Sav and Tom with the new 70 litre JP Young Gun at Christchurch
Young Gun meets Old Gun at the UKWA Training Camp…
The youngest participant at the recent UKWA youth/junior freestyle and wave training camp at Steamer Point, Christchurch has been given the chance to take his windsurfing to new levels.
12 year-old Tom Bennett-Lloyd from Norwich is gearing himself up to the prospect of following in the footsteps of Robby Swift having gained one of only 6 places on the Young Gun programme, promoted and co-ordinated by Ultrasport Europe. The programme forms part of an international scheme to develop young talent, backed by JP Australia and Neil Pryde. It’s aimed at developing a group of youngsters who have the potential to take their sailing to a national and international level and to give them access to the best kit and advice available to develop and grow their talent. Tom is seen here with Sav from Ultrasport and the latest 70 litre Young Gun from JP Australia.
Tom, who has been windsurfing for around 2 years and is already starting to get into freestyle and wavesailing, couldn’t believe it when he was offered the place. “I love the sport and I’m always trying to get better and work on new moves, but this is a dream come true! I’ve been using mostly borrowed kit so far, but I got a 114 litre JP Young Gun last Christmas from Riks Windsurfing and I’ve improved so much on it. Now I can’t wait to get going on the fantastic new 70 litre Young Gun and get rigged up with some decent sails from Neil Pryde.”
Tom’s local club is at Hickling Broad, but he has also started to do more coastal sailing at Norfolk’s beaches from Hunstanton to East Runton. “It’s such a fantastic sport and Norfolk is a great place to do it,” says Tom who is happy to be on the water all the year round. “It does get a bit chilly in the winter, but with a good wetsuit and a big flask of hot choc I can still get out, even in January!” Tom’s dad is a windsurf instructor for the local Sea Scout Troop, who are starting to develop as a T15 club. With around 50 boys and girls taking part we should hopefully be seeing more rising stars coming from this part of the country.
As a newcomer to the UKWA scene, Tom found the freestyle/wave training camp awesome. “To get coaching form “Sparky” Hosegood, Lucy Horwood, Chris Audesly and the others was amazing and it was great to be able to make new friends too. I know I’ve got loads to learn but just want to keep getting on the water as much as possible. Steamer Point was a brilliant spot and it was nice to be able to camp right by the beach and be in water that wan’t brown and murky… Thanks to Trevor Funnel for organising such an epic weekend!”
Dan Linton of Ultrasport is delighted to have Tom on board. “Tom has shown us he’s got the right attitude and enthusiasm to do really well and we’ll help him to take the sport as far as he can.”