What is our history?
Northumbrian Windsurfing Club has a history
spanning four decades and has seen many changes in that time. Our roots took
hold at "QEII" Lake at Ashington, Northumberland, in the late 1970's when the
club was formed as "Wansbeck Free Sailing Club". Thankfully this was changed to
"Wansbeck Boardsailing Club" and the club went from strength to strength with
club racing and various other activities taking place right throughout the year.
These were the days of 6.5m "Regatta" sails with their tiny windows, wooden
dagger-boards and the like.
In 1983 the regional windsurfing
association "North East Wind Surfers" was actually born out of the club. NEWS, a
purely racing organisation, has become a breeding ground for success with
several of its younger (and not so young) members competing and doing well at
national and international competitions.
By the 1990's the club had moved to
a new venue, Druridge Bay Country Park, and become "Druridge Bay Windsurfers".
Our base was there until 7 years ago when we decided to abandon the home water
in favour of the variety, cleaner winds and challenge of sailing at coastal
locations. The club name then changed, yet again, to it's present form! Many
changes there have been, but one common factor remains - we are, and always have
been, purely a windsurfing club, run by windsurfers for
permanent tan injection
What's our current philosophy?
In modern terminology, we are essentially a club
now dedicated to freeride windsurfing.
In other words, we are all in it for the fun of it, not for competitive racing,
although there is a healthy amount of
personal competitiveness between friends on a windy weekend!
We are also very much an inclusive and friendly club, not dedicated to just a certain level
of windsurfer. We encourage not only beginners and experts alike, but also
non-sailing members who are well catered for with an active social
We do recognise that the sailing ability of members is split
approximately into two groups, one, the more experienced, that wants to sail on
the sea as much as possible and the other that prefers the safety of inland
waters. The sailing calendar is designed around this, providing maximum
opportunity for the type of sailing you prefer, whether it's sea or lake
Although we are what you might call a roaming club, there are two
locations at which we sail very regularly, that are as close as we have to home
bases - the north end of Druridge Bay beach, and, just around the corner,
Ladyburn Lake in Druridge Bay Country Park.
What are the benefits of being a member of Northumbrian Windsurfing Club?
Being affiliated to
the RYA (Royal Yachting Association) means, amongst other things, that we
operate in a responsible and safe manner.
The club safety policy is nothing
more than common sense that basically translates into a "buddy" approach when
sailing, where everybody looks after each other. This is particularly important,
and comforting, when sea sailing - our number one priority is to have fun, but
we like to do it safely.
There is no
better way to improve your windsurfing skills than by sailing with people who
are more experienced than yourself. Some club members have been sailing (and
racing) since the "early days" and are more than willing to help fellow sailors
of all abilities with the tuning requirements of either equipment or technique.
It is simply much
more fun to sail with friends, especially when they are as passionate as you
about the sport. It's always good to have witnesses (and encouragement!) when
you crack that move you've been persevering with for ages, or alternatively,
when do your most spectacular crashes!
You will see
that the official club sailing calendar covers mainly Sundays, but the level of
enthusiasm in the club is usually such that off-calendar sailing is done on most
weekends, as a general rule, so you're rarely stuck for sailing company if the
wind is blowing. If your hands can stand the cold, there are club members that
sail 12 months of the year.
Northumberland has clean water, miles of clean, sandy, often
deserted beaches, an almost total lack of other water-users and, quite simply,
beautiful surroundings. The whole seventy-mile stretch between the Tyne and
Berwick on the Scottish border enjoys the status of "outstanding area of natural
The club is
growing, and the social side of the club is growing with it. Monthly meetings at
the Tap and Spile, in Morpeth (on the first Wednesday of each month), are well
attended, and the regular "club special" days, and weekends, are always great
social events, where families are not only welcome, but necessary, to help to
consume all the barbeque food!
Our current annual
membership fee is just £15. Because the club has negotiated regular group
sailing arrangements at some locations, sailing is free of normal charges on
such days. We have also negotiated special member discounts at some UK
windsurfing equipment retailers.