There is loads of great Junior and Youth talent springing up on beaches all over the UK, and no location more so than down on the south coast.
For the last few years 2xs/X-Train at West Wittering and Sam Ross have been running a Rippers wave and Freestyle Camp over one of the last weekends in October.
The camp has already seen some great sailors come through its doors including Youth Freestyle Champion Jamie Howard and more recently this year’s Youth Wave and Gwithian Champion Jack Petit.
With a group of keen young sailors getting coaching but also driving off each other they always achieve a huge amount in a short time.
So, after requests from the sailors, parents and coaches they didn’t want to stop there and took it one stage further this winter going from a camp into a squad.
We’ve taken a small group of Youth and Junior windsurfers and set up a wave and freestyle squad for the winter. We meet on three dates during the winter to train as a group and then run remote coaching and feedback outside this.
Many have set their goals on getting stuck into the BWA junior and youth scene this year, as well as the SWA for the older sailors. The PWA youth wave event in Tenerife is also on the squads radar so we wanted to get them as best prepared as possible.
The first training date was back in December where we met at X-train in West Wittering, talked about the aims for the season, how to train and get better faster and the hit the water to see what the team had. After drilling through new moves and what skills we wanted to achieve we sent the gang away personal targets, exercises to try and key areas of focus, and they clearly haven’t been sat on their laurels.
Straight after the camp we had videos coming in every weekend and during the week and you could see that everyone was pushing themselves nicely out of that comfort zone and making awesome progress.
Date two was this Saturday and with epic conditions on the cards we decided we would put some of the crew’s skills to the test and run a full wave comp. As anyone who was out on the weekend will know the conditions weren’t easy but the guys really went for it. Learning from each heat and filling the score card with a variety of jumps and some really high standard wave rides. Once a few tricks were in the bag they really took the safety off throwing themselves into back and forward rotations, hands off and hitting bigger sections later.
Once a full double had been run Jack Petit squeezed himself into the top spot ahead of James Arnell-Smith, with Tom Pidden taking the number three spot. 4th was our super sub Grahame Petit (Jack’s Dad) who had evened up the numbers on request only to be knocked out by his son in the semis. Lucas Meldrum took 5th after a great run through the double elimination. Samuel Hall took 6th with a solid score card, whilst Alex Hudson sailed his best heat to stay in 7th with a great performance from Ollie Pidden in 8th.
James Arnell-Smith took wave of the day in the expression session after the main comp where the squad enjoyed chilly but epic cross off conditions.
With training date 2 done the squad are back to train at their local spots, where they will keep pushing their level. So if you want to know who to look out for at your local this is the current team:
Image credits Simon Bassett/2XS.