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The OTC Team Rider James Hardy; My 2023!

The Official Test Centre Team Rider James Hardy has squeezed so much into 2023 and all with a huge smile! What a year it has been for James, filled with so much extraordinary success! He became the new Test Editor for Windsurf Magazine, launched his first Shredder Camps this year, he triumphed at the Techno Worlds, packed in some me time, driven so many miles he must have circumnavigated the globe a few times, worked so hard to achieve National Champs success, delivered numerous RYA courses and all the time he draws his energy from the energy of all the grommets that he inspires! His schedule has been exhilarating, the lives he has changed from the youngsters he has nurtured to podium places or the instructors he has given new skills so they can go and start the next chapter in their lives all the time he is upbeat, enthusiastic, so happy to be on the water and encouraging everyone he meets to reach for the stars! The OTC Team Rider James Hardy; My 2023!

By Emma Nicholson.

Rigging up on the beach
James takes part in charity fundraiser the Harbour Dash!

What has been your highlight this year? 

James said: "Coaching at Techno Worlds, and seeing kids I taught from day dot, compete, meet and exceed their goals and some even podium."

James stands infront of the otc
RYA training at The OTC!

What have you learnt this year? 

James said: "Well semi-secretly, Psychology, I have been very slowly and I mean very slowly re-taking my psychology A-Level. I haven’t been the best student in the last three months but I have learnt a lot and really enjoyed it. Big shout out to Reshmi for putting up with my incredibly inconsistent lesson timings and lack of completed homework."

Wing foiling James
James is flying high!

What’s been your best memory?

James said: "Oh there are so many its very very hard to choose one. Away from the day job on the water. It’s got to be times me and the boss have managed to get away to some where hot and kick back."

James with a mermaid tail
Life is a beach for James!

What has been a difficult part of the year?

James said: "Couple of things actually. All the miles in the van, sounds really silly but I wouldn’t want to add up the hours I’ve spent in the wagon. Not getting out as much as I want to myself, knowing there are conditions that are all time, but there is still a job I need to do. Balancing work and life has at points been a little tricky, but we learn from this and we try to alter things for 2024."

James and the youngsters
A pack of triumphant techno's!

What’s the best advice you were given this year?

James said: "Super cheesy, but I had never heard this quote before, but I like it and what it means. “Reach for the stars but keep your feet on the ground”

James and youngsters
Making learning fun!

Where has been your favourite place to windsurf this year? 

James said: "I've not actually windsurfed anywhere hugely new in 2023 but I have had some epic sessions in lots of locations. I went to Fuerteventura at the start of the year and had some epic days Winging at a couple of different locations."

Teaching the next generation
The sun shines on the righteous!

What are you most proud of this year?

James said: "My Junior Windsurf Team, the Docklands Dugongs bringing home the National Champs Title, super proud of the whole team, both kids and some key instructors that have helped along the way and how far they all have come as a team and individuals."

Thumbs up
Winging his way to success!

Who has been your biggest influence this year? 

James said: "All the little shredders that I coach on the regular, the enthusiasm and want to get better is contagious, inspires me to get out there more and shred myself and push my own abilities. Away from the little shredders, being given incredible opportunities and support from the OTC and the team has also had a big influence on my year and what I have done with it."

James and the youngsters
Inspiring the next generation!

What will you do more of next year? 

James said: "Along side all the instructor training, Junior & Youth Pathway coaching. Shredder Camps is something I would like to do more off, I've got some big ideas for junior & youth shredders out there both Wing & Windsurf."

The OTC with James
Smile and the whole world smiles with you!

What are your hopes for next year? 

James said: "Quite simple really, lots of wind, and lots more water time. Oh and some stretching, I feel I should begin to keep myself a little more supple!"

If you have a youngster that would like to join James for his Shredder Camp, the next one takes place in January over the weekend of 27th & 28th 2024 at The Official Test Centre. Click here to register your shredder!

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