The Inspiration behind the NWF

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Welcome to the first ever NWF blog which I intend to post on a fairly regular basis, but don’t worry – it won’t be just me posting as we have a few guest bloggers lined up too. However, as it’s the first one, I thought it was only right I started the ball rolling……… So what do you guys and gals want to hear about? I must admit the most popular question I get asked is, what was the inspiration behind the concept of the National Windsurfing Festival (NWF)…… Boy it seems like a long time ago now, well it is when you think it is now in its 7th year since its inaugural NWF kindly sponsored by Fat Face back in 2005 who supported the original concept of a windsurfing festival designed for the mass free-ride/intermediate sailor.

After competing for more years than I’d like to mention and throughly enjoying the feeling of attempting to sail faster than your mates , which lets face it, we all do, yeh like it or not its a form of racing………… So when I hear people say I don’t race, I say really!

I asked the seeking question- Why aren’t there more people enjoying the thrill of racing ? I realised that not everyone had race equipment never mind the latest go faster kit, Nor did people want to abide the complex race rules and timed start lines or indeed race numbers all over their sails……. What was wrong with their own free-ride kit irrespective of age as it was always been competitive on their local lakes, beaches etc and lets look and simplifying the rules….. e.g keep it simple…..

So it was obvious, a simple format “master blaster” beach start off the beach sail out to a mark attempt a gybe/swim and come back to the beach as fast as you can…………. Which If we were to admit, sums up about 80% of windsurfers who go by the name of the free-ride sailor…… And we incorporated a few additional categories to enable maximum participation for pre millennium equipment, pre 1985, fancy dress and even teams…… With the main emphasis on Fun for all…. So we really did want to change the normal concept and make the normal spectator into the competitor, but in a fun and friendly environment which caters for all abilities.

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So thats the format sorted, but what about the winning ingredient or the possible lack of it… Wind…… To be honest this was one of my first considerations, e.g. wet weather programme, or the what ifs, e.g. no wind…….. How many times have we got it wrong, the forecast that is and stranded on the shore line waiting for the wind. So we needed back ground activities, thats why we have the clinics from the UK’s finest guru’s on hand for all those tasty tips, plus the opportunity to ogle/touch and play with the latest newly released toys on exhibition each year…..

Then of course, no festival is the same without entertainment, not just on the water but off, so then the famous VIP party with the night windsurf was introduced….. The rest is history I suppose, with a total of 500 competitors attending last year taking part in the windsurf or sup festival and taster sessions.

But one of the most important ingredients is the team…. Thats right ,we are only as good as the team, and in this case its the whole windsurfing industry coming together to deliver the festival extravaganza of the year designed purely for you….

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However, the best aspect of the event without doubt is the atmosphere generated by the NWF community itself, yes the buy in from the UK free-ride community is staggering, everyone of them young and the old have become ambassadors of this event and witnessed its growth each year. If you haven’t entered to date you really don’t know what your missing, if you can sail in a straight line and turn round in a fashion then this is the event for you……

The peoples windsurfing event…. And yes its thats time again to spread the word, as I oil up the cogs once more in readiness for this years NWF and NSUPF. Which is a 3 day event Fri 7th – Sun 9th Sept 2012…….

Anyway, I wish you all a windy summer and see you all in Sept.

Al Cross

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