RS:X Youth Championships

The RS:X Open Youth European Windsurfing Championships have been set for Sopot, Poland and will take place between June 24th and July 2nd.

This will allow youth sailors to compete in Kieler Woche where there will be an 8.5 Youth Men and Youth Women divisions before making the relatively short transfer to Sopot to take part in the RS:X Youth Europeans.

From an MNA perspective this works too.

Transfer your coach boats and coaches from Kiel to Sopot and then have your youth athletes take part in the RS:X Youth European Windsurfing Championships which finish in good time to move onto the the Volvo Youth Sailing ISAF World Championships taking place in Istanbul, Turkey on July 8th [finishing July 17th].

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AWA Windsport Festival

The AWA windsport festival got underway last Sunday. The day started off with the promise of 15-20 knots from the SW from metservice. The sun started to make its mark on the water in front of the Bayswater yacht club early morning as the grass area adjacent started to fill up with sailors. Kites were inflated and sails were unfurled.

Gaastra/Tabou and Carbon Art staked out their patch with new seasons gear and Pete Smith from the Auckland Windsurfing School relocated his school trailer from Pt Chev to the Northshore, relieved the rust repairs held together. Thanks for bringing all that demo gear for people to admire and try out and making the effort to support the event.

Tim Wood and the trusted RIB directed the show outlining the two races being run. The first was the 1 hour race. A figure 8 course for windsurfers and a similar course just downwind for the kiters. Each lap being counted towards points scored for the race. The second event was a relay teams race. Downwind “slalom” on boards as wide as they were long.

Forty people registered on the day. And proceedings kicked off just after 11 am. Unfortunately the wind did not cooperate and provided only enough power for the occasional planning run. The guys on formula gear excelled.

Their 9-11m sails and fins barely clearing the bottom meant that they planned in less than 10 knots of wind. The rest of us on slalom and freeride gear spent most of the hour groveling. Pete Smith came out on a tandem board that planned surprisingly early and provide a few sailors an opportunity to cadge a ride on the nose. Especially each time the monster came around a gybe mark, scooping up anyone in its way.

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Sam Sills

Barnsdale Lodge Hotel in Rutland played host the UK Windsurfing association for its annual prize giving dinner on Saturday 14th November.

Some 75 awards were made across the various disciplines supported by the association including slalom, wave, speed, freestyle and course racing. A spectacular evening of awards and dancing to live band ‘Under Construction’ was enjoyed by all.

As the UKWA crowned its champions special awards were also made to Ian Jones retiring chairman and John Ellis standing down after years of service was awarded life time membership to the association an honour rarely awarded, but well deserved.

The first major trophy of the evening was the young windsurfer of the year award which went to European silver medalist and World Techno 6.8 Girls champion Saskia Sills.

The highlight however was the awarding of The UKWA Windsurfer Of The Year trophy. The Nominees were Max Rowe (Freestyle) Ross Williams (Slalom) Robbie Swift (Wave) Pete Young (Speed) and Sam Sills (Racing). After a close public vote and almost a 1000 votes cast.

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