UK’s best primed for RYA/UKWA National Championship Showdown
The Olympic waters of Weymouth and Portland will play host to the cream of UK windsurfing talent this weekend (October 31- November 1) with over 100 windsurfers doing battle on the water at the annual RYA/UKWA National Windsurfing Championships.
The event, which traditionally culminates the competitive windsurfing season, is run jointly by the UKWA and RYA, and will see competitors fight it out for National titles across their respective classes over the two-day regatta held at Weymouth and Portland National Sailing Academy.
Following the success of combining the previous RYA Youth and Masters with the UKWA National Championships for the first time last year, the prestigious event takes on the same format inviting junior classes to compete alongside, youths, masters and veterans.
Ones to watch include, Cheadle’s Kieran Martin who has had a great season this year clocking both European and World titles in the 6.8 Techno class. The 14 year-old also won the 6.8 Techno class at the event last year so will be keen to seal off his year with a repeat performance in the slightly larger class for sailors aged under 17 years of age. Macclesfield’s 14 year-old Adam Purcell will be hot in his heals however looking to add a national title to his World championship bronze.
2008 6.8 Techno Girls champion, Cheltenham’s 15-year-old Laurel Townsend, has also stepped up a class this year and will be back at the event on the same mission as Martin, keen to rerun her title winning performance in her 7.8 Techno class debut.
The formidable Sills duo, 13 year-old Cornish twins Imogen and Saskia (Launceston), will be battling it out for National glory in the 6.8 Techno class fresh from their World Championship success in August. Saskia piped Imogen to the post for the World title at the week-long event following a very close contest between the pair. Imogen picked up the silver medal behind her sister which will have undoubtedly fuelled her hunger for this weekends the National title.
The RS:X under 19 youth class also promises to be a nail-biter with World Champion, Holsworthy’s Izzy Hamilton, 17, back to defend her ‘08 National title taking on 2008 7.8 Techno class champion Sophie Bailey (17, Bude) and close second place holder Becky Plummer (16, Bridgwater) amongst others. The boy’s fleet sees East Midlands RYA Young Sailor of the Year 2008, Woodford’s 16-year-old Matt Brown back at the event and no doubt aspiring to go one better than his ’08 second place finish in the 7.8 Techno class.
Having demonstrated great attitude, progress and commitment to the sport, Brown was also the recipient of the Robert Cartwright Memorial Trophy last year. 2009-10’s award winner will be selected by Robert’s family this weekend and commended for personifying what Windsurfing meant to Robert, approaching the sport with a keen sense of fun, enthusiasm, commitment and passion. The prestigious award always forms a fitting tribute to his memory, and previous winners have included Skandia Team GBR’s Richard Hamilton, Paul Sibley and Lindsey Smith.
Marking his debut event as the UKWA’s Chairman, Bob Ingram will also be making an appearance in the Formula National class keen to assert his guidance and expertise over the proceedings. Son Jamie Ingram will also be competing in the RS:X open class.
Other masters to watch out for at the event include, husband and wife Annette and Robert Kent in the Raceboard class who hold numerous National titles between them.
Approximately seven races are scheduled to be contested, with four races set for Saturday and three for Sunday. Racing is scheduled to start at 10.30am on Saturday and 10.00am on Sunday.