Featured Rider: Jonathan Pooley

What is your history with the AWT?
I was a bit of a late starter, my first wave contest was Baja 2015. Age 50! It was a great trip and we returned in 2016, by which time my wife Dawn had become involved in running the event. We also went to Maui for the Aloha Classic. This year I was at the IWT events in Morocco and Barbados.

What are you excited for in the 2017 IWT?
The next few months look too good to be true! We are travelling to Baja, Peru, Chile and Maui. That’s the sort of schedule I was dreaming of for many years while I was busy working.

Who are your sponsors?
I’m open to offers!

Who are your inspirations?
I was lucky enough to be at Hookipa to watch the pros sail in the 2016 Aloha Classic, now that was inspiring.
Scary conditions, so much talent on the water. And then KP’s amazing victory.
I’m also inspired by my friend Simon from Guernsey who regularly beats me around the race course at age 65.

What is your favorite spot to windsurf?
So many! I like the really remote places where you are away from civilization. Gnaraloo, Punta San Carlos, some Caribbean reef-breaks we’ve discovered from the boat. Guernsey gets pretty good too.

What is your favorite travel trick when traveling with windsurf gear?
Travel with all your gear on a sailing boat.

What has been your top windsurfing moment?So Many! The days that stand out in my memory are the big ones. First wave at Ponta Preta, big Cural Joul, a secret reef pass in Mauritius, racing dolphins in Guernsey.

Tell us about your favorite AWT trip.
Well they’ve all been great fun, but I think the Baja trip is my favourite. The whole thing, the waves, the desert, camping under the stars, I love it.

Tell us about your first memory windsurfing.
I was 15 years old when I taught myself to sail a Windsurfer with a wooden boom. I was hooked from day one, but I didn’t realize that it would shape my whole life. Windsurfing has given me a lifetime of amazing experiences, fun, travel, fitness, and friends around the world.

Who do you wish you were windsurfing with right now?
My friend Brice. We have traveled on windsurf trips together for years, always good times and we always get lucky with waves and wind! Actually right now I am in Sweden racing longboards at the Kona World Championships, so I am windsurfing with lots of tall blonde Scandinavians, plus sailors from Germany, Netherlands, USA and our team from Guernsey. Racing is good cross-training for waves!

What do you hope to accomplish with your windsurfing this year?
This could be my best year ever for wave-count. I’m hoping to make it through the year in one piece!

Tell us about a comical or extreme rescue you’ve experienced.
Not comical but I had a bad accident in Guernsey a couple of years ago.
We were riding big winter storm swell on a rocky reef. I crashed hard, broke my jaw and blacked out. I must have somehow swum 200m through the surf before I regained consciousness on the beach.

What is your favorite post session meal?
A Baja Fog and chilli crab claws!

What is on your pre-competition/session playlist?
Could be anything but once a tune is in my head I’ll be singing it to myself for the whole session.

What is your favorite non-windsurfing AWT memory?
Living in Boujmaa’s Berber camp on the beach in Moulay was pretty special. Our Moroccan hosts fed us wonderful tagines and entertained us with jam sessions round the camp fire.

What is your sail/board combo?
Ezzy / Quatro

Where did you learn to windsurf?
On a family holiday in Mallorca 1980, age 15.

How long have you been windsurfing?
That makes this my 38th year!

What do you do when you are not windsurfing?
I sold my business in 2012, Dawn and I are now busy trying to sail our boat around the world.

What’s you’re favorite windsurfer joke?
“You should have been here yesterday.”