The last thing we wanted to do was fall into the same old trap of containing the centre in a make-shift structure next to one of the best sailing facilities in Europe. Windsurfing has always been perceived as the ‘poor relation’ in sailing, so we have been very deliberate in making sure the correct visual impact is achieved with the building that houses the centre. Windsurfing as a sport deserves to be showcased properly. It has come of age and has earned its place on the international stage that WPNSA provides. The building is the first to be seen as visitors approach the Academy and we are confident it does the sport justice.
Below: An artist’s impression of the centre (January ’10) and the completed centre building (October ’10).
Providing an inexhaustible source of advice, not to mention a tireless amount of enthusiasm to inspire you on the water, the OTC team is a highly professional outfit dedicated to ensure your visit to us is both enjoyable and fulfilling.
Having graduated from the Industrial Design course at Loughborough University in 2001, Tris was headhunted for the post of Features Editor at the UK’s Windsurf Magazine. Taking on the additional role as their Test Editor in 2004, he left the office life in 2006 to co-found The OTC. Inventing the centre’s unique selling point, Tris’ driver was for a more accurate way of testing and evaluating windsurfing equipment, not just for magazines and the end consumer, but the brands themselves as well.
The foundation of the centre! Maurin first started working for the OTC in May 2013 and is such an accomplished Centre Manager, he didn’t stop working for two weeks straight! Easy going, knowledgeable and a great windsurfer in his own right, he can often be seen during the summer months teaching a large group of novices without the necessity of a rescue boat, guiding the ‘Doogie-Downwind’ student back upwind whilst sailing next to them … his front foot on their board for control! With experience managing centres in Italy, Sardinia and Fuerteventura he has taught windsurfing in some pretty challenging locations, so Portland Harbour is a doddle!
Joe has been with us on and off since we opened the centre in the UK in 2010. A very accomplished wave sailor, he has a real passion for all types of water sports, belied by his relaxed, laid-back character. A fantastic instructor that will pick out real gems for you to concentrate on to keep you progressing, and has the patience of a saint. He learns new stunts on the water quickly and adds real value to the team when testing.
Having completed a Start Windsurfing course with OTC UK, Maisie knew she was hooked. She did her Start Windsurfing instructor course with us as well, drawing the comment from the trainer that she was “one of the most promising 16 year olds he had ever instructed”. Maisie’s passion is definitely in teaching and hopes to pursue this aspect of the sport to the highest level in the coming years. Whilst providing a fantastic insight into the equipment demands of windsurfers fresh to the sport, she is improving every day she goes on the water, and is looking to compete in the near future.
Scotty Stallman first came down the centre when he had just turned 9 years old and immediately took to the sport, encouraged by his parents, Andy and Jo, as they knew their son needed to be challenged to remain interested. Don’t think they could have chosen a better sport! At 11 years old Scotty had already broken the 30knot barrier (thanks to the tips and mentoring of local hero Pete Young) and by 12yrs had had his first taste of wave sailing. We even have a bet that he will be looping before his 13th birthday… The kid is fearless and is regularly holding onto sails the same size as grown adults, whether it be speeding down the course or launching through head-high shorebreak. Undoubtedly one to watch for the future. Click here to read a July ’13 BOARDS article about Scotty.