Champions crowned at the Youth and Masters Windsurfing Championship


This weekend, 2-3 September, saw wet and windy weather prevail at the RYA Youth and Masters Windsurfing Championship hosted by the Weymouth and Portland National Sailing Academy (WPNSA).


New champions in each class were crowned and newcomers celebrated in what has once again proved to be a successful event which brought together over 170 windsurfers of all ages and the biggest Bic Techno fleet seen yet at an RYA regatta.


Saturday brought fiercely gusting conditions and rain to WPNSA.  Racing was postponed due to the strong winds averaging 30 knots until late afternoon when the race committee made the decision to send out the Formula Youth and Masters Fleets.


Several of the windsurfers took up the challenge but only six actually completed the one race of the day.


Sunday brought slightly more race-able conditions and after a one hour postponement, windsurfers prepared to hit the water with winds gusting up to 30 knots.  With strong breeze in Portland Bay a downwind slalom course was set just off Chesil Beach in a bid to get some race results on the board.


A crowd of supporters gathered just off the beach to cheer on the sailors who brave enough to battle it out in the blustery wind.


By 1130 racing got underway and in misty sunshine, the Formula fleets were the first to launch.  With winds averaging 25 knots, there was some fantastic sailing as windsurfers ripped around the course.  The jybe marks brought some spectacular wipe-outs and traffic jams as sailors struggled to turn their boards in the tough conditions.


With three races completed the Formula, Race board, RS:X, 6.8 and 7.8 Techno sailors came off the water dripping wet and smiling.  As the wind slightly eased off the young sailors in the remaining fleets were given the signal that their racing was to begin.


Still fully powered up the smaller-rig sailors had a good blast in a more sheltered area just off the WPNSA pontoons.


“We had really strong winds this weekend, so it was great to get some races in.” Helen Cartwright, RYA National Windsurfing Coach and Event Director explained.  “Getting out and racing in such strong wind was a challenge for some of our younger sailors but by all accounts has really given them a boost.”


“It is also hugely encouraging to see so many Bic Techno sailors competing at this event.  The RYA made the Techno one of its official junior and youth windsurf classes last autumn, and with the number of sailors using the equipment steadily increasing, it seems to be a success.”


The afternoon’s prize giving saw the top three in each fleet recognized for their success.


The 3.5 open fleet hosted sailors as young as eight years-old.  The young sailors braved the windy conditions and following three races Josh Knight (Wirral), Noelle Finch (Clevedon, North Somerset) and Thomas Addison took the top three slots.


Jade Rogers (Cheadle, Staffordshire) had a golden victory in the 4.5 Open fleet followed by Antony Milton and Connor Wells (Biggin Hill, Kent) with silver and bronze.


In the 4.5 Techno class Samuel Conroy (Hythe, Kent), Robyn Robinson (Nuneaton) and Joe Bennett (Rotherham, South Yorkshire) took first, second and third respectively.


Aleksander Sedgwick-Wilde (Spaxton, Somerset), Rory Yonge (Compton, Hampshire) and Maurice Guy (Wimborne, Dorset) took the podium in the 5.5 Open Class.


The 5.5 Techno class was won by Jack Brooks (Hythe, Kent), with Kieran Martin (Stoke-on-Trent, Staffordshire) in second and Tom Davies in third.


Newcomer Connor Bainbridge, 13, (Halifax, West Yorkshire) was the top finisher in the 6.8 Techno fleet finishing the event with nine points.  With equal points, Sam Latham, 12, (Redhill, Surrey) and Sam Sills, 13, (Launceston, Cornwall) raced their way second and third respectively.


The 7.8 Techno fleet had the largest number of entries with 27 boards competing.  Jacob Briber (Stockwell, London) came out as top dog after racking up two firsts and a second on the slalom course.  Elliot Taylor (Trentham, Stoke-on-Trent) and Jamie Ingram (Sutton Coldfield, West Midlands) jostled for the silver medal position with 14 year-old Taylor coming out on top after count back.


Alex Griffiths (Barton-upon-Humber) and Daniel Skudder (West Wellow, Hampshire) had a close three races on the RS:X, going into the final race on equal points.  After a close race, Griffiths took second over the line and Skudder third, giving Griffiths the gold medal.  Richard Cleworth (Macclesfield, Cheshire) took home the bronze medal, just ahead of Lewis Robinson who finished on equal points with Cleworth and was edged out of the medals on count back.


Two newcomers, Jamie Walker (Helston, Cornwall) and Adrian Wallis (Portsmouth, Hampshire), took gold and silver in the Formula Masters fleet with Bob Ingram (Sutton Coldfield, West Midlands) close behind in third.


With four races completed in the Formula Youth class, all sailors were allowed one discard.  Dan Simpson (Bicester, Oxfordshire) sailed to victory earning a gold medal and trophy.  James Simpson (Tamworth, Staffordshire) who stayed onshore for the first race was able to discard his score counting one first and two seconds putting him in silver medal position with Alex Smith (Burton Latimer) in third.


Race board Masters, Robert Kent (Southampton, Hampshire), Chris Gibson (Hayling Island, Hampshire), Bob Warren (Truro, Cornwall)

Race board Youth, Duncan Bryan (Truro, Cornwall), Richard Walker (Bridgewater, Somerset), Charlie Winn (Winchester)


Complete results can be found on the event website



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