The first weekend of September 2016 saw the National Watersports Festival at Hayling Island.
I arrived late Thursday evening, trying to pitch my tent in the dark, and having never been to Hayling Island before, I was curious as to what was around me.
The next day, Friday. The morning began with the latest boards from Starboard being pumped up and finned up on the beach for people to try. SUP Polo pitch being inflated, and everything being set up for the weekend.
Throughout the day, I had great fun on a brilliant Starboard WindSUP, and had my first taste of SUP Polo organised and ran by SUP North. The wind made the SUP Polo choppy, and with waves coming through, it was all added fun! Sam Ross earlier in the day got an awesome result in the Chimnet Dash on his Windsurfing foil.
The Saturday got even windier, and the windsurf racing got even greater to watch, with the Night Windsurf event in the evening, and the Severne Cup during the day.
I had the awesome opportunity on Saturday to run some Junior SUP Racing. This was a new experience for me, and I enjoyed it. The conditions were tough, with a lot of chop and strong winds, made it far from ideal paddling conditions. It was awesome to see the juniors battling it out on the technical and sprint courses!
On the Sunday, I also ran a SUP Racing Paddle Clinic with Alan and Lucy from SUP North. This was my first ever time running a SUP clinic, so I learned a lot for future opportunities like this.
The Sunday finished with a downwinder with some of my Starboard Team mates, and then the NWF awards and prize giving.
My first ever National Watersports Festival was an awesome experience to say the least, and I can’t wait till the next!
I would like to thank everyone who continuously supports me. Starboard SUP UK, SUPboarder Magazine, Standuppaddleuk, West Country Surf Wax and my incredible family and friends.