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Scott 2





Thinking of pitting your wits against like-minded individuals, but not sure how to go about it? The 2024 UKWA Tour could be just the ticket to meet fellow watersports enthusiasts, while improving your skills in a friendly environment…

“Race, why race, surely that’s for monsters with tons of kit, right?”

No, wrong! Any gear will do, and, if you like your winging or windsurfing what better way to immerse yourself in your chosen sport for a couple of days, once a month, in the summer with as much geeking off about technique and equipment as you can handle.

Don’t just take my word for it though, read on for more reasons to come than you can find excuses not to:

The 2023 UKWA slalom season saw 7 events held on the south coast of England with super competitive racing held across winging, fin only slalom and light wind foil / strong wind fin downwind racing. We had some great events with most delivering solid raceable conditions across all fleets. Personally, my standout event was at Lee-on-the-Solent, where I managed a 3rd place in the international fleet and also met the girls from Weymouth. Dylan and his father, who were sleeping in their car (don’t worry this isn’t a prerequisite), came along with a circa year 2000 JP X-cite Ride and a couple of late 90’s Wave NR sails, and they competed in the entry level Master Blaster fleet where they had the time of their lives. Meanwhile, the photos of Dylan’s gear elicited a tidal wave of love and nostalgia from the “old school windsurfers” socials group, “mahalo” Robert Masters. If that wasn’t enough Dylan’s stoke level went through the roof when Karl and James from JP / NeilPryde presented him with a full carbon mast extension at the prize giving. What’s not to like?

Anna Collonette, accompanied by her father, Andrew, hailing from Townes in Devon, placed 7th and 8th respectively in the wing slalom this year as well as claiming first place in the women’s division. Anna had this to say about her season: “April 2023 was the start of my UKWA wing-foil racing adventure, and what an amazing time it has been! The learning curve in terms of race technique and choosing the correct kit has been steep. I had to laugh at the second slalom event in Weymouth when I fitted the tail fin upside-down, making it very challenging to ride. Thankfully though, the support boat helped out and I was thrilled to have finished my first race. Even when I finished last in the first few events of the season, I had so much fun.

The joy of wing-foil racing is that it is so accessible. Having a rescue boat on hand gives you an extra boost of confidence, so you can really push your own ability, even if you’re not expecting to be competitive, initially at least. Racing has opened new doors – it has given me the confidence to tour around the ocean, rather than staying near the shore, going up and down on a beam reach. It has also given me the opportunity to meet an amazing foiling community.

I think there are lots of misconceptions that you must be “good enough” and able to tack and buy lots of kit, but really, as I found out this season, you can have so much fun regardless of ability. It would be really lovely to see some new wingers on the course next April, so do come along and just give it a go!”

Next up let’s hear from Scott Norman, who competed in the national fleet for 2023, and I’m sure he will be a name to watch moving forwards: “As I write this it seems like a perfect time to look back on what has been a really memorable year for me. I started slalom in 2021 in the Master Blaster fleet, and was fortunate enough to win the national title for that. In 2022, I progressed into what is now the national fleet, and with a light wind season managed to win the foiling division. By contrast 2023 saw largely windy events, which tested everyone and really showed up any weaknesses in my skillset. I have learnt so much this season, not only developing my racing, but learning to tune my GA Vapors to get the most out of them. At the final event i was delighted to be presented with the national slalom title, I think it will be a season I will look back at for a long time as the other sailors (Zak especially) kept me on my toes the whole season.

I am so fortunate to have such an amazing venue as Portland harbour as my local spot, and would like to express my thanks for all the support to Tris Best and his team at the OTC.

So, from seasoned racer to curious first timers, it’s a great weekend away, and with only 5 events for the upcoming season it’s not a huge amount to commit to. Bring a van load of gear or come as you are with what you have, you’ll be sure to have a blast in more ways than one!”

The first event for 2024 is at the OTC, in Portand Harbour, Weymouth on 27/28th April, which is a statistically windy spot with great facilities and a cracking event sponsor. Whether it’s on a wing, fin or a foil I hope to see you there.



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