UKWA WATER SPORTS PERSONALITY OF THE YEAR
Check out the press release and nominees for the new UKWA Water Sports Personality of the year! Links to vote are at the bottom of the page and will be open from the 10th of November onwards!
Started seeing Christmas stuff in the supermarkets yet? Yes, it’s that time of year again when the UKWA announces the nominees and opens up the public vote for Windsurfer of the year, isn’t it? Well, this year it is all change! The UKWA is moving with the times and now with the inclusion of Wing foiling among its participants the name of the award is changing to UKWA Wind Sports Personality of the year. Just as prestigious and sought after, the nominees will still be clamouring for your votes.
Last years winner was Charlie Dixon who was the nominee in the racing category. Charlie has enjoyed his year as the best of the best in 2023. Unfortunately though for him and all the previous worthy winners, winning this coveted trophy is a once in a lifetime opportunity. Individuals can be nominated as the best Windsports person in their discipline many times but once they have won it, that’s it their name goes on the trophy forever and they make way for the up-and-coming stars of the future!
The nominees will encompass the full range of Wind sports disciplines and are selected based on their outstanding performance in the current year. It’s then up to you the general public to decide who will have the honour of putting their name on the trophy for 2023.
So who has been nominated by the UKWA in their discipline as the most outstanding competitor? Remember these are the ‘creme de la creme’ of British talent in their category.
The outstanding nominees for 2023 are……
Racing: Boris Shaw.
Boris rose through the ranks on Techno competing on both 6.8 & 7.8 before making the jump to iQFOiL, Success continued with outstanding results in the National Series. Now a sailing squad team member, 2nd place under 21 at the iQ worlds and he is the GBR representative for the world sailing youth worlds in Brazil. Clearly Boris is a very talented competitor who has the enthusiasm and capability to bring home many more medals in the future. Always willing to pass on his knowledge and experience to younger sailors. We believe this makes him a worthy nominee.
Wave: Lucas Meldrum
This is the second year on the trot that Lucas has been nominated in the wave category. Justifiably so, as we saw Lucas put in a commanding display all year winning the BWA crown overall and in challenging conditions won the Tiree Wave Classic to round off an exceptional year. An amazing year for a sailor who only won the Youth event 7 years previously. A consummate professional he is a great ambassador and inspiration to other young wave sailors. Lucas was the unanimous vote for WPOTY by the BWA selection team.
Slalom: James Faley
2023 has been incredible year for James. He has not only managed to become UKWA National Slalom Champion whilst being a university student, working multiple jobs as well as training on the water and in the gym. It would have broken most 20 year-olds. Winning this championship almost 5 years to the day James father was tragically killed makes it super special for him and without a doubt he was a major inspiration. James started windsurfing at 10 with the OTC and was immediately hooked,. He passionately and enthusiastically promotes windsurfing and is a great ambassador for his sponsors. In his own words, “Windsurfing sets me free and this one is for you dad”.
Wing foil: Rafferty Read
For the 1st time in UKWA history we have a nominee in wing foiling.
Rafferty took a leap last year moving on from windsurfing to concentrate on his wing foiling career, he started with the UKWA events which he was very successful at and he also gave the wing foiling world tour a go.
He is currently ranked in the world top 10, travelling the world and has qualified GBR for the World Beach Games. He managed to pick up many wins at UKWA course and slalom events when in the UK, concluding with winning the Wing Foil fleet in the National Windsports Championships in September. Rafferty is also the IQ Foil class commentator in parallel with his wing foiling he is also an enthusiastic supporter of the development of Wing Foiling and water-sports in the UK, keen to see it continue to build a strong fleet with participation across all ages.
Speed: Jim Crossley
Nominated for the 5rd time in the speed category. Jim has won the UKWA GPS speed challenge again this year for the 7th year in a row with an amazing speed of 46.89 knots over 250m. As we announce this nomination Jim is on his way to Luderitz in Namibia where he is taking part in a World speed record attempt. His goal is to break the 50 knot barrier over the official WSSRC course.
Please vote for your favourite (one person one vote) by going to the UKWA website under Water Sports personality of the year and get voting. Good luck to all the very worthy nominees this year. Voting opens on 10th of November and will close at the end of December and the winner announced in the 1st week of January 2024.