Young guns shine at National Windsurfing Championships
15 September 2008
RYA/UKWA National Windsurfing Championships
The RYA's top young windsurfing talent lived up to their billing going into this weekend's inaugural RYA/UKWA National Windsurfing Championships picking up the crop of top titles at Weymouth and Portland National Sailing Academy (WPNSA).
More than 150 windsurfers from all over Britain did battle over the course of two-days as for the first time the RYA joined forces with UKWA to run a combined National Championship event.
World RS:X Youth silver medallist Clevedon's Ali Masters,16, took no prisoners in the boys' RS:X 8.5 fleet, taking five wins out of six and discarding a second to seal a comfortable victory ahead of fellow RYA Youth Squad member Epsom's Ryan Tilbury, 16.
RYA Youth National champion 16-year-old Izzy Hamilton from Holsworthy made no mistake in adding the girls' RYA/UKWA National title to her success this year, seeing off the challenge of second-placed Joanna Evans, including beating all the boys to claim a race win on day two.
World and European Under 17 silver medallist Sam Sills had little trouble in adding the boys' Bic Techno 7.8 National title to his 2008 silverware haul, romping to six straight race wins and finishing on the minimum possible five points.
It was the second consecutive National title for the 15-year-old from Launceston, Sills having won the Techno 6.8 class at last year's RYA Youth and Masters event, the predecessor to the new Championships.
Taking second in the class was Kettering's Matthew Brown, 15, whose performance and general attitude, progress and commitment throughout the year also saw him awarded the annual Robert Cartwright Memorial Trophy.
RYA Youth Squad sailor 16-year-old Sophie Bailey from Bude took the girls' 7.8 title in a nail-biting contest with Bridgwater's Becky Plummer, 15. Cornish girl Bailey, who is on her way back after recovering from a shoulder injury that has kept her out of action since March, clinched first place by just two points.
Cheadle's Kieran Martin topped off an awesome season winning the boys' Techno 6.8 title. The 13-year-old RYA Junior Squad talent has picked up bronze medals on the 6.8 at both the Techno Worlds and Europeans this year and he showed his class winning four of his six races to finish on six points, with Rotherham's Joe Bennett, 12, second on 15.
Laurel Townsend from Cheltenham comfortably won the girls' 6.8 contest, the 14-year-old finishing fifth overall including scoring an impressive second-place in the opening race of the regatta.
Ed Strange won the RS:X 9.5 class, the men's Olympic windsurfer while Ollie Brett picked up both the overall and Youth titles in the Formula class. Anna Bird won the women's Formula contest as Tim Gibson and Bob Ingram walked off with the Formula Masters and Formula National titles respectively.
Paul Leone also clinched double glory, topping the overall Raceboard and Raceboard Masters fleets while Annette Kent took the women's overall Raceboard title. Chloe Robinson and Jack Warren claimed the girls' and boys' Raceboard Youth crowns respectively.
Christopher Gibson is the new RYA/UKWA National Raceboard Grand Master champion and Andy Lacy the top Raceboard Veteran.
With the RYA staging its first ever National Junior Windsurfing Championships in May, it means that around 220 of the country's top windsurfers have taken part in RYA-supported Windsurfing Championship racing events this summer.