Chris Lewis urges the UK's racers to pack up and head west this weekend...
"Only prizes will rain in Wales!"
The fourth round of the 2010 BSA National Tour heads back to the Principality of Wales and to the jewel of the Snowdonian National Park, Aberdovey. All fleets will race but for the first time this year the Pro Fleet will be competing for their share of an £800 prize fund! and, not to be outdone, the Masterblast and Amateur Fleet sailors will all be entered into a draw to win a brand new Neil Pryde Tempo Sail along with other products prizes, such as the all new revolutionary flow forged Neil Pryde X3 boom!
Aberdovey is fast establishing itself on the National windsurfing scene as a superb destination for all windsurfers of any ability or discipline, often described as the Welsh Gorge its local geography lends itself to some fantastic windsurfing conditions, where the mountains work to generate some exciting sea breezes in the summer and the Estuary's funnel-effect often serves to concentrate what wind there is and give the avid windsurfer those extra couple of golden knots! The last 2 years have seen extreme opposites in the wind strength, but both have provided a fantastic event whether it was the 45 knot epic of 2008 or the sun drenched chilled-out scenic trip to a National Park seaside resort in 2009.
A family-friendly location for all to enjoy - not just the windsurfer! Bring the family along to enjoy what the picturesque village has to offer, from donkey rides for the kids to high fashion for the ladies (and some men!) in the boutique shops. Parking is plentiful and nearby campsites will happily accommodate caravans or tents at very reasonable costs. The Welsh Tourist Board website is but one resource that can point you in the right direction http://www.visitwales.co.uk/holiday-accommodation-in-wales/
Parking is at the event site and, although officially not allowed, our hosts in town have worked to ensure that - as long as everybody obeys the rules and pay for all the bays and spaces they use, then they are happy with this. Please ensure you park together as a group as much as possible up at the far end of the car park (nearest to the sand dunes and Fire Station). Stay within the lines and pay for what you use - parking is £2 for the whole day.
There will be live music and entertainment on both Friday and Saturday night, with a competitors' barbecue on the Saturday. Post racing also, one of the event's bigger draws over the recent years have been the Saturday night party, but for many competitors it still remains a mystery as to why this is....mainly due to some advanced memory loss! The yacht Club will also host families and onlookers throughout the weekend, with refreshments and relaxing shelter whilst providing awesome views over the Bay/race area.
No wind then no worries! Last year proved that Aberdovey has as much to offer the traveller, even when the wind does not turn up, but for the hardened windsurfing entrant there will be an alternative timetable published that will feature Clinics from the country's top Pro's, such as Dave White and Ant Baker of the Baker Windsurf Academy, on everything from speed and rigging through to gybes and back loops! along with a series of fun Relay Races on either windsurf kit or SUPs. Plenty to keep you occupied and plenty of prizes to be won!
Aberdovey's remoteness is what makes it so special and unspoilt. Although, at first glance, it appears some distance away it is actually less than 2 hour's drive from Birmingham! It is also one of the more scenic and enjoyable journeys. As most people will be travelling from the South or East I would suggest getting to the M54 and then heading out towards Welshpool on the A458 and staying with this road until you get to the A470 and A489 to Machynlleth, finally finishing with the A493 to Aberdovey! The event site's post Code is LL35 OEA.
Look forward to seeing you there.