KEITH MOVES UP THE RANKINGS
Keith Atkinson has just returned home after competing at the FormulaWindsurfing European Championships on Lake Garda , Italy . This world-class event was the biggest ever Formula competition attracting 150 men and 21 women from 30 countries. Due to the massive entry Keith had to compete in 3 days of qualifying to gain entry into the elite Gold fleet which was limited to just the worlds top 75 sailors. During qualifying the fleet was split into to two 75 men heats for with the top half of each getting into the Gold fleet after completing 6 races.
The 6 qualifying races were run in 9-11 knots and were an early indication of how tough it was going to be. However Keith qualified for the Gold Fleet in 24th place, the remainder of the GBR Team also qualified with Ross Williams and Jamie Lever in the top 10, Dan Ellis 22nd, Alan Jackson in 40th and Xavier Ferlet in 59th.
With a total of twelve gruelling races during the week of competition Keith managed two tenth places in a truly world class fleet, this enabled him to finish the event as 17th European and 22nd overall.
Commenting Keith said, 'this year saw the dropping of the under 22 'Espoir' category so despite being only 20 I was very pleased with my results having moved up the World rankings from 30th last September. In addition my placing as 3rd Brit ahead of both the UK's 2003 and 2004 National Champions, Dan Ellis and Alan Jackson, was the icing on the cake. I would like to thank my sponsors: Bilbo's Motorhomes, NeilPryde, Ultrasport, Electric, Starboard, Deboichet Fins, Physioactive, Water Rower, PSP Sports Drinks, Wet 'n' Dry Boardsports, Boards Magazine, Bewl Valley S.C. RYA Team GBR, Sanspeed Superchips, Surfkraft.com