Case studies

Windsurfing Champion Uses GoPro

Release date: 16th May 2014

Making it to the top of your game as an athlete takes time, dedication and passion.

But alongside that, pro sportsmen also need the chance to thoroughly analyse their performance so they can ensure that mistakes are picked up and rectified. And for champion windsurfer Rob York (18), that’s where onlincolnshire’s Mablethorpe Technology Hub comes in.

Rob, from Skegness, used the hub’s top-spec GoPro video cameras to film his technique out on the water ahead of major competitions. The footage has now helped Rob take home the trophy at the Royal Yachting Association Youth Nationals. 

“I started windsurfing seven years ago after my dad introduced me to the sport,” said Rob, who is studying for a sport BTEC and biology A-Level at Skegness Academy. “I was quite a natural at it – I went to my first competition a few weeks after I started and won it. 

“Since then, it’s all about training and improving my performance, and anything that can help me achieve that is a plus. I heard about the GoPro cameras being offered by onlincolnshire, which would be suitable to use in the water, and thought they could be beneficial. Best of all, they were available to use for free.”

Rob borrowed the cameras, with just a small charge to cover insurance, for a training camp in Palma. He attached one on the front of the board, one on his head and one at the end of the sail over different days. 

He then downloaded the footage and was able to use the clips to perfect different movements on the board, increasing his time and efficiency.

“I had never done anything like that before, so when the opportunity came up I jumped at it,” explained Rob 

“The GoPros were really easy to set up. The head cam came with a strap, so I just put it on and pressed a button and it recorded the whole session. I looked at each individual clip and analysed technical moves.

“Usually I’ll have a coach who sits on a boat and videos the training, but things like sunlight gets in the way of the lens. The GoPros are good for getting the right angle.”

After starting out on a 2.7msq sail and dad's old windsurf board, Rob now uses an Olympic-class RSX windsurf board with an 8.5m sail. He has already competed in Olympic-class ranking competitions and is aiming for Rio 2016.

Keep up to date with Rob’s training and competition wins on Twitter at @GBR749robyork or on Facebook: