Michael J. Roberts, Oxford Sailing Club’s board training principal, and the crew at Farmoor taught me to windsurf. My first winter was spent going up and down the causeway on a cloth 2.5m sail - then Dad bought me a 4m Tushingham Series 3 once I had wrecked the 2.5m on the concrete!
|Year of Birth:||1990|
|Hometown:||Middleton Stoney, Oxfordshire|
|Disciplines:||Formula & Slalom|
|Best Results:|| 2nd U15 at World FW Youth Champs.
1st FW at LWA Summer Series.
2nd Youth UKWA Warrior Series.
Ultra Sport, Surfkraft,
BLOC, Oxford Sailing Club,
Oxford Youth Sail Training Centre,
Cherwell District Council.
I went to a couple of RYA events and, although the company was good, I never really fitted in with my short board. Whilst attending the 2002 White Air Youth Week, Robby Swift advised me to get into Formula racing. We called in at Offshore Sports later that day and Aaran Williams sorted me out with a Starboard 136 Junior Formula board and a good used Gaastra 8.2 Nitro II rig.
I have really enjoyed a great year in 2003. The UKWA Racing Tour and LWA events have been superb. The people in all fleets and the boat crews have been very encouraging and helpful. The camping and social side is great too. We always try and pitch our tent near the Surfkraft camper van, where Ian imparts great wisdom and Mrs. Kraft improves my vocabulary!!
Favourite Venue: Cabarete, Dominican Republic.
Best Event: Dranske 2004 with Doug and Charles Riach, Martin Harries and Dad.
Worst Event: Christchurch (2003) - sprained my ankle jumping off the promenade (like you do!) and missed racing entirely...
The year started well when I competed in Britain’s first ever Indoor Windsurfing Championships and co-presented a ‘Newsround’ feature for CBBC from the event.
I moved up to race in the full UKWA Formula Fleet this year, racing with the fastest adults in Britain. This stood me in good stead when I went to race with lads my own age at the World Championships in Germany.
I am improving rapidly and learning a great deal thanks to the encouragement and advice of my fellow competitors.
I will train hard this winter and aim to climb higher up the national rankings next year.
The friendships in windsurfing are just as important as the results. I look forward to the events in 2005. Bring it on!
I dedicate my 2004 windsurfing to the memory of Andy Funnell, one of my heroes.
Pictures courtesy of AntMedia.