Oxford Zoomers, a youth windsurfing team of ten windsurfers from Oxford Sailing Club, fought off tough competition to win the prestigious RYA Team15 National Windsurfing Champions Cup 2021.
The event was part of the UKWA National Windsurfing Championships, held at Grafham Water Sailing Club, Cambridgeshire, over the weekend of 11 and 12 September 2021.
The Champions Cup saw over 100 young windsurfers, from 19 teams from across the UK, take to the water on Grafham Water Reservoir to compete for the title of T15 Nations Champions. Although a team event, individual honours were also up for grabs with trophies awarded to the top three places in each windsurfing class (3.5m, 4.5m, 5.8m, Techno 6.8m, and Techno 7.8m fleets).
Kathy Illingworth, Oxford Zoomers Co-ordinator at Oxford Sailing Club said: “The Zoomers rose to the challenge and there were fantastic performances from the whole team. As well as individual trophies across the five fleets, each teams scores are combined to calculate the overall winning team. With over 15 teams from around the UK, every Zoomer’s performance was crucial.
“There was a tense countdown to hear who would be crowned overall National Team Champion so there were roars of delight when the Zoomers name was called out.”
The youth team of under-16 year olds completed in up to eight races in the five windsurfing classes. The ten strong Oxford Zoomers team racked up enough points to put them ahead of runners up Academy Allstars and Buzz Active who took third on the podium.
As well as taking the Cup, fantastic individual performances from Zoomer newcomers saw two twelve-year-olds, Holly Hall and Charley Hall, claim first and second girls in the 4.5 fleet respectively. Consistent performances throughout the competition from 15-year-old Oli Smith in the 5.8 fleet were rewarded with a third place. Whilst Patrick West (14) was very consistent with top three finishes seeing him crowned second overall in the 6.8 fleet.
16-year-old Charlie Bennett was also awarded the Robert Cartwright Trophy, which recognises an exceptional young windsurfer that shows passion and commitment to the sport.
Kathy adds: “Saturday was a perfect windsurfing day with sunshine and a steady breeze that built though the afternoon. Sadly, on Sunday the wind didn’t materialise and so all racing was cancelled although the kids enjoyed some fun races and activities on the lakeside.
“Oxford Sailing Club has injected a lot of money into new windsurfing kit this year so it was great to be able to show them that we are reaping the benefits. We’ve also had a big surge in new junior windsurfers so hopefully we will continue to thrive.”
Duncan West, RYA Regional Performance Manger for the South and South West, commented: “My congratulations go to Oxford Zoomers and everyone involved in windsurfing at Oxford Sailing Club. This really represents a team effort and a culmination of many years work to help youngsters learn to windsurf and ultimately compete and win against some of the best young windsurfers in the country.”
BYS Recognised Windsurfing Clubs were set up by the RYA to help make windsurfing more accessible and appealing to youngsters at a grass roots level. The nationwide network of over 34 BYS Recognised Windsurfing Clubs meet on a weekly basis to provide young people with everything they need to know about windsurfing in a friendly, fun-filled environment. The youngsters learn new windsurfing skills from specialist RYA qualified coaches and instructors, and progress to competition level, with a regional programme of Interclub challenges.
The teams that competed in the 2021 National Windsurf Championships and the Team15 Champions Cup were:
West Kirby Warriors
Buzz Active 2
Docklands Dugongs 2
Lock Insh Monsters
Thrapston Boat Station Sea Cadets
Queen Mary Skimmers
North Lincs Invaders