A Great August for Aquaskipper

An Aquaskipping August throughout the UK gave the masses an opportunity to try it out.

Over 200 people got to bounce around the bay at the White Air Extreme Sports Festival and we bagged the first UK speed champion.

Team Aquaskipper also won the 2007 UK Bartercard 12 footskiff Series at Torquay Regatta. 

In this issue:

Team Aquaskipper win the 2007 UK Bartercard 12ft Skiff Series

12 Foot Skiffs at Torquay

Royal Torbay Yacht Club - 27th to 29th August

aq sailing


The final round of the 2007 Bartercard Cup for 12ft Skiffs took place at the Royal Torbay Yacht Club in Torquay over the August Bank Holiday week in almost ideal sunbathing conditions. Crews were greeted with wall-to-wall sunshine and light winds, and the spectators turned up hoping to see these awesome speed machines hurtling around the bay like last year.

Day 1 saw the use of the No.1 rigs with Aquaskipper getting off the line cleanly and away to a clear lead, only then to suffer a capsize allowing Slug through, closely followed by Bestof. Over the following laps, Aquaskipper consistently closed the gap on Slug, and on the last downwind leg there was only a matter of feet between the boats, with Slug just sneaking across the finish first.

Day 2 saw Bestof losing it’s No.2 rig whilst twin-wiring with the kite up on it’s way out to the start, so had to go back in for a quick rig change, making them late for the start. Aquaskipper was guest-crewed by the Team Scotland crew for the day. Day 2 results saw Slug in 1st place, Bestof in 2nd, and Aquaskipper (with guest crew) in 3rd, and Team WB in 4th.

The 3rd and final day dawned with the series pretty-much wrapped up, but the event still to play for between Slug and Aquaskipper. A tight start between the two then saw the teams choose different sides of the racecourse for the first beat. Aquaskipper suffered a kicking strap failure (exploding Ronstan block) resulting in a swim and a bit of improvised jury-rigging, allowing Slug to be first around the windward mark. On the first downwind leg however, disaster struck on Slug when the kite halyard jammer failed resulting in the kite falling down followed by the inevitable capsize, allowing Aquaskipper to re-take the lead, which they then held and consolidated until the finish. Final places were 1st Aquaskipper, 2nd, Slug, 3rd Bestof, 4th Team WB.

The last 12 months have really given the crews time to master the boat handling skills needed to keep these boats upright and up to speed, so this was a great chance to really compare the differences in the Nash, Woof and Slug haq sail2ull shapes. Alan Atterbury said, ”The Slug clearly is faster in certain conditions, but the Woof seems to be more consistent as the more moderate shape performs better in light winds or short chop, and provides the buoyancy to support the crew weight and the larger rigs.”

This spectacular event finished in style with champagne prize-giving followed by an amazing display from the Red Arrows over Torbay.

Royal Torbay Event Results:

Team/Boat Design Helm/Crew

1st Slug Slug (mod) Iain Christie/Simon Roberts

2nd Aquaskipper Woof Bob Clements/Alan Atterbury

3rd Bestof Nash 4 Andy Lang/Tom Gruitt

4th Team WB Bistro (mod) Stu Tinner/Ollie Hobson

5th Team Scotland Slug (mod) Neil Cardno/Ken Scott-Brown

Bartercard 12ft Skiff Series Overall Results:

Pos Pts Team/Boat Design Skipper

1st 21 Aquaskipper Woof Bob Clements

2nd 12 Bestof Nash 4 Andy Lang

3rd 11 Slug Slug (mod) Simon Roberts

4th 9 Team WB Bistro (mod) Stu Tinner

5th 5 Practicus Bistro (mod) Iain Christie

6th 2 Team Scotland Slug (mod) Neil Cardno

1000's Visit the Aquaskipper team at the 2007 White Air Extreme sports festival

Phil Tufnell "Had a go" The Red arrows turned up, we crowned our first champion and over 200 people rode an Aquaskipper.

filming That was just some of the events that made our trip to the Isle of Wight just perfect. The seven day event White Air 2007 was a gathering of most of the UK's extreme sports best. With skate boarding, bmx, wind surfing and kite surfing all giving the crowds real value for money. The Aquaskipper events team were out each day giving free lessons to wannabe skippers in fact over 200 people got to have a go over the seven days.

However we really drew in the crowds when King of the Jungle and cricket legend Phil Tufnell arrived with the makers of the BBC evening programme The One Show. Tuffer's had been challenged by Olympic Gold medalist Colin Jackson to ride the Aquaskipper which he managed to get the hang of after a dozen or so goes. The day culminated with Tuffer's racing against our own Dave Cornthwaite in a great fun spectacle. Details and photos to follow.

Conditions deteriorated as the week went on making any attempt on a UK speed record impossible which was a shame as six competitors turned up to try and win the first UK title attempt times were poor with Dave Cornthwaite grabbing the best time of the day of 25 seconds over the 100m course. In the under 15 category 14 year old skipper Ben Farmer from the Isle of Wight managed a time of 27 seconds which was recorded by an official RYA time keeper. Considering the waves were buffering Ben closer and closer to the shore he did well to keep afloat and not crash into the beach. Well Done Ben you are officially our first UK under 15 champion.

The week was to finish with a dramatic display by the Red Arrows which amazed us all with their unbeliveable skill. A video of the weeks eventshave been put together and can be viewed on the video section.

Phil Tufnell Joins the Aquaskipper team for BBC's The One Show

The gauntlet was laid down, Olympic hurdles champion Colin Jackson thought he had found a sport that King of the Jungle and Cricket legend Philphilpic Tufnell would surely fail at. But with a steely determination in his eye he donned a wetsuit and joined Aquaskipper's Duncan and Dave on the beach for the start of the challenge.

Phil's first challenge was to put the Aquaskipper together which turned out to be more of a problem than riding it. Tuffer's looked in bewilderment at the pile of parts on the beach before grabbing the instructions and setting too.

It was not long before the super fit legend stopped for a cigarette break to give him the opportunity to contemplate how the hell everything fitted together. Refreshed he continued finally putting all the parts together before stepping back and saying "How the **** is that going to skim across the water".


So to the water. The crew filming the events spent much of their time doubled up with laughter as Tuffer's threw himself at the Aquaskipper only to sink unceremoniously to the sea bed. A few words of wisdom on launching techniques from Duncan and plenty of encouragement from Dave saw a great improvement and it wasn't long before he managed his first sizable skip of about 10 metres. Triumphantly Phil punched the air as he tasted victory in mastering the Aquaskipper.

The great British summer weather typically wasn't at it best and continued to deteriorate as the day moved on, making the waves phil3bigger and more difficult for novices to get the hang of it. However Tuffer's had done particularly well and lined up against his first competitor a lady that was dragged off the beach and had only received the same amount of training as Phil.

The Klaxon sounded and they were off, well Tuffer's was, poor Yvonne sank as she was side swiped by a huge wave just after the launch. Phil pulled off his best attempt of the day almost doubling his previous efforts.

Finally it was time for Tuffer's to race the Aquaskipper champion Dave Cornthwaite. Crowds on the beach swelled as over 200 people made their way down from the main festival arena to watch. Sound. Camera. and action shouted the director. The two tuf1gladiators steadied themselves in anticipation of the klaxon. It boomed loudly followed by great roar from the crowd. Tuffer's got the best launch gliding some 5-6 metres before Dave had even hit the water. Pumping legs and arms for all he was worth Tuffer's took an early lead as he skimmed effortlessly across the water gaining speed all the time, closely followed by the experienced Dave. Suddenly Tuffer's was hit by a size-able wave and started to lose momentum, still he continued to pump hoping for a recovery but alas it was all over. Dave sped past as Phil slowly ground to a halt. Then to rub salt into his wounds Dave returned to circle poor Phil in a victory lap of honour.

The film crew packed their gear away as the two got out of the water " That was brilliant fun" said Tuffer's "I was starting to get the hang of it to but how the hell can you keep going so long Dave?" Dave just smiled. This time next year he will hopefully be holding the world distance record.

We will keep subscribers to our news letter informed of the BBC's version of events which is due to be screened in November.

NEWS FLASH........ Record attempt this Friday


At 12pm on Friday 14th September 2007 a unique record attempt will take place on Hove Lagoon. 27 year-old Dave Cornthwaite, who made his name in 2006 by breaking the world distance skateboarding record during a trans-Australian journey from Perth to Brisbane, is now set to add another record to his list of achievements. This time, though, he is using a very different mode of transport, the Aquaskipper.

Dave, who has only been Aquaskipping for six months and is eyeing a potential Channel crossing on the device next year, is confident that he can break the 25 second British 100m speed record this Friday, despite being a relative novice.

"The conditions are looking good for Friday and I'm eager to get to Hove Lagoon," Cornthwaite said, "the Aquaskipper is extremely enjoyable to ride and it has helped my recuperation since returning from Australia. I hope setting a record at the lagoon will spark an interest in Aquaskipping as a viable recreational activity, and more importantly encourage more children and adults to leave the sitting room and get regular exercise."

The event at Hove Lagoon is being co-sponsored by the Lagoon itself, and Shoreham-based clothing label Chilled Turtle. Rebecca Richardson, a Chilled Turtle director, is confident in Dave's ability to succeed in the record attempt, saying "Dave has proved that belief and determination can take people to new heights in his long-distance skateboarding exploits, he's all about promoting positive thinking and the importance of exercise and I have no doubt that he'll be successful on Friday.

Dave's first attempt at the speed record will take place at noon on Friday. He will make further attempts at 1pm, 2pm and 3pm whether the record falls at the first bounce, or not.

All media are invited to attend. The event will provide an opportunity for vivid, original photography. Additional images of the event may be obtained by emailing a request to carole@wavebound.com

The event will begin at 11am on Friday 14th September at Hove Lagoon, Kingsway, Hove, East Sussex, BN3 4LX Tel: 01273 42 48 42

Dave Cornthwaite will be available for interview on Friday 14th September before and in between his record attempts.

See you next time!