• Team OTC

LET YOUR LITTLE ONE FIND THEIR WINGS AND FLY WITH US!

Updated: Aug 18

Kick back grab a cuppa and read our latest interview, we speak to Karen O’Gorman and ask her, ‘what is it like to be a parent of a young windsurfer?’ Karen’s son Finn O’Gorman, aged 11 is one to watch, he has a natural talent for the sport, loves being on the water and always brings buckets full of enthusiasm, he is supported every step of the way by his devoted parents.


Finn started his windsurfing journey at the OTC with some 1:1 tuition and is a valued member of the OTC Team 15. From those first fledgling steps onto a board to now exuding confidence and entering competitions, read on to find out what it is like to experience the pride of giving your child the gift of an exhilarating hobby.

“The advice of the OTC to do a couple of 1:1 lessons first was a great suggestion, we then genuinely knew then Finn wanted to continue windsurfing as a hobby."

Finn started to show an interest in windsurfing when he was seven years old, his mum said; “We would see the windsurfers out in Portland Harbour from the road and Finn was keen to have a go! We popped down to the OTC one day, as we knew it was there. Spoke to the guys and organised a couple of 1:1 lessons, to see if Finn had a genuine interest.

Karen said: “From the very start Finn didn’t need much encouragement to get into the water, even on chilly days. Other than a small amount of admin to join Team 15, rinsing his wetsuit and a bit of a taxi service, it is all fairly simple and enjoyable. He does his own wetsuit now too!

“There’s a little bit of standing around in the cold and wind, we are always prepared with hot drinks and warm clothes. He is supervised during Team 15 or competitions at the OTC, so sometimes we like to stay and watch, other times he is happy for us to leave him, now he is a bit older.

I think the main reason we encourage Finn, is that it gives him enjoyment, freedom and a skill that he can develop further as he grows into an adult."

“The advice of the OTC to do a couple of 1:1 lessons first was a great suggestion, we then genuinely knew then Finn wanted to continue windsurfing as a hobby. If I’m honest it is a little scary letting your small child out on the open water, Finn is a good swimmer, but the team down at the OTC are knowledgeable, experienced and I know Finn respects their advice and instructions. So if your child shows an interest I’d say go for it.

“We encourage Finn to windsurf, because we are not originally from Weymouth. We moved here, as we wanted a life by the sea and to bring up a family near the water. As soon as we could we wanted to encourage a water based hobby, it was kind of a given for us that we would at least try a few things. I think the main reason we encourage Finn, is that it gives him enjoyment, freedom and a skill that he can develop further as he grows into an adult.

"Finn is a bit of an adrenaline junkie, he likes the speed and freedom. I think, as he gets older and listen to the instructions and learn more about the wind, control, tips and tricks, he will continue to just get more and more out of it."

“Finn is a bit of an adrenaline junkie, he likes the speed and freedom. I think, as he gets older and listen to the instructions and learn more about the wind, control, tips and tricks, he will continue to just get more and more out of it. It is also a social thing to do too, one of Finn’s best friends is a very good windsurfer and they go to the Team 15 club together.

"The team down at the OTC are knowledgeable, experienced and I know Finn respects their advice and instructions. So if your child shows an interest I’d say go for it."

“Windsurfing is not an expensive hobby, the 1:1 lessons do cost, but after that Team 15 is very reasonable, £20 annual fee, then £5 for a two hour session, with all the kit included. We got Finn a wetsuit and a second hand board, but we tend to use the centre equipment, as it is excellent and included. All kids hobbies these days have an expense, whether it is dance costumes or football kits.

“Finn and his best friend Finnley would like to buy a campervan and join the PWA World Tour when they are older! But who knows, for the moment he is more than happy being on the water locally and starting to do a few competitions, as he gets better and stronger. For the moment though Finn says, he needs to improve his beach starts.

“Having hobbies outside of school I think is valuable and beneficial. I think the windsurfing helps Finn with confidence, independence, and determination and definitely keeps him strong and fit.

“I am very proud, emotional and sometimes surprised at what Finn can achieve. Only last year he took part in a competition, before that he was not really that keen and probably didn’t feel like he had the skills. But he did a couple last year and really enjoyed them. The one in Poole was very tricky conditions, but he stuck it out.

“That was my proudest moment in Finn’s windsurfing journey, that competition in Poole. It was very hard conditions and he was the youngest there, but he stuck it out. One of my best memories of Finn is some video footage I have of him and Finnley in good conditions side-by-side racing into the shore, smiling and laughing."

“Finn’s love of windsurfing is mainly down to the OTC, they have helped him completely. Without the centre we probably wouldn’t have had the opportunity or funds for Finn to windsurf. The instruction, equipment and people are all excellent.”

If Finn’s story has inspired you, why not book your child a Two Hour Taster with us for £59.00, letting a staff member know if you need to borrow a wetsuit. The numbers to call are 01305 230296 or 07817 717904.

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 The Official Test Centre is a watersports school, retailer and test centre located right on the water’s edge, within the grounds of the National Sailing Academy on Portland, Dorset.

 

Due to our location, we are in the perfect place to get out on the latest kit and give it a go. On this blog we share our thoughts with you. And having tested for magazines for over two decades, we love to put the kit through its paces.