by Simon Morgan
Wildwind Holidays, recognised as one of the top sailing holiday companies in Europe, was established nearly a quarter of a century ago by Simon Morgan, at that time well known on the Hobie cat International circuit – in fact Simon is a former British National Champion and his father, Tony, crewed Keith Musto to an Olympic Silver medal in the Flying Dutchman class in 1964.
Simon Morgan driving Hobie 16 in F6 Chris Morgan - WildWind
So, it’s no surprise then that Simon’s company, Wildwind has been forward in trying to put something back into the sport that has given him and his family so much pleasure.
For years Wildwind sponsored the British Hobie Cat Class Association, the Youth Squad, and also brought the first ever Hobie 16 European Championships to Greece – where 118 teams competed in winds ranging from 20 to 35 knots and Sky TV produced an excellent documentary of the racing including the first sight of Mitch Booth capsizing for the first time in nearly twenty years!
Among other events Wildwind have been sponsoring for years is the East Coast Piers Race whose proceeds go to the Cirdan Sailing Trust who specialize in enabling groups of young people, particularly those who are socially, physically or mentally disadvantaged, to experience the challenge and adventure of life at sea.
This year Wildwind was chosen as the main sponsor of the biggest catamaran event of the year, the F18, Hurricane and Shearwater National Championships and Isle-of-Wight Cat Open which took place from August 12-14. Attracting an International audience this occasion was also filmed and we hope to have exciting footage of both ‘on’ and ‘off’ the water events available shortly.
Meanwhile the event website has some excellent photos and videos, and, if you fancy the trek over to the island you can be assured of a warm welcome, especially on the night of Saturday 13 when a real ‘Wildwind’ BBQ is being transported a thousand miles and the very excellent Ouzo 9mm featuring the superb Andy Lewis on trumpet and vocals, Jonny 2 shots Randall on drums and a host of other entertainers and musicians.
To hear a little from Jonny’s exquisite drum solo and welcome to the IOW click here and turn the volume up.
Joe Bennett & Marko Reynolds UK 1st 1st Catamaran Class - Vassiliki Watersports Festival 2011
Back in Greece, five years ago the mayor of Vassiliki, the pretty Lefkas fishing village where Wildwind is based, asked Simon to help in the organisation of the Vassiliki Watersports Festival an event that has now become one of Greece’s biggest watersports events – past editions have included a Professional Freestyle Windsurf Tour, the Czech National Windsurf Championships, the Greek National Catamaran Cup as well as speed, slalom and freestyle windsurf events, sailing regattas, bike races and a wealth of off the water events including Greek night, rock and funk bands, Miss Bikini competitions and more.
This year’s event was also exciting enough to attract Greek National Radio to set up in Vassiliki town hall broadcasting live twice a day for five days to the entire nation – a real bonus for the island in these difficult times – and they have asked to return for ten days for next year’s Festival – which will be held, as usual, at the end of June – details to follow.
Meanwhile you can see video footage of Sky TV’s broadcasting of the previous year’s Festival here.
One of the side benefits of the Festival has been that the local community has started creating their own website(s) and if you’d like to see what Vassiliki looks like in more detail why not take a look here.
Vassiliki Bay Chris Morgan JNR - WildWind
Meanwhile in Vassiliki we can tell you that the wind continues to blow in the afternoons, the sun is still shining and an amazing fleet of boats is lined up ready for you along the beach with a great team of guys and girls to help you enjoy the place.
The centre is now fully booked until the end of August, but there are places still available in September and there are also two special events planned – the Ionian regatta, a 20 mile long distance race on Sept 15, and the return of European Tornado Champion Kostas Trigonis for an eagerly anticipated special catamaran training and coaching week starting September 18.