This dude here is a good friend called Rupert Holloway. He is a bit of a surfer, windsurfer, paddle boarder and all round good guy. He is also the creator and inventor of Conker Gin. Dorset's first..
Rupert didn't even need to be asked to get involved. We were on a SUP down the river to the pub and he was in straight away, really wanting to get involved, sponsor the event and just give the competition and windsurfing a boost. So refreshing. (A pun would be just like his Gin, with some tonic).
But this is the ticket. He wants to make sure that all the competitors get a flavour of the Gin and that all the pro's turn up to put on a great show. The idea is too have a bar on the beach.
To do this, Conker want to put up a prize fund of £1000 for the first place pro. So spread the word. Not only is this insanely good, it also means that the rest of the prize fund increases for the the other top 4 finishers. This to me is great on so many levels. I know the costs involved with competing. I have been doing it for £25 years now, I also know what is it like trying to make a living out of windsurfing. Some of the best experiences I have ever had, but also on a shoe string.
I really hope we can attract a full pro fleet by dangling this carrot. If there is no wind, then we will do a heap of other stuff and share the prize fund out amongst the pro fleet.
Our aim is too fill all fleets and get as many people involved as possible. It's a big ask and we might even need to extend the event over 4 days to the Thursday for the Pro's, but that is something we should be able to handle as the organisation of this event evolves. It's a new thing for me. I used to organise Team15 Zone Squad Regional championships, but that was about it.
This Monday, we are having a meeting with all sponsors and organisers around my house. It is going to involve a take out curry and a few beers and hopefully a lot of good ideas from a lot of experienced heads involved in event planning. Hopefully. Usually with the kind of people involved, I laugh a lot, but can never really remember much else...
Have a read of Rupert's blog here and his Journey of Gin.