For the past two weeks, students have been learning the basics of windsurfing. Both days they have done very well, rarely falling in, if at all (although as an experienced windsurfer I would argue that if they do not fall in then they are not trying hard enough, they can be forgiven as the water is still quite cold after a long winter). In the first couple of lessons, they learn to up-haul the sail, sail up and downwind, and tack the sail (turn upwind). Later in the course, they will learn to gybe the sail (turn downwind) and hopefully will experience their first time ‘on the plane’. This is where the board lifts up on top of the water and skims across faster than the wind.
The course is 6 weeks long, with 2 hours for each lesson. In the end, they will be awarded the RYA Level 1 Windsurfing Certificate which then allows them to join Team 15. Team 15 is a springboard for young people to start with real competitive windsurfing and is where our future Olympians started. There are several different types of windsurfing they can get into once they have learnt the basics. Locally we have Portland Harbour which is still one of the fastest spots in the world for racing or speed sailing and is also brilliant for flat water freestyle. Further along the coast, we have Overcoombe corner, Ringstead and Kimmeridge Bay, which on its day is world class for wave sailing.
There are still places available for taster sessions on a Tuesday 3:30 – 5:30 pm, these cost £5 with only one available per person. Please see Mr Spencer in W1 for information. If any parents would like to learn how to windsurf they can contact Tris Best firstname.lastname@example.org at the Official Test Centre in Weymouth and Portland Sailing Academy for further information.