Who will be the UKWA windsurfer of the year? In true reality TV style, you the windsurfing public get to decide who will receive the accolade of ‘UKWA Windsurfer of the Year 2010’.
With so many worthy candidates percolating to the top of an ever-deepening pool of UK talent, narrowing the choices down is becoming tougher each year. But to help make it a bit easier for you the boys and girls at the UKWA have been hard at work furiously whittling down the nominees into five from across the spectrum of windsurfing.
Your nominees for WOTY 2010 [cue drum-roll] are…
WAVES – Robby Swift
Photo: Simon Crowther
What a season for Robby Swift again this year. A lot of hard work and training during the winter season in Maui has obviously paid off, and in PWA Slalom he’s worked his way up through the rankings despite a height and weight disadvantage against the big guns. This has all been down to sheer bloody-minded determination and perseverance – but it’s the waves where Robby has really stood out. Last year he finished in 3rd place overall and as this is being written is currently lying 6th with two events to go in the PWA 2010 Tour. Don’t let his good looks and talent put you off voting for him!
SLALOM – Ross Williams
Photo: PWA / John Carter
Ross started the season with a 13th, but this unlucky number didn’t put him off at all and he followed it with a 5th and 6th place at the next two PWA Slalom events. Ross, hailing from the Isle of Wight, has never been far off the pace over the last five years, and has consistently demonstrated that he has the ability to challenge Albeau, Maynard and Dunkerbeck at the top. He’s a quiet, unassuming character, but with buckets of talent and currently lying 9th overall with events to come. He definitely deserves a lot of votes.
SPEED – Steve Thorp
Photo: Oisin Van Gelderen
‘Thorpy’ has been speedsailing since God was a boy, but you wouldn’t know that looking at him. He still looks like a teenager! He’s not a natural build for a speedsailor at a diminutive 5’10” and 75kg, but that definitely doesn’t stop him. Currently ranked top 10 in the all-time world GPS ranking and fifth for 2010 (he was leading for most of the year) with a GPS max of 47.9 knots and a 45.3 knot 10 second average at West Kirby. Steve’s main advantage in speedsailing is that he has no fear or regard for his personal safety. He deserves your vote for that balls out attitude alone.
FREESTYLE – Max Rowe
Photo: Dave White
The new rising star of PWA Freestyle, Max Rowe from Colchester is impressing all who see him perform. 2010 was his rookie season on the World Tour, but at just his third PWA event he managed to beat Andy ‘Bubble’ Chambers in Fuerteventura with some very impressive sailing to finish an awesome 11th. Max was nominated last year and did well, so he obviously has a strong fan base – and deservedly so.
RACING – Izzy Hamilton
Photo: Richard Langdon / Ocean Images
Popular Skandia Team GBR sailor Izzy Hamilton has made great leaps forward over recent years. Izzy, a product of the RYA pathway having had a successful career on Techno and now sailing on RS:X, is a prolific achiever at National level. In 2009 she was crowned RS:X Youth World Champion, and in 2009 and 2010 won Silvers at the Volvo ISAF Youth World Championships. Recently she made the Medal race at Sail For Gold 2010. Izzy is now pushing previous Windsurfer of the Year Bryony Shaw very hard, and continues pushing for top international honours. Course racers are always a popular choice for this coveted award, so Izzy’s a definite contender.
Please post your vote online at ukwindsurfing.com/woty/
Only one vote per person. Voting closes at the end of October, and the winner will be announced at the UKWA Ball in November.