Teenage windsurfer Finn Hawkins has won Great Britain’s first
individual medal at the Youth Olympic Games, taking home bronze in Buenos
The 15-year-old from St Austell, Cornwall, secured the medal
by finishing third in the 13th and final race of the boy’s
Hawkins finished the regatta ten points behind silver medallist
Nicolo Renna of Italy, but ten ahead of fourth-placed Tomer Vardimon from
Israel. The gold medal was won by Kalpo Kalpogiannakis from
In a display of consistency, Hawkins only finished
outside of the top five of the 24-entry Techno 293+ windsurfing competition twice
during the six days of action on the Rio del Plata.
Incredibly Hawkins has only windsurfed for four years
after his parents bought him a board for his 11th birthday – but he has
quickly established himself as a serious talent.
His bronze Youth Olympics medal tops a stellar season
that also saw him take third at the Techno 293+ youth world championships.
“I’m feeling amazing,” Hawkins said. “It’s a surreal
feeling. My plan for the week was to be consistent. I did that, and today I knew
I had to just stick in the front group to secure bronze.
"I didn’t have the greatest
start but I managed to come back and cross the line third. When I finished the
race and realised I had won bronze I couldn’t have been happier.”
Hawkins’ counterpart Islay Watson, the reigning youth
world champion, narrowly missed the ten-athlete medal race in the girls’
competition finishing 11th overall.
However Watson’s disappointment will be tempered by the
announcement that she has been picked for the British Sailing Team.
Hawkins and Watson were among 42 British athletes aged
between 14 and 18 chosen to compete in 17 sports over 12 days of action.
pair are products of the Royal Yachting Association’s British Youth Sailing
programme, which aims to identify and develop the world’s best young racing
pair were supported at the Youth Olympics by British Youth Sailing coach Oli
Woodcock, an experienced windsurfer with a proven track record for nurturing young
The 2018 Youth Olympics, which continues until October
18, will feature almost 4,000 of the world’s most talented young athletes from
206 nations and is the third edition of the Games following Singapore 2010 and
“What a year it’s been for both Islay and Finn,” Woodcock
said. “Islay has worked so hard and won the youth worlds but unfortunately this
week it wasn’t to be. Finn has also worked his socks off – to get a podium at
the Techno 293+ youth worlds was amazing and it was the start of the process
getting to the Youth Olympics. He’s done a great job here in Buenos Aires, and a
bronze medal is a well-deserved reward.”