Hello, welcome to Boardseeker Windsurfing Magazine please use the links below to jump to a specific section.

Navigation Search Content Other Mpora Sites

The state of British Wave Sailing competitions!!!!!!

Posted by the guru 
the guru
The state of British Wave Sailing competitions!!!!!!
29 October '07 | 11:19am
We need change and we need it now.

The current state of the British wave sailing competitions run at the moment through the UKWA is a sham.

Wave sailing is always going to be controversial because of the current format of using judges to get these results.

Other sports such as ice skating and surfing use judges but these judges are usually skilled and experienced technicians of that sport, experts. Normally there are at least five of these skilled judges.

In the UK competitions the UKWA scrape together three judges. What expertise do these judges have? Can they actually windsurf anywhere near the standard of the competitors, do really know the differences in difficulties of the jumps, move and waverides, do they really even watch windsurf videos to understand the sport, do they have any passion for the sport, do they actually want to be there for the sport or there own little status boost in the fickle kiss ass windsurfing scene as it is at the moment?????.

The UK need some skilled experience ex or current sailors with a passion for the sport who no longer want to compete to help save the UK comp scene.

Job requirements are that you have no current or previous ties with the windsurf industry, you do not work for any windsurf magazines, that you are fair and honest, and that you would actually like to try it because you love windsurfing.

It would be best if you were not familiar with any of the competitiors, especially not related or partners, or if you had any current or previous health or mental problems that could affect your ability to judge.

However I feel that a whole new change in direction is required.

The wave sailing scene needs to break away from the anchor that is the UKWA and it's racing based dated rules and to be rescued by an new independent saviour dedicated to bringing the most spectacular of windsurfing disciplines back into the lime light.

The competitors will be consulted and listened to when deciding on heat lengths, scoring to count before the competition.

A jury style selection of pro sailors will be used to judge all other fleets. These guys know exactly what is good or bad when sailing and will be very clearly able to select the appropriate winner of each heat. It will also help them understand the judging process and the difficulties it can present and how to avoid them.

The pro sailors will be selected into groups and have multi sail offs where they will be filmed and photographed in the best conditions of the day.

The resulting footage will be edited and watched in the evenings and judged by all the sailors themselves to provide a winner for that day and the best move, jump and wave ride etc.

This would guarantee a load of good footage and photos to help promote the competitions in the UK and National windsurf media, and even local and national press.

So somebody out there stand up and accept the challenge. Use the new format to attract proper sponsorship from out of industry sponsors and lets try and turn things around. Involve this with a Night fest style event at a more extreme location and wave sailing could have the new winning formula to save it from self destruction.
lots of bitterness there- are you a competitor?

best competition judging ive ever seen was in taranaki when the competing sailors who wernt in the heat judged it by a show of hands at the end of the heat, that did the trick.

but really and in all honesty who cares? wavesailing competition? marking wavesailing according to "trick difficulty"? sod that its all about style and being out there- the whole competition thing is a bit sad............
the guru anti whatever
Re: The state of British Wave Sailing competitions!!!!!!
29 October '07 | 3:44pm
Surely competition is healthy for any sport to push the standards, hence the premiership rather than park football. There will always be some guys better than others.

If you don't like competition then that's fine.

Technical difficulty is important in any judged sport as it helps push the limits as is not as subjective as style. Obviously a push loop forward combination is much more technical than the same height forward loop and being so will score higher.

You really need to be able to have some idea of how to do a move to be able to tell the difference between a good one and a bad one.

Lots of windsurfers like big end over end forwards which are actually easier and a lot less technical than a stalled controlled spin loop.

Style is a question of a person preference, who's the more stylish between Josh Angulo and Kauli Seadi, or Kevin Pritchard.

You could say who cares but then whats the point in answering anyway.

I'm a bit old to be competing but I work as a photographer, and I get to see a bit more of what's really going on than what actually gets put out in the media.

And yes it may be sad to be bothered about trying to improve things.

Who cares?
hmmm ... is this about a certain decision alluded to in the article on the WW comp?

ps. at the moment? kauli without a doubt.
style police
Re: The state of British Wave Sailing competitions!!!!!!
29 October '07 | 6:08pm
How do you judge style? Who is to say one style is better than another. Is Kauli's style better, a few years ago he might have got criticised for not laying his sail down enough etc etc, who knows, it is all what is fashionable at the time.

What the judges need to do is state clearly what they are judging on before the competitions start, maybe there needs to be X factor style!

Didn't Tristan Boxford try to do something like the Guru was saying. I think it would take a lot of work and coordination.
yea i see ya points.
but if you dont judge style what do you judge...execution? clinical cold execution
so two backloops, same height, same landings, two different sailors, one tweaked and stylish(you MUST know what i mean) the other bland - should they score the same?
It IS a matter of style...............i thought that was the whole point of wavesailing........ and yes it is subjective how can it ever not be.......

But what about the taranaki style of judging- being judged by your peers on the beach?
Paul Merton
Re: The state of British Wave Sailing competitions!!!!!!
29 October '07 | 10:42pm
don't they usually build piers out to sea?
going on from this, what would really be good is too have a contest where all of the UK guys enter. There seems to be a lot of brits on various national and international tours. Get them all together with decent prize money. Including Nik Baker, Robbie Swift, Ross Williams, Nick Dempsey etc and have 10 minute freewave heats where anything goes, riding, transitions, jumping - typical UK coastal windsurfing where there is no categories or confinements, just fun. The heats could all have loads of people in, everyone enter it doesnt matter, the sailors standing out get through and the amount of people still in get whittled down. The judges could be a range of experienced windsurfers, novices who don't actually know the names of the best, too Dorothy just out walking her cocker spaniel. At least 5 so that not just what is meant to be good is judged, but what is also impressive to the untrained eye, if a 50 ft normal jump brings the points then fine. The prize purse should just be winner takes all, all to the best performer on the day and not to organisation overkill.

With all the new and old stuff happening that makes windsurfing an exciting sport, lets include it. The UK as a nation is exceptional at windsurfing considering what we actually get.

It would be worth seeing and a good celebration of all the talent that uk waters show and an inspiration for everyone. I don't think anyone could say they didn't care about something like that.
Thanks for your message.

Having been one of the so called scraped together judges at the events this year its always good to know that the competitors are grateful that I've given up my weekend of windsurfing to support the event.

There is no doubt that I'm passionate about the sport having given up many weekends to do the events, I work for BOARDS Mag which gives me no particular allegience to any sailor or sponsoring brand and always as fair as possible to all the sailors.

Unfortunately there is only ever one grateful competitor and that is the guy that wins. Every one else thinks there is some sort of conspiracy agains them. Sure in some cases decision go against you and in some cases you get the lucky decision. That is the problem with subjective judging. Its never going to be perfect I am afraid even in the PWA judging.

Sure I'll be the first to agree that my level of sailing isn't at the Pro level. If it was I'd be competing myself but I know what to look for and I can tell who's got style and who's muscling it around.

Goodluck next year when no one will be prepared to judge for you.

All the best

Re: The state of British Wave Sailing competitions!!!!!!
14 November '07 | 11:38pm
Well said Fred !
Re: The state of British Wave Sailing competitions!!!!!!
15 November '07 | 12:17pm
Thorpy here..

Guru, some ideas and sentiments in there that i would agree with and also some complete bull.
If you're so pissed off with everything, why don't you step upto the job? or at least put your name to your views..

You say the judges need to be current or ex competitors who no longer want to compete and then suggest that they shouldn't be mates with any of the competitors??!!??

Fred, you do a fantastic job mate and I'm sure 99% of the competitors are extremely grateful for the effort you put in. I hope you don't pay too much attention to Guru.

As it happens, I've been wanting something new to happen for a couple of yrs.
I've done very little competing over the last yr or so as the forecast hasn't been worth getting out of bed for and I've spent too much of my precious time off work over tha last 10yrs sitting in carparks or in the pub at places i'd never normally consider going.

It's taken me a while to get round to it, as I've often been told 'theres something going to happen' or it won't work or whatever.

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 15/11/2007 | 12:20pm by ripper.
Re: The state of British Wave Sailing competitions!!!!!!
15 November '07 | 12:28pm
Pauses for air..

So Anyway. I thought if nothings going to happen again this year, I'm atleast going to get something off the ground, and this was my plan..

Call it 'Wavejam' (i registered a web domain just in case)
Basically email the 20 or so top sailors (no exclusivity, just can't have huge numbers)
Turn up at the beach, on a mega forcast.
Run 2 'semi final' type expression sessions judged by whichever sailors aren't sailing.
Those sailors which don't make the final, judge the final.
So 10 man expression session final.
This will work ok, i did it once at Ho'okipa, 1999 ish.. (still open to abuse by those with low morals though)
No sponsors, no prize money, no flags, no council, no insurance?
Lots of footage to give to the mags though (Me, Crazy Horse have camera's)
Also I'm sure Boardseeker, Si Crowther, maybe JC would cover it too.
This stuff could possibly go on the 'wavejam' site too along with a forum (discuss where and when, etc), Galley, whatever.

To summarise, I just want to get the best british sailors out ripping in the best conditions and a light hearted contest (including best ride, best jump , best wipeout) for the craic, the rest is of little concern to me.

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 15/11/2007 | 12:37pm by ripper.
Re: The state of British Wave Sailing competitions!!!!!!
15 November '07 | 12:34pm
So i started asking round.
And got lots of positive feedback, except for the insurance.
If I organise 20 sailors to turn up at the beach (wether competing officially or not) I could be sued. Not much chance you say, bet then if Jonny bangs his head and drowns his parents might have other ideas..

So then you need to involve the ukwa.
And guess what? they're already planning on running something, with help from simon Basset along the lines of above, but more organised. But don't mind if other stuff runs.
Ade and Lou are also keen to help out and run stuff.
Infact it seems that just about everyone outthere has the same idea and wants something to happen, and christ we do need it.

Sorry to let various cats out of bags, but I think it's time we all discussed this together and made sure something happens which is to everyone's liking..

I'm done.

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 15/11/2007 | 12:41pm by ripper.
Re: The state of British Wave Sailing competitions!!!!!!
15 November '07 | 12:58pm
BTW, those that matter do read this forum! (even if they don't post) so it's as good a place as any to get your views across..
Re: The state of British Wave Sailing competitions!!!!!!
15 November '07 | 1:47pm
Ok. So you're all to overwelmed by this thread to post anything.

but the way I see it is this..

The ukwa has it's place, and do a great job of running the events under the current format (the pray for wind and sit in a carpark format)(only joking). But they have lots of restrictions; it's open to anyone/everyone (kids,oaps..), requiremants of local councils, sponsor needs,etc.
We need the ukwa to provide those type of events without question even if it's not what we'd all like.

But are they the best for a 'storm chase' type event. ie. any beach, conditions, time..
do we want a SC event?

Speaking to Ian Jones, he has said the ukwa can run at any beach at short notice, it's not out of the question, but do we want a free for all?
And is the need to have money/sponsors, etc going to be a ball and chain?
On the other hand is it right to have 'invite only'?

Or should we do both?
A lot of the Pro's are away for winter? will sufficient good sailors drive 400miles to chase conditions?
Do we need a result? trophies? prize money? I'm not that bothered..

But i'd like to see something, and I'd like to see something in the mags different to the usual same old..

Last weekend was kind of a storm chase anyway, Hunty, Handjob, Proffitt, Rich Jones, etc,etc all turned up with photographers in tow. Shame it was a bad call, but that's going to happen.
Do we need a forum to discuss 'heads-ups?' which beach? or do we go on one mans call?


Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 15/11/2007 | 1:51pm by ripper.
Ben Proffitt
Re: The state of British Wave Sailing competitions!!!!!!
15 November '07 | 3:02pm
Just like to say to Fred... I thought you did a good job fella! It didn't work out well for me.. but that's the way thing go sometimes!!
Hope it hasn't put you off doing any more!

Ok, Thorpy I think you know my thoughts... I totally agree with the concept but i think the insurance is a big issue!!

My personal opinion is if we have to use the UKWA we need to have 'roll over dates' or events based on forecasts... it's fricking 'WIND' surfing and there is no point in going somewhere on shit house forecast.

Ok.. if you've got big sponsors to please maybe... But we don't!!! and even that doesn't work because you have no competition... so it's pointless!!

We first need to get conditions... then the sailing will speak for it's self... coverage, sponsors etc will come as soon as they see it's a good thing and UK windsurfing can be awesome!!

Bottom line is 'we need conditions' with out them it's wasted money for everyone concerned!

Internet forecasts are there.. lets use them!! Although in a way that's what has killed competitions in the first place... as people just check on the friday see it's crap and don't bother turning up!

just a few thoughts... although I'm away for the whole winter.. wahooooo!!
Clyde Waite
Re: The state of British Wave Sailing competitions!!!!!!
15 November '07 | 4:25pm
How does the insurance thing work then at a normal beach. If we all have UKWA and/or RYA third party insurance to however many million, then does that not count? What about signing a disclaimer?

I think the idea is great, and those who really want to do it will show up to prove themselves. Is it possible for a load of windsurfers to try and organise themselves into some kind of heat without the likes of Fred etc..
Fred did a better job, was really concientious about the whole thing and was pretty straight and equal with everyone, which made a change.
Re: The state of British Wave Sailing competitions!!!!!!
15 November '07 | 4:46pm
Hey Clyde, how goes it?

I phoned Ian J to ask just that. His reply was that if we're all paid up ukwa members it would cost us ?120 for the day (which isn't a lot i guess) but we'd have to promote the ukwa (fair enough again). He then threw me somewhat by suggesting they were going to run some 'on forecast' events anyway, and i never got round to the ins and outs.
Hopefully Ian can post and clarify.
I guess we'd need to know how much notice needs to be given, and any health/safety requirements involved. (rescue service, officials..)
I'm sure the ?120 could be found easily enough.

There's no reason why the sailors themselves can't organise/judge their own event. I know we're bit of a useless rabble, but if we pulled our fingers out it would be possible, and you can make it as hard or as easy as you like.
The event I did at ho'okipa was sailor judged and was a proper heat/elimination type thing, where sailors were allocated heats to judge alongside an official judge.

Perhaps Fred would come and help for the craic anyway if we buy his beer!

I'm not sure how important the 'contest' bit is? A winner is required but it could still be a fun thing, with the main 'result' being everyone getting some coverage/pics/vid of themselves.
BTW, this isn't all entirely my thoughts, Boardseeker themselves and some of the lads have suggested this stuff and are keen to see it happen.
Re: The state of British Wave Sailing competitions!!!!!!
15 November '07 | 4:49pm
Oh, and I'm lead to believe 'disclaimers' aren't worth the paper they're written on, but I've always had to sign one at biking stuff so there must be something in it?
The insurance thing is bollocks really, but i guess there's no getting round it, though i'm tempted to ignore it if it's only 10-20 of the 'pro' sailors turning up.

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 15/11/2007 | 4:50pm by ripper.

Your Email:


  • Valid attachments: gif, jpg, jpeg, png
  • No file can be larger than 400 KB
  • 5 more file(s) can be attached to this message