Our rider from England has just won his fifth British Slalom Championship title! James Dinsmore proved to be the one to beat this season with his most succesful racing to date. Over a variety of conditions and different spots James was able to win all of the races throughout the season. A very impressive achievement! We had a quick chat with James to get a bit more insights on this years tour, his favorit gear, and if we´ll be seeing him on the race course next season:
2017 British Champion. Congratulations! You hold several British titles. How was it to win this one?
It is very special to win a national title. This year was the start of a new adventure on Point-7 sails and at the beginning of the season I was nervous that I wouldn’t be able to repeat my previous years successes. My time on the water has also been getting less due to family and work commitments whilst there are younger guys spending a lot of time training overseas in the winter months. Going into the season I really wasn’t sure how well I’d go against them. However, as it turned out everything went almost spookily well for me on the 2017 national circuit and I won all the windy events
By the looks of it, you had 7 races this season. Did you have wind in all of them? And which one is usually your favourite?
We are lucky to have a flourishing and varied UKWA Slalom tour which this year had seven (two-day) events all around the UK. The season started and finished with events at Weymouth harbour and in between we raced all around England and Wales. Over a hundred racers took part during the course of the year. We had wind at five events which is a pretty good hit rate.
As for a favourite event, that is a very difficult question. All the locations can deliver great racing but I particularly like racing in the open sea. I was delighted to win first time out on my new Point-7 sails at my home event at Hayling Island. The ‘best’ conditions of the year were at Christchurch which is on the south coast opposite the Isle of Wight. We had two days of pedal-to-the-metal racing in rolling swell on sails from 7.1m to 8.6m. In those sorts of conditions there is absolutely no doubt that slalom windsurfing is an adrenaline sport.
Which sail did you mainly use?
Over the season my most used sail was my 8.6 AC-1 which I always sailed on my iS137. The combination has a fantastic wind range with a Carpenter 44cm fin.
Which sail has been your favourite this season?
To be honest I loved them all but I had most fun on the 7.1 AC-1 with my iS107 at Christchurch. Slalom sails are very technical to rig right and I really benefitted from Andrea Cucchi’s tuning input at the start of the season. The most impressive thing about the AC-1 sails has been how well I am now going in the lighter airs. In previous years, I struggled for outright speed on my big gear and had to be quick around the marks to keep myself in contention. This year was the first that I have felt genuinely competitive on the drag race down the first reach in light winds. My newfound light-wind speed was apparent at the IFCA Slalom Europeans in La Tranche-sur-Mer which was the one international competition that I was able to do this year. I was delighted to place second on my 9.2 in my semi-final in the one elimination that we completed.
Will you be going for a 2018 title as well?
We will have to see! Having now won in five years in a row my competitors are queuing up to dethrone me. I am not getting any younger but this year was arguably my most successful to date and I still have the racing bug. One thing I would like to do is get to more overseas events in 2018.
A few action shots from the season by Andy Stallman: