Windsurf Round Britain
- August 12, 2015
Jono Dunnett is taking on the challenge to windsurf around the UK without water based support. He has been windsurfing since aged 10 so has 30 years experience behind him.
Jono started sailing raceboards as a teenager, hitching rides with a good friend most weekends. He was in GB team for a World Championship event, and also won the Round Mersea Island windsurfing race one year.
Post university he went out to Minorca to work as a windsurfing instructor, and stayed there for the next 15 years. Minorca is about the size of the Isle of Wight and so it didn't take him too long to complete a one day windsurfing circumnavigation of the island, and to this day he is the only person to have achieved this.
Work at Minorca Sailing was flexible in winter giving him time to participate and represent his adopted home in 3 editions of the Island Games, taking gold in each (Rhodes - RS:X, Aland - raceboard, Isle of Wight - slalom).
In 2014 his plans to windsurf around the UK were starting to firm up. He started training with longer coastal sails - some in company and others alone. He also sailed straight out to sea a few times to see how it felt being farther from land. On all these sails he went fully prepared for breakages and potentially being forced to spend a night at sea in case circumstances required.
As a further bit of preparation he competed in the 2014 Raceboard Worlds, finishing a reasonable 24th out of a hundred odd competitors.
During the summer of 2015 his intention is to windsurf around Britain. If he succeeds in achieving this he will be the fourth person to have completed this voyage by windsurfer. However, his approach is different to the previous attempts because he will sail alone, without a water-based support team.
Three people have windsurfed around Britain, and their circumnavigations were aided by yacht / powerboat support. Britain is taken to mean the mainland of England, Scotland and Wales.
Tim Batstone - 1984 - 70 days
Keith Russell - 1999 - 62 days
Richard Cooper (Britain and Ireland) - 1999 - 61 days
Shore based support
Jono will have some van-based support and is welcoming offers of shore based support from locals; and has also planned for sections where support will only be sporadically available, sailing with gear to be able to camp for up to a few days at a time.
When sailing alone you can only rely on yourself, so it is necessary to plan carefully, be well prepared, and to sail within ones limits. Managing the many potential risks involved in this venture will be his primary concern. There will be days when he chooses not to sail because weather conditions are unsuitable, and perhaps others when he turn back to shore instead of pressing on. With 30 years' windsurfing experience, he has confidence in his ability to make the right calls about when and when not to sail.
His support and advisory team includes experienced windsurfers and around Britain (and round the world) yachtsman. Together, they have painstakenly risk assessed the whole project and identified procedures to effectively manage the many and varied situations that could potentially arise.
Jono likes windsurfing around islands. Britain is his home island and he’d like to sail around it. Additional to those entirely selfish reasons, he’d also like to raise some money for some good causes, specifically:
Ralph Bates Pancreatic Cancer Research Fund - A charity that funds research in and support for those affected by pancreatic cancer.
Supporting Tanzanian Orphans and Widows - a charity that enables Tanzanian orphans to go to school and assists widows with business start-up loans.
YB tracking are supplying one of our, as he puts it, “frankly, amazing” YB3 tracking devices for the expedition. As used by ocean going yachts and arctic explorers, the device enables GPS readings to be uploaded via the Iridium satellite network for visualisation on online maps. He will be getting position fixes every 10 minutes and real-time updates every 30 minutes. As well as being great for information, this is good from a safety point of view as if he needs rescuing they will be able to find Jono quickly.
For more information and to track Jono, please visit the Windsurf Round Britain website.