Youngsters enjoy windsurfing in strong winds
West Kirby Warriors hold domination
Fun, enjoyable and interesting, ” was the verdict of young windsurfers from the Glorious Glossop team at the second event of the 2012 Team 15 series held at Wigan on Saturday.
It was fun to get the speed up and exhilarating to go really fast in the strong winds, according to Cameron Green (11) and Joe Whibley (11). They were especially proud that they were among the eight sailors in the 3.5m fleet who finished all eight races while five others dropped out.
Those who could handle the conditions were often on the limit as the winds went up to Force 4 and the less experienced found it quite tiring. The rain stayed away for most of the day but lots of downpours over the previous 24hours meant water levels were very high.
The winds restricted the 4.5m, 5.8m and 6.8 fleets to just 5 races, though the 3.5m sailors managed eight! Performance of the day must go to Adrian Fethney-Mackey (aged 12) from the Warriors: sailing in the 3.5m fleet he won every race!
Despite their ranks being depleted by another event, West Kirby Warriors held their domination. Winds were strong and gusty but that favoured the Warriors because they so often train in similar conditions. Glorious Glossop managed fourth place.
There were good individual performances by the Hollingworth Hunters: the 6.8m fleet was dominated by their Zone Squad Sailor Joseph Thompson (13) winning all but one race and using the biggest sail despite strong winds. The team might have done better had it not been for injuries and bad luck.
The 4.5m fleet saw a real tussle between Stanley Corr (12) Team Astbury, Molly Howell (12) of Hollingworth Hunters , Ollie Mulhall (11) of Hollingworth Hunters (all Zone Squad sailors) and Frances McNab (14) of the Warriors.
Race one started with a win for Ollie but an injury forced him to retire on the next race leaving the first place slot on the next races to be contested by the others. Molly and Stanley were continually exchanging places whilst Frances was sailing consistently to come home in third place.
The 5.8m fleet was a much more mixed affair with three different sailors winning races.
For the next T15 event the hosts are the Hollingworth Hunters at West Pennine Sailboard Club near Rochdale. Many of the youngsters will be making a weekend of it with T15 Racing on the Saturday 21 July, camping overnight and coaching from Ian Roberts, National Squad Coach on Sunday.
The Saturday has been designated as the national “Push the Boat Out” day by the RYA to give the Olympic sailors a good send off.
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.