It’s been a massive effort so far by everyone involved, and yes, there have been some setbacks, but the UK’s first ever Indoor Windsurfing event is finally coming together.
Conditions on the pool are proving extremely difficult but many competitors are somehow adapting their technique to this bizarre environment. The start ramp is working well, and not proving nearly as daunting as many had expected. However, the arena has not been exhausting as well as expected, which has resulted in a massive gust at the far gybe mark and some huge lulls on the downwind side of the pool. Airflow has been steadily improved (though unfortunately at the expense of a large portion of the public seating) and slalom and freestyle heats are now progressing well towards this weekend’s finals. Unfortunately, many of the heavier sailors especially have been forced to pull out as the pool has proved completely unsailable for them.
2-man slalom sprints are providing a great spectacle for the crowds – flat out the length of the pool to a nuclear gybe zone and then a broad reach back to the finish line. Fast, furious, and an amazing sight. Meanwhile, forward loops, spocks and vulcans (and all their many derivatives) are being landed in the freestyle discipline. The PWA contingent – especially Kauli Seadi, Ricardo Campello and Douglas ‘Cheo’ Diaz – have also started training for the weekend, and appear to be ‘dialing in’ to the conditions very well.
Seats for this weekend’s finals are bound to be at a premium, but there will be space available for Boat Show visitors on a first come first served basis: Do visit the windsurfing exhibition (which is the best in years, with a great buzz about it) and then join the queue early for your chance to see the action!