Windsurfing is a sometimes a tricky sport that relies on so many elements….
Obviously, you need wind, you need water and you need equipment. But most importantly though, you need passion, drive, encouragement and support as you tackle the elements and master the techniques. Its a challenge that becomes a lifelong pursuit for many of us, and sometimes it’s great to share our obsession with others!
The Discover Windsurfing Days are a fantastic way to introduce members of the general public to our sport. Now in it’s fourth year, the event aims to get people on the water experiencing the rush and excitement, whilst being supported by a team of coaches, instructors and on beach supporters.
This year over 120 people participated in the day. Conditions were perfect..blue skies, a gentle 5-8 knot South-South Wester and an incoming tide set the scene for some great sailing. Armed with our 10 new Unifibre rigs, we hit the water at 10 a.m, breaking at 1 pm for the famous IWC BBQ, before hitting the water again until late in the afternoon!
Often we forget that events take a lot of work. Under the scrupulous eye of Old Salty- our event dictator, the efforts of our behind the scenes crew needs to mentioned (and loudly applauded)…Postie Pete, Andrew, Frank, Cara, Ian, Pete Naz, Rob, Etsuko, Ben, Antoine and Tash did an amazing job of collecting gear, setting up, laying markers in the water, catering for the masses, directing people to coaches, and sharing the stoke. These efforts are mostly invisible, and yet they are the vital ingredient in making our events successful.
On the water, the coaching team made up of Dan, Kato, Caitlyn, Pete J, Roy, Josh, Joel, Sze-Fei, Simon, Colin, Antoine delivered tips and techniques that helped beginners to get moving under their own power. The skills we learnt at Yachting Vic’s Windsurf Instructors Course has really changed the way we teach beginners, and I am constantly amazed at how quickly we can now get people on the water, understanding conditions and travelling along (and sometimes even turning around and coming back!). Equipment plays a big part in the equation too. Our 10 new Unifibre rigs that were generously provided by VicHealth are simply awesome! Often people are discouraged to take up windsurfing because everything’s a struggle. A heavy rig that’s hard to lift out of the water is a sure fire way to turn someone off our sport in a hurry. The new rigs- ranging from 1.5 to 3,5 metres are light and easy to control. To be able to cater to beginners as young as 6-8 years old, right up to senior adults is a great thing, and seeing kids virtually jump on and take off down the Inlet on their first attempt is simply awesome!
It’s always difficult to measure the success of an event, but if we were to take our participants and add up the smiles, the laughter, the stacks and the victories, I reckon we’d come up all right!