There was very tight racing in all classes at the RYA T15 West Zone interclub, held on Saturday 09 July. This was the third of a four event interclub windsurfing series, and was hosted by Hollingworth Hunters at the West Pennine Sailboard Club, near Rochdale.
There were four teams competing from all over the Zone, from Windermere in the North to West Kirby in the West, and competition was very tight both between teams and within teams. Hosts Hollingworth were hoping for a best yet result on their home waters, in ideal conditions of medium winds which allowed nine races in the beginners’ 3.5 metre class, and seven longer races in the other three classes.
In the 3.5 metre class, there was tremendous three way competition between the teams, with the top three competitors separated by only two points. Ollie Mulhall of Windermere Rufwinds took the class, counting four race wins in his scoreline, after a great battle with Oliver Lloyd of West Kirby Warriors and Molly Howell of hosts Hollingworth Hunters, who took second and third places.
In the other three classes, competition was equally fierce, but it was mostly within the very strong West Kirby Warriors team. In the 4.5 metres, which attracted the best turnout of twelve sailors, West Kirby youngsters took all the top three places, with just a point separating the top three, as Oliver Eastwood edged it ahead of Sam Kelly and Frances McNab.
It was the same story in the 5.5 metres, with West Kirby’s Samson King leading a giant team performance, staying just ahead of team mates Will Mooney and George Kenny home.
In the Techno 6.8 metre class, West Kirby’s Charlotte Rutter beat team mate Isaac Bradley Baker for the first time ever to take the class, with Isaac second, while Sarah Jackson of Team Astbury this time broke up the West Kirby grip on the podium by taking third place.
Courtesy of the RYA’s Sail for Gold initiative, there were a couple of gold medals up for grabs in a final race, and Oliver Lloyd and Sam Kelly won gold in the 3.5 metre and 4.5 metre classes, both sailing for West Kirby.
Overall the strength of the overall West Kirby Warriors performance left little chance of a giant killing, and West Kirby duly took their third event victory of the year. On their home waters, Hollingworth Hunters were always in the hunt for second place, but eventually had to concede by just four points to Team Astbury, while Windermere Rufwinds took fourth.
The teams stayed on at West Pennine for a day of coaching the following day with RYA National Coach Ian Roberts, who said, “I’m most impressed with the standards, I’ve got plenty of talent to work with here!" RYA Regional Development Officer Sally Kilpatrick also enjoyed watching these top young windsurfers in action.
The final West Zone interclub will be at West Kirby on 17 September, and the series result will determine which club will go to represent the Zone at the RYA T15 Champions Cup in October.
Supported by industry leaders Tushingham/Starboard, Boards magazine and Neil Pryde, T15 was set up by the RYA to help make windsurfing more accessible and appealing to youngsters at a grass roots level.
Fun and informal training sessions take place at T15 clubs all over the country for kids up to the age of 15, which are run weekly by specialist RYA coaches.
The T15 inter-club championship takes place regionally over the summer adding a competitive edge and race training for those keen to hone their skills.
Kit can be borrowed from the clubs and the cost of sessions is kept low.
To get involved with Team15 and locate your nearest local club visit www.team15.org.uk or contact the RYA 0845 345 0400.