There is just a month to go before the 12th National Watersports Festival (NWF) kicks off at Rutland Water over the weekend of 8-10th June 2018 and we’ve been sent a few insider details so you’re fully ‘in the know’…
The NWF is held in the LARGEST man-made reservoir in Western Europe, Rutland Water which is the perfect Festival venue, offering safe waters for paddlers of all abilities, as well as providing a perfect amphitheatre for the 10,000 visitors expected over the course of the weekend.
SUP is a headline sport at the Festival, with paddlers from a number of the UK’s foremost SUP clubs attending, including Saltwalk, Central SUP, Bray Lake Watersports, Bartley SUP and Frangipani SUP to name a few.
They will be racing alongside some of the well-known faces of the sport, for the accolade of those podium places and prizes up for grabs, across the whole weekend.
GB SUP National Series will be running 100m sprints and the main 10K distance race. Races are open to all, with categories for beginners, seasoned SUPers and juniors. The NWF SUP team will also be running a number of Team/Club challenges including Red Dragon, XL (mega) races and SUP Polo. The events are open to teams of four; come either with your club-mates – or go for glory with three of your friends!
Besides racing, live music by the lakeside and the Rutland Festival, celebrating the best local food and drink, the NWF is renowned for hosting one of the largest Trade Shows in the UK. Starboard, Red Paddle Co, Fanatic, Naish, FatStick, and O’Shea, amongst others will be there with their latest 2018 kit, all ready and waiting for you to lake test!
Red Paddle Co will be showcasing their Dragon Racing board ahead of the Dragon World Championships taking place in Austria this year and their XL racing board will also take centre stage. Their UK team will be on hand to offer their extensive knowledge on technique, boards and paddles.
Starboard SUP will be making a big presence at the NWF with a wide range of demo models. It’s a perfect opportunity to test World Champion race boards – the All Star and Sprint, available in different widths, plus the new Airline All Star inflatable racing rocket.
For efficient cruising check out the silky-smooth touring boards and the new GO range offering superb glide in a user-friendly package. There will be numerous inflatables including the popular Touring shapes, the best-selling Blend all-rounder plus the beautiful Tikhine boards featuring Sonni Honscheid’s stunning artwork.
The founding principle of the NWF is that it is for EVERYONE, so for beginners (perhaps you’re thinking of taking family or friends?) there are FREE taster sessions in SUP (as well as windsurfing, kayaking, dinghy sailing and SCUBA.)
For intermediates, the NWF presents an opportunity not only to rub shoulders with some of the top riders, but also to benefit from their knowledge and experience. Free skills clinics from the best in the business have always been a fundamental part of the festival so for 2018, Starboard Team Rider, Scott Warren from Bray Lake Watersport will take you through which board to choose and how to improve your paddle stroke; Ian ‘Nocka’ Taylor from Central SUP will host a Beginners Skills Session covering how to get started and the best places to learn and Sports Therapist and University Lecturer Jennifer Wilson will explore Injury Prevention and Land-Based Fitness Training.
On Saturday afternoon, a Q&A session with the brands, hosted by Chris Kenyon from Central SUP will aim to answer your burning SUP questions.
If you are interested in SUP exploration; be it for a day, overnight or multi-day, Ben Longhurst of the Water Skills Academy will advise and inspire you on how to take Stand Up Paddling into the wilderness safely, enjoyably and without leaving a trace. For a taste of the wilderness, on both Friday and Saturday evenings there will be an instructor-led adventure paddle on the lake.
All in all, the NWF looks set to be a great weekend, delivering as much fun as possible both on and off the water. Book now and you can even reserve a limited edition NWF Hoodie (orders need to be in by the 17th May). For racing, tasters, coaching, demos, camping, live music, parties, fancy dress, prizes and memories of sharing a weekend with thousands of like-minded watersports enthusiasts visit www.nationalwatersportsfestival.com