Slide 3

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Nic Dodd hands over Rear Commodore Windsurfing to Trish Kohn

RC (Windsurfing) - 13 Apr 18 Windsurfing

Nic Dodd retires as Rear Commodore Windsurfing after three years in post and reflects on his time in his annual AGM report


2017 was another excellent year for RNSA Windsurfing, and has seen a growing return on our continuing investment in those with less experience. Our cadre of RYA qualified instructors is growing nicely; we are tracking promising new sailors from their arrival at BRNC, RALEIGH and CTCRM; and we are seeing growing local communities with ad-hoc beach sailing gatherings, from Marazion to Hayling Island. arranged at short notice to suit conditions. We also have people competing in National Slalom and Speed events, and even a couple of brave sailors in the very vanguard of windsurfing development rising to the challenge of sailing (or should that be piloting?) foiling boards.
Our annual Vasiliki Development Camp, perhaps considered a holiday on a beach by the less informed, has been key: With light winds in the morning building to 40 knots or more in the early evening it is an excellent training venue for all abilities – and we have capitalised upon it. Of the 18 that attended this year’s event 50% were Sub Lieutenants or below, 8 were encouraged to join RNSA as a consequence and there was a 50/50 gender split – encouraging statistics as we all work to broaden the Association’s appeal. Social Media, particularly WhatsAP and Facebook have been key enablers, and I wonder if there is more we could do as an association to use these tools to reach and engage with our diaspora.

The result of all this: growing numbers and a significant increase in depth. The last three years has seen the retirement of a number of Navy Team stalwarts, but their places have been taken by new sailors. I am pleased to report that for the 3rd year running the Royal Navy are the Inter Services Team Champions – and each of those 3 years has seen new sailors win their colours. Another reflection of our changing demographic is that both windsurfing prize winners this evening – Tom Eskdale for his racing prowess, and Dani King for her significant and enthusiastic overall contribution – are Junior Rates; we are slowly moving away from the days when our sport was dominated by ageing, male Senior Officers (and one fewer of those as I handover as Rear Commodore!).

Looking ahead, the next season promises more of the same. Dates are in the programme for our Summer Festival and another Development Camp; we have a good programme of UKWA Slalom and Speed events; RNSA sailors are planning to take part in the Defi Wind long distance race series and the Formula World Youth and Masters events; and of course we fully intend to be Inter Services Champions for a fourth consecutive year. And we have more innovations in the pipeline: we have a training camp to help prepare Navy sailors to compete, for the first time in many years, in National Wave Sailing competitions; we have action in hand to capitalise upon our corporate National Sailing Academy membership to provide kit for intermediate sailors taking to the water in Portland Harbour; and we have just purchased 6 easily transportable inflatable windsurfers which will be ideal for those taking their early steps in the sport.

So, as I hand over as Rear Commodore Windsurfing, I reflect on 3 enjoyable years which have seen Navy Windsurfing continue to develop, grow and WIN! In doing so I am very grateful for the untiring support of our Team Manager, Dave Strudwick, the Sports Lottery and all the team at TEMERAIRE, and of course our own RNSA Central Staff – thank you all.

I finish then by nominating Trish Kohn as the next Rear Commodore (Windsurfing) not only a strong and enthusiastic sailor, as FOST’s CST I know she will ensure the highest of standards.

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