Having won the opening round of the Midlands Team15 Youth Windsurfing Championship last month, Northampton’s young windsurfers the Pitsford Pirates thought they might have had this weekend’s (Saturday 18th July) second round event of the Championship sewn up too. Ashbourne’s Carsington Comets however, had other ideas.
Held at Chase Sailing Club in Walsall, the second in a series of four championship events, saw young windsurfers from across the Midlands region descend on Chasewater ready to do battle for their teams. Split into four sail size classes 3.5m, 4.5m, 5.5m and 6.8m the teams were greeted out on the water by what event organiser, Ben Hodgson, described as “very challenging conditions” strong and very gusty winds, but this did nothing to put off the sailors who took it in their stride and pulled off some impressive windsurfing and results.
Whilst the more experienced 6.8m fleet planed around their course at high speeds the 3.5’s took a slightly more sedate pace. Pitsford Pirate Joe Patrick, who has been in control of the 3.5m fleet this year, continued to dominate the class posting firsts and seconds all the way through the nine races securing himself over all class honours however, Carsington Comet Paul Hames chased him all the way round picking up a very close second.
The 4.5’s saw pretty uniform races with Notts County Outlaw Alice Butts winning all but one of her races to pick up a well deserved overall victory. Newly appointed Team15 Ambassador Cameron Coghill who was presented with his ambassador’s rash vest before the days racing was obviously riding on a high and picked up another class victory for the Notts County Outlaws. Discarding an 8th and 3rd place he posted straight first places leaving Pitsford Pirate Callum Skinner to pick up second place.
Carsington Comets Matt Leahy and Luke Rixon swapped first and second places throughout the 6.8m races picking up the Comets only class win of the event. Despite having not won the 3.5, 4.5 or 5.5m classes the Comets posted some impressively consistent and good results over the classes meaning that on points scored, much to the Pirates disbelief, they finished the event as overall winners.
With Notts County Outlaws, the Pirates and the Comets posting winning results this weekend, the next event (Saturday 25th July, Draycote Water) is sure to be a show stopper. New team to the Championship this year, the Chase Aces will also be eager to make their mark.
Team results were:
Carsington Comets (Carsington Water) – sponsored by Boardwise – 16 points
Pitsford Pirates (Pitsford Reservoir) – sponsored by Windsurf Magazine – 23 points
Notts County Outlaws (Hoveringham Water) – sponsored by Tushingham – 30 points
Chase Aces (Chase Water) – looking for a sponsor – 31 points
Supported by industry leaders Neilson, Tushingham/Starboard, Windsurf magazine, Boards magazine and Neil Pryde, T15 was set up by the RYA to help make windsurfing more accessible and appealing to youngsters at a grass roots level. Fun and informal training sessions take place at T15 clubs all over the country for kids up to the age of 15, which are run weekly by specialist RYA coaches. The T15 inter-club championship takes place regionally over the summer adding a competitive edge and race training for those keen to hone their skills. Kit can be borrowed from the clubs and the cost of sessions is kept low – to find out how to get involved and your local club visit www.team15.org.uk or contact the RYA 0845 345 0400.