Thursday, 28 April 2016

94. Sailing - Women's RS:X - Windsurfing

Event: Sailing - Women's RS:X - Windsurfing
Date: 27th April 2016
Location: Alton Water Sailing Club 
Cost: £25 each for 3 hour lesson 
Rules:  The target time for the Olympic course was 30 minutes for points races and 20 minutes in the medal race. The organisers choose the route from various course configurations. The boats have a dagger-board and sail of a specified size, and their are designed to allow windsurfing in low and moderate wind.

The Event:

Olympic Gold Medal, London 2012: Marina Alabau, Spain. 

Sarah: Arriving at Alton Water, we were greeted by the wind buffeting over the surface and after last week's lesson being cancelled due to lack of wind, we were faced by another cancellation due to too much wind. We persuaded our instructor Guy to give us a shot at windsurfing, although we were absolutely dreading spending three hours in the freezing water. I wasn't particularly looking forward to this event, and it came as a complete surprise that windsurfing turned out to be one of our most fun, laughter-filled sports! We were both pretty terrible, but in the best possible way. It took us the whole session to stand comfortably on the boards. I eventually managed to glide somewhat clumsily over the water doing some simple turns. To get to that stage, we repeatedly fell in the water again, and again, and again. Rather than be frustrating, it was just very funny and thankfully our wetsuits and new super-warm wetsocks did the trick and kept the cold out until the very end of the lesson. I would definitely do this one again! 
Ellie: If you had told me at 7.30am when I got up that I'd be in Alton Water most of the morning I would have gone back to bed and ignored any calls from Sarah especially as there had been snow in Essex the day before! As it turned out, the sun was beautiful, the water refreshing and windsurfing was one of the most enjoyable watersport so far! After less than 30 minutes I was very in to this event, giving a running commentary throughout my efforts to get upright and we'd already started changing the terminology, calling the up-haul cord the U-Haul. It takes a lot of core strength and balance to get on your feet and travelling and I'm very pleased that I managed to stand up on the board - the travelling I did was only towards the water but, as Sarah says, that was actually really funny. It was very nice to just float on the board and kick your legs and watch the other person get on with it too! This is a sport I doubt I'll ever become remotely proficient at but it's one that I'd have another go at without any need to get better.

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