Welcome to a new windsurfing year - let us a hope it is a good one!
I am looking forward to my term as President of the IWA as this will be the first time a representative of the speed windsurfing class (ISWC) has been in the chair.
The ISWC has had a good year with only one disappointment, in that we could not stage a world championship due to a lack of sponsorship. We did, however, crown a European King and Queen of Speed - David Garrel from Luxembourg and Zara Davis from England. The Tour took place all over europe, starting in the south of France, moving to Sweden and Germany, and finishing in the UK on the legendary Weymouth Speed strip. Zara dominated the women's fleet; despite missing the first event she convincingly won the last 3 to take the title for a second time.
Despite the gloomy economic forecast, I am optimistic about the future of our sport. This is not wishful thinking, and more than just a feeling. It is based on some encouraging facts.
The year begins with a new international class joining IWA - the Neil Pryde RS:ONE The IWA secretariat are working hard to finalise the championship calendar for the new class.
There follows, in January and February, a procession of continental championships, many of them multi class events - Buzios, Brasil; Singapore; Pattaya, Thailand; Hawks Nest, Australia; Manly, NZL; and Calema Florida, USA.
Many of the class World Championships follow in mid year and include some of the best locations in the windsurfing world - Raceboard in Yyteri, Finland; Freestyle in Marseille, France; Slalom in Torbole sul Garda, Italy; Formula in Liepaja, Latvia.
One of the biggest events of the year is sure to be the T293 World Championships in Medemblik, Netherlands, just after the London Olympics. The Techno 293 class has to be the success story of recent years, and has surely helped to revitalise our sport, providing a pathway for junior and youth sailors into all disciplines.
Towards the year end the final world championships take place in South America - IFCA Slalom in San Juan, Argentina; and Formula Experience in Paracas, Peru.
And, of course, my class will be running another European Tour & Championship in 2012; also encouraging & promoting speed events in other parts of the world; and, fingers crossed, we will have a world championship to look forward to. Why not join us for a blast in 2012!
You can keep up to date with all the international events by regularly checking the IWA calendar