Ladies who Launch – or those who would like to, are very welcome at the NWF and there are a good few reasons for ladies to come along. NWF Team Rider, Jackie Lambert, explores what there is to entice the ladies to the NWF i



Watersports, or sport in general, is often seen as male dominated. It is a shame, since the health benefits of regular exercise such as fitness and weight control are well documented. Research by Sport England has also found that there are additional perks, such as improved self-confidence, increased energy, better sleep and enhanced leadership skills.

SUP and Windsurfing have certainly brought much joy into my life. In addition to the unparalleled exhileration and buzz of skimming across the water, it is very mindful being out in the fresh air, in nature, in the beautiful surroundings of the coast, lakes or rivers. You can’t be worrying about life when you are immersed in your sport! I have met many new friends who share my passion and these sports have also inspired me to travel to diverse and gorgeous places, such as the British Virgin Islands, Margarita, the Caribbean and glorious South West Ireland.



Thankfully, the gender gap is changing. De Coubertin The founder of the Modern Olympics, felt that female participation would be “impractical, uninteresting, unaesthetic and incorrect!” London 2012 was the first Olympic Games in which women could compete in every sport.


SUP is the fastest growing watersport in the world. I don’t have reliable statistics, but if I were to guess, I would say that the SUP community is split half and half between male and female. With windsurfing, I can source more accurate figures. There are approximately 185,000 UK windsurfers and almost 30% are women. I worked it out and that’s 53,560.08.

That’s an awful lot of Babes on Boards – and over 50,000 women can’t be wrong!

If you want some moral support, why not bring along some friends – you can enter the NWF as part of a team. Also, Simon Bornhoft (Pro Coach, technique editor for a number of windsurfing magazines and architect of the RYA ‘Fast Forward’ windsurf coaching model) is once again running Team Windwise. Free to join and open to everyone, Team Windwise offers advice, support, refreshments, a Team area to chill and chat as well as free Team kit! To join Team Windwise… simply email, message or Facebook to info@Windwise.net saying ‘YES I’M IN’


Over the years, the NWF has welcomed superstars like Team GB Olympic Bronze Medallist, Bryony Shaw, 2 x World Record Holder for Speed Windsurfing, Bristol-based Zara Davies and Karin Jaggi, who, last time I counted, had over 29 World Titles in several different windsurfing disciplines.

But we’re not all superstars. I am an NWF Team Rider precisely because I am an ordinary Joe (well, an ordinary Jackie at any rate!) I have passed my half century and was inspired to learn to windsurf somewhat late in life by my Aunt Anne, who is a windsurfing instructor past her three score years and ten (70!) Anne was taught to windsurf by a lady crippled with arthritis and a man with one hand.

So you don’t have to be young, super-fit and strong to windsurf or SUP. If we can do it, anyone can!

The NWF, with free taster sessions, free professional coaching, simple out-and-back races on safe, friendly waters is the perfect place to start!



Mermaid hair – well I don’t care, but if you want to make sure that you look good from beach to bar, you might want to have a chat with Whale of a Time Clothing at the NWF Trade Show.

An exciting, new British label, headed up by young designer Ellie Wales, the brand focusses on organic fabrics and easy to wear designs which look as good as they feel to wear. Whale of a Time also has a fashion & beauty blog and offer advice on how to make the most of their designs.

With a growing band of celebrity fans (Including Binky Felstead, Tiff Watson & Joshua Patteron from Made In Chelsea) come and find out why style savvy customers are joining the retro revolution!


Over to NWF Team Rider, Laura Jurgens. “I panicked. My hubby, Colin, announced that we were going to the NWF. “Wow! Sounds a bit scary to me. I’m not good enough to race!” Even the thought scared the living daylights out of me – and I tried every excuse in the book to get out of it during the drive there!

I was rigged and ready for my first race, but I bottled at the very last minute. I sat down out of the way next to my kit, head in my hands. “Oh god, why did I come? I don’t do racing…”

The 1 minute call. 300 people holding their kit. The beach was bedlam. I stood up and started shouting encouragement to my husband and friend. “Go Col! Go Mark!” I scanned the beach for other friends and saw a few ladies taking part. I also spied young people, old people, thin people, fat people, people in fancy dress, people on brand new kit, people on retro kit, a whole wide mixture of people windsurfing. Mmmmmm! I had thought that this was for professionals. Maybe not!

The race began and I don’t think I have ever laughed so much! People dropping sails, falling in, trying beach starts; some had waded out for a water start, others just got lucky breaks. It was an amazing sight! I felt so disappointed with myself that I hadn’t had a go. When the next race was announced, I was down there getting a prime spot on the beach!

My race was awful. My start was even worse! I think I fell in a dozen times. I couldn’t gybe around the buoy, but I got back safe and sound. I didn’t win – but I didn’t come last! But out of 300 competitors, I did have the biggest smile on my face – and felt I should have won a prize for that alone! Colin got my kit as I came to shore; so I ran up beach past the finish post with spectators clapping everyone. I thought “Yes!!! I have just finished my first ever windsurf race!!!!!”

I think I managed another two races before I ran out of puff. The great thing about NWF is you can do as many races as you like. There is no certainly no pressure. I couldn’t wait for the Sunday to do it all again!

Now, the NWF is always firmly in our calendars. We arrange our holidays around it – it’s the social event of the year and I absolutely love it!

So – if you have never been, then come on, give it a go. Don’t be scared about the word RACE like I was… Even if you’re a beginner, if you can get around a simple course (doesn’t matter if you wobble or fall off a trillion times like I did) then it’s for you!!!! It’s all about taking part and having lots of fun – and it really is!

It’s a great festival for anybody who simply loves watersports. You don’t have to be a professional (they have their own fleet), all you need is some kit and some pain killers – because I can guarantee you will have face-ache from smiling so much! (They may also come in for the Saturday night party. I’m not going to say much – not because I can’t remember – because I don’t want to spoil it!)

One word – Awesome!

Laura Jurgens












Laura took part in her first NWF when she had been windsurfing for only 8 months. That year, the youngest competitor was 6 years old! If you think the NWF is not for you, think again…!



“The pros can sail a door. It’s us REAL folk who need all the help we can get!! So says Jon from Moo Custom. “Production boards tend to be designed around the anatomy of an average 78kg male.” Ladies, have you spotted the inherent problem with that?

Having the right sized board makes a HUGE difference – and it may be your perfect size is one that fits between the production board size slots. And then there are the footstraps – do you find them too far apart for your stance or one setting too narrow but the next is too wide for your foot?

Jon says “All our lady cusomers have been super happy! With all customers, we have a detailed chat about the style of board they want. We find out where they sail, what size sails they intend to use, their weight and where they are at with their sailing. Even a standard construction Moo Custom in will be lighter, stronger and stiffer than an equivalent production board.”

With prices starting at a similar level to a standard production board, something unique and hand crafted just for you could be more attainable than you think!

Come and have a chat with us at the NWF and see what Moo can do for you. We will not only have a board or two to look at on our stand, but some top quality selected bargains from our Farm Shop, such as sails from Neil Pryde, masts, booms, bases and other accessories – along with Free Moo stickers! www.moocustom.co.uk



We know at NWF that the SUP clubs are the backbone of the sport in the UK. Therefore, we have decided to put on a club-friendly format where you can earn points by taking part in a series of challenges to see how well your club will do! Clubs can also enter a Junior team to each challenge.

As always, our focus is on something for everyone, so the activities we have planned range from family-friendly tasters, to try out various aspects of the sport, to a full-on, 5k technical race.

Throughout the NWF weekend, SUP based activities will be running. FREE SUP taster sessions are on offer, as well as Club Challenges, such as Mega SUP and Dragon SUP and SUP Polo. You can try SUP Yoga or SUP Tug o’ War. The main 3k race and a 5k race will take place on Sunday afternoon. On Friday, there will be a Chill Out Evening Paddle and on Saturday evening, a SUP Adventure Tour of the lake. To take part, simply sign up when you arrive and you will be allocated a time slot for your chosen session!

Points will be added up over the weekend and the Prize Giving will take place on the Sunday afternoon, after the main race.



Going up in smoke and down in flames… The NWF Night Events have always been spectacular and 2017 will be no exception.

AeroSparx is coming to the NWF! With their new sponsor, the national outdoor store BLACKS, AeroSparx is the only pyrotechnic glider team in the UK licenced to fly at night. AeroSparx performed a spectacular, aerial firework display on the One Show to honour the Queen on her 90th Birthday and will be performing at the NWF just before dusk on Saturday night. You can get a taste of what is in store at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DKLo6l9P3Mg&feature=youtu.be but even that won’t prepare you for the wonder of two gliders carving graceful aerobatics through the night sky, with wingtip pyrotechnics and two fuselages, each covered with 12,000 LED lenses, reflecting from the still, dark surface of Rutland Water!


HOVERCRAFT DEMO Axceler-8 Hovercrafts

Experience the thrill of hovercrafting with Axceler-8, who are pleased to be offering hovercraft demos at the NWF!

One of the most respected Hovercraft companies in the UK, Axceler-8’s approach is entirely focused on providing a thoroughly exciting experience for customers, with the latest equipment and technology to ensure a safe but enthralling time. Whether you’re an individual looking for a new pursuit in life, or just looking for a unique experience, we guarantee to get the adrenaline going!




NWF 2017 will take place at Rutland Water on 3-4th June 2017.

Tickets are available for the day, the evening or for the full weekend. See the website www.nationalwatersportsfestival.com for details. Don’t snooze in case you lose – book now to avoid disappointment.

Online entry for Festival Experience or Camping Tickets will close Sunday 28th May in order to finalise campsite layout and H&S procedures. There will be NO facility to enter these categories at the event; we will not be able to accept any further bookings which require a camping pitch. The only tickets available on site tickets will be for the event only, day time or party tickets.

Please follow us on Facebook, Twitter or www.nationalwatersportsfestival.com for news and further developments. www.anglianwater.co.uk/leisure/water-parks/rutland gives further details of the venue and attractions.


This entry was posted in News. Bookmark the permalink.

Comments are closed.

Share and Recommend: