals. Which is the last SWA event of the year, wind looks ok, although a teeny bit more would be nice. I’ll be competing in racing (slalom), and freestyle, and I have a chance to finish on the podium for both of those, and probably the overall prize as well. We’ll see how that goes. Then weekend after that is UKWA National Championship series event 1: the first course racing event of the year. Really looking forward to getting back into it. It’s also pretty important, because it is the only preparation event I have before the worlds in Poland, which happen the week after my exams in June. I’m not going to be nearly as prepared as I was two years ago, but I’ll just have to stay focussed and remember how to set my kit up!

Keep an eye out for my report from SWA nationals.

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18 Feb 2015

SWA 2014/2015 Wave Champion

I’m really happy to win the student wave series. It was a shame to not have conditions at the final event at Cardiff, but we had wind and waves at the first two events where I finished 1st and 4th, so can’t really complain too much.

The SWA has been a really good introduction not only to wave competition, but wavesailing in general. When I started attending these events as a fresher 3 years ago, I couldn’t bottom turn, but the friendly atmosphere of the events and high level of the top guys really motivated me to improve, and so my obsession with wavesailing happened!

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“Training” at Marazion. Photo by Mel Splashography​

I didn’t expect to win. In fact, I think it is the same in racing, sometimes my best results come from when I have no self expectation, then I’m more relaxed and can focus on just windsurfing!

The conditions at both events were pretty hard, for different reasons. At the first event at The Bluff, it was lighter than it looked on the inside, so I spent a lot of the competition underpowered, which wasn’t ideal, because it was almost bolt onshore with some big lumps of whitewater to get through. I felt lucky to get as far as the semis, but then found me feet, and landed some big jumps, table tops, and forwards with some back and frontside waverides. I knew I’d sailed quite well, but I had no idea if I’d won, it’s a bit different to what I’m used to for racing. In racing you can always see if you are winning or not, in a wave heat, usually I never see most of what my competitors do!

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In competition at Rhosneigr. Photo by Jim Brooks-Dowsett

At the second event at Rhosneigr, it was a little less onshore, but a similar wind strength, perfect for my 4.7 Rock. The thing I found hard at Rhossy was finding decent ramps and wave-rides from the relatively soft gentle waves there. I had a decent semi-final, but in the final I struggled to find a good second wave.

The level at the top of the fleet is really tight and pretty high, with all the top 4 at Rhossy getting consistent forward loops and fluid wave rides even in the tricky onshore conditions we had on the tour. Yet these events are also perfect for anyone new to wavesailing. As long as you can waterstart, you can give it a go, Tushingham and Starboard provided 4 sets of 2015 gear at the first event, so you might not even need your own wave kit.

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What could have been at the Cardiff SWA event if there had been wind and waves! Photo by Ben Bulson.​

I definitely want to compete more in the BWA amature fleet, I did Rhosneigr and Gwithian last year and they both a really good experience with great conditions. I’d definitely recommend any of the SWA wavesailors who are at a level where they can get out, do a jump and catch a wave to come along. Unfortunately, the Rhosneigr event this year clashes with the SWA/BUCS National championships, but I’ll definitely be at Gwithian, I’d love to get to Tiree as well, but I’ll have to see how that fits in with my uni work. A few things are for sure though! You will see me at all the SWA wave events next year, and at a few UKWA events and the Raceboard world championships this summer (yes I can still race, I think…).

At both events I used my trusty old 74 liter waveboard with 4.7 Tushingham Rock (except in one heat at The Bluff, where I used a 4.2), which is a combo that rocks in all conditions!

Thanks to the SWA and especially Jim Brooks-Dowsett from Puravida for running a great wave series, and also to Tushingham Sails for supporting my windsurfing. I can’t wait for my next session, it looks like the wind is returning soon, there must be time for windsurfing alongside writing my masters thesis surely!

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12 Jan 2015

My Autumn and Xmas 2014

It’s been a while, maybe I’ll summarize it with photos, rather than my usual rambling words!

I’m president of the University of Bristol windsurfing club this year, so spent a bit of time running that with the rest of the committee, we’ve got lots of keen members so that’s good.

Went to Stokes Bay for the last event of the UKWA National Championship series and got crowned Raceboard National Champion. Thanks to Tushingham Sails and Starboard boards for supporting me, and making the best allround raceboard kit. The only sail I used this season was the Tushingham XR Race 9.5, in winds of 4-20 knots.

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2014 UKWA National Raceboard Champion and Inland Champion! Photo by Ross Morris

Fun wednesday afternoon wave session at Lyme Regis, full power 4.7, practicing table tops. 

Went to Aussie Kiss XIII (Student Windsurfing festival), and had lots of fun! Bristol got 3rd in the Team racing, I got 2nd in the Freestyle with a bit of flat water looping. 

Competed in the BWA Cornwall Classic wave competition at Gwithian.

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Photo by Mel Splashography

Did pretty badly in the competition but had my best ever session downwind of the competition area, logo high down the line, perfect on my 4.7 Rock :)

Bristol and UWE hosted an SWA event: took a bit of organising, but worth it, amazing weekend and everyone had fun, it wasn’t that windy though. I got 3rd in Freestyle, 1st in Racing, and Bristol got 1st and 3rd in the team racing.

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Light wind freestyle on the 4.5 Bolt. Photo by Lizzie Walsh

Won the first event of the SWA wave series!! Really happy to win my first wave contest in really tricky onshore conditions. Landed a forward in the final, got a few nice backside and frontside waves, a few floaty jumps and almost killed myself with a one-footed tabletop. 

Then there were two windy lecture free wednesdays in a row, had some amazing starboard tack down the line conditions in South Wales.

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Photos by Ben Bulson

Then the week after, the forecasted wind didn’t turn up to Bigbury, but still had some fun.

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Had some really fun freestyle sessions at Weymouth and Torpoint, getting my vulcans more consistent on both sides, looping of flatter water, landed my first spock and grubby (I have yet to get another one). The Starboard Kode FSW 86 is a great board for learning these kind of moves: fast and compact but funner for blasting and easier in chop and better at carving than a real freestyle board.

Got back out on my Raceboard, I’m feeling pretty motivated for the 2015 racing season!

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Photos by Ross Morris

Had plenty of fun wave and freestyle conditions whilst at home for the Christmas holidays at Bigbury, Torpoint, Gwithian, Par, Whitsands.

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Photos by Ross Morris

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Jumping at Par, photo’s by Tom Bittle.

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Team Tweets

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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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Jo Wright picking up her new kit at the weekend! http://t.co/9HTXLa5AX6
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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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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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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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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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