The host team from local windsurfing club the Calshot Flyers won the third of four regional Team15 (T15) events in the RYA‘s T15 Inter-Club Series, on Saturday 8th August. The series, for under-15s from the south, is held in a range of sailboard classes.
Against the bustling back drop of Cowes Week local youngsters from Calshot pitted their skills against four other teams, the Oxford Zoomers from Farmoor, the Queen Mary Skimmers from Staines, the Academy All Stars from Poole, and, making their first appearance, the Manic Monkeys from Bray, Maidenhead. Forty one young competitors lined the water’s edge in the lee of Calshot spit in the idyllic summer conditions to compete in four windsurfing classes, the 3.5m, 4.5m, 5.5m, and Bic Techno 6.8m.
This is the first win for the Calshot Flyers for a number of years, who instigated the event seven years ago so they are pleased to regain their title after several years of seeing it go to other teams in the region.
Individual winners included Alexei Murphy from Bray in the 3.5m, Molly Todd (14) from the Oxford Zoomers in the 4.5m, James Waterhouse (15) also of the Zoomers in the 5.5m, and Misty Thorn (15) from the Academy Allstars in the 6.8 Techno.
While the youngest competitors were only 8 years old, it was Alexei, part of the Manic Monkeys team, who showed spectacular skill in the largest class, the 3.5m with 16 competitors, when he gained a second and three first places.
A steady morning breeze gave way to light airs in the afternoon, allowing for a combination of courses to be laid by the organisers.
The regatta enjoyed a record turnout, the highest number of competitors ever for the Calshot event. In the 3.5m class there were 16 competitors, 8 competitors in the 4.5m class, 13 in the 5.5m class and 4 in the 6.8m class. T15 South Zone Co-ordinator Chris Lewis said: “It’s been another great weekend and we are really pleased with the record breaking numbers of youngsters that have showed up.” He adds “Team15 is all about encouraging newcomers and progression at every level, and we are very pleased to have seen so many kids entering their first major event here” .
Supported by industry leaders Neilson, Tushingham/Starboard, Windsurf magazine, Boards magazine and Neil Pryde, T15 provides youngsters up to the age of 15 with the opportunity to learn all about windsurfing and windsurf racing in a friendly club environment. The scheme has gone from strength to strength to reach the record numbers that are now becoming involved in the training.
The T15 events are open to everyone who wants to have a go at windsurfing. Many newcomers who have only recently joined their clubs’ weekly training sessions were at the event this year for their first taste of competition. The sessions are run at RYA approved centres and clubs by 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.
Saturday’s event was the third of four rounds of regional heats from which the winners go through to the T15 Champions’ Cup National Final to be held at Rutland Water on 10th/11th October 2009.
If you fancy giving T15 a go or would like more information check out the website www.team15.org.uk