Louis Morris

Tushingham & Starboard

Having learnt to windsurf at Siblyback Lake in Cornwall aged 10, Louis sailed every Saturday in the summer and after a couple of years entered his first Team 15 competitions, eventually selected for the Techno National squad. After sailing RS-X for a couple of years and finishing 6th at the Nationals, he decided that the life of a professional athlete was not for him. Rather than pursuing RS-X further, Louis switched to the Raceboard class.

In 2013, Louis finished 3rd at the World Championships, was National Champion in 2014 and 2015 and finished 4th at the Worlds in 2015. He started wavesailing in 2011 and was crowned Student Wave Champion in 2014. He's already pushing his skills further in this discipline and competing on the BWA tour.

Louis works as a racing coach and has great experience of coaching from working as an instructor in Cornwall. He thrives on bringing new people into the sport and as a result became president of the University of Bristol Windsurf club. He frequently volunteers as an instructor and delivers clinics at Student Windsurfing Association events. Currently Louis is living in Cardiff studying for a PhD in Chemistry.

He uses the Starboard Phantom 377 and Tushingham XR-Race 9.5 for racing and the Starboard Kode 77 and Tushingham Rocks for wavesailing. His dream goals are:
1. To become Raceboard World Champion
2. To live a life where he can regularly enjoy windsurfing, and experience amazing wavesailing conditions.

Louis Morris

22 Jul 2016

The UKWA Cup Series Came To Portland Harbour

The UKWA cup series came to Portland Harbour last weekend. The 19 raceboards completed 8 races with wind from 5 to 12 knots.

Without many shifts or gusts, boardspeed and good starts were rewarded. I was really happy to win every race, as several of my competitors were also really fast in these light wind conditions.

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This is the last competition before the European Championships in a months time. There are 19 people attending from the UK, including 10 youth competitors. I’m really looking forward to it!

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Results:
1st Louis Morris (Tushingham/Starboard)
2nd Mark Kay, 1st heavyweight and 1st master (Demon/Starboard)
3rd Rob Kent (Tushingham/Starboard)

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14 Jul 2016

Louis Morris Looking Back Over The Last Few Months

It’s been a while since I wrote on my blog except for general event reports, which is a shame as I like writing. I’ve been busy. With windsurfing?

 Kind of, although it doesn’t feel like I’ve done a lot of it.

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Waiting for racing at Datchet. Photo by Oscar Williams.

I’ll try and think back to February, when I last wrote on here. After coming back from winning the SWA wave event at Rhosneigr with yet another broken board, I managed a really fun session at Trecco with some uni friends, and some nice wave riding at Horton with Sara Kellett and the locals.

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Clew-first cutback in onshore conditions at Rhosneigr. Photo by Jim Brooks-Dowsett.

Then there was a long period without much wind or waves. However, I made the trip to Oxford to race with the London Windsurfing Association in some pretty cold conditions. It was great to get back out on my raceboard and have some fun racing with Lewis Barnes,

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Some waves in east Cornwall. Photo by Laura Mottram.

I finally got back out in some wave conditions in April. First, a 2 hour mission through terrible traffic from Bath to Trecco for some really fun cross shore wave riding. Then a wet and windy session at Seaton in Cornwall, which is the closest wave spot to my home, but it needs an ESE or SE’ly, so doesn’t work very often. The waves were pretty messy, but there was a good crowd out, and I landed some of my cleanest ever back loops. I just need to work on more height, and more control. After another month without a wave session, I had a tiny light wind offshore day at Bigbury, a slightly windier day of tiny waves at the rock garden, and most recently, a really fun 4.2 cross-on session at Trecco. I started trying takas, got back into tabletops, and keep working on my backloops. Pushloops next, and getting my confidence back with stalled forwards.

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Waveriding in South Wales.

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Close racing. Photo by John Liddy.

I’m supposed to be training for the Raceboard European Championships in Brest, France at the end of August. There’s a good crowd of us going from the UK, so it’ll be a lot of fun. But how’s the training going? Well, I’ve been riding my bike a bit, mostly just commuting but also the odd long evening ride. Occasionally I do some exercises to strengthen my core and upper body, not as much as I probably should to. And on the windsurfing side, well, rather than not sailing raceboard at all and wavesailing sometimes (like in the winter), I wavesail hardly at all, and take my raceboard out occationally. So, I don’t feel like I’ve done as much training as I imagined. Reminds me why I’m not trying to be a pro windsurfer, I just don’t do the whole athlete thing, I just like windsurfing and racing for fun, and doing loads of other fun interesting things as well. Anyway, I feel confident and motivated, the UKWA events are great training, and every time I compete I learn something new, and get a little bit better.

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Pumping off the start line. Photo by Oscar Williams.

Rob Kent, and lots of other people! I somehow managed to win back more than I paid for my entry in the form of wine, so if nothing else, that may entice me back next winter!

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Racing in the LWA icebreaker at Farmoor. Photo by John Liddy.

After what seemed like ages, the wind returned for the easter weekend, but I was stuck trying to coach children in very strong winds at Weymouth! I was very unhappy, just because I hadn’t had a good windsurf for weeks and now that it was windy, I couldn’t go. I was pretty close to wanting to quit coaching. But my grump past, and I’ve not quit. I do actually really enjoy coaching, I find it very rewarding, and love seeing the kids improve, have fun on the water, and then see them during the summer having a great time in the races. I’ve been assisting Ali Yates with the South and West Welsh squad this winter, and it’s been amazing to see the progression of the sailors, and even nicer to see just how much they love windsurfing! With Ali now in a full time job in north Wales, it looks like I’ll be looking after the S/W welsh squad next winter. I feel like I’ve got a lot to live up to!

I’ve been studying for the MRes year of my PhD program, and had the opportunity to do some really interesting research at the universities of Bath and currently, Bristol. I really like chemistry research, and I’m enjoying it far more than my undergrad. However, it’s hard to get in loads of windsurfing sessions. Until now, I’ve been in Cornwall at this time of year, making it easy to windsurf any spare minute. However, for me to get an after-work windsurf living in Bristol, I need to drive for well over an hour through terrible traffic. I’ve had a couple of nice after work wave and raceboard sessions though. I really wanted to compete in the first event of the BWA wave tour in Rhosneigr this year, but in the end I couldn’t go, I was just too tired after working like crazy for a deadline. It was so gutting to miss out, even though the conditions looked pretty marginal at best.

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Cruising on the rail. Photo by John Liddy.

The racing season got underway at the end of April with some great racing in a mixture of light, shifty, and consistent medium conditions at Christchurch, then some more light and shifty winds at Rutland, and even more light and shifty wind at Datchet! I’m feeling confident and fast in these conditions and in medium winds, and I’ve done a bit of training in stronger wind. I think my speed is ok in the strong winds, but it always takes a bit of time for me to feel comfortable in these conditions.

One last thing. You may have heard that Tushingham will stop making sails this year. It’s pretty sad news, especially as the Tushingham XR-Race is such an amazing all-round raceboard sail. I found the sail design aspect really interesting, and wish I was around on the team back when they were developing the raceboard sail. We had some ideas about how to improve the low end of the sail to help in light wind inland conditions and for heavier riders. So, I suppose I’m a Severne team rider now. I’ve not got any Severne sails yet, but I look forward to trying the Severne raceboard sail once they arrive in the UK. However, I’ll be using the Tushingham XR-Race at the European championships. It’s what I’m used to, and it’s too late to get tuned up on a different sail.

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31 May 2016

UKWA Inland Series Rutland

On 28-29th May it was the first event of the UKWA Inland series at Rutland Water.

This event included the legendary long distance race: the Rutland Marathon, supported by Tushingham/Starboard/Severne. On Saturday we had two races in incredibly light conditions 3-7 knots with up to 80° windshifts. In fact, the second race probably shouldn’t have happened at all! It was about getting on the right side of the shifts and pumping like crazy, and I managed a 2nd and 1st, closely fought with Lewis Barnes and team-mate Rob Kent. We waited for 3 hours for the wind to improve, then managed one further race in 6-8 knots (which I won) before calling it a day.

On Sunday the wind was much better, but still pretty marginal, gusty and a bit shifty, so really tactical, and also really hard work to stay (or get) planing. These are generally my best conditions, and I took two more wins before having a really terrible start in the 3rd race, but I managed to fight back to 2nd place behind Rob Kent.

The weekend finished with the 10 mile long Rutland Marathon. With a northerly wind, it mostly consisted of reaching, which was tricky to get right, as Raceboards aren’t designed for reaching in marginal conditions. The wind was just light enough for us to keep ahead of the Formula’s, and after a terrible start (80 boards on a non-planing reaching start = hell!), I found myself leading. Rob Kent eventually overtook Mark Kay to take 2nd place in the Marathon.

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So I won the overall event, and the marathon itself, using my Phantom 377 and XR-Race 9.5 in every race. My team-mate Rob was extremely fast all weekend on his Phantom 377L and XR-Race 9.5, and took second in almost every race!

1st photo: Marathon podium
1st Louis Morris (Tushingham/Starboard)
2nd Rob Kent (Tushingham/Starboard)
3rd Mark Kay (Starboard)

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2nd photo: event podium
1st Louis Morris (Tushingham/Starboard)
2nd Rob Kent (Tushingham/Starboard)
3rd Lewis Barnes (Starboard)

1st Lady: Annette Kent (Tushingham/Starboard)

1st Youth: Julian Tait (Tushingham)

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Team Tweets

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

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