The Axbridge Animals have been crowned Team15 Champions for a second consecutive year as the 2017 RYA/UKWA National Windsurfing Championships drew to a close at Grafham Water Sailing Club at the weekend (9-10 September).
The reigning champions from Somerset booked their berth in the national final this weekend after a strong regional performance throughout the season. They continued their fine from across all five junior windsurfing classes to claim the coveted Team15 trophy. North Lincs Invaders were runners up, with Glossop Gladiators in third.
After an electrical storm temporarily stopped play on Saturday, sailors were greeted by building breeze on day two with the worst of the forecasted heavy wind and rain remaining at bay.
Racing on the smallest rig, Ben Stoyles (Axbridge Animals) scored a hattrick of race wins and three seconds to claim the 3.5m fleet title. Teammate Ewan Foster finished second, which would prove instrumental for the Team15 Champions Cup winners. Emily Green (Glossop Gladiators) grabbed the opening bullet and wrapped up her event third overall and first girl.
The North East dominated the 4.5m podium with Kielder Kestrel George Stewart picking up the gold medal. North Lincs Invaders duo Jack Harrison and John Grice finished second and third respectively. Points were close for third, with Paige Cox (Axbridge Animals) narrowly missed out on third, to end her event fourth overall and first girl.
Having finished fifth in the 2016 edition, Orland Guy (Active Sprites) saw off the competition to top the podium. Caitlin Boothroyd (West Kirby Warriors) took the girl’s title finishing second overall, meanwhile Katelynd Smith took third overall and second girl.
A change of rules for the Team15 contingent saw RYA UK Junior Squad sailors eligible for the first time, providing that they been competing for their club over the season.
And Active Sprite Louis Walker took full advantage to win the Team15 6.8 fleet, ahead of Tobias Dawkins (Axbridge Animals). Third overall and first girl was Millie Searle (Queen Mary Skimmers).
Not finishing a race out of the top three, James Faley (OTC) led the Team15 7.8 fleet from the go. The battle for silver was eventually won by Sam Saunders (Colwyn Bay) narrowly beating Emily-James Eldred (Queen Mary Skimmers).
In the Techno fleet, Finn Hawkins stole the show to leave his rivals in the dust taking all seven bullets to secure the 7.8m prize. James Bulson and James Faley finished second and third respectively, meanwhile Izzy Adcock clinched the girl’s prize finishing fourth overall.
Brother’s Oscar and Borris Shaw led the Techno 6.8m charge taking gold and silver, while Team15 winner Louis Walker was third.
In the 26-strong RS:X fleet, Ben McCann topped the leaderboard, meanwhile Lily Young finished top lady in fourth overall.
Results for the National Windsurfing Championships.