TEAM RIDER SCOTTY STALLMAN: THE RACE IS ON TO GET TO THE TOP!
What does it take to become a Team Rider for The OTC? How do you become an ambassador on a board? Why is Scotty Stallman at the age of 18, prepared to shout from the rooftops about why The OTC is such an awesome brand?
Scotty started windsurfing aged nine; as a birthday treat he was given a taster session at The OTC and the rest, as they say, is history. Scotty has grown into a hard-working, dedicated, talented, humble young star on the water! One to watch, and one determined young windsurfer, destined to get to the top. Chasing on the heels of his role models and soaking up every bit of advice that has been handed down to him.
Scotty said: “My Dad had an old windsurfing board in the garden, and I had always been a bit intrigued as to what it was. Dad explained about windsurfing and we went over to Portland Harbour to look at the windsurfers flying up and down the beach. That was it - I had to have a go!
“The OTC has helped me every step of the way! I first set foot on a windsurfing setup with the help of Tris Best; regular lessons at the OTC, including T15, has taught me all the skills I have needed to progress in windsurfing."
“The OTC was recommended by a family friend, so my Mum and Dad took me down for a taster session as my birthday treat, which is when I met Tris Best and Si Todd - who after the first lesson had me hooked on the sport! I think I went back three times that week!
“What do I enjoy most about windsurfing? Wow, that’s a tricky one! Actually, windsurfing gives me so much, with the different disciplines providing different challenges and rewards. But if I had to choose one word, it would be 'independence'. That feeling when you are screaming across the water just on the edge of control does it for me every time!
“I’ve met and been inspired by so many amazing people in this sport, however there is one person which from a very young age I have looked up to the most. That is Pete Young. I can still remember the day when Pete decided it was time I tried some speed kit. The kit was rigged up and I followed Pete down the beach on my first speed run in Portland Harbour. It was electric! Pete still mentors me to this day on my speed and slalom windsurfing, and although he may not say it, he is still the top dog!
“The future for me, well, in a word 'racing.' The race is on to get to their standard now!"
“The OTC has helped me every step of the way! I first set foot on a windsurfing setup with the help of Tris Best; regular lessons at the OTC, including T15, has taught me all the skills I have needed to progress in windsurfing and most importantly be safe on the water! The vast array of kit at the OTC, which I have luckily been able to use, has allowed me to progress really quickly in different disciplines wave, speed, slalom and foiling! Having Tris and the guys to talk to on and off the water really can’t be underestimated, the little tips and tricks the guys give are always super helpful!
“I am so proud to represent the OTC both on and off the water; it was amazing when Tris asked me to be a team rider! Windsurfing is an amazing sport, but can be very expensive, and without the OTC’s support I don’t think I would be able to compete at the level I do.
“The best part about being on a board: it means I’m on the water! The best part of being a team rider is knowing you are representing an awesome organisation who support and help you, and allow you to have a great time doing what you love!"
“I don’t have to look too far for inspiration. For speed sailing, guys like Pete Young, Jim Crossley and of course Dave White. For slalom it has to be the UK’s most successful windsurfer Ross Williams!
“I am very lucky to ride Severne Sails and Starboard boards, teamed up with F-Hot fins and to keep me warm on the water ION wetsuits.
“The type of windsurfing I enjoy the most? Can I say everything? Okay, for me the ultimate buzz is speed sailing. Going fast in a straight line looks easy, but speed-sailing is probably one of the most technical disciplines and in 50knot winds you really can’t afford to make mistakes ... well, big ones anyway!
“It is so hard to pin down a ‘feeling’ or a word to explain windsurfing. I can’t really remember much before windsurfing, it’s such a massive part of my life and who I am! All I know is that I really enjoy it; even the days when it's hard work, when you’re on the wrong fin, wrong sail, wrong board ... I just love it!
“Tris really opened the door to the windsurfing world for me and has guided me through the early days, he’s constantly supported me, pointed me in the right direction and most importantly is always there for me to talk to, and advise me on how to improve and progress through the sport, which to me is priceless.
“Favourite spot? Well, I have to say you can’t be beat an awesome session in Portland Harbour, when the sun's shining and it's blowing a strong south-westerly wind. But it’s Mauritius, Mauritius, Mauritius! The place is incredible, and the event we attended last year was simply sailing in paradise with best mates.
“As a team rider you are a brand ambassador. You represent the OTC, your sponsors and most importantly yourself. It is quite easy really, as the OTC concept has from day one been super inclusive: the level you sail at does not matter, and the kit you use does not matter, as we all have a love of windsurfing in common! Advice and help is readily available; most team riders use different brands, so we can provide some brand-specific tuning tips and kit advice – please just ask us as there is nothing worse than a badly rigged race sail!
“I compete in the UKWA British Slalom Championships, UKWA British Speed Championships, Weymouth Speed Week, Mauritius Attitude Challenge, IFCA World Slalom Championships and The British Speed Challenge.
“If anyone is thinking of trying windsurfing, just do it! There is nothing like time on the water. However, make sure you don’t start off with bad habits or the wrong advice on technique or kit selection; go and see the guys at the OTC and speak to them about what courses they run and what they think would be suitable for you. The guys know windsurfing, they know the pitfalls and how best to teach you the skills you need to progress. With the massive amount of kit they have you are not restricted to buying new kit to progress to the next level, it's already there! It worked for me!
Advice and help is readily available; most team riders use different brands, so we can provide some brand-specific tuning tips and kit advice – please just ask us as there is nothing worse than a badly rigged race sail!
“I study Engineering at Weymouth College; I’m just finishing off a three-year course. College is only three days a week, so I have plenty of time after college and at the weekends, although it is a bit annoying when it’s a windy day and I’m either in the workshop or classroom.
“Windsurfing is a massive part of my life. Many people say it gives them freedom or a release when they are on the water. For me it’s more than that: windsurfing is just a natural thing for me to do; there is no feeling like challenging mother nature both technically and personally ... as long as you respect her though! When I windsurf I just feel ‘alive’.
“The OTC, for me and many others, is where it all started. I have so many great times down there sailing in the harbour, I can’t begin to tell you! It is my second home, to have somewhere to go where you meet your friends, go windsurfing, have a BBQ and watch the sunset. Everybody has their special place, and places where they have awesome memories from. My place is the OTC. It has given me the love of windsurfing and racing, but most importantly how to have fun in a very supportive and progressive environment.
“The future for me? Well, in a word 'racing'. I had a taste of how the PWA run events last year when I was very lucky to have travelled to the French PWA event in Marseille. Although I wasn’t able to compete, I sailed with Ross and the top PWA guys … and they are quick! The race is on to get their standard now, and try and get entry to a couple of events. Not fully figured out how to fund it, but I am working on it. Oh, and not forgetting foiling. Now that the iQFoil has been selected for Paris 2024, I suppose I had better keep that in mind as well!
“One of my best memories? I must have been 10 or 11, it was super windy and T15 was cancelled. Tris said "Don’t worry Scotty, we will go out!" He took a boat out, anchored up. I stood in the water whilst he took my kit to do a demo, and did a flat water forward right in front of me... The second was hitting 45 knots in the harbour.
“The OTC has given me the love of windsurfing and racing, but most importantly how to have fun in a very supportive and progressive environment."
“I have made life-long friends through windsurfing: Tris Best, Pete Young, Kev Greenslade, Ross Williams, Si Pettifer, Allan Cross, Garry Connell, Rob King and of course everyone else!