That time of year again!

The National Watersports Festival (NWF) opens its doors on Hayling Island, Hampshire, this weekend.

This annual get together kicks off proceedings on Friday 7th and runs all the way until Sunday evening (9th)

In years past the festival was a celebration of materblaster windsurfing – masterblaster being the term used for an in and out style race that is popular with amateurs and pro’s.

The successful format once again sees event organiser and windsurf enthusiast, Allan Cross, at the helm and he is keen to get across the message that this is an event for everyone.

It doesn’t matter what kit you own, what skill level you are this is your event. Prizes are awarded for a variety of things – not just first, second and third place.

As the festival has grown so have the number of sports included. This year sees the second consecutive inclusion of SUP (standup paddle boarding) and new for 2012 will be the kitesurfing demo which will be run from the newly designated (free) Kite Beach area.

An improved industry area is set to be erected with most pf the leading UK brands in attendance.

This will give the various companies a direct link to tgheir target audience as the NWF attracts a massive amount of spectators and competitors alike through the weekend. Last year saw an estimated foot fall of 5000 passing along the shingle at West Beachlands.

The iconic structure of the Inn On The Beach will host the main socialising and party elements with a charity auction and band set to liven things up during the course of Friday night.

On the run up to the party on Saturday, there will be the spectacular Night Windsurf competition which sees the sea front illuminated by massive floodlights while the pro’s and top point scoring amateurs take to the water to do battle in front of a enthusiast crowd on the shore.

The Heathrow Jets take to the stage on Saturday evening during the mother of all parties which sees much ‘dad dancing’ and shandy consumption – making for a few weary heads the following morning.

In between races there will be plenty of guru’s on hand who will be dishing out those much needed tricks and tips to get you improving o the water while for those who fancy trying out some new kit then a strong fleet of demo equipment will be available.

If you fancy coming down for the weekend then Havant Borough Council allow camping over night during the weekend, providing an overnight parking ticket is purchased, which makes it easier to soak up the full atmosphere of the whole weekend’s proceedings.

Racing continues through Sunday before the event wraps up for 2012 during the afternoon.

Also new for this year is the live streaming which will see the event broadcast across a variety of different platforms online.

Every year the NWF event goes from strength to strength and with expected numbers set to exceed years past, this one is not to be missed.

If you fancy taking part in the racing, trying some new kit, catching up with pals or generally milling about the beach with like-minded individuals then get yourself to Hayling Island this weekend.
You don’t want to miss it!

For more info regarding tickets, event entry and destination information head over to

Words by Tez Plavenieks

Sourced from Windsurfing

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