New British Course Racing Champion 2008 –
Denzil Williams Story –
I traveled up to Poole in Dorset for the Windfest event which took place over 3 days of 12th – 14th September to take part in the final round of the British Kitesurfing Course Racing Series. This is a new discipline for the UK which is being held by the BKSA (British Kite Surfing Association), other countries from around the world have already been running Racing for a year or two so we are playing catch up but being a country that produces world winners it should not take us long.
What is Kitesurf course racing you may ask? A quick summary would be riders (Kitesurfers) powered by water relaunchable Kites race around a course set out on the sea, usually following a Olympic triangular course and simply the first one over a finish line would be the winner.
The BKSA race series consisted of 3 rounds, Round 1 was held at Hayling island near Portsmouth but unfortunetly there was no wind for that event, next was a great event in Exmouth which had a fleet of 28 riders taking part in 6 races, I came 1st in Exmouth which left me in a great position for the final round in Poole.
The wind Forecast for the final round was for extremely light winds on the Saturday and Sunday but the Friday looked promising and the best chance of racing so I set off at 5am and drove to Poole. Registration took place and we were all briefed about the course which was set up as a triangular course, so an upwind start, then a downwind leg and the last stretch was across the wind with 2 laps of the course needed to complete the race.
The wind was light for most of the day but then a front came through about mid afternoon and we made ready to race, a few riders were caught unaware and actually missed the race start, I got off to a good start and managed to go across the start line in 1st place and maintained that position for most of the race, the course was fairly short and I had a couple of practice laps before hand so I knew where to change tacks, on the last downwind leg I was overtaken by Richard Thompson who was riding a hydrofoil board! But on the last reach across the wind to the finish line I retook the lead and managed to finish in 1st place.
One thing of note was that I had a very daunting moment mid way through the race, as I was making a tack and bringing the kite to its highest point in the sky I heard thunder and saw some lightning not very far away and then I got a static shock down my left arm! It did not hurt too much but gave me a great scare, because your out on the water and the kite is 25 meters up in the air it can pick up the static in the air, pass down the lines and then of course to you! Just after I finished the race the wind switched direction and started to rain very hard, that then turned to really large hail stones, amazing change of weather when 30 minutes earlier it was lovely sunshine and people sun bathing on the beach.
Consequently with two 1st places this leaves me as the 2008 British Champion in what people are saying is the fasted growing aspect of the Kitesurfing sport and could be featured in the 2016 Olympics. I am also placed 6th place in the world for Course Racing and the UK’s only Male Racer in the top 20.
I would like to thank my Sponsors F-One Kites, Escape Boards, Balin Clothing, Snugg Wetsuits, Mystic Accessories and West Pharmaceuticals.