In 2012 the amateur fleet of the BWA was hotly contested, with an ever improving level of windsurfing on show and a great increase in numbers. The two men at the top, Alfie Hart and Ian Ross, consistently showing why they will be taking on the pros in 2013. But it was Alfie Hart who just took the title ahead of Ross, now Boards finds out more from the talented sailor and film maker.
Name: ALFIE HART
Sail number: K 811
Years competing: 2
Best previous results: 3RD OVERALL AMATEUR 2011
Title you have won this year: 1ST AMATEUR 2012
Why and when did you first start competing? How did you get involved with competition?
I got involved with the BWA competitions through my work as a film maker. I have been to every UK wave event since 2007 but in 2011 I had no film commissions so I entered my first wave event in Rhosneigr, I had a shocker and got knocked out in the first round.
As a kid did you dream of becoming a champion?
Not a champion but more the idea of being a professional windsurfer.
Did you love competition straight away? What has helped you progress from learning how to compete to winning a title?
I think my dinghy racing background and watching the world’s best windsurfers competing on the PWA tour gave me plenty of experience of how to make the most out of a heat and enjoy an event. As far as progression just being able to watch the top sailors as a day job has helped massively to improve my wave sailing.
What equipment have you used on the UK tour this year?
Naish Choppers medium and large and a 4.2 Session. Boards are limited for me and I have a 2006 Naish pro wave 75 but have had to rely on borrowing a Simmer, Tabou and Quatro 85lt boards for the light wind days!
Why do you use this equipment?
I have used Naish sails for 8 years and really like them, I’m a big fan of the Boxer but now am enjoying using the Choppers, I think they have made wave riding easier for me. The single fin pro wave has been a great board and I’ve enjoyed some really fun sessions on it, I used it because I’m very comfortable sailing it even in waist high, marginal cross on days. The Simmer Flywave 85 ltr I borrowed had a tri fin setup which suits my style. Also at the final event in Cornwall I was using a Quatro 85ltr which seemed to work well for me in those light wind conditions.
How and where have you trained for the series this year?
Living on the West Wales peninsular has made me quite a rounded sailor, my local wave spot is Pendine which is starboard tack and like an empty Witterings. Freshwater west always has a wave and has to be one of the most under rated windsurf beaches in the UK. Broadhaven is always gusty but can offer up some epic down the line days when the tide is dropping. Newgale the general allround beach northerlies are amazing there and finally the mid wales reefs which I haven’t sailed much but are only a hours drive away.
It’s pretty cool to have all this choice everytime a weather system comes in and I have the time to go and chase the conditions all year round. The most frustrating thing for me is being away at competitions where I’m not sailing and seeing an alltime forecast at home, I’m gutted when that happens.
Have you just trained on the water, or what do you do off the water too?
Off the water I work in woodland felling trees and it’s pretty physical; apart from that just sailing and I’m thinking of joining the local footie team.
What are your plans for winter? Sailing here in the UK? Or heading abroad anywhere?
Staying in the UK and praying for another mild winter; 10degrees is fine for me.
What are you aims for competitions in 2013? UK and international events?
The main thing I’ll be aiming for is to just feel I’ve sailed to my potential in every heat, if I do that then I’ll be happy.
Alfie is now sponsored by Gaastra, Tabou, Puravida, K4 and Big Salty, wishing you good luck for 2013 Alf!