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 
In Belgium they have a yearly contest they call "Smackfest". They have it on a good forecast over a weekend and choose the location to the forecast (Usually France). I don?t remember the fine things of it but it goes more or less like this: All of them go out (i think up to 30 guys) and sail the best they can, pull the best stunts, etc. Have some people to film it all and at night they?ll go in a pub to watch the filmed material and judge everyone themselves. So they get the video and photo material, a winner, more spectacular stunts and no one has to sit on the beach to wait for their turn. It is fun, not taken all too seriously and fairly easy and flexible to organise.
The wavejam thing sounds like a great plan. I can understand why, but it would be a shame if it was exclusively for pro's. The disclaimer idea that Clyde had, seems to be worth a look.

What about Avon beach this Sun :-)
Clyde Waite
Re: The state of British Wave Sailing competitions!!!!!!
15 November '07 | 9:13pm
I reckon Avon beach this weekend could be a good place to see what happens. Early indications are good south swell going southwest, which is good for there. The spectating area and parking area are perfect. The only thing is that the wind might come a bit too early. Also the UKWA end of season party is just down the road on the Saturday evening.

Probably a bit too early notice, although it might be the only wind for another 4 weeks!

I think if Simon Bassett can pull together his plans for a rollover winter series at West Wittering, then that will work really well. It was a good platform for the last event and is ideal for just a one day competition/sail off on a forecast.
Andy King
Re: The state of British Wave Sailing competitions!!!!!!
15 November '07 | 10:33pm

Good to see that people like Thorpy have escaped the trap of comps but are still keen to compete if we had good conditions. With regards to Fred and any other judges we the competitors do appreciate the time and effort they have giving up to help run events. For the sake of UK wave sailing it would be good to following the gist of the forum and gather on forecasts...

I believe that we should all meet up as said on a forecast and just sail. That way theres no problem with insurance and no need to be tied to the UKWA.

However as we all launch for our first hr session of sailing there stands on the beach two photographers and a videographer, they have a the job of catching the best action on film and video...

Repeat this process as often as the weather and endurance of the camera guys allows before either retreating home or to local accomadation if the forecast remains good.

Some pics get sent to the mags, but the best get put on to the rippers website and the competitors can come online and vote for the best moves and the best photos...

every one goes home happy after sailing to their limit and then get to see the results from the comfort of their own home the next day...

theres no 6min heats or standing around getting cold....

If the beach called is too far away then simply chill out and wait for the nxt call closer to home....
bring the fun back into wavesailing and whilst doing this we can raise the level of performance and therefor make for better pics and video.

Or we can involve the UK and be sat here discussing what went wrong this time nxt year !!!


Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 25/11/2007 | 9:51pm by admin.
Ed from K-Bay put me on to this thread coz of the insurance aspect.

Via the UKWA website we've set up a Poole Slalom email group. This allows all the subscribed sailors to receive emails sent to just one email - currently over 40 sailors have subscribed and we've already had a few successful slalom 'events'. Next year it will be big!

The email group allows us to communicate whether there will be any racing on set days (depending on the wind) and decide on the location - so far it's working well.

I'm sure this system would work well for wave sailors who either want to set up a competition based on a good forecast or who just want to sail together at the same spot. Contact me if you want help with this.

Unfortunately, we've also come up against the insurance issue - not yet resolved, but we're are working on it. A sailor's own third party insurance does not cover the 'organisers' against someone drowning - hence the need for a separate policy. Unfortunately, this is prohibitive for our set up so alternatives are currently being considered.

Guru - who are you! If you want to change something with the UKWA talk to someone on the committee or get involved yourself - don't hide behind a forum.

Roger Clark
UKWA Slalom Rep
Re: The state of British Wave Sailing competitions!!!!!!
16 November '07 | 11:51am
Thanks for the replies everyone.

Surely there are clubs all over the country running racing? are they all paying the insurance?
And surely the USM's (ultimate speed meets) at West Kirby are exactely the same (emails to get a group of people together to 'compete')and possibly the most 'dangerous' of the lot (not that any of it is really..)
Let us know how you get on Roger.

And hey Andy, I think if events were run on an 'on-forecast' basis, there'd be a lot of old Pro's coming out the woodwork and possibly some very good sailors who don't compete.

My thoughts at the minute are to give it a go, just with email (no insurance,smallish numbers) and have a 'storm chase' with no real result as a 'one off' and take it from there. The resulting pics/footage can be used to put something together afterwards.
Maybe things will snowball from there.
I don't see it being antiukwa, but something which can run alongside and mostly in the winter months.

I'm away this afternoon until sunday night, so I'll pick this up again on Monday.

If people want to email me its stevethorp(at)hotmail(dot)com

I'll need everyone's email's first if anythings going to happen, if someone can supply them?..
(i guess 40ish will be fine, as most will be away or can't do all weekends anyway)

I have dream visions of a Sunny, mast high, dtl empty day at Gwithian! but we'll have to see what we get.

Que the worst winter for wind on record...

Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 16/11/2007 | 1:11pm by ripper.
Captain SlackBladder
Re: The state of British Wave Sailing competitions!!!!!!
16 November '07 | 1:16pm
Re: the insurance thing. Does that mean the various "turn up for slalom if there's wind, no rescue cover, informal but fun" things that are going on at the moment have a problem? I reckon not. It's down to each sailor's personal responsibility, surely. If they are members of UKWA/RYA they automatically get insurance for I think ?1 million.

If 20 competitors all looped in to a passing ferry and sank it, they'd have ?20 million to buy a new one with! They could even get some prize money with the change...

I reckon you should go ahead andorganise it. Limited entry to only the good and the great compete. Get a few photographers there so the competitors get coverage (otherwise they might not turn up).

If more than 10 agree to turn up, probably all the others will. You wouldn't want to be the only name not on the list (assuming they are all in the country at the time of course) when Boardseeker, and the mags do a fantastic article about it.

I encourage you to go for, though I would never take on such a challenge myself. I much prefer to enjoy the hard work of others! I'll watch the video and applaud though!

Captain SlackBladder

Yeah - you'd think you'd be OK - but some sailors don't have 3rd party liability cover (OK the do if they are a member of the UKWA). A poll of the Poole Slalom group showed that 6 out of 18 (who replied) didn't have cover, even though it is stipulated in the 'welcome' message that they have insurance.

Anyway the 3rd party cover that comes with UKWA/ RYA/ Noble Marine etc only covers the individual against damage to a 3rd person caused by the insured. It does not cover the organiser against something going wrong.

What happens if a sailor gets knocked out by another sailor (who doesn't have cover) whilst taking part in an event(& drowns) - yeah, you got it, the wife and kids he left behind sue the a$$e off the organisers for not ensuring the other sailor had insurance. There are all sorts of scenarios, where the organisers could be financially ruined just because they wanted to do something positive for windsurfing. Would you take that risk if you were not getting paid for it?

I've just checked this out with a broker (Cheers Ins) I was referred to by Noble Marine and he's coming back to me with a quote for a 'virtual' club. He knew exactly what I was talking about.

I'm hoping it's no more than a couple of hundred of quid a year - 20 sailors = ?10 each = worth it for peace of mind, especially now that Poole Slalom has over 40 subscribers.

What's the situation on an entrant signed disclaimer, just wondering if anyone knew.

Clyde Waite
Re: The state of British Wave Sailing competitions!!!!!!
16 November '07 | 6:20pm
So what if the only prerequisite is third party insurance, which everyone should have anyway. That way any incidents are catered for, surely?

We should definately try what thorpy is suggesting; to make it a worthwhile and credible thing.
People dont have the time or inclination to commit to 4 day weekends on a mediocre forecast, and also dont have the money especially when there is a huge entry fee on the end. Events like Ireland are completely prohibitive cost wise, with a ferry crossing only from pembroke, diesel at one pound 5 a litre and a 24 hour journey, it is very unrealistic. This even more so if there is no reward on the end. Friday start also does not work, as most people have to work etc.

It has definately got to be simple and affordable, both time and money wise. One day events are a great idea to start with. If there are heats, they should be a lot longer make up for the sort of conditions we get here.

No hanging around, or accomadation to be sorted unless you want too or it is particularly worthwhile.

In Australia they do some dead simple competitions. Pros judge amateurs and vice versa. Cheap entry, crate of beer for the winner!
simon bassett
Re: The state of British Wave Sailing competitions!!!!!!
19 November '07 | 2:10pm
Interesting comments about events- i think there is need for new events/concepts from a sailors perspestive event organisers and the ukwa.Unless you can find a good way to promote wave sailing at a grass root level and have all the key pros there ,the industry and outside sponsors will NOT support it.The legal issues of running contests on UK beaches without the required safety cover and insurance should not also be over looked.

I think we should work with the UKWA to make a better change in wave sailing- the Uk has without question some of the top riders in the world and there is a lot of home talent that needs a real platform to perform on and show their skill.All the current top riders are a product of the UKWA events i cannot hink of single named rider who has not cut his teeth at UK events.

There is a lot of passion about windsurfing on all sides of this argument - dont forget the judges, mags ,admin staff who support windsurfing ,all give lot of free time to this.Because your a competitor and you felt it wasnt perfect-remember the whole event is bieng run by amatuers who try ther best for little or no return!

If you want perfection expect to pay more for it.(refs are still make shitty decisions at multi million football and rugby games)

Maybe some positive action to make changes that will promote/improve wavesailing events is what that is needed.

We would certainly put west wittering up as a venue between jan and april to run some proto concept wave events to see if we can devolop some new ideas that work for us all.Would like some feedback on this simon@2xs.co.uk.
Re: The state of British Wave Sailing competitions!!!!!!
19 November '07 | 3:34pm
Ok, I've sent an email to the email addresses i already have, in the hope that people will forward it to everyone who might be interested and we can get a list of names together.

If you've not recieved the email and would like to be considered/involved please email me at
It will only be 'Pro level' sailors at this stage.

Once I have a sailor list we can use email to discuss further how we're going to run OUR events and make a call if a mega forecast turns up.
One thing I will say though, is that i don't want to tread on any toes, and if the uk-wa are running an event on the 12th Dec (for example) then we won't be.

I'm prepared to not have liability insurance at this stage, for those that are still confused, i'll spell it out...

IF SOME-ONE DROWNS and I'm the 'organisor' (regardless of wether we all have ukwa/rya membership) their parents could sue my ass and take me for all I'm worth.
So if you apply and come along, please do not kill yourself.

After we've given this a 'test-run' i'll sort out a website/forum/insurance if the entrants feel it's necesary.

ben proffitt
Re: The state of British Wave Sailing competitions!!!!!!
19 November '07 | 4:22pm
Good skills Thorpy!!(Ripper).... Sort of wish I was staying home this winter now... Ha ha.. well I did say 'sort of'!!
Hope it all works out!
p.s You missed a good day at rhossy on Saturday!!
Re: The state of British Wave Sailing competitions!!!!!!
20 November '07 | 1:57pm

It seems if wavejam is to become a long term series I have a few headaches.
I'm still looking into this stuff, but at the minute it seems the following is the case;

I will need insurance to cover my ass as an organisor,
I need rescue cover,
A health&safety plan,
Permisssion from land/beach owners.

This would mean knowing where and when we are going to run an event, exactely what Wavejam was not meant to be. It may be possible to have 6 locations pre-arranged and run on a roll over basis as a compromise. And we'd be under the umbrella of the ukwa.

At the other end of the scale, I could just turn up with a few mates and a photographer and go sailing. No problems. How far you can push this is debatable and I'm still trying to find out how other people get away with what they're doing (SWA,Poole slalom,USM, etc)

If i email 20 mates and a few magazines and photographers the simple message..
'Hey folks, I'm going sailing at Marazion this weekend' I can't see there's a problem I've not organised anything.
But if this happens on a regular basis and magazines do 'event' reports, there's a website, (maybe sponsors and results) I'm going to land in hot water sooner or later.

If we get a decent forcast in the next few weeks, I'll probably run a 'lets all go to >< and go sailing' and try and find out what we can get away with in the meantime.

Regards disclaimers. There seems to be some conflicting views on this. I don't think they'll stop someone suing me at the end of the day.

The trouble is if i phone an insurnace company, they're going to give me the 'worst case scenario' and want to make lots of money! It's easy to think I'm being over cautious, but the trouble is people do sue for ridiculous f*cking reasons, I've seen it happen with the bikeracing. And even if you are in the right, being taken to court can be bloody expensive and a total pain in the arse..

Having spoken to Simon Bassett (thanks for your time and help Simon) and others, it's easy to see why things are currently done the way they are, if you play by the rules you don't have much choice.
Let's hope we can find a way of doing this,

bollox i made the mistake of looking at a forum on wavesailing competitions again!!! this argument has only been going on for about thirty years!!! you 'professional' sailors should be grateful anyone is prepared to come along and help out on the average 'good' day in the uk for wavesailing when it's mostly wet and windy and basically only 'nice' on the water. as for doing it for 'kudos' you've got to be F@#***g kidding me! there are mistakes made at nearly every competition but all i can say is when you get a week of perfect conditions as forecasted then any contest director will give you the dream contest you want with long heats and rider video'd and judged events. when you get one day of forecast wind you have to make do....and before you rant about the site of the event just send the UKWA a list of the sponsors you've organised for alternative venues next year...........and then the list of pros who are honestly prepared to be there at every event to help 'fairly' judge the amateurs before throwing away all their bias towards their friends and judging themselves fairly afterwards!
i'm pretty sure there's not a single person in the country who would stop you organising the rider judged event you all seem so keen on, and i for one would love to be a part of it, but that doesn't mean that the events run and sanctioned by the national organisation don't have a place, and publicly slagging hard working people off on forums is not exactly constructive- i hope when you run your contest that there is perfect weather and absolutely no-one who feels hard done by after being knocked out (actually that's not true, i'd rather you guys found out how annoying it is when you are trying your hardest to run everything fairly to be told afterwards that the result is because you were biased or not good enough to get it right)
i knhow i'm gonna regret getting involved in this or any other forum but seriously move on and fix it yourself if you don't like it
and i'm sorry if that rant upsets any of the sensible people trying to solve the problem on the second page of posts, but i got so mad by the end of the first page i didn't get further before replying!! thorpy if you need any help with judging/organising your event then give me a shout
just had a look at the ukwa site.
Looks like there are 30 competitive wavesailors in the country.
so its all completely roger irrelevant anyway
Bruce Sutherland
Re: The state of British Wave Sailing competitions!!!!!!
22 November '07 | 8:59pm
If you need a health and safety plan --- then ask? Some of us may not have reached the heights of you guys - but we have been sailing longer and sadly (?) got proper jobs - I for my sins am a Chartered Fellow of the Institution of Occupational Safety and Health and worked for the Health and Safety Executive as a Health and Safety Inspector - after the Lyme Bay canoeing tragedy I was heavily involved in the outdoor activity health and safety stuff - oh and I can even read ROSPA guidance and am very inventive with bullshit.

So ask - its got to be better than watching you all mank around on Tiree again with no wind and no hope of wind like last month -

Neil, you have a point that we all should be grateful of the efforts people make to run these events and deep down we, the competitors, are grateful but the point is the fleet is supposed to be proffesional. It clearly isn't but what does one do??

We have to pay to be members of the UKWA, we make the effort to drive across the country to turn up, we pay money to enter and we therefore expect a certain return for this comittment and cash. It isn't a charity, judges are getting paid and organisers are benefiting from coverage etc.

Pro Golfers don't go to Wentworth, sit in the car park all morning to then get told that today they will only play 14 holes because the organisers say so! Boxers don't train for a fight to get told hey, only 5 rnds today as they enter the ring.

I know windsurfing isn't a big sport but with the current events reflecting the UK's best it will never be anything better.

Do we say nothing and just cheap turning up to compete at current UKWA events or do we try for the sake of future british wave talent to change things for the better.

Maybe we should all follow the likes of Baker, Swifty, Pearch etc and only focus on proper proffesional events run by the PWA etc.

We aren't anti UKWA just because we propose an alternative and the reason we air our thoughts on a public forum is to try to get the interest of all of the UK's active wave sailors not just the fore mentioned 30 wave sailing UKWA members !!

As for me I've had enough so make that 29!!

PS - Should kite surfers be allowed to comment on such matters ?? ha hah

cheers Andy
Charlie Brown
Re: The state of British Wave Sailing competitions!!!!!!
23 November '07 | 2:54pm
Awesome news there might be more and better comps - but is there likely to be any scope for getting spectators to the events?

Especially if it's an informal Storm Chaser type event, and you're just emailing the competitors in the days leading up. Most of us who can only really sail at weekends are pretty disorganised anyway, and the call normally goes around all my mates last thing on friday afternoon that we're actually going somewhere!

If a location was decided, couldn't there be a quick email out to the rest of us, saying "Latest Wavejam event planned for Gwithian @ 10am sunday". Then anyone who loves watching these events can scoot along and get some live homegrown windsurf porn. Not sure of the insurance implications of this, but if it were on a similair vein of the "Hey folks, there might be a few of the boys out sailing at Marazion this weekend, could be good for a craic (wink wink, nod nod ;-)" then this could solve the issue?

It's always awesome rocking down the beach in Rosneigr/Bigbury, and finding a few of the UK guys you see featured in the magazines every week, and getting to watch/sail with them. Lets get this happening way more often!

Cheers - CB

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