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4May/12Off

NWF – THE PEOPLE’S WINDSURFING FESTIVAL

Most of us have been to N.W.F. it has now proved itself as THE windsurfing festival event of the year, and hopefully most have the dates in the diary for this year too. With Friday added to the bill, the event is sure to be bigger and better this year, we will of course be having regular updates and all the latest news in the build up to the event.

Today the NWF team bring you all the latest details, plus some inspiration for any the newcomers to the sport.

The National Windsurfing Festival (N.W.F) returns to the sun-kissed shores of Hayling Island, near Portsmouth on 7-9th September 2012.

Designed specifically for ‘the people’ (intermediate and freeride sailors) and now in its 7th year, the N.W.F, which is the largest windsurfing event in the UK, is even bigger than ever!

Last year saw the inclusion of the National SUP Festival (N.S.U.P.F) for the first time. This year, supported by Havant Borough Council, the N.W.F will run from Friday to Sunday; THREE days instead of two. (And TWO legendary parties instead of one!) With uncrowded water, the extra day will enable visitors to spend more time enjoying the guru clinics and demo equipment – and the unequalled N.W.F atmosphere and community spirit!

Always great prizes on offer

So what’s going down? Friday is all about Quality Time! With no racing scheduled on Friday, N.W.F visitors will be free to get the most out of the largest trade-show in the UK and the guru technique clinics, with top, professional coaches such as Ant Baker, Simon Bornhoft, Jim Collis, Peter Hart, Jem Hall and Dave White.

The trade show will showcase the latest 2013 windsurf and SUP equipment. Visitors will be able to relax and chat with manufacturers, demo the latest equipment and there will be presentations throughout the day. The highly popular, free coaching clinics, with tips from the top, will be extended this year to include on-the-water sessions on the Friday. This will be in addition to the land-based coaching, which has proved extremely popular in previous years. Friday evening will be rounded off with a party, including live entertainment from the band ‘Halflight’ and a charity auction for W4CR (Windsurfing for Cancer Research.)

So what about Saturday and Sunday? In addition to the trade show and coaching clinics, Saturday and Sunday’s excitement will also include racing. But this is racing with a difference – not hardcore, professional competition but racing for everyone.

Sure, there will be races for the National fleets and Turbo 15 (and there will be professional team riders about) but if you can stand on a board, wobble out to a buoy and back – you can join in the fun and enter races at the N.W.F!

The Turbo15 windsurfers showing the Pros how it's done

“Where the spectator becomes the competitor” is the ethos behind N.W.F and is, in fact, how the N.W.F came about in the first place! N.W.F founder, Allan Cross, says:

“To enter races, you often need expensive equipment of a specific type and there are complicated rules. I thought ‘Why not run races that ANYONE can enter and have fun, regardless of their ability or equipment?’ Then someone said to me ‘If you feel so passionately about it, why don’t you organise it?’ – so I did!” Welcome to the N.W.F, where there are races for all ages, genders and categories – to include pre-millennium, pre-1985 equipment and even fancy dress. If you still think it’s not for you, you may be interested to know that last year, the youngest N.W.F competitor was 6 years old and a tiger got a podium finish. That’s about as all-inclusive as it gets!”

Spirit FM will be running a live roadshow and radio broadcast throughout Saturday – and it wouldn’t be the N.W.F without the famous, floodlit Night Windsurf and legendary Saturday party! Saturday’s party will have a 1980s fancy-dress theme and The Heathrow Jets are back by popular demand again this year to play live into the night.

For the last word, I will leave it to Laura Jurgens, who took part in her first N.W.F race when she had been windsurfing for only four months:

Hitting the water at N.W.F.

“Even if you’re a beginner, as long as you can get around a simple course (it doesn’t matter if you wobble or fall off a trillion times like I did) then N.W.F is for you!!!! It’s all about taking part and having lots of fun – and it really is fun. N.W.F is firmly in our calendars every year…it is literally the social event of the year!”

I wouldn’t want to miss out on the social event of the year, would you? See you there!

Online entry opens 1st June for both competitors and additional party tickets for Saturday night. For further information, see www.nationalwindsurfingfestival.com or follow N.W.F on Facebook.

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