When I got my fourth nomination for the UKWA windsurfer of the year back in November I felt truly grateful for being recognised once more over a spell of seven years, but I genuinely thought that would be the only joy to come from it. The line up of other sailors and their achievements alone was enough to make me think ok fair enough, that along with the general occurrence of sailors from the racing world normally coming up trumps I really had pretty much in my head written the idea off that I’d ever be the winner. So you can imagine my surprise when I got the nod from organiser Pete Davis that it was close but I’d got it!
Of the times I could’ve won it I really think it means more to me now than it ever would’ve before. After a disappointing season competition wise in 2015, then during the off season breaking my ankle and then losing my equipment sponsor at the last minute things weren’t exactly looking as bright as they could have going into 2016. Thankfully Simmer Style took me on to develop their freestyle range and from then on things started to get back on track. It might not have been my most successful year on the tour results wise overall but I definitely had some defining heats which feel like small victories in themselves. As I’m sure any competitor ranked similarly to me would back me up on there is no heat more nerve ranking than the first heat of the double elimination, it is somewhere that until last year and only once then I had never faltered before. If you loose your heat in the first round of the double you’re ranked 33rd and score so few points for the overall that to be frank you might as well have not bothered going to the event at all. Well that’s how it feels at the time anyway! So in Austria first heat of the double I’ve got one of the toughest potential opponents in Antoine Albert. Winning that one definitely felt good and kick started my confidence again for the rest of the year as I went on to finish 17th in that event and managed to repeat the result in Fuerteventura, again having some heats which felt like the best I’d ever put together out there. Unfortunately my running theme has been faltering once I’m more relaxed by making it to at least 17th, twice loosing with heat scores I’d easily eclipsed in my previous rounds! Check out the gallery below to see some of the scores from my heats in Fuerteventura..
Competition aside 2016 was another amazing year for me, to just be able to travel to these amazing spots and live this lifestyle is a dream. Huge thanks to my sponsors who make it all possible! Check out the blurb below for my full acceptance speech on winning the award!
Wow what a start to 2017! Incredibly surprised and stoked to get the news that I’d won the UK Windsurfer of the year award. To even be recognised and be up there against the other nominees was a great honour and I’d like to congratulate them for their achievements in 2016. I personally thought Ross Williams would grab it after the incredible performance he put together this year.
2016 has felt like a comeback year for me after a disappointing season of results in 2015, a sponsorship change and a broken ankle I feel very humble to be heading into 2017 with this award.
To be the first freestyler since my good friend and mentor Andy “Bubble” Chambers to win this award also feels quite special and I’d like to take this opportunity to thank him for all his support and congratulate him on his on-going achievements in windsurfing. I’d like to of course thank my sponsors Simmer Style, Club Vass, Cat Rugged Phones, Mystic, Sungod and Wideye for believing in me and making this all possible. A massive thank you goes out to my Dad Peter for getting me into windsurfing and for all the countless airport trips over the last years, also to my mum Frances, sister Camilla, my girlfriend Valerie, my best mate Jay and the rest of my family and friends for all of their support. Last but not least to everyone that voted, Thank You!