The cream of UK windsurfing talent is poised for battle with over 80 windsurfers set to go head-to-head this weekend (2-3 October) at the annual RYA/UKWA National Windsurfing Championships.
Hosted at Weymouth and Portland National Sailing Academy, the two-day regatta, run jointly by the RYA and UKWA, traditionally culminates the competitive windsurfing season and with National titles up for grabs across four board classes, Techno, RS:X, Formula and Raceboard in the junior, youth, masters and veteran disciplines, the event promises to be a real show stopper.
Ones to watch
Ones to watch will include defending champion Skegness sailor Robert York who will be out to retain his 6.8 Techno title fresh from an 11th placing at the Techno worlds. However up and coming young talents Henry Bloodworth, Tadworth, Dan Wilson, Christchurch and Ruben Lansley, Barton-on-Humner will be keen to make their mark following their podium success at the RYA Volvo Zone Championships last weekend.
In the girls division the absence of defending champion Saskia Sills and her formidable twin sister Imogen, will leave the 2010 title wide open for the taking. Nottingham's Emily Hall who finished second Brit at the worlds and won the girls title at the RYA Volvo North Zone Championships last weekend will be keen to get her hands on the crown. But the likes of South Zone Champion Emma Wilson, Christchurch and fellow 2010 Worlds team mate Lucy Taylor will be hot on her heels.
The 7.8 Techno fleet sees a number of newbies compete this year. Techno 6.8 World silver medallist Emma Labourne, Barrow-on-Humber steps up a sail size where she will take on the top 7.8 Worlds team Brit Noelle Finch who will be looking to upgrade her second place finish of last year's event. In the boys race Youth Olympic Bronze medallist Kieran Martin will be the standout favourite. But 2009 third place finisher Adam Purcell, and 6.8 Techno young gun Oliver Bradley-Baker, who will be making his début in the 7.8 class at the event, will be hot on his tail.
Having demonstrated great attitude, progress and commitment to the sport, Macclesfield's Purcell was also the recipient of the Robert Cartwright Memorial Trophy last year. 2010-11's award winner will be selected by Robert's family this weekend and commended for personifying what Windsurfing meant to Robert, approaching the sport with a keen sense of fun, enthusiasm, commitment and passion. The prestigious award always forms a fitting tribute to his memory, and previous winners have included Skandia Team GBR's Richard Hamilton, Paul Sibley and Lindsey Smith.
The RS:X Under 19 Men's Youth competition is also shaping up to be a tight fight. Defending champion George Bowels, Brigg, will be battling it out with his fellow RYA Volvo National Youth Squad comrades, on form Connor Bainbridge who finished second at the Youth Nationals this year and second Brit at the Europeans, Charlie Money, Lutterworth, who finished third Brit at the Worlds and fourth at the youth nationals and Tom Squires, Abingdon, third Europeans Brit, to be crowned 2010 Champion.
With current RS:X Youth World Champion and ISAF Youth Worlds Silver medallist Izzy Hamilton, Launceston, entered into the womens' Under 19 class, competition is set to be tough for the rest of the fleet. West country rivals Sophie Bailey, Bude and Becky Plummer, Brgwater, amongst others are back at the event eager to repeat their '09 podium finishes pushing Hamilton as hard as they can for the top spot.
UKWA Chairman Bob Ingram will also be making an appearance at the event competing in the Formula National Class alongside son Jamie Ingram entered in the Raceboard class.
Approximately seven races are scheduled to be contested, with four races set for Saturday and three for Sunday. Racing is scheduled to start at 10.30am on Saturday and 10.00am on Sunday.
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