RYA/UKWA Youth and Masters Windsurfing Championships

This weekend, the 24-25 September, will see one of the biggest windsurfing gatherings to date with the RYA/UKWA Youth and Masters Windsurfing Championships taking place at the venue for the London 2012 Olympics, Weymouth and Portland National Sailing Academy (WPNSA).

The National Championships will see several experienced windsurfers return to the Weymouth waters accompanied by some of the UK’s brand new talent and up and coming Olympic stars.  

With 12 fleets taking to the water, competitors will sail on two courses with the youth class and the master’s class sharing the same course while the junior class will sail on the second, smaller course.  Over 180 competitors ranging in age from 9-64 are expected to take to the water, the largest turnout since the event’s inception.

This massive turnout is due in part to the continual growth of Team15 (T15), an RYA initiative encouraging children into windsurfing, many of whom will be racing in their first major national championship.

Competitors in the youth class will race on one of three different types of windsurf board.  With the event being used as selection into the RYA National Youth and Junior Squads competition will be fierce.  Past winners in the youth class include Olympic bronze medallist Nick Dempsey who entered the championships having never sailed in a national event and won the B fleet on the junior course 15 years ago.

In the masters class windsurfers such as last year’s champions, Marc Carney,  Jerry Solven and Annette Kent will all return to Weymouth Bay hoping to retain their titles by competing in the Raceboard 7.5m class and the Unlimited and Formula classes.

Whatever class the competitors are racing in, they are assured of a busy weekend with up to fifteen races scheduled that will be either windward – leeward or slalom courses depending on the wind. An added incentive is the glamorous prize giving with loads of prizes that have been donated by the windsurfing industry.

Event director and RYA National Windsurfing Coach, Helen Cartwright, who has been involved in the event for the past six years said;

“It is really encouraging that the number attending the event has tripled in the last four years and to see so many kids out racing is great for the future of British windsurfing.  I believe that we may have at least one child out on the water who, seven years from now, will be sailing at the same venue in the London 2012 Olympic Games.”


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