Additional pics taken from Windsurf Round Europe Facebook page
It always adds a different dimension reading the scribblings of someone you actually know personally. We had the good fortune of attending a Boards magazine test trip to El Tur, Egypt, back in the day when Windsurf Round Britain/Europe’s Jono Dunnett was part of the core test team (alongside his brother Greg who was then staff writer at Boards).
As affable and pleasant a chap as Jono came across he never struck us as one for mammoth expeditions or huge challenges. For sure he loved his sailing and was/is pretty handy across many forms of windsurfing. But when he announced his intention to windsurf round Britain back in 2015 we were mildly surprised. That’s not to say we didn’t think he could do it. Jono simply hadn’t struck us as the type. Not without complication, his long standing ambition was fulfilled, and the book came a year later.
Many following Mr Dunnett’s exploits will be familiar with his current undertaking. As if windsurfing round Britain wasn’t enough he’s now several thousand kilometres into the Round Europe expedition. Doing things by halves obviously isn’t his thing… But back to windsurfing round Britain and the book detailing that journey.
Very much a relaxed and easy going style of writing Jono describes each leg of his route in detail. On water descriptions are vivid and in places – such as the West Cornwall leg and Irish Sea crossing – are heart in mouth where the reader is placed right in the action the action. You can taste the sea salt, feel the wind ruffling hair and sense the peril as Jono negotiates those tricky conditions he faces time and again.
On water descriptive prose is punctuated by colourful imagery of on land experiences and the many generous ‘helpers’ Jono encounters. Some offering him a warm bed for the night, others offering food/drink while some are simply company on the water for short periods of time.
We enjoyed the adventure side of the windsurf round Britain story it’s the book’s psychological element that proved most interesting. Understanding Jono’s back story – what drove him to take on the challenge and motivational/demotivating factors involved – are insightful. You can sense the author’s reticence about this kind of thing. We’d have liked to hear more on this front: the vulnerable human element that most will recognise – especially non-windsurfers.
All in, however, Jono’s account of his adventures whilst windsurfing round Britain is a thoroughly enjoyable read that all windsurfers will find favour with. Add it your library and then hit up the Windsurf Round Europe website and social media feeds to track the latest adventure.
£10.99 paperback, £3.99 kindle