Auckland 

The Auckland Windsurfing Association is now ready to be officially formed.

The aim is to incorporate the Association. Incorporation means that the Association’s property (money, rescue boat? website, buoys, trophies etc) will in future be held by the Association instead of by the members for the time being. The Association can also then enter contracts and open a bank account.

The members will only have to pay their subscriptions and can not become liable for any debts or liability the Association may incur.

Tim Wood and Marilyn, Dan Thomas and I have been working on the preliminary paperwork that is needed to incorporate. This has included the preparation of a draft set of rules.

We now need to have an initial meeting with 15 people in attendance to

* resolve to incorporate,
* approve the rules and
* decide who will be the first members of the committee, being:
o President
o Vice President
o Secretary
o Treasurer
* choose who will fill the additional committee positions that the rules provide.

This initial meeting is not the AGM. That will be held in July or August to give the Committee some time to meet and discuss initiatives and set up things like the website, registration forms and to T-up other membership benefits. Its likely that membership fees will be around $35 per annum.
The Association will aim to offer great membership benefits and a voice for windsurfers in the wider Auckland area. Lobbying for preservation of our favourite windsurfing spots, membership discounts, parking exemptions at locations such at Takapuna boat ramp, coastguard and gear insurance discounts, education, social events, competitions, demo days and many other are on the cards.

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George Bowles 

Young gun George Bowles claimed a notable scalp as he won the RS:X boys’ windsurfing title ahead of Ali Masters.

With both boys finishing tied on exactly the same points and with exactly the same scores from their five races, the 16-year-old from Brigg landed the top spot on account of beating Masters, 17, in the fifth, and what turned out to be final, race. Masters took silver for the second year running while Connor Bainbridge, 15, finished third.

Holsworthy’s Izzy Hamilton, 16, is now a double RYA Youth National champion after convincingly following up her debut success at Pwllheli last year with RS:X girls’ gold again in Scotland. There was also medal joy for Sophie Bailey from Bude who took silver having missed last year’s event with a shoulder injury while Claudia Carney claimed bronze.

“Although this event has also acted as the selection trial for the ISAF Youth Worlds, the Championships have not been all about the Youth Worlds. There are many talented sailors on the Programme and we plan to work very closely with them in the next few months to develop their medal-winning potential for the various forthcoming class European and World championships.”  

The Volvo Youth Sailing ISAF World Championships this year take place in Buzios, Brazil and the British team for the Youth Worlds will be announced later today (Friday 17 April). The only exception is the Hobie 16 class which has not competed at Largs and whose primary selection event will be Eurocat in Carnac (1-3 May).

Ali Masters 

The battle for windsurfing supremacy is hotting up as George Bowles and Ali Masters sit neck and neck in pole position after day two of the RYA Volvo Youth National Championships and Trials at Largs Sailing Club.

With blustery, wet conditions testing the sailors to the max, it was 16-year-old Bowles from Brigg that enjoyed the best return from today’s three RS:X races (Tues 14 April) to ensure that 2008 European RS:X Youth silver medallist Masters was not going to have everything his own way in the Youth Nationals gold quest.

With Masters, 17, heading the overnight leaderboard, Bowles posted scores of 2, 2, 1 to Masters’ 3, 1, 2 to put them level on nine points apiece after five races.

However, Bowles, who only stepped up to the RS:X board from the smaller Bic Techno last September, is not getting carried away by his early regatta success.

He said: “I’m definitely really pleased with the way things have gone so far; my goal for the week was just to try to do the basics right. It was very gusty today and my consistency is probably the thing that’s pleased me most so far and that’s what I’ll be looking to carry on for the rest of the week.

“My first event on the RS:X board was only last September so I have surpassed my expectations after the first two days but we’re not even halfway through yet and there is still a long week ahead.”

With Skandia Team GBR star and double World and Olympic champion Sarah Ayton surveying the courses on selector duty, Holsworthy’s Izzy Hamilton, 16, boasts a comfortable lead in the girls’ RS:X courtesy of her 4, 3, 3 today. Claudia Carney, who sat just a point behind Hamilton after day one suffered with an on-course side (OCS) call against her today to fall behind Sophie Bailey who now sits in second.

Unfortunately 2007 RYA Youth National champion Kirsten O’Callaghan’s event could be over after she sustained a serious looking calf injury in the opening race of today.

Racing resumes tomorrow with the first warning signal scheduled for 10.55am with HRH The Princess Royal in attendance at the event tomorrow.