WORLD SILVER THIS TIME FOR KEITH!
Keith Atkinson, Bewl Valley's champion windsurfer and Neil Pryde team
member set off for Largs in Scotland a fortnight ago for a weeks training
with the GBR team in preparation for the start of the 2002 Windsurfing
World Championships taking place this year in Largs, following a much
warmer event venue last year in Rome it was Scotland's turn to host the event.
Keith had trained very hard for this event all year, he came 18th in the
youth fleet and 2nd British windsurfer last year but now at 19 he has had
to move on up to the very competitive Espoir fleet.
Last Monday morning, the first day of racing in the six-day event, Keith's
father had a call from him to say he was in hospital after twisting his
ankle whilst out for a morning training run. After a few very anxious
hours it was diagnosed as a bad sprain and was told to rest it for a few
days! However he was lucky the wind gods were on his side as there was not
enough wind to race until Wednesday by which time he was much improved.
However on Saturday evening Keith's parents, Rose & David, had a call from
Keith whilst he taking part in the awards and closing ceremony, with
bagpipes playing in the background, he gave them the long awaited news
that he had taken the Silver medal in the Formula Espoir Fleet.
After the closing ceremony Keith was immediately on the road in his VW
van, specially converted by one of his sponsors Bilbo's of Godstone,
destined for St Moritz in Switzerland and then on to Belgium for the next
two rounds of the EuroCup the premier European event . Then it's back to
the UK on Bank Holiday Monday and up to Bridlington for the following
weekend's National UKWA event, apparently there is a beer festival taking
place at the same time, so the parents / 'pit crew' could well be sampling
more than the sea air in Bridlington.