The Manx Windsurfers based on the Isle of Man are amongst the many new virtual windsurfing groups which are forming across the UK. Neill Clague, one of their 19 members talks top windsurfing spots and why they will always welcome new members…
Who are the Manx Windsurfers?
There have been windsurfers around on the Island since the early 1980’s but the ‘Manx Windsurfers’ group has been going since the end of 2011.
At the moment our group is mainly male. We have one female member but we are trying to encourage more, unfortunately we are not the youngest bunch! This could be due to the fact that there is no shop or established watersports centre that teaches windsurfing but we hope to see some more younger members joining us soon.
Where are the best windsurfing spots on the Isle of Man?
The majority of Manx windsurfing takes place in three bays in the south of the Island. Castletown, Derbyhaven and Gansey. However, being an Island there are other beaches available in various wind conditions. The conditions range from flat water to large swell and even occasionally full on waves.
How often do you manage to get out on the water?
As often as possible! Whenever the wind blows there is usually somebody out, whatever the time of year. Windsurfing has been a significant part of my life for many years. I have found myself planning family holidays on the basis of where the wind will be good and the water not far away.
Are beginners welcome?
We are always welcoming of beginners or visitors and are keen to see that they are kept safe, enjoy their experiences and want more. If you are new to the sport and want to sail on the Isle of Man. I would recommend signing up to Project Windsurf-UK and joining our group! Also don’t be afraid to ask for help and advice, especially on where to sail in certain wind or sea conditions.
What about socialising?
The majority of our social activity takes place on the beach or indeed on the Project Windsurf-UK forum. However, there have been trips to the pub and beach BBQs are planned, if and or when our summer turns up!
How has Project Windsurf-UK worked for you?
Project Windsurf-UK has been excellent. I can keep in touch with other members and co-ordinate when and where I sail. I think the project has had a major effect on the sport. We have had over 700 posts on the forum and for a community of 19 that has to be impressive.
I think the feeling of ‘community’ and togetherness has given the new members confidence and has encouraged them to sail in more ‘challenging’ conditions and in places that they would never have considered previously.
All we have to do now is encourage more newcomers!
Project Windsurf-UK is brought to you by the RYA.
Signing up is easy. Simply register as an online member and follow the step by step guidelines on the website homepage.
Check out Project Windsurf-UK at www.projectwindsurfuk.org.uk