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UK Windsurfing Clinics

Fun, social windsurf coaching...Simon’s Weymouth coaching clinics in Portland Harbour run from April to November and offer a great chance to get away to the coast in a safe, flat, windy location with safety cover and support from the team at The Official Test Centre (The OTC). It’s all about friendly, supported, social windsurfing in a maximum group size of 6 (10 for Speed Week). The level is intermediate to advanced.

2024 Regular Clinics

  • 24/25 June 2024 (Monday/Tuesday)

  • 26/27 June 2024 (Wednesday/Thursday)

  • 7/8 September 2024 (Saturday/Sunday)

  • 9/10 September 2024 (Monday/Tuesday)

  • 23/24 November 2024 (Saturday/Sunday)

  • 25/26 November 2024 (Monday/Tuesday)

 

2024 Speed Week Clinic

  • 12-18 October 2024 (Saturday-Friday)

 

BOOK NOW USING THE BUTTON AT THE BOTTOM OF THE SCREEN

The clinics are suitable for:

  • Intermediate and advanced windsurfers from beach-starters and tackers to carve gybers and chop hoppers

  • Shared experiences - enjoying our sport with others

  • Regular windsurfers who have long-term goals

  • Occasional windsurfers wanting to refresh their skills

  • Those who want some professional guidance after periods of self-learning

  • Those who want to get their season off to a positive start

  • Windsurfers who want to try a new location

  • Those who are looking at getting back into the sport after time away

  • Advanced windsurfers who, despite using smaller freewave boards on the coast, would benefit from re-focusing on basics such as improved tacking, non-planing gybing, heli-tacks and other essentials

  • Advanced windsurfers who would like the opportunity (subject to wind conditions) to obtain GoPro stills or footage of them windsurfing at full-speed from a mast or boom-mounted Flymount, K4 Harness Mount or a head-mount on Simon who can track closely from behind for a unique look at the action!

​The OTC, where Simon’s Weymouth windsurfing clinics are based, is in the South West of England on the Jurassic Coast. The area is designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site because of its unique geological portrait of 185 million years of the Earth’s history. The OTC is a premier RYA Training Centre for windsurfing and wingfoiling located right on the water’s edge within the grounds of the Weymouth and Portland National Sailing Academy – the sailing venue for the 2012 Olympics.

Flat water arenas don’t come much better than Portland Harbour. It has some of the best wind statistics in the South Coast of England and is accessible in all wind directions and states of tide. It can cater for all abilities from beginners to progressing intermediates and from advanced speed sailors to windfoilers and freestylers. The legacy of Weymouth Speed Week – one of the longest running annual windsurfing competitions in the world – is testament to just how special a stretch of water Portland Harbour is for watersports. This location has it all, making watersports easy!

The coaching is pitched at the level of each participant and thus avoids being formulaic. So you can turn up time and time again to keep discovering new and refreshing tips and ideas. It's all about small gains: absorbing bite-sized pieces of advice to keep your skill set moving forwards. It's also about having a lot of fun.

 

These clinics will generally always run whatever the weather. In high wind conditions activity will take place either on-water or ashore. In light wind conditions either non-planing exercises will take place to prepare and train for planing conditions or other learning will take place ashore such as rigging/tuning, theory or simulator work.

 

If courses are fully booked then please put your name forward for the reserve list in case of a cancellation.

Weymouth Speed Week Clinic: 12 - 18 October 2024

During this 7-day clinic Simon will assist a team of up to 10 people to enter Weymouth Speed Week whilst entering the event himself. This event has been running since 1972 and unites windsurfers and other water users in their goal to record their fastest average speed down a 500m course wearing GPS technology.

 

As part of Simon's team you can expect support and encouragement, mentoring, strategy, kit selection and tuning - plus speed technique tips including stance, board trim and sail positioning. It will still be light-hearted as we will be going fast for fun! Participants need to be able to plane comfortably, going reasonably fast in the footstraps and harness and need to use their own freeride or freerace kit. Specialist slalom kit is not required. OTC kit will not be available for hire during this clinic. Participants will typically have little or no experience in speed events and will need to enter independently of signing up for the clinic.

 

The days will be relaxed and will make the best use of the conditions. The evening programme will see the team travel around the local area each night to different restaurants and pubs to hang out with the other competitors, play bar skittles and generally have a great time.

Pricing 2024

  • £190 per 2-day clinic using all your own kit, payable at the time of booking. Booking 1 day of a 2-day clinic is not possible. Two adjacent clinics can be booked for a 4-day getaway.

  • £75 per day for unlimited kit hire, if required, payable directly to The OTC at the end of the clinic. As soon as a piece of OTC kit is used then the day rate for kit hire is payable (with the exception of a large volume board for light wind technique - where necessary - which can be hired for only £10 per day, payable directly to The OTC at the end of the clinic).

  • £399 for the 7-day Speed Week Special Clinic (this does not include the entry fee which should be around £250).

 

Where to stay

Candidates arrange their own transport and accommodation. Options include Hotel Aqua, RYA Portland House, Heights Hotel, Martleaves Farm Camp site (Weymouth Camping and Caravanning Park), local B+Bs or Airbnb. Social meals will be arranged locally for those who wish to participate.

  • What makes SWM good for wing lessons?
    Our wing school at Queen Mary Sailing Club (QMSC) in Surrey is on a clean, deep, 700 acre stretch of water raised high above the landscape. It is simply brilliant for wingfoiling! We have a unit right by the water with a large astroturf rigging area and we use the very latest boards, foils and wings from Starboard and Freewing. Our instructors are friendly and knowledgeable and our ratio for teaching is very low (mostly one instructor to two students) so you should. expect a fairly personalised service, not a large group experience. Every lesson comes with powerboat support to keep things safe, to enable rest time afloat and to transfer learners upwind away from the shore whenever necessary. We are a RYA Training Centre for all levels of wingsurf and wingfoil, with our kit, facility, qualifications, procedures, teaching standards and safety inspected annually by the RYA.
  • What is wingsurfing?
    WingSURFing refers to the use of ‘an inflatable wing with hard or soft handles or a boom’ on either a high-volume windsurf board with a daggerboard or stand-up paddleboard (SUP) with a centre fin and/or side fins (drift-stoppers).
  • What is wingfoiling?
    WingFOILing refers to the use of ‘an inflatable wing with hard or soft handles or a boom’ on a specific wingfoil board with a hydrofoil attached to the underside. This allows the board to rise up out of the water as it moves forwards and foiling occurs.
  • What does wingfoiling feel like?
    Foiling above the water feels exciting yet relaxing at the same time, delivering a very smooth ride. As the foil slices through the water, the usual noise and bumping of the board against the surface all but disappears and the sensation of gliding is second-to-none.
  • What previous watersports experience do you need to have to learn to wingsurf/wingfoil?
    No previous experience of watersports is required. Previous experience with balance sports and/or understanding of how the wind works will help a little yet this is not essential. Experienced windfoilers and kitefoilers tend to make fast progress. People from all backgrounds have learned to wing with us, from those with zero watersports experience those who enjoy surfing, kayaking, paddleboarding, sailing, windsurfing and/or kitesurfing.
  • What is the pathway to learning this sport?
    It is important to learn to wingsurf first and then to wingfoil. This is because learning the wing basics whilst learning to foil at the same time is too much to take in. Some people may choose to stick with wingsurfing in order to remain on the water rather than above it. Most people, however, are keen to progress to wingfoiling asap.
  • How many lessons do I need before I can go wingfoiling by myself?
    The basics of wingfoiling are relatively easy to master, typically with a much faster learning curve than other watersports. Depending on previous watersports experience and balance, wind awareness and fitness level, beginners are likely to need 1-3 lessons in wingsurfing before moving onto a large foil board. Then with another 1-3 lessons on the foil most people have enough knowledge to carry on themselves. So that’s an average of 3-4 lessons in total which is a remarkably quick transition from beginner to basic competence.
  • What wind speed is required?
    On the flat, accessible water at QMSC: · WingSURFing is best learned in approximately 7-27 knots (Beaufort low-force 3 to upper-force 6) · WingFOILing for beginners (who are not yet able to pump the wing and foil) is best learned in approximately 14-30 knots (Beaufort mid-force 4 to mid-force 7) · WingFOILing for those with experience (who are able to pump the wing and foil) can be in as little as 8 knots
  • Do you do tow-foiling behind a power boat is the wind is too light?
    No. Water-skiing, wake boarding or any other method of being towed behind a powerboat is not permitted on our waters at Queen Mary Sailing Club (QMSC). Further, we have taught a number of people who have previously experienced tow-foiling and this does not appear to have helped them very much in terms of their ability to foil. Whilst tow-foiling can help with the feel of foiling, the sheer consistency of the forward power provided by the boat can perhaps give you a false sense of confidence. This may even lead to disappointment and frustration when you try to reproduce that consistency by using the less-direct power of the wind in the wing. We feel that the foiling element of winging is best learned and mastered using a wing rather than the boat’s engine.
  • I see that lessons are 3-hours. I don’t think I can manage to stand on a board for 3 hours! Can I do a shorter lesson?
    All of our standard lessons are 3 hours and not all that time will be spent standing on the board! We tried 2-hour standard lessons when we started the school and we quickly discovered that this was not enough time as lessons have to include diverse elements: on-water wing practice, kit selection, rigging, any land drills required, any shore teaching required, on-water instructor demos, transferring learners upwind when they (inevitably) lose ground downwind, a little rest time in the boat, returning to the shore and putting the kit away. This 3-hour block contains about 90 - 120 minutes of actual winging time(depending on the absorption speed, fitness and balance of the learner) which, together with all the other elements facilitates the ideal session.
  • Can I do a full day of winging lessons?
    We honestly think that a full day of wing lessons is not at all a realistic option as exhaustion would become a barrier to progression. The 3-hour block is just right. If you are super-keen for more then you could book 2 lessons over 2 successive days.
  • Can I book a private 1:1 lesson?
    Private 1:1 lessons are available for those who can already wingfoil reasonably well. Otherwise you are invited to book onto one of our standard 3-hour lessons for 2 people. Our 1:1 lessons are 2-hours and are for those who have their own kit, have decent wingfoiling technique and need help with a specific skill such as using a smaller board, improved pumping, foiling gybes etc. In order to make a 2-hour lesson work you are required to start on time with your kit fully rigged, ready to hit the water straight away. A couple of these lessons per season will really help you to maintain focus on your technique which will help you to improve in the most efficient way.
  • What do I need to bring?
    You provide: your own wetsuit and suitable watersports shoes. 4/3mm wetsuits may be able to be supplied on request yet these are suitable for Spring, Summer and Autumn. 6/5mm winter wetsuits are recommended in colder weather.
  • What is provided?
    We provide the board, foil, wing, leashes, full access to the club facilities and a powerboat for instructor to teach from. We also provide a top-spec helmet and impact jacket with 50N of buoyancy.
  • Who will deliver my lesson?
    It will be one of our friendly and experienced instructors who are all RYA qualified as wingsurf/foil instructors. Simon delivers some of the lessons.
  • How do I book a lesson?
    Simply click on the booking button that floats over every web page, register or log in, select your session and make payment online. As soon as payment is received you will automatically receive your confirmation as well as everything you need to know about the lesson.
  • It’s a while until my lesson. If I book now, how will we know if there will be the right wind on the day?
    We don’t know that so, like any weather-dependent event, you just book onto and pay for the future day and time that suits you and then - closer to the time – we will assess a range of weather forecasts (especially Windguru which is good for QMSC). If we have confidence in the wind around 2 days before, we will confirm your session and proceed. If not enough wind is forecast around 2 days before then we will check it again the following day and either proceed or transfer your booking to another session without penalty.
  • What happens if the wind is too light once I have arrived for my lesson?
    If this happens we would continue with the lesson even if the wind dropped below the optimum strength for foiling. We might use a larger board, foil and/or wing. We would remain optimistic as the wind often comes back after a lull. We would focus on the development of the following skills: balancing on a board in non-foiling conditions, riding toeside (switch stance), tacking, gybing and pumping – essential training elements of winging that may get neglected when the wind is stronger In the unlikely event that the conditions are hopeless (despite a good forecast) we may be able to abandon all or part of the session and re-book it, carrying over a full or part credit for the unsuccessful session (this would be at the discretion of the instructor on the day).
  • What are the dates and times of lessons/sessions?
    Sessions are available all year round as follows: · (April – September) 7 days a week, mornings and afternoons · (October – March) Wednesday - Sunday, mornings and afternoons · (April – August) Wednesday evenings Un-booked sessions may be removed from the system as the day approaches. Weekend and Wednesday evening bookings are popular so we are always grateful to those who are able to select weekday bookings.
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