At this year’s NWF, and its new home of Rutland Water, time was set aside to present the annual windsurfing awards in the following categories.
- Windsurfing Coach of the Year
- Young Windsurfer of the Year
- Most Inspiring Windsurfer of the Year
- Windsurfing Club of the Year
Coaches are an essential part of windsurfing, weather its teaching absolute beginners or advanced pros trying to nail elusive maneuvers or gain the extra knot of speed. Coaches/instructors are the (often) unsung heroes of our sport.
This person has been recognised for all hard work he has put in with hundreds of students over many years with his coaching company Windwise, his development of the Fast Forward program now used by the RYA and all over the world and on a personal level, doing this while fighting serious illness over the last few years. He’s also one of Windsurfing UK’s key technique gurus, delivering essential coaching articles each issue.
So big congrats Simon Bornhoft winner of Coach of the Year!
Young Windsurfer of the Year is a very important award as it recognises upcoming talent – of which we have plenty here in the UK. The winner of this award has already won the 5.8m Fleet at The Eric Twiname Championships and the RYA Zone Champs.
The winner of Young Windsurfer of the Year is Charlie Bennett.
The winner of Most Inspiring Windsurfer award needs no introduction. He is without doubt the best all-round windsurfer the UK has ever produced. He has won wave competitions, been World Formula Champion and last year was on the podium for his performance on the PWA slalom series. Yet he still has time for people (particularly youngsters) and give them help and encouragement.
The Most Inspiring Windsurfer of the Year is Ross Williams.
This club award was the most hotly contested of all. Clubs are the lifeblood of our sport. Introducing and bringing new sailors into windsurfing is an important role. They help provide us with great safe places to sail and through camaraderie and encouragement make us better windsurfers.
The reason this club has won was summed up best by one of the people who nominated them, Dan Wilson.
“At 14 I was obsessed with ice hockey and that was to be my path. That was the plan anyway! I had been going to the lake with my windsurfing dad for years to simply sit in the car or play with Rusty the club dog.
May Bank Holiday Monday 2009 I signed onto a free taster session where I met many of the club regulars and elders of the wind. At the time the club must have had an average membership age knocking on early 50’s. However they managed to get this ice hockey mad teenager hooked on something I considered to be my Dad’s boring past time.
There isn’t a single person at the club I can’t thank for where I am today. The Team behind our T15 programme are sublime. All volunteering every Saturday morning to help organise and run a fantastic kid’s club. If I were to ever turn up with the wrong piece of kit, or if the wind was too strong for my 5.5m, every single member would offer me something to use to make sure I could hit the water.
That is what Brog is. Pure encouragement. Not being on the water isn’t an option! Luckily I was spotted as having a bit of a talent for teaching and am now holding my first instructor job at Plas Menai National Outdoor Centre. I am looking to go to Vass next year.
If it wasn’t for that club (my home) I wouldn’t be where I am today. So please, if you could help me thank them by making our little club Club of the Year that would be amazing.”
Winner of Windsurfing Club of the Year is Brogborough Windsurfing Club.
Well done to all winners and nominees. Keep on doing what you do, we have a great scene in the UK!