Royal Air Force Windsurfers recently met at Tiree in Scotland for the RAF Wave Championships.
Despite some solid performances from Flt Lt Fred Thompson and Flt Lt Freddie Hunter, who finished in second and third place, Warrant Officer Craig Hamilton won competition in style.
Physical and mental health are critical to the RAF’s core purpose of being ready to fly and fight. Flight Lieutenant Victoria Kellagher is the training principal for Royal Air Force Windsurfing and is clear on how windsurfing can benefit the RAF.
She said: “Aside from the fact that we are drawn from all backgrounds and ranks, which is a healthy thing anyway, windsurfers develop excellent cardiovascular fitness, balance, hand-eye co-ordination, flexibility, and muscular strength. It is a full body exercise that stretches your mind and your physicality.”
Windsurfing is more accessible than people might think, and not as expensive as it seems. Although it isn’t easy to learn, windsurfing is a dynamic sport that is also tremendous fun. Naturally, RAF Windsurfers receive high quality coaching and are always prepared for the conditions they meet.
Flight Lieutenant Kellagher took up the sport 15 years ago.
She said: “Windsurfing can look expensive, but if you are in the Royal Air Force that’s not the case at all. Service personnel can use their learning credits towards the introductory course at Rutland Water, and we have a £120 per year subscription scheme to hire the equipment. You will have to make contributions, but it’s nowhere near as costly as you think.”