Ross Williams. Picture by Ivo Blums.
WINDSURFING ISLAND-born windsurfing star Ross Williams, 32, has completed a record breaking season by winning the 2012 Formula Windsurfing World title in Liepaja, Latvia.
He beat off competition from 120 others from around the world — including the world’s top 30 from Australia, USA and Poland, to take the title.
Ross — whose family still live in Ventnor and run Wight Water in Sandown Bay — won six of the nine races to take the crown.
The feat was all the more impressive given the races were held in wide-ranging conditions, from gusty offshore winds on flat water, to stronger, onshore winds in big waves.
Ross’s triumph followed his success earlier in the year in Sylt, Germany, when he won the European Championships and reclaimed a title he had won on two previous occasions.
Ross, who first took up the sport at the age of five, has been on the professional windsurfing circuit since the age of 18, but is now looking to forge a career in the watersports industry back in the UK, through his sponsors Gaastra sails and Tabou boards.
The former Sandown High School student is back on the Island for a few weeks before heading abroad again for the final rounds of the World Tour, where he competes in three disciplines, racing, wave riding and slalom. The tour finishes next month.
He said: "I’m currently tenth in the wave and slalom, so while it has been an average year for me in the tour, it has been an incredible year at the big one-off events.
"I’ve been competing for more than 12 years now and although I want to compete for as long as I can, until I physically can’t anymore, I also want to think about settling down a bit now."