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Windsurfing New Zealand Club News May 2013

Its that time of the year again when we ask you to pay your affiliation fee and start thinking about next season. This modest fee helps pay for the event insurance we offer clubs, our membership fees with ISAF, and the costs of advocacy and promotion of the sport.

The most significant issue in the past year would have been the dropping (in favour of kiteboard racing) and subsequent reinstatement of windsurfing from the Olympics. While this may not have been important for many windsurfers, its impact on perhaps our most important segment, the young windsurfers coming through the Techno 293 and RS:X classes was significant. The reinstatement should not be seen as the end of the issue, but rather the start - as the ISAF is still classifying windsurfer and kiteboard as an equipment choice in the boardsailing class, and this needs to be corrected.

There has been a positive spinoff from all this. The issue has raised the level of awareness and activity in youth windsurfing and development and we need to keep this momentum going. There will hopefully be more overlap between the Techno/RS:X classes and the other windsurfing disciplines at combined events, and clubs should be ready to promote the Techno class in particular with local yacht clubs if they see (or make) the opportunity to do so.

Windsurfing does seem to be making a cautious come back, partly due to the growing popularity of stand up paddling a kite surfing which are both getting more people on the water. Stand up paddling is demonstrating how important the social aspect of any activity is in promoting growth of numbers, and windsurfing needs to do more in this area.

Yachting NZ are promoting windsurfing more through the efforts of Bruce Kendall and we hope this will continue, and that they will include windsurfers in their Learn to Sail program soon.

To this end here are a number of recommendations for the coming 12 months.

Schedule your events now - particularly the major events in your area, because people who travel need time to plan, and it helps to coordinate major events so those who do travel can take in a number of events in the same trip. Windsurfing NZ wants to get the national calendar published as early as possible - so have a quick meeting to pencil in your dates for next season before you head for the slopes (and let us know). Fill in the gaps with fun / social activities, BBQs, weekend trips, fun days, fun racing, clinics and buy/sell/swap meets. It doesn’t matter if some of these do not go ahead or shift dates later, get those stakes in the ground soon.

Get kids involved - the sport needs young people so make the effort to get young people involved when you get the chance. Contact local yacht clubs and see if they are interested in joint events.

Let people know - its not enough to just run an event, if you want participation then you need to spread the word, the earlier the better. Get your events on community calendars, create a story and pictures, preferably with a local theme, for the local press. Send your event details and story to Windsurfing NZ, we’ll put it up on the web and help circulate it. It will help you find sponsors, speaking of which, it’s a bad habit for events to die a quiet death minutes after they have finished (it’s often hard to even get the results), but the job has only just started. Immediately after the event, while its still fresh, write a story with any results and photos and get it out there. Thank your sponsors and send them the story, tell them if it appears in the local press, thats the payoff for them and will keep them coming back. Write notes on the event to make it easier / better next time.

Plan your event early - your clubs affiliation with Windsurfing NZ includes access to insurance cover for events in return for planning it properly, particularly in the area of risk management - and we have a range of forms and plans you can use to base yours on. This makes everything smoother and less stressful to run.

Membership - by affiliating with Windsurfing NZ all your financial members get automatic membership of WNZ which has class association status with Yachting NZ. WNZ encourages windsurfers to join their local club where practical. The insurance scheme we offer requires all sailors to be members of WNZ, and the membership also entitles windsurfers to a WNZ sail number which can be checked here

Insurance and kitesurfing - as already mentioned we carry this insurance cover on behalf of our clubs. The insurance cover has an additional (not cheap) premium to cover kite events, however this has not been taken up by anyone so far and WNZ will not renew this feature in September 2013 unless something changes. Kitesurfers need to indicate they want the cover, and we also need someone with kitesurfing event knowledge/experience to evaluate risk plans for us. If your club is interested in taking this up let us know.

There is not additional charge for club events, and the insurance cover is provided upon receipt and acceptance of the event documents, so get them in early. Remember all the work done by WNZ is voluntary so help us by getting things in early, not at the last minute.

For national events such as the national wave, slalom, freestyle and other events there is an additional levy applied which must be paid before or at the time the documents are submitted, otherwise the event will not be approved.

$100 for predicted participants under 20 participants and $200 for larger events.

Banner and flags - some clubs have banners and flags which are a great way to highlight evenst while they are running. WNZ is looking at purchasing some of these with WNZ branding to provide to clubs and use at national events. If your club is interested in being part of this order with your own club logo let us know.

Club gear - many clubs have learner equipment for loan/hire. This is a good time to check, repair and update this for the new season. Its probably a good idea to clearly label the gear as well, with contact details. WWA had a learner board fly off a roof recently and was last seen being picked up by a member of the public - unrecovered to date.

Thanks to all the volunteers who help keep Windsurfing NZ going, and those in the clubs - your efforts are appreciated.

Sponsorship - we are still looking for sponsorship, either general or specific projects (and we have a few), so if you have any ideas, or know of someone who is skilled in this area please get in touch.

Feedback - got ideas, comments? Contact us below

WNZ Contacts:

President - news, web, media - (Bruce Spedding)
Secretary -
Treasurer - - Tony Limburg
Membership, calendar and sail numbers - - Laurence Carey
Racing / Event docs - - Anton Blijlevens
Instruction - - Peter Head

all contacts can be messaged here:

Best wishes for the season to come.

Bruce Spedding

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