Andy Chambers 

The cream of the UK’s windsurfing talent descended on WPNSA this weekend to receive their trophies and receive applause from their peer’s.

All windsurfing disciplines were represented including Olympic RSX, Slalom, Speed, Freestyle, Course Racing and Wave.

The UKWA windsurfer of the year was also crowned. The candidates are drawn from the best national and international competitors and are then voted on by the windsurfing public.

They included, Ross Williams 4th place in world PWA slalom, Robbie Swift 5th in world PWA wave, Farrell Oshea the new UK Speed record holder at 44.7 knots, Andy Bubbles Chambers UK freestyle champion and world PWA top ten Freestyler.

After 2 months of voting the winner was presented by Bryony Shaw, Olympic bronze medalist and last years winner of windsurfer of the year. Andy “Bubbles” Chambers won on night but unfortunately was not able to attend as he was in Brazil competing.

He sent a Video from the event to the evening saying a big thanks and that he was really taken aback on winning and thanked everyone who voted for him.

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HIHO 2008 

In 1979 a group of Virgin Islands windsurfers created the Hook-In-Hold-On, a multi-day island-to-island windsurfing race.  It quickly became the sports greatest event, but disappeared when sponsor Johnnie Walker pulled the plug in 1986.

The event returned in 1993 under the auspices of Andy Morrell who had placed first in the last Johnnie Walker edition of the event.  It was a different sport in the 1990's but Morrell and his team had a vision to re-create the event combining great inter-island windsurfing with a catamaran flotilla and complimented by fun parties.

The 1980's events saw all racing take place on longboards with the F2 Lightening and Mistral Equipe dominating the results.  Freestyle competition was sometimes included in the overall result and there was also a formidable "Cruising Class" of competitors who took a little longer to get from island-to-island.  Back then the event started and finished in St Thomas and saw long upwind legs. 

The obvious change in the 1990's was shortboard racing.  The "new" HIHO would sprint up to the top of the BVI's, then spend the rest of the week coming downwind.  Also, by the late 90's sponsor Neil Pryde was shipping a container of equipment to the event which meant racers could travel light and use new Neil Pryde sails.

25-years later the event is still going strong with great support from Highland Spring Water and the BVI Tourist Board, plus windsurfing industry support from Neil Pryde and yachts from The Moorings.  A new sponsor for 2009 is Red Stripe beer.

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Warnemunde 

2009 will see the Raceboard and Mistral One Design World championships held in Germany on the Baltic Sea at the seaside resort town of Warnemünde.

The World Championships are scheduled to run from July 7 - 11 with the German Raceboard and RS:X Championships occurring just prior between the 4 and 6 July.

There will be the following divisions:

• Raceboard 9.5 m2
• Raceboard 7.5 m2
• Mistral One Design
• RSX
• Woman
• Youth
• 35+
• 45+55+
• 65+

While this is a World championships, event organisers are trying to make this open to all and are encouraging as many people to attend as possible even if there skills are not at the elite level.

They have stated that they are keen have a longboard festival atmosphere with no one intimidated about attending. Event organiser Murat Tueten said, “No one should be thinking this is a world championship, only for the best sailors what shall I do there. This will be the biggest longboard festival for many years, and all should attend”.

Murat also said that there will be special prices for the nations with the most sailors (besides GER), sailor who made the longest trip, sailor with the oldest equipment, the youngest and oldest sailors.

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