My name is Jono Dunnett. I'm 41 years old, and have been windsurfing since aged 10. Before that I sailed a Topper dinghy, starting out at the still excellent Gunfleet Sailing Club on the Essex coast. A highlight of these early years was sailing out with my brother Gregg to the Gunfleet Sands, about 8 miles offshore.
I started sailing raceboards as a teenager when I would hitch a ride with my good friend Clyde in his parents' campervan, travelling the country most weekends to sail at local and national raceboard events, which were well attended at the time. Clyde and I did OK, and I once scraped into the GB team for a world championships event. I also won the Round Mersea Island windsurfing race one year.
Post university I went out to Minorca to work as a windsurfing instructor at Minorca Sailing, and stayed there for the next 15 years. Minorca is about the size of the Isle of Wight and it didn't take me too long to complete a one day windsurfing circumnavigation of the island (I am still the only person to have achieved this).
I also sailed from Minorca to Mallorca on raceboard.
Work at Minorca Sailing was flexible in winter and for a few years I was also an occasional member of the Boards Magazine test team.
I also participated, representing my adopted home, in 3 editions of the Island Games, taking gold in each (Rhodes - RS:X, Aland - raceboard, Isle of Wight - slalom).
In 2014 I was based in the UK and my plans to windsurf around the UK were starting to firm up. I started doing longer coastal sails - some in company like this attempt on the Isle of Wight and others alone (like these upwinder-downwinders (Clacton-Bradwell, Clacton-Harwich). I also sailed straight out to sea a few times to see how I felt being farther from land. On all these sails I went fully prepared for breakages and potentially being forced to spend a night at sea in case circumstances required. I didn't have any problems but certainly didn't, and don't, have a gung-ho approach to safety.
As a further bit of preparation I competed in the 2014 Raceboard Worlds finishing a reasonable 24th (and first Tushingham sail) out of a hundred odd competitors.
Windsurfing around Britain has been on my mind since teenage years. From my early 20s it was a clear ambition (my first ever internet purchase was the book Tim Batstone wrote after his rounding); but once established working for Minorca Sailing this ambition was largely stiffled by the impossibility of having free time in summer. Now, back in the UK and flexible, the time is right to scratch that itch.
A few other bits
I earn a modest crust doing website work (feel free to contact me for this, but please bear in mind I have plans for the summer). I am very fond of my family - especially my little niece Alba and nephew Rafa. I like dogs, and taramasalata, and chess (although have a disappointing 1 win : 5 losses ratio for 2015, so far).
- My Mum, and anyone else who manages to get on with life without just ignoring the scary bits.
- The many other wonderful people who I have come across as I stumble through my own life.
- Someone I remember reading about (in a one column inch mention) in Boards magazine who windsurfed around Ireland with a tent, but no amount of googling has been able to identify.