“In My Own Words” NWF Newbie – Kerry Hance
“I am not good enough to compete!” – OH YES YOU ARE!
We hear that so often, but the founding principle of the NWF is all about getting EVERYONE on the water. Why? BECAUSE IT’S FUN!With categories to cater for every age, ability and all types of equipment, you have every chance of a win in your category – and you can even improve your odds of winning X3 by entering in your category, in
With categories to cater for every age, ability and all types of equipment, you have every chance of a win in your category – and you can even improve your odds of winning X3 by entering in your category, in fancy dress AND as part of a team!
The NWF Master Blaster race format is deliberately simple – out to a buoy and back. And, if you swim around the buoy, it counts!
If you think that you can’t take part, let’s hear from Kerry Hance, who had a podium finish in 3 out of 4 races – including her FIRST EVER WINDSURF RACE at the NWF 2017!
Kerry had been windsurfing for two years, although she lost a good six months of that, bravely recovering from a motorcycle accident. Kerry trains at Minster Windsurf Academy in the Isle of Sheppey, Kent with former GBR sailor Ricky Wooding.
Let’s hear it in Kerry’s own words;
“I had been hearing and reading about the new venue of the NWF and was really interested in going. I had heard so much about how great it was and on such a huge scale. I was really nervous on the way up (more excited though!) I had never competed in anything like this so I didn’t know what to expect. I knew that some of the world’s best Windsurfers would be there and this made me more nervous. You feel like people may laugh if you can’t do it (of course, they don’t…)
When we arrived at the site, I had butterflies in my stomach. We got there around 9am on Saturday; we had no kit so we rushed around to see if we could borrow some kit for me to race with. I was buzzing!
Rick managed to find me a 7.7 sail and 130 litre board from Ross Williams. The biggest sail I had ever been on was a 6.5, so you can imagine how I was feeling… Plus there were so many other sailors all getting their gear to the water’s edge.
I needed to try the kit to see if I could handle it. To my surprise it felt really good, but I missed the first race in all the panic!
On the start line for the second race, I was trembling like mad. So nervous; not knowing what was going to happen; but still feeling like “I can do this!” There was not a lot of wind, so I had to pump the sail to get as much as I could out of it. Slowly but surely, I made it back. It was a short run up to the official to get my race number in; Rick was on the water’s edge shouting encouragement (everyone was!) I had no idea how I had done.
I was in the Senior age group (20-35) – and it just so happened that I was the second Senior to cross the finish line. Wow!!!!! I had won something! I just couldn’t believe it… At the Prize Giving my name was called out and I went up to collect my prize. I was feeling so AMAZING! The feeling of getting anything was so special to me. I was really happy. I just couldn’t stop smiling…
And I couldn’t wait for the next race to start!
I managed to complete four more races. On the last race of the day, I wanted to give it my all as the wind was getting much stronger. On the start line, just as the race was called, I got thrown forward and under my sail and had to climb back on. It seemed like I was in the water for ages. Then when I did get back on, I was in last place. I had to work so hard, trying to push myself more than ever; pumping and dodging other sailors I did manage to make up three more places.
But Wow! What an absolutely fantastic weekend… We stayed right until the end and watched the final prizes given away.
Reflecting on the weekend, the more races I did, the more I wanted to do and the more I was pushing myself. Sometimes it worked and others (like my last race) didn’t, but it was still the best experience. Plus my sailing has definitely got a lot better as a result!
It was the most fun thing I have ever done in my life. I loved every minute; it was thoroughly enjoyable. The feeling I had before and after the race was AMAZING!
For next year, I want to be in the foot straps; fully planing, using the harness, full-time water starting and dare I say it… carve gybing…
My advice to anyone reading this and thinking “it’s not for me” – trust me. It is! I couldn’t sleep afterwards for thinking about how I could have done this or that better and I still haven’t come down from the sheer buzz that I got from the NWF!”
Inspired? Book your tickets now and surprise yourself! We guarantee that you will have an unforgettable experience.
Sharing things with a few buddies or a team is always more fun, so why not bring your club or form a team and enter the races together? Moral support; camp and party with like-minded renegades; or maybe bring along a sensible person to keep you out of trouble…!
Simon Bornhoft’s Team Windwise is open to all and always claims a few podium finishes. Watch this space for more details!
We would love to hear about YOUR experience of the NWF in your own words. If you would like to share your story, please email it to firstname.lastname@example.org