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Steve Allen
My first sailing experience was at the age of nine, when my father took me on his newly acquired catamaran on Moreton Bay near Brisbane. It seemed like fun until it pitchpoled in the big swell miles from shore and, while struggling to right it with the mainsheet still cleated and the mast firmly stuck in the mud, a couple of large tiger sharks began circling us. My father wondered why I refused to go on the catamaran again! By some strange twist of logic, however, I didn’t hesitate to climb onto the windsurfer he bought a year later. After learning how to sail it on a small dam, I was hooked and back out on Moreton Bay at every opportunity, usually with my cousin Joel. I even convinced my high school to make windsurfing a school sport so we could go windsurfing every Wednesday afternoon, which was just great.
Then, one holiday we met Leo Sharpe, the local hero who was into long board racing, and sponsored with all the latest gear. Joel and I thought this was the go, so I sold my motorbike and bought a race board to see if I could also attract sponsors. We soon found that you needed the latest expensive equipment to win, but I had enough success to get hooked on racing, so I made enough money picking and selling mangos from my father’s farm to buy better equipment. Leo and I soon became best friends on land and great rivals on the water. Before long I was winning most local contests, with Leo coming second. I won the Junior State raceboard titles at fifteen, the Junior Australian title at sixteen and the next year I won both Junior and Open lightweight classes, defeating Chris Lawrence who had just won the World titles.
I was then ed to go to Singapore for the 1991 World raceboard titles in the heavyweight class, with my friend Leo competing in the lightweight class. On my 18th birthday, I won the Singapore Heavyweight title and then went on to win the IBSA World Youth Raceboard Title. I finished a close second to Alexandra Hoekstra from Holland, on his superior custom gear, and far ahead of the rest of the fleet, in the World Open Heavyweight division. This contest shaped the rest of my life, as it was then that I decided to turn professional and it was also there that I first met the beautiful Polish windsurfer cum pharmacist, Agata (affectionately called Gucia), whom I married over eleven years later – you don’t rush these things!
Since raceboards were on the way out and the pros weren’t using them, my sponsor, Steve Magery, from Speed boards made his first slalom boards for Joel and I to take to Maui to train for the World Cup. We trained in the gym 6 days a week, sailed wave and slalom almost every day and stuffed ourselves with protein shakes to put on over 7kg of muscle in 3 months. As slalom novices, we did the Maui series which I ended up finishing 2nd, and then went on to the Hawaiian  State slalom titles which I won, giving me a wild card into the Aloha Classic, the largest and final PBA contest of the year.
In the Aloha Classic, I looked at my first heat and thought it would be easy as Bjorn and Robby, the only pros I knew of at the time, weren’t in it – well, I was on a steep learning curve! I did well to finish the next PBA slalom event in Perth in 7th spot, and complete my first year on the tour ranked 25th. I have been on the PBA/PWA circuit since 1993 and have consistently ranked in the top ten over all (wave and racing) mid lat 90’s, with taking my first PWA World Racing Title in 2002 and 2nd in 2003. I have now gained numerous world titles – in Raceboard, Formula 42 and in Production Board class, combining slalom and course racing, in Formula Windsurfing and PWA. In 2001, I won the Australian wave sailing titles to complete a title in every discipline.
I have now come almost full circle with slalom and Formula windsurfing, which has many similarities to the raceboard class I started with, except for the advanced shape of the boards and sails, and is almost certainly the way of the future. Where I have become the lead developer for the top brands in the World.
See you on the water,
3rd May ’02
World Titles won by Steve
2010 1st Formula Windsurfing Grand Prix World tour
2009 1st Formula Windsurfing Grand Prix World tour
2009 1st Formula Windsurfing World Championships
2007 1st Formula Windsurfing Grand Prix World tour
2006 1st Formula Windsurfing World Championships
2003 1st Formula Windsurfing World Championships
2002 1st Formula Windsurfing PWA World Tour
2002 1st IFCA World Championships
1997 1st IFCA World Championships
1997 1st Formula 42 World Championships
1992 1st Race Board World championships under 18 and Vice champion Open Men