Pugneys Pirates pick up the points in round two of Team15 windsurfing championship

A record number of young windsurfers from all over the North of England took on each other and the worst of the Humberside weather at Covenham Reservoir last weekend. Forty seven windsurfers, all 15 years old or under, collected at Covenham to take part in round two of the 2008 RYA Team15 Championships. The weather on Saturday was wild at first, causing real challenges especially for the younger sailors, but in the afternoon the sun came out and the lake gave some fantastic windsurfing conditions.

The current Team15 Regional Champions are the Covenham Cyclones and this event was their chance to defend their title on home waters. Things did not go totally to plan however and the top places in four out of the five classes went either to rivals Pugneys Pirates or the North Lincs Invaders.

Brothers Matthew (10) and Joshua (8) Carey from Halifax shone out among the strong Pugneys team, taking 1st and 2nd place overall in the 3.5m class; as did 15 year old Nick Durham, also from Pugneys, who won overall first place in the 6.8m class (winning three out of the five races – and coming second in the other two).

The Pugneys team did not have it all their won way however and the North Lincs Invaders fielded an equally strong team, winning the 4.5m class with 11 year old Ruben Lansley from Barton upon Humber and the 5.5m class with 11 year old Emma Laybourne from Barrow upon Humber. Emma’s 5.5m win was particularly well fought as 12 year old Robert York from Skegness (Covenham Cyclones) and 15 year old Abigail Wilson from Rotherham (Pugneys Pirates) put up some great resistance; all three of them swapping first, second and third places throughout the competition.

The Covenham home fleet dominated the 6.8m Techno class however, with first place going to 13 year old Kieran Burley from Cleethorpes (winning four out of the five races) and second place going to 12 year old Joe Dickinson from Covenham. All the winning sailors look like they have great futures ahead of them in Team15 and beyond.

“The competition is really close," said Derrick Hall one of the event co-ordinators at the Covenham Cyclones. “All the teams can match each other for talented sailors. We have lost the edge slightly this year because some of our previous winners are now over sixteen, but some of the other teams have recently lost some of their older sailors too. This makes the competition even tighter."

Class Results at Covenham (to third place):

3.5m class

1. Matthew Carey Halifax Pugneys Pirates

2. Joshua Carey Halifax Pugneys Pirates

3. Jack Lennon Roxby North Lincs Invaders

4.5m class

1. Reuben Lansley Barton upon Humber North Lincs Invaders

2. Lewis May Barrow upon Humber North Lincs Invaders

3. Tom Harding Guisley Pugneys Pirates

5.5m class

1. Emma Layborne Barrow upon Humber North Lincs Invaders

2. Robert York Skegness Covenham Cyclones

3. Abigail Wilson Rotherham Pugneys Pirates

6.8m class

1. Nick Durham Doncaster Pugneys Pirates

2. Jack Maw Louth Covenham Cyclones

3. Mark Sutton Howbrook Pugneys Pirates

6.8m Techno class

1. Kieran Burley Cleethorpes Covenham Cyclones

2. Joe Dickinson Covenham Covenham Cyclones

3. Luke Rastrick Northallerton Pugneys Pirates

Overall Team winners – Pugneys Pirates

The next event in the four match series is again at Covenham, in a few weeks time on 31st August. The final event in the regional competition is at Pugneys Sailing Centre, Wakefield on 21st September. The club with the most points at the end of the series becomes the North Zone Team15 Champion Club and goes on to compete with all the other regional winners to become Team15 UK Champion Club 2008.

Supported by industry leaders Neilson, Tushingham/Starboard, Ultra Sport/Bic, Windsurf magazine, Boards magazine and Neil Pryde, T15 was set up by the RYA to provide youngsters, up to the age of 15, with the opportunity to learn all about windsurfing and improve their skills in a friendly club environment. Weekly training sessions take place at RYA approved centres and clubs and are run by RYA trained instructors and T15 coaches. All safety aspects are taken care of and equipment can be provided to children who don’t have their own kit yet.