In December the IWT (International Windsurfing Tour) released their 2018 tour calendar with 9 events in North and South America, Europe and Africa. It seems the change of name from AWT (American Windsurfing Tour) to IWT helped to attract more international participants and event organizers. By the way not only the tour got a new name, also the tour director Sam Bittner. She married and is now Mrs. Wilson.

According to Mrs. Bittner Wilson the most important goals for the tour amongst others, are participation and fun. Right now there is no prize money confirmed for the tour, so the participation is for the fun and glory. “We are always searching for more funding for the tour and we understand prize money adds a lot of motivation for the pros,” Sam told us.

Read more about the status quo of the IWT in our interview with Sam Bittner Wilson.

Sam Bittner in Barbados 2017

Sam Bittner in Barbados 2017

Interview with Sam Bittner Wilson

Continentseven: Please give us a short recap on the IWT 2017.

Sam Bittner Wilson: The first year of the IWT was a success! We had many new riders participating in the tour for their first time. Highlights from the year included Morocco and Chile. Also an amazing road trip in South America between Peru and Chile events. The tour is amazing for providing opportunity for the riders to see the world on and off the water with like minded traveling windsurfers. 

Continentseven: The tour changed its direction to a more international tour last year. Was it harder to run a more global oriented tour?

Sam Bittner Wilson: I found it easier because it seemed more people wanted to be involved and pitch in to make the events even bigger and better than before. 

Matanzas, Chile was new in 2017 and will happen in 2018 again (Photo: SiCrowther/IWT)

Matanzas, Chile will host another event in 2018

Continentseven: Did you expect to have so much success in the first year already?

Sam Bittner Wilson: I expected challenges but was surprised at the amount of people who were excited to see the tour grow and thrive. The world community of windsurfers pulled together and united with the name change.

Continentseven: What’s new for 2018?

Sam Bittner Wilson: I am excited to add one of the Maui Race Series event to the calendar in my home spot. Also, a clinic from Sarah and Casey Hauser in Baja will be great for windsurfers of all levels to get professional training to improve their windsurfing on and off the competition scene. Greece is welcoming the IWT to Paros for the first time and I look forward to meeting and working with a whole new community of European racers in a beautiful location. 

Continentseven: Can you confirm all events including the Aloha Classic?

Sam Bittner Wilson: Yes! All events on the calendar are confirmed including the IWT Aloha Classic. It is my hope the PWA will join as well in a few events this year including Maui.

Continentseven: What are the goals for the 2018 IWT tour?

Sam Bittner Wilson: Involvement is the chosen word for the year. My goal is to include all industry brands and have even more participation from riders and local organizations in all the spots on tour. 

Continentseven: Will you be the tour manager in 2018?

Sam Bittner Wilson: I have the title of tour director while a good friend of mine Dawn Pooley has taken on title of tour manager. Dawn is an incredible friend to me and has the smarts to make the tour even more professional. We are very lucky to have her on board!

Sam Bittner and Dawn Pooley

Continentseven: What are your wishes for the future of the IWT?

Sam Bittner Wilson: Participation and fun for everyone involved! 

Continentseven: And what are the wishes of the tour manager Dawn Pooley for 2018?

Dawn Pooley: My wishes for the 2018 tour? To have another amazing year with the best sailing conditions in incredible locations all over the world as always.  I would also love to see the continuation of the IWT and the PWA working closer together for the mutual benefit of both tours, the riders, the industry and the sport of windsurfing. This is something we are currently working on with the PWA so watch this space.

©continentseven 2018