Saskia Sills 

It’s a 1-2-3 for Britain in the race for the girls’ Under 15 Techno World title as twins Saskia and Imogen Sills and newcomer Emma Labourne upped the tempo on day two of the IWA Junior, Youth and Masters Windsurfing World Championships.

Although it was Imogen who sealed victory in the two races run at the Weymouth and Portland National Sailing Academy (WPNSA) today (Tuesday 25 August), it was Saskia that edged into pole position just a point ahead of her sister courtesy of two second places.

Meanwhile, 12-year-old Labourne, competing at her first World Championship event, is keeping the 13-year-old twins on their toes with an outstanding performance over the first two days of the regatta to lay third.

In April the Sills’ both medalled at the European Championships, Saskia claiming silver and Imogen bronze but after admitting their pleasure with their current placings they conceded the standard of competition was so high they could not take anything for granted for the rest of the week.

Saskia said: “The standard’s really improved even since the Europeans. Marta Maggetti from Italy who is fourth overall at the moment has really come through since then and Emma is sailing so well as well. She’s been really good but that’s great because that competition just keeps you on your toes.”

Imogen added: “We expected the Israeli girls to be strong and they were really good in the lighter winds yesterday but it’s also great to see girls here from countries like the USA and Singapore racing in the Under 17s because that means more girls are windsurfing around the world, which is good for the sport.”

Emma said: “I didn’t really know what to expect at this event but I’ve surprised myself with my performance so far, I’ve been really pleased and I’m enjoying the challenge of competing against the best girls in the World. My aim for this week was to get experience for next year’s Worlds and be selected for the RYA National Junior Squad so I’m hoping I can keep my performances going for the rest of the week.”


2009 Irish Slalom Series 

August 15th and 16th saw the Irish Slalom Series travel to Co.Cork for Round 5 of what has been a fantastic year so far. With wind at every event this year Cork would prove no different. Saturday morning dawned with a fresh SW breeze.

The ISS team hit the road at 7am in search of the most suitable beach. With insufficient breeze in Coolmaine, the event was moved to GarryLucas. By 9am, local event organiser Pearse Geaney was kitting out the beach for the days racing.
With registration complete and the beach awash with colourful sails, competitors were summoned to the briefing. Many local sailors took the opportunity to enter there first event, while Gartan OEC’s John Boycee ensured Ireland’s top young sailors made the 9 hour trip from Downings.  Race officer, Greg Day explained the race course to the 51 strong fleet.

The gold fleet course was a 4 mark downwind course, while the silver fleet battled it out on a shorter course. The silver fleet aided by their gold fleet buddies kicked off the racing on the button at 11am.

Four back to back races were completed by both fleets in the morning session. The wind on the course varied from 12 to 18 knots. As a result the majority of the fleet were on their biggest kit. Local man Pearse Geaney took three bullets in the morning session. Notable performances were also seen from Maurice Owens, Fintan Day and Danny Mulryan. 

The short legs provided for some exciting action, with any mistakes resulting in quick punishment. Consistent gybes were a must for a top ten finish.  The silver fleet also saw some great racing. It was evident that certain members had been training hard since Downings.  Glen Worden led the silver fleet, however Paul Reid and Paul Green were hot on his heels.  Alison Beirne made her presence felt amongst the men by taking second place in race 4.

After a tough morning session on the water competitors were rewarded with tasty Cully & Sully soup and some tasty Ballymaloe relish topped bread. While competitors enjoyed the break, Greg was quickly back out on the water adjusting the course to the shifting breeze. Several more races were completed in the afternoon session. The inconsistent winds caused several races to be abandoned. Some new faces were seen at the top of the silver fleet notably Martin Savage, Kevin Cunningham and Dave Minton. The more challenging winds saw Hannes Louett and Tom Slomski take some great results in the gold fleet.

Saturday evening saw the crew gather in Hamlets of Kinsale. A tasty BBQ was enjoyed by all. As the nite progressed Kinsale lived up to its reputation for good food and great nightlife. Sailors were then escorted by event organiser Pearse, to his local nite club Bacchus, where dodgy dancing in flowery shirts continued into the wee hours.


NeilPryde Baltic Cup 

Baltic's most important Formula windsurfing competitions NeilPryde Baltic Cup 2009 finals will be held from August 28th to 30th in Estonia. The competition will kick off on Friday, August 28th. All participants are welcomed to join the training already on Thursday afternoon.

Over the summer there have been three Neilpryde Baltic Cup competition in series. First in Lithuania, then in Latvia, after that in Finland and the finals will take place in Estonia this weekend. After the three stages the leader of the race is 2009 Masters World Champion Martin Ervin (EST-202) who has has won all three previous races. Until now there has been just one Estonian Erno Kaasik (EST-2) who has won this competition. He has been victorious for four times. All the other times the title has been given to Latvians. Today it looks like the the 2009 title will stay in Estonia.

The second place is held by Toomas Mölder (EST-44) and third place by Johannes Ahun (EST-99). As after the finals there will be one discard, the last years champion, Latvian Janis Preiss (LAT-23) who is holding 3rd place in Formula Windsurfing world ranking, will probably rise from the 9th place to fight for a medal.

Within this competition there will also be a local rankings for Estonian and Finnish 2009 Formula Champions and best local Neilpryde RS:X and Techno 293 competitors.

We are hoping to get crowd also from aboard as there shall apply RRS - WCR low points scoring system. And as always there will be an aftersurf at the beach and tour to best nightclub.