Three local Windsurfers from Sussex, Ian (Krafty) Kraft, Rich Ovenden and Gary Parks (known to his mates as 'Gavalaaaar') have come together to set up a website for the planned new Virtual Windsurfing Club, the Sussex Numbnuts. Being based in and around Eastbourne all three have taken on new ventures this year and felt a need to find something that could pull all this together and make a foundation for a long talked about Club. For 2011 Krafty will be the UK agent for Exocet & XO, using Black Project Fins & ION wetsuits and harnesses. Rich will be demonstrating Exocet boards in our area for 2011. Gary is currently working with both on a few projects and a new venture with Krafty, a Numbnut clothing brand , it will be surfwear with a difference in that it will be organic and cater for the more refined of windsurfers as well as the usual beach boy !!, it will be launching this year. Both ventures will be heavily involved in the site and linked to it in many ways.
For those that know the Eastbourne area, windsurfing wise, you will be aware that winds and tides dictate where we launch from and tends to make us very nomadic. This means that in theory our club would need to be to. So although virtual our friends, colleagues and the scene around the area will have somewhere to go. Something to draw on for information.
Gary says, ‘Our aim is to provide our members with everything windsurfing, from general information on where to buy to the latest kit and the latest news releases, videos and photos from around the world of windsurfing and club members. We will provide Weather forecasts, a Forum, Session Logs, Location reports, Calendar of events, used kit for sale, a T15 page and their own Forum category. There will be links and adverts to all our local windsurfing shops. Everything in one place’ .
It is free to become a member and most things will be free on the site, but as we want to raise funds we will charge for some things such as advertising and selling used kit, but this will only be a nominal fee. Everything else is done free and administered by Gary voluntarily. We are not out to tread on anyone’s toes or steal anyone’s thunder, we are a club and our aim is to promote our sport and help enthuse people to join in and take part, all the time having fun.
This site has been born out of a need for something to fulfil our needs and the needs of the kids and young people around our area. We have a growing scene around Eastbourne, with a successful T15 squad in Spray Sprites who got to the nationals last year, under the coaching of Charlie Holman and Oliver Richardson. Richard Wilson and his team at Spray Water Sports Centre have done a great job in bringing the squad on and developing their enthusiasm and talent, with limited resources. One of the riders Josh Miles has gone on to the zone squad in only his second year, so it’s working. All these youngsters are constantly drilling you with questions and asking for help on choosing their own kit etc. The new website will hopefully help them in this in future and it will give them somewhere to chat to everyone they know around the sport. As we have said the RYA have done a great job with T15 and it is a great concept, but we have recognised a flaw in the whole ethos of it. What happens to the guys and gals who then reach 16, where do they go and what do they do after having such a great sense go belonging within the T15 set-up? Betsy Carr felt this and was feeling lost and dumped by the side with her desire to carry on windsurfing flagging. After speaking to a few people and getting help from some, she saw a need to set up something to bridge this gap and encourage others of an older age to continue or learn. So was born the T16+ theory. Their aim is to promote and encourage young people to learn and develop their skills in windsurfing in a club atmosphere with regular training and club meets. Give them a sense of belonging, somewhere to go, meet decent people and above all a healthier lifestyle.
This again was a need that we wanted to account for in our website. Within our T15 squad there are a few of them who will be facing the same dilemma at the end of this new season, so it is imperative we do something now to keep them in the sport.
We aim to promote the sport and get more young people involved and to help them develop the club by raising funds for them. Betsy has tried for many grants and fallen at the last hurdle during their rigorous selection programmes. So we are moving to help.
This website, our club will be for all who wants to share our dream and help in promoting the sport and raise funds for T16+. We want this site to be organic and free to express what we want and what we hope achieve. Club member have a say in what they would like to see on the site and can on certain pages be given permission to edit, so it is very much a family thing.
If anyone would like to promote their shop or club or have a link on our site then please contact Gary.
More at www.sussex-numbnuts.com