100 YOUNG WINDSURFERS EXPECTED AT VOLVO RYA CHAMPIONSHIPS

A record number of young windsurfers are expected to enter the Volvo RYA

Youth Windsurfing Championships to be hosted by the Weymouth & Portland

Sailing Academy 28-29 September 2002.

Young board sailors aged from 8 - 18 and from all over the UK will compete

for the title of Volvo RYA Youth Windsurfing Champion at the most important

event in the UK youth windsurfing calendar. Competitors will be racing in

the Formula Youth IMCO Youth, Raceboard Youth, Aloha 5.5 and 'team15'

Classes.

The big increase in predicted entries is due to the success of the UK wide

RYA 'team15' scheme that encourages competitive windsurfing for under 15's

and sailing clubs and centres.

"This promises to be a great event with a host of young talent on display,"

said Helen Cartwright, the Royal Yachting Association's new National

Windsurfing Coach. "We are expecting a high standard of competition, and

especially look forward to seeing more younger windsurfers on the Junior

course as this scheme has really taken off all over the UK." Helen has

recently come from the RYA Olympic squad so is well placed to spot future

stars and help them achieve their potential.

Likely contenders for the title include Dan Binney (17) from Cumbria. After

a brilliant season highlighted with a 4th place at the Volvo Youth Sailing

ISAF World Championships Dan is tipped to do well at this event and is

hoping to hold off his competitors to take the title for the first time.

Dan will be challenged by Doug Etheridge, 17 from London, who won the U17

title in 2001 and Scot Peter Bird, 15 from Scotland who came 4th in the U17

Youth World Championships. Also snapping at Dan's heels will be Richard

Potter, aged 15 from Nottingham who has an abundance of talent and boat

speed and will be a threat despite his younger age. Finally, Richard's

equally talented older sister Catherine, who is tipped for the girl's title,

could embarrass the boys if there is strong winds to take the overall

honours.

On hand to present the prizes on Sunday will be Nick Dempsey, who won this

event as a youth in 1998 and since then has gone on to represent Great

Britain at the Sydney Olympic Games in 2000, and at every major

international windsurfing regatta since.

"It's only five years since I was competing at this event," said

Nick, "and

I'm sure that it won't be long before some of the sailors here will be

challenging me and the other windsurfers in the Olympic programme in the run

up to Athens 2004."

"Volvo is delighted to sponsor this event for the fifth year and wishes

all

competitors the best of luck," said John Lefley, Director of Public

Relations at Volvo Car UK. "We hope to see some exciting action on the

water and no some future international champions."

Weymouth and Portland Sailing Academy is renowned as one of the best sailing

regatta venues in the UK and has played host to some of the biggest events

in the UK sailing calendar. Complete re-development of the site is in the

planning stages, which will ensure it's position as the premiere UK sailing

venue.

For further information please contact;

Helen Cartwright, National Windsurfing Coach, RYA, 023 8062 7483

Samantha Baker, Volvo Sailing, 01628 534001/07711 826823