Back in the autumn of 2009 Norsk Brettseilerklubb (NBK) decided to take the initiative to build a more coordinated environment across sailing classes, associations and youth groups and promote windsurfing as a natural and positive activity choice for young people.
NBK aimed for an introduction to windsurfing to be a positive experience with activities organized locally, regionally and nationally, creating a breeding ground for kids with a desire to compete – maybe one day at a higher international level.
They made sure that local clubs offered readily available equipment to borrow, at low or no cost: an inclusive environment for both parents and children where ALL are welcome; challenging and positive learning in a sport that offers speed and adrenalin; and good opportunities to race and train locally, regionally and nationally.
Communication with, and the involvement of, parents played an important part in creating committed and active parent groups in sailing in Norway, along with the development of the best environment for children and youth in windsurfing in Europe.
It was essential to invest in the development of a training program which covered beginner level to the elite within the fold of the Nordic countries, together with having the resources available to help those who wanted to pursue a high level to have the best opportunities for this.
The introduction of the BIC 293 for children and young people has been a huge success internationally. Over the five years since the board was introduced it has been made easier for young sailors to start, barriers to participation have come down, and the Techno 293 class has grown considerably.
There were only three Bic 293 delegates from the Nordic countries (two Swedish guys and a Norwegian girl in U17) who participated in the 2010 World Cup in France. Sweden, Denmark and Norway, however, has held a national series for BIC 293 in recent years, and participation is growing locally.
By Autumn 2010 Norway had about 40 active BIC 293 sailors and the class had doubled since 2009. KNS went from five active BIC sailors in 2009 to over 20 active sailors.
Norwegian windsurfing club (NBK), in cooperation with local sailing associations organized four successful Norwegian Cup regattas in 2010 and will apply for participation in the BIC 293 Grand Championship in 2011. NBK will also encourage participation in the Nordic Championships, European and the World Championships.
During the 2010 season, more and more of the young and inexperienced sailors - U13 and U15 - participated in the Norway Cup and the race course has been adapted to all levels. For example, by offering an alternative cross-mark for the youngest and most inexperienced sailors, all had a positive experience and felt mastery of the water.
KNS and the other active sail / board associations have joined forces to negotiate directly with Whitewater, the importer of the BIC boards in Norway, to secure a package price to associations for the season 2010/2011.