United we Stand'Wind Wanderers'
The idea was first conceived during a windless day siting on the beach at Redcliffe talking with friends about what we felt was missing from the sport. We all agreed that the sport didn't have much of a social aspect being effectively a solo pursuit. We also agreed there weren't many families involved and it would be good to help bring families back into the sport.
I started to believe that there were enough people around for something to be done when in February we had the 40 knot days in SEQ. The Seabreeze forum was buzzing and everyone met up at Shearwater. It was a great day, resulting in lots of smiles on lots of faces.
After that day I made a list of things I felt would make windsurfing more fun for everyone and started to put the ideas into action. I approached some friends within the industry for support and then went from there. The Club's aims are really defined by the mission statement. It reads.
"WindWanderers will endeavour to put the social fun back into windsurfing by uniting like minded sailors to sail at different venues between Noosa and Currumbin on a monthly basis. Events will be non-competitive social gatherings held at locations suitable for great sailing and a great family and social atmosphere.
It is hoped that joining sailors of all experiences together will raise the standard and fun factor for all involved."
That really sums it all up. The WindWanderers will always be a club structured for the members.
The WindWanderers will meet every 4-5 weeks. We have a barbecue to kick things off while everyone is rigging up. It is all very relaxed, there's no rush. We sail different locations every time we get together. We visit wave, slalom, bump & jump and speed venues. This keeps things interesting and lets people push their limits a bit more than normal while still feeling comfortable with others around. We also have demo days, beginner lessons, swap meets and give-aways to coincide with the meets so that there is plenty for everyone to get involved with. The club will also be holding some weekends away during the school holidays. Another item high on the list of all the members right now is a down wind run so I'm working on that one as well.
The club will continue purely as a social organisation. We have about 30 members of all ages registered. For the future I hope to see the WindWanderers grow to 50-60 members. We will also expand our membership to include kitesurfers as well. Currently I am putting the wheels in motion for the club to become an incorporated club with an executive committee. This will allow the future WindWanderers to acquire equipment for the members to use. Things like beginner's boards and rigs, some GPS devices, a club trailer and a club barbecue. There is also a member's pack coming with some great stuff inside provided by the club sponsors.
The response from the sailing community has been excellent. I am getting lots of thanks from people on the beach for starting the club. Everyone is really keen to see the whole idea succeed. One thing that has become obvious is that although windsurfing is a solo sport people definitely like to do it together. The support from within the industry has been outstanding too. Everyone I have spoken to so far is fully supportive of the idea. There is a real desire for the different brands within the industry to work together. That has to be a good thing for the sport and everyone involved. Not only have the different sponsors given financial support, I have also been able to draw on a wealth of experience with them giving me some very good advice.
On board to date are Wind Warrior, Surfconnect, Caloundra Wind & Surf, Windsurfingsales and Ozwindsurf. They have all dug deep to provide the fare for the bbq's and give away sponsorships. There are also some more companies that are keen to get involved. So things are looking good.What would you say to those who claim windsurfing is "dead"?
Windsurfing can't be dead because the WindWanderers are alive! Seriously, I doubt windsurfing will ever die. In Queensland we are seeing a resurgence of the sport. There are a lot of people that went to kiting that are taking up windsurfing again. Also people that gave it away for a while are now coming back into the sport. I am also starting to see beginners again at local spots. I think the sport is too much fun for it to just disappear. The advances in contemporary gear have meant that it is now easier and more rewarding than ever before.What (if anything) else would you like to add?
One thing that has really impressed me about everything to date is how selfless the windsurfing community on the whole is. Everybody that has turned up to an event, provided a sponsorship or even helped with advice has helped the club. There are so many people doing it for the love of it. So a big thanks to everyone, including this e-zine. They have all made it possible.