Saturday saw the nation glued to their TV sets as World Cup fever took hold. But that didn’t stop a great turnout at Astbury Watersports for the Northwest’s first Team 15 interclub windsurfing event of the year. The 36 youngsters from five clubs from all over the region came to Astbury to enjoy some healthy outdoor sport, all members of the RYA’s Team 15 windsurfing clubs for under 15s. The five teams were greeted by the hottest day of the year, and on the water the competition was hot hot hot.

The heat was soon on home club Astbury. Champs for the last four years, Astbury were determined to hold on to their title, and fielded the biggest team of 15 youngsters. But as any World Cup TV viewer knows, there are no guarantees when the champs face outsiders.

In the 3.5 metre event (smallest sails), Joash Knight of West Kirby Warriors struck the first blow to win that class, with the two Astbury competitors marooned at the bottom of the table. Next up was the 4.5m class, and Oliver Bradley Baker, age only 9, followed up with another victory for the Warriors, while team mate Sam Coldham in second place added more points.

The form book took another blow in the next event, for 5.5m sails, as this third event fell to the power of the Warriors. Chris Chavasse took the Warrior’s third successive class, while Sarah Reynolds took a second place for the defending champs, their first so far.

There were only two remaining events left for Astbury to turn the event round. Could they do it? The 6.8 m class gave them hope, as Mickey Nickson took the first event for Astbury, and in the last event, Astbury took all three places.

Had the fightback worked? The judges totted up the points, but by the tightest margin of just two points, the winning club was announced as West Kirby Warriors.

Astbury and the other teams, the Manley Mere Katz, the Salford Sharks and the Windermere Rufwinds, get their next chance for revenge on the Warriors at the next Team 15 event, at Hollingworth Lake on July 1st.