Hythe Hotshots, based at Hythe and Saltwood Sailing Club in Kent beat eight other regional team finalists to claim the new youth windsurfing championship Cup. Local team, Bosworth Bullets, from Bosworth Sailing Club, Warwickshire, finished second with Team Astbury from Cheshire taking third.
What makes Hythe Hotshots win even more impressive is that, unlike some of their competitors, they did not enter a full team of 15 competitors. Only seven members could attend the two day competition, but with one competitor only able to compete for the first day, the team were understandably nervous going into the last day.
Hythe Hotshots coach, Mark BROOKS said, 'I am extremely proud of the Hythe Hotshots win, especially as our team was smaller than some of our competitors. They have been working hard all season, putting in many hours of practice out on the water and thoroughly deserve to win T15 National Champions Cup - it is all the more special at it is the first year this competition has been run. This weekend has allowed the kids to compete on a national level and who knows perhaps the next World Champion is amongst the Hythe Hotshots.'
Individual honours were also up for grabs with trophies and prizes for the top three windsurfers in each board classification. Hythe Hotshots members gained individual glory with first places in both the 4.5m and 5.5m board classifications. Teammates also scored highly with second places in the 5.5m fleet and 3.5m fleet as well as third in the latter. Whilst Bosworth Bullets wiped the board in the 6.6m fleet claiming all top three places and as well as third spot in the 4.5m fleet.
Competition was tight at the top of the 6.6m fleet leader board. Chris HIGHAM, James DAVENPORT and Lewis ROBINSON, Bosworth Bullets regulars shared the top three spots respectively. After discards, HIGHAM claimed victory in all his races and with one second place took the overall title. DAVENPORT managed to clinch victory twice but could not keep up with HIGHAM, and finished second behind his team mate four times to be placed second overall. ROBINSON took first place in the last race of the day to claim third.
In the 5.5m board fleet, 13 year old Sam LATHAM won all nine races in his fleet to claim overall individual glory. LATHAM said on his victory, 'I recently won the RYA Youth and Masters 2005 [5.5m fleet], but winning as a team is even more exciting.'
In the 4.5m fleet, a thrilled Hythe Hotshots member, eleven year old Jack BROOKS won every race (after discards), on his joint win he said, 'I have had a great time here this weekend and it doesn't get any better to win individually as well taking the team title.'
Adam PURCELL, from Team Astbury, blew the rest of the competition away in the 3.5m fleet, securing the 3.5m title with four first places and two second spots.
British Formula Windsurfing Champion, Keith ATKINSON, as the first T15 Ambassador, presented the trophy to the team who also take away a brand new BIC293 O.D. Design windsurfing board and a Naish Ripper sail - kindly donated from Ultrasport/BIC and Naish UK - worth over £1,000. Previous T15 members, Ali MASTERS now 2005 World Champion in the under 15 Bic Techno O.D fleet and Dave WOODS, silver medallist in the same class presented the prizes to the trophy winners. Goodie bags containing windsurfing gear, backpacks and T-shirts, kindly donated from Ultrsport/Neil Pryde, Starboard/Tushingham, 604 Distribution and Nash UK were given to all competitors.
Gillian HORNE, RYA National Windsurfing Development Officer said, 'This is the first year we have run the Champions Cup and the weekend has proved to be very successful. Not only did young windsurfers come from all over the UK to compete in the various board classifications, but we also ran coaching sessions from experienced instructors for those youngsters who didn't qualify, but who came along to learn new skills. In total over 100 children took to the water over the weekend.'
Team15 (T15) is a RYA youth sport initiative encouraging young people aged 15 and under to learn to windsurf. The T15 clubs have a great mix of girls and boys of all ages. The clubs are really friendly and all safety aspects are taken care of - the sessions are run at RYA approved centres with RYA trained instructors and T15 coaches. Equipment is available if you do not have your own but advanced booking is essential. Whether you windsurf already or fancy learning, your local club would love to hear from you - so what are you waiting for? Visit the website for further information - www.team15.org.uk - you'll find all the T15 clubs listed in 'THE ZONE ZONE'.