This weekend (12-13 June) sees some of the country’s youngest stars in the making hit Rutland Water as the RYA UKWA National Junior Windsurfing Championships return to Whitwell for their third edition.
The Championships, which are giving more and more youngsters the opportunity to make their mark on the competitive racing scene, are for many their first major national standard event, whilst veterans of last year’s edition will be looking to get one over their closest rivals and clinch a National crown.
Racing will see competition across the 3.5m, 4.5m and 5.8m classes in both Open and Bic Techno classes during the two day event.
Masterminded by the RYA and UKWA to demonstrate to sailors a more smooth transition from grass roots club and regional level competition up into the RYA Zone and National Junior Squad race training programmes, the National Junior Windsurfing Championships span all levels of ability. Team15 (T15) sailors are able to dip their toes into the more competitive arena for the first time, alongside those already involved in RYA Squads bidding for the top silverware, all under the watchful guidance of Kirsty Bonar the Single-handed Pathway Manager.
Duncan Truswell, RYA Youth Racing Manager, said: “The RYA UKWA National Junior Windsurfing Championships are a fantastic event. As well as giving sailors a great introduction to RYA and UKWA competitive Windsurfing, the event also enables more experienced sailors to pit their skills against the best of their peers from all over the UK.
“Whitwell is a great venue for the event, it always has a good atmosphere and we’re very pleased to be running it there again.
“Medal-winning will feature high on many competitors agendas at the event however enjoying the venue, learning from the experienced staff and volunteers at the event, having fun and soaking up the buzz of the championships will be just as important to the sailors," he concluded.
Gillian Wright, RYA National Windsurfing Development Officer, added: “The Championships are an open event giving every single T15 sailor the opportunity to compete at a national level, pitting their skills against a much broader range of windsurfers than they would normally race with in the T15 Inter-Club Championships.
“With the standard of racing quite a lot higher, we see the event as a next step for all those involved in T15. Presenting more of a challenge the experience will give the sailors some useful feedback on their racing technique as well as giving them a good insight into what is expected of them to make it into the Squads is that is what they are aiming for."
In some pretty windy and wet conditions last year, Issac Bradley-Baker (Techno 3.5), Harry Davis (Techno 4.5) and Robert Griffiths (Techno 5.5) all won National titles with Harry going on to scoop second place at the RYA Zone Championships later in the year. Special awards went to Zed Spencer-Milnes (Techno 3.5) for impressive improvement over the weekend, Charlotte Seal (Techno 4.5) and Zak Brubert (5.5 Techno) who both demonstrated determination and great potential at their first ever National Championships.
For more information about the 2010 RYA National Junior Windsurfing Championships visit www.ryaracingevents.org.uk