HYTHE HOTSHOTS ARE SOUTH EAST WINDSURFING CHAMPIONS
Hythe youth windsurfing team hosted the fourth and finale of the T15 South East windsurfing championships on July 27th. Having won the previous three, Hythe Hotshots had already secured the championship, but Bewl Blasters denied them a clean sweep, taking the dominant Hythe scalp on their home turf.
In a scorcher of a day with a fitful breeze and a strong tide, teams from Hythe, Bewl. Redhill and Eastbourne battled it out in the five windsurfing classes. Le Mans starts had the kids starting from the top of the beach in the T15 tent, racing down to the shoreline to their “pit team” holding ready their windsurfing boards. After sailing round the course, they then had to run back up the beach to the tent to finish. In a fickle and dying wind, race two was switched to a paddling race, with rigs left ashore and boards paddled like surf boards around the turning mark and back, again with Le Mans start and finish.
Bewl got it right in the 3.5m fleet, taking the top two places with Elliot Wood leading Stanley Walsh, with Aquasports (Redhill) Chrissi Jones picking up 3rd place.
In the 4.5m fleet, Phillipa Hemphrey (Hythe) deservedly took a first place in the first race, but Lucy Blackstone (Bewl) wasn’t going to make it easy for Phillipa. In the paddling race, Lucy took the win right on the line with a superb dive across! Oliver Bentsen (Bewl) held 3rd place.
It was Spray Sprites turn in the 5.5m class. Charlie Holman took the win, even finishing ahead of the 6.8m fleet. Alex Barry (Hythe) came through in 2nd place, and picked up the first Techno trophy to add to his collection. Taking 3rd place was Hythe Hotshot Catriona Hards, finishing ahead of Bewl’s Hamish Munro-Faure.
Top honours in the 6.8m open fleet went to another Bewl Blaster, Scott Mason.
The 6.8m Techno fleet was led home by a happy Rupert Munro-Faure (Hamish’s twin brother). Hythe’s Conor Wells pushed Rupert hard around the long and difficult course, finishing second. 3rd place went to Bewl’s Cameron Moffatt who finished ahead of Hythe’s Sam Conroy.
While waiting for final results, Bewl’s coach stepped up to judge a freestyle expression session competition, won by Charlie Holman (Eastbourne), ahead of Stan Walsh (Bewl) and Zara Petts (Hythe). Tricks in the really light winds included heads inside booms, handstands, press ups, sail spinning and artistic dismounts.
Ian Kraft from Hythe, who has run this series, gave big thanks to all who have helped make the series such fun for all the kids, and to all the kids who’ve made it such a pleasure for all involved. He also awarded a special merit award to Kate Wells for processing entries and calculating results so efficiently at every event.
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 windsurf racing in a friendly club environment. Weekly training sessions are run at RYA approved centres and clubs with RYA trained instructors and T15 coaches. All safety aspects are taken care of and equipment is provided so there’s no need to go and buy all your own kit. A highlight of the T15 calendar is the annual National T15 Inter Club Championship which takes place over the summer. Each region runs 4 heats and the winning team goes on to represent the region at the National Final – the Champions Cup in October