South West Windsurfing Rally
The 2-4th May saw the 2009 South West Windsurfing Rally organised and run by students from Falmouth Marine School at Stithians Lake. With 15 beginners and 14 intermediate/advanced windsurfers arriving to take part in the weekend including tuition from experienced volunteer coaches who had been recruited by the students and indeed the students themselves set the weekend to be full of fun and learning for all levels and age groups. Tushingham, Starboard and Naish all provided the latest equipment for participants to have a go on. Saturday saw the beginners learning how to get up and going while the intermediate/advanced group developed their stance and foot straps technique and even had a paddleboard race across the lake with a Lamont style start. The fun continued into the evening with a BBQ and video / photos of the day’s highlights projected to keep everyone amused.
Sunday saw the beginner’s progress to upwind and downwind sailing while the intermediate/advanced group worked on blasting control, and the use of harnessing with footstraps. Saturday evening was a “chill night” with everyone enjoying the sun with a few glasses of wine/lagers.
Bank holiday Monday the beginners were now really looking like real windsurfers, sailing around the lake on a windsurf safari and the intermediate/advanced group developed there freestyle skills, deep water beach starting and carve gybing.
The weekend was organised and run by Hannah, Seb and Chloe who are student from Falmouth Marine School studying a Foundation Degree in Marine Leisure Management. They were given the brief to organise a fun event which got people out and active on the water and they really wanted to share their love of windsurfing to the masses. This event had been kicked off the year previously as part of National Windsurfing week by Brett Galloway (another student at the Marine School) who had been studying the same course the year previously.
Phillipa Densley: “the best windsurf rally I have been on, the atmosphere was brilliant, and both the on water coaching and après social was really good. I recently completed my Start Windsurf Instructors course and this weekend has really helped me to develop my personal skills, thanks to the guys from the Marine School they did a fantastic job”.
Peter Sherriff: ‘It was brilliant, keep up the good work, can we have more of the same for the spring bank holiday please?!’
Steve Bowens (Course Manager, Falmouth Marine School) said: “I was really pleased with how it all went, these guys are the ones who will be running out windsurfing centres in the near future and it is by getting really involved in the sport at an organisational level that they can develop their skills to be able to market, manage and deliver fantastic opportunities such as this to the public. Windsurfing is the best sport in the world and events like these give a huge injection of inspiration to all ages and abilities to get out there and get windsurfing. I am really happy with how the event went and the feedback from the participates was exceptional.”
Hannah Mason (student & organiser) said; “this has been a big challenge, I never appreciated how much was involved in putting something like this together, West country watersport and the manufactures have been fantastic in supporting it and I feel really proud of what we have managed to achieve. Only my final year dissertation to focus on now before I can spend the summer teaching windsurfing and getting more people out on the water.”
The weekend was a huge success with a combination of fantastic weather and perfect conditions for light wind techniques and planning conditions on day two. Everyone has a great weekend and came away with a little more knowledge and skill but more importantly a huge desire to get out and get windsurfing on a regular basis
The event organisers would like to thank West Country Watersport for providing loads of prizes, Naish, Tushingham and Starboard for providing all the lovely demo kit and South West Lakes Trust for the use of their great facilities.
Keep a look out for next year’s event which is set to be a popular annual windsurfing meet.
For more information on courses at Falmouth Marine School Watersports Including Instructor training contact Steve 01326 310310