Picture: Graham Franks
A GREAT NIGHT FOR WINDSURFING
The BBC honour Keith Atkinson in a glittering ceremony held at the Priestfield Stadium in Gillingham. It was the BBC’s annual evening honouring the South East’s sports personalities of 2006.
Keith Atkinson, who was also nominated in 2005, this time took top honours with the ‘Watersports Personality of the Year’ award. Despite stiff competition from the three other short listed nominees, Rob Greenhalgh – International Yachtsman, David Walliams – of ‘Little Britain’ fame with his televised Channel charity swim, Aaron Hadlow – World Champion Kitesurfer.
Keith said after the ceremony: “It was a great night for windsurfing, to be recognised by the BBC ahead of Yachting, Kitesurfing and one of the UK’s top TV personalities is just fantastic. When I started windsurfing it was ‘The extreme sport’, today it has a great deal of competition and it is just great to see it still out there on top. I started the year with the Kentish Times award and a world ranking of 4th then had a mediocre start to the racing season with only a couple of wins in the first UK national event in Cornwall, in very marginal conditions, however this gave me a boost and since then I have only missed fist place in a couple of races out of some thirty five during the UK Championship season. Getting all three UK title this year was fantastic but tonight is the icing on the cake, being able to raise the profile of my sport! I would like to thank all my sponsors and the organisations who have assisted me this year including, Starboard, Neilpryde, UltraSport UK, Eurovans, Fit to Perform, Physioactive, Bewl Valley Sailing Club, Dartford Borough and Next Generation.