In the beginning, windsurfing was without form; and darkness was on the face of the deep. Then in 1958, Peter Chilvers created the board and sail combo; and lo, the spirit of windsurfing moved upon the face of the waters at Hayling Island. The windsurfing was without structure; although the people saw the light. They sailed around with the wind upon the waters; and they saw that it was good.

Then a windsurfer decreed “Let the last one back buy the beers!” He smote his opponents and made them buy the beers; and lo, he saw that the beers and an element of competition were good. And so begat the windsurf race.

Then the opponent who was smote said “You cheated, you b******!” and the victor said “What do you mean? There are no rules!” And so they said “Let there be a firmament in the midst of the waters” and it came to pass that the waters were divided by a buoy and the windsurfers gathered into one place, called a start-line.

And lo, of this racing developed a Trinity consisting of The Three Mysteries: The Timed Start Line; The Adjustable Outhaul; and The Mystery So Mysterious that it Remains a Mystery (but might be something to do with what type and construction of equipment you need to enter the different race categories.) The intermediate sailor became intimidated and got confused by the newly created world of the windsurf race and went to spend time in the wilderness.

Then Allan Cross went unto The Powers that Be and spake that there was nothing on the circuit for the ordinary, intermediate sailor, who didn’t understand The Three Mysteries and had freeride kit. And The Powers that Be said “If you feel so passionately about it, why don’t YOU organise something?” So Allan partook of a spare rib and a bite of apple pie and was banished from the Inn on the Beach. This was because he was with a weird, naked Indian and the ghost of Jim Morrison, who told him: “Book it – and they will come!” (Actually, that last little bit is not true at all and I think I got confused with Wayne’s World II.)

Allan booked it; and they did come; and this was how, in 2005, the N.W.F was begotten. And lo, N.W.F became the biggest windsurfing festival in the UK, based entirely around intermediate sailors. Allan decreed that “The Viewer shouldst become the Doer” and wrote on a tablet (or was it an iPad?) 10 Simplified Commandments of the Master Blaster Race;

Commandment 1: Thou can take part. (No really – thou can. Even if thee or thine equipment is as old as Methuselah!)

Commandments 2-10: Thou shalt adhere to only one rule; to go around the buoy; even be it by means of breaststroke.

Commandment 11: Thou shalt, at all times, have fun.

And yea, though you sail in the Valley of Darkness, so the floodlights of the Night Racing shall light your way. And verily, Ben the Proffitt has foretold that you can witness for yourself the Miracle of the Waking of the Dead the morning after the beach party! And suffer all watersports enthusiasts to come unto me, for N.W.F has embraced people of the SUP, Kayak and Kite and was reborn in 2013 as the National Watersports Festival with the aim to see more men and women of the water having fun together upon the hallowed sand of Hayling Island.

And that is the story of how N.W.F came to pass; a festival which is truly a Garden of Eden for the intermediate, with races for all, irrespective of age, gender and type of equipment. “Let the earth bring forth the living creature and his kind” – you can even enter dressed as Batman or a Ninja Turtle. And true to its roots in creation, it is a fine opportunity to race your mate and get the loser to buy the beers.

Well. Would you Adam and Eve it?!

Jackie Lambert

Now that the past is no longer a mystery, come along and be part of the history! Get the dates engraved on your tablets early – N.W.F 2013 runs from 30th Aug – 1st Sept at the birthplace of windsurfing, Hayling Island.

And forget thee not that, where 2 or 3 are gathered together in the name of windsurfing, they SHALL be discussing sail sizes!

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