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AWA Slalom Series - Round One - Event Report

Before you read this great little number below we would like to remind you that the next round of the AWA Slalom Series is scheduled for this coming weekend 23/24 September. Please keep posted to your emails and Facebook for an update this Thursday. Let the season roll on!

AWA Slalom Series - Round One - Event Report

Aside from an incomprehensible last name, Hungarian psychologist Mihály Csíkszentmihályi is most noted for his work on "flow". Colloquially know as being 'in the zone' Flow is a mental state of effortless concentration and enjoyment that comes when a person is fully immersed in performing an activity. As your focus narrows completely on the task at hand you act on instinct, your sense of time distorts and all sense of self and self-consciousness fall away.

Many psycologists believe Flow to be the optimal state of consciousness where we feel and perform at our best, but I think ol Csíkszentmihályi sums it up best with "moments of Flow provide flashes of intense living against the dull background of everyday life".

So what does this have to do with the first round of the 2017/18 AWA slalom series?

Flow occurs when you perform a difficult challenge with a high level of skill. What constitutes a difficult challenge, depends on the individual and shifts as your skills improve. That's what got us all addicted to windsurfing in the first place, the ecstatic moments when your skills finally matched the challenge – getting planing, getting in the footstraps, the first carve gybe. The problem is many windsurfers get to a stage where they stop pushing for a new challenge, and the moments of flow get further apart, replaced by monotony and boredom.

Slalom racing changes that, it sets the bar higher. You push harder and go faster than you ever would by yourself. You have to gybe – not when you want to but when you have too! It might not be relaxing but when your charging into the first mark with gritted teeth, the hot surge of adrenaline makes you feel alive.

Winning doesn't really matter, at every event a handful of sailors put in the best performance of their windsurfing lives. This week it was Jon Cameron and Amy Fisher. Amy couldn't windsurf two years ago, yet on Saturday beat a silver fleet full of talented sailors in 25+ knots to take the overall victory. Jon showed a massive effort over the winter had paid off by snapping at the heels of Laurence and Jack. Other notable mentions are King in the North Ropata for claiming second in the silver fleet, Devan Pickmere for showing good speed in his first ever event and Tim Wood for holding down the biggest sail of the event despite being one of the most senior competitors.

In other news Laurence won, Jack turned up in the afternoon. Luke was very hungover. Alan got cold, Dan got tired and the silver fleet are all legends.

As always massive thanks to our volunteers; Roscoe, Jimbo, Sue, Dan and Bernie for making it all happen!

See you all next week - remember we are not just offering you slalom racing. We are offering you flow!

The AWA would like to thank to Jack Holiday for this beautiful piece of writing. We look forward to many more days like this. See you on the water!

From your AWA team,

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