NSC TRIP TO THE LONDON BOAT SHOW

 

(photos from Tony)

 

I know many of you will have read about the London Boat Show and the indoor windsurfing.

 

Well, 3 of us felt it was our duty to visit on your behalf in order to tell you what it was like, so Wookie, Tony and I booked seats for Friday 9 January to see the Gods of our sport perform. Unfortunately, when they switched on the 30 9 foot high fans, the water all rushed to one side of the pool - it's a bit like letting off in the bath but on a rather bigger (Andy-like) scale. The steel supports couldn't handle it and 2500 ltrs of water escaped washing away 2 people and a portacabin. So the official windsurfing was put off until Monday 12th, so we who were flying home on Sunday would miss it. Gutted, we went out to We Will Rock You and some serious drinking and kebabs...

 

However, we are made of sterner stuff and hit the boatshow anyway on Saturday - only to be told that the damage was repaired, but closed practice sessions were taking place and no-one but no-one was allowed to watch until Monday. Fortunately we met with a well known professional with a particularly dodgy haircut (thank you Timo) who sneaked 6 of us (including 2 partners) past the bouncers as being pro-windsurfers. I can tell you that this is the nearest I will ever be to being called a good windsurfer!

 

We saw nearly 2 hours of what should be the most brilliant spectacle. 4 windsurfers line up on one end of the pool, the fans are on and make a huge noise. Their boards are set on wooden ramps (with a slot for the fin) and 'Gods' stand in the straps and wait for the starting release to work - whoosh, they are down the ramp, fighting the sail and into the water. When 4 start at about 1 second intervals it is amazing. We also witnessed nose dives, underwater loops and one guy who shot straight into the side of  the pool! It makes negotiating the pier at the club look easy!

 

When they get it right, they fly down the pool and gybe round the marker. However very few did get it right as the fan set up was far from perfect. The result we are told (by competitors) is 25 knots in the main pool but only 12 at each end (to gybe). Most competitors were on 6.5m and 115ltrs and they mostly got splattered. We saw one who wiped out at the far end of the pool at speed who ended up rolling on dry land. We think that the main competition next week will be a disaster unless they managed to 'tune' the fans. But we won't be there to see.

 

Once they get it right, there is no doubt it will be a winner. Fast, furious, highly competitive and like nothing else you've ever seen. But it may take a while to get it right.

 

Picture of the type of dodgy character you don't want hanging around your kids ....

 

You might also like to know that we tested out several £250,000 boats (between 2 and 3 'fridgers' ), Wookie licked just about every wave board on show and Tony even bought a sail. Some of us even developed expensive tastes in London restaurants - and we have finally found out what Wookies eat - the answer is fillet mignon!

 

And Tony, never got a kebab....