Next up in the Stars of NWF series is PWA Judge Mark 'Sparky' Hosegood. The Seasprite team rider was around at the event all weekend, but came into his own during the light wind freestyle competition, winning in style ahead of the usual faces by bringing back some old school moves.
Mark Hosegood aka: Sparky
21st February 1979
A lot! PWA judge for the last five years and instructor/coach for the last 16! Loads in between including managing windsurfing shops in the UK, managing and setting up watersport centres around the world including helping to set up The OTC in Tenerife and equipment tester for UK and international magazines and manufacturers. I was also semi pro which involved competing in a range of competitions, national and international plus “trying" to teach Jeremy Clarkson to windsurf for the BBC’s Top Gear (most incompetent student ever…don’t worry, I’m sure he’d agree with me!)
Who has inspired and influenced you in windsurfing?
Robby Naish was, and still is, my childhood hero and Francisco Goya is one of the most inspirational people I’ve ever had the pleasure to meet. Nowadays, I think the guys like Kauli, Brawzinho, Jaeger Stone and Philip Koster are the most inspirational and awe-inspiring windsurfers around. Then you have some of the young English guys who I was lucky enough to be involved with from a very young age: Graham Woods, George Shillito and Adam Lewis. Being the “old" man now it’s an inspiration seeing how successful they are, all in their own way and are fairly unique in the directions they’ve taken and are now heading. The boys over in Somerset that I grew up sailing with also had a massive input in my early years, especially Stu B, who taught me how control my fear, by mainly convincing me (or convincing each other) that it’s a good idea to do some really dim things, normally with Dad there watching with his head in his hands!
Why did you enter NWF?
Because I was there helping out on the Ezzy and Seasprite stand.
What fleet did you enter, where did you finish and what was the experience like?
I went in for the pros light wind freestyle event and I won! Beating guys I normally judge on the PWA Freestyle World Tour….with a bit of luck! The wind was actually picking up in the afternoon finals session so we switched from old school longboard freestyle to high wind new school freestyle, which definitely favoured everyone but me. In the end the wind didn’t come through and with no-one planing I went into sail spin mode, in which I love to flow from one move to the next, combining as many moves into one until I run out of ideas. Luckily for me the judges scored me higher for that then some of the more difficult technical individual moves the others were doing.
What was your favourite part of the event this year?
I loved the whole thing! But in particular it was seeing a lot of old friends that I’ve not seen in a very long time having lived in Tenerife for the last five or six years and been out of the UK windsurfing scene.
Have you entered any other events this year?
I had a go at The OTC slalom event in Weymouth earlier this year. My first slalom event and it was great to get some competitive fire back!
What’s next for you?
I’m out to Denmark and then Sylt judging and then have a very exciting windsurfing project starting up in Tenerife in November…. Watch this space!
What do you want to progress with your windsurfing?
I’d like to change my mindset with windsurfing. I injured my knee very badly about four to five years ago and have had major problems with it since. I’ve had to be really careful in the way I sail now, where as before I’d go for stuff and figure out the consequences later, now I basically can’t crash badly. Because of this I’ve not learnt anything new for years. But now my knee is feeling much stronger, I’ve been lucky enough to find a very high quality Ossur CTI carbon knee brace that’s kept me injury free since I got it three years ago and I’m now a Personal Trainer and utilising that knowledge, managed to train and build up the knee to a much better condition.
Check out the rest of the NWF Stars series: