Formula youth update
5 August 2014
My name is James Battye I am a 16 year old formula racer, I race within the UKWA for both formula and slalom and i have just returned from Gallipoli where I competed for the first time in the Formula World Youth and Masters Championships. It has motivated me to train for the world youth title, but I cannot find anywhere or anyone who trains this disciple or for that matter, wave, freestyle or slalom, the only training camps available are for techno or RS:X and this limits the level in which our country can perform in these other disciplines. when you consider that Ross Williams is now Formula World Champion, why is there no training for the next generation to take his place.
I think that so many youths stop windsurfing if they do not get into the Olympic Development squad as they are not shown other paths. Surely if we want windsurfing to stay alive then we should promote all disciplines in Team15 rather than limiting it to techno. Also with being a member of the Rya as well as the UWKA I receive a magazine which is advertised for all water sport users but is really focused entirely on yachting with very little reference to windsurfing. I understand that the Rya want Olympic medals and that is why they promote techno and RS:X so heavily,
but surely any sort of medal should be appreciated even if its, PWA slalom, wave, freestyle, speed sailing, race board or formula. If it wasnt for Chris Bond (Gbr-98) seeing me at an event and inviting me to try formula kit, I myself would have stopped windsurfing, as at 6"2 and 73kg, techno was quite a struggle for me, but after 2 years of racing formula my aspirations are set on the World Title myself.
I feel as though there are a lot of youths who were in my position but were not as lucky as i was and were pushed down the techno path as the Rya deem it as the correct path. Formula and slalom are my favourite types of windsurfing as my passion is speed, I would like any youth to come and try formula and hope there is more opportunities for people to excel in other disciplines.
James Battye (Gbr-939)