Dec 12

Rider Focus – Matty York UK Speed Sailor

Since starting Black Project the one thing I have realized is the degree of community spirit, support and togetherness we all share with fellow riders around the world. There are endless variables and ways to enjoy the sport of windsurfing and in this new series of blog posts we will feature some of our riders from around the world. In this first installment we catch up with one of the UK’s most dedicated speed sailors and avid Black Project Fins rider Matty York (K61).

matty - kirby speed


  • Name: Matthew York


Where have you sailed the most this year? The winds been a bit light this year for speed but we had a good event at Weymouth Speed Week, so I’d say Weymouth or my home spot of Pitsford.

What is your favorite speed sailing spot and why?  West Kirby, it is just so flat and on the right day nowhere else comes close, plus if you need to change fins, sails etc. you are parked next to the lake (certainly helpful on a cold day!)

What made you decided to take up speed sailing? I was on hols with the family in Weymouth and Speed Week was on, after watching these guys blasting down the course I told myself one day “I’m going to enter” and the following year I did finishing second in the Ammeter fleet. Following that it became more and more addictive, and I wanted to go faster!

Its 2 degrees, 50 knots, pouring with rain and yet your driving into a storm, what keeps you motivated? Ha ha, God knows its just the massive buzz you get from flying down a speed course on a 44cm wide board, you hardly ever get sunshine and storm force winds.

What do your family think about speed sailing? Well my wife is super supportive, she’s even been known to come along on trips, getting up at 5am to drive 3hrs to West Kirby, sit out in the rain and wind take photos of us all. My kids well they love the adventure of road trips to the coast.

How have your sponsors made it possible for you to chase your dream? Big thanks to all my sponsors, they are just like part of my family, if i need anything they are there for me with advice or just sending me stuff out fast. Without them it would cost me twice as much and probably wouldn’t be able to travel the length and breath of England chasing storms as diesel isn’t cheap anymore.

What equipment are you using? My current equipment i use is a Starboard W44 2013 speed board (I love this board), Powered by Point-7 AC1 race sails (also love) and Black Project Type X and Type S fins. I’ve tried a few boards from small slalom boards to full on moo customs speed boards, My current board suits me and I plan to stay on Starboard for a while. Point-7 sails have just been getting better and better, it is my third season riding for them and they are lighter, faster and look awesome. Speed fins help to bring it all together, I like the feel of wide based fins and have been using the Type X asymmetric fins mostly I have X45, X50 & a X55 ready for that special day (if it ever comes!) The Type S I use when I need more power or the water is choppier.

Are we going to be seeing you at any international events in 2015? I would love to compete in any international events like Dunkerbeck Speed or even Luderitz Speed Challenge , but due to the cost of traveling etc. I can’t see it happening in the near future.

What tips would i give someone considering taking up speed sailing? Get yourself a GPS and give it a go its proper addictive!

Do you read magazines or blogs? Yes i still get Windsurf Magazine every month and enjoy reading it , also read Steve Thorp’s blogs and his adventures, he’s mad for it.

If you could change something about windsurfing what would it be and why? It would probably be the costs as nothing good is cheap, fins cost from £100-£300 each, boards up to £1800 each the cost just keeps going up, it makes it hard for people who want to try top of the range kit out.

With the problems associated with the discontinuation of the GT-31 what implications will this have for speedsailing and you personally?  well yes the GT-31 has defiantly made the world of GPS speed sailing so much more possible, it is going to be hard to find a replacement, at the moment I have 2 units, I heard there is a new unit being tested and hopefully it will be as good if not better than the GT-31.

Who is my speed sailing hero? Now this is a tough one, there is 2 guys that i look up to, both are super fast, Farrel O’Shea, he’s been a hero of mine for years, super nice guy so full of advice and still at the top of his game. The other guy is Ian Richards, he’s always there whenever theres wind, super committed and fun guy to sail with.


Thanks Matt 🙂


More to follow…