Boards catches up with 2013 UK formula windsurfing champion, Chris Bond, to find out what's in store for formula windsurfing in the UK in 2014, plus how and why you should get involved.
The winter is drawing to an end and we should all be on a high after sailing in some of the windiest waviest conditions on record. I love my time on a wave board with only a 3.7m powering me along but I have to admit that the thought of the arrival of the new Formula season also sends my pulse racing. This short article will inform you of where and when we're racing, where to buy affordable kit and where to get more information.
Where and when?
The UKWA will be running 5 National Championship events at 5 different coastal locations. These events are open to all sailors of all ages and all abilities - you don't have to be a pro to come and give it a go! The only thing you'll need is UKWA membership and your first event is FREE:
May 3 -4 Christchurch UKWA Racing National Championships Round 1
Jun 21 -22 Bridlington UKWA Racing National Championships Round 2
Jul 12 -13 Weymouth Academy UKWA Racing National Championships Round 3
Aug 23- 24 Pwllheli UKWA Racing National Championships Round 4
Oct 4 -5 Stokes Bay UKWA Racing National Championships Round 5
In addition to these, there will also an inland series consisting of 3 events and a National Championship. These events are ideal for those that want to give racing a go for the first time with the safety of being on a lake with shorter courses:
Apr 12 -13 Pitsford UKWA Racing Inland Regional Series 1
May 24- 25 Whitwell SC UKWA Racing Inland Regional Series 2, Rutland Marathon, AGM
Jun 7 -8 Oxford SC UKWA Racing Inland Regional Series 3
Sep 13- 14 Rutland Sailing Club UKWA Racing Inland National Championships/RYA Junior Youth & Masters
For more details about the events and the UKWA visit:
Come along for great racing and a great social scene and it WILL make you a better sailor!
[part title="You're tempted but where do you get the kit?"]
You're tempted but where do you get the kit?
Ok, so not every windsurfing shop stocks formula kit but I can assure you that it's very easy to come by and the second hand market is thriving with many a bargain to be had. There are 2 very good ways of sourcing kit and they are the forum on the UKWA website and also the UK Formula Windsurfing Facebook group. If you are unsure of what you're buying, struggling to find anything or want any advice at all then feel free to contact me - my details will appear at the end of the article.
[part title="The benefits"]
Taking part in Formula windsurfing offers so many benefits such as:
• More time on the water - we race (and we only race when we can plane) in as little as 8 knots of wind!
• More time on the water makes you fitter and stronger which can only benefit your short boarding and how you look in your board shorts!
• Racing in close proximity of others significantly improves your technique.
• Manoeuvring sails of 11m+ makes using ordinary sails a doddle.
• The social scene, involving a huge degree of banter, is amazing.
So come along and give it a go, you have absolutely nothing to lose and everything to gain.
By Chris Bond 2013 UK Formula Champion
Sponsored by - Point-7, Tabou, Z-Fins, Robin Hood Watersports