Youth windsurfing teams are preparing to hit the water at Northampton Sailing Club, Pitsford, Northamptonshire, this weekend (13-14 October) to compete in the national final of the RYA Team15 (T15) Champions Cup.
The event will see some 100 young windsurfers from across the country, hailing as far afield as Scotland and Cornwall; battle it out in a bid to win the prestigious title of T15 National Champions 2012.
The windsurfing teams have earned their places after winning a series of highly competitive heats in the T15 Inter-Club Championship that took place throughout the UK this summer.
Amongst the teams desperate to win the title are South West Zone qualifiers the Roseland Waveriders who after remaining neck and neck with the Siblyback Water Warriors all season, managed to triumph in the very last event to claim a place in the final.
2011 T15 Champions, North West Zone’s West Kirby Warriors have enjoyed another successful season with a clean sweep, winning all four of their events in the 2012 Inter-Club Championship. The warriors will be keen to defend of their national title next weekend.
“The Warriors are really excited to be heading back to the Champions Cup! They have worked really hard and have had an awesome season. They will definitely be aiming to hold onto their Championship title" said Assistant Instructor, Oliver Bradley-Baker (16) who has been working with the West Kirby Warriors.
Joining the Warriors and Waveriders out on the race courses will be Hythe Hotshots, Pitsford Pirates, Axbridge Animals, Pugney’s Pirates, Mumbles Mutineers, Lakeside Loafers and Loch Insh Monsters.
The competitors, all under 16 year olds, will compete in four different windsurfing classes, (3.5m, 4.5m, 5.8m, Techno 6.8) pitting their skills against each other, trying to post the best results possible for their team.
RYA National Windsurfing Development Officer Gillian Wright who organises the competition says: “We are very excited about the Team15 Champions Cup this year, it’s always a fantastic weekend with a fun yet competitive atmosphere.
“For many youngsters and parents this will be their first taste of competing at a national regatta. It’s great to see some new teams qualifying and others returning, so we can expect plenty of new and familiar faces. It will be really exciting to see which windsurfing team will be crowned the champions".
Supported by industry leaders Tushingham/Starboard, 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