Words and pics: RYA
Last week saw a healthy bunch of youth RS:X and Techno class windsurfers descend on Hayling Island Sailing Club (HISC) to do battle at the Youth National Champs.
The event spanned five full days and included 12 different fleets. 379 sailors in all were tested to the full across a variety of different conditions. Windsurfing UK got teh low down of what happened in the two windsurfing classes.
Windsurfer Andy Brown (WPNSA/Largs) stole the show not only in the RS:X fleet but also in the championship, counting an unprecedented 12-bullets to end his week with the lowest possible points. This gives Brown, who been training with the Podium Potential Pathway squad, his second Youth Nationals title as he proved unstoppable all week.
“It feels fantastic to have won again. I knew yesterday I had done it so it’s been great fun today with no pressure at all,” explained Brown.
“It’s been challenging and I’ve been pushed by everyone at points but it’s been great,” he said. “I’ve learnt a lot from it, so it’s been a good week.”
The battle for the lower podium spots continued up until the last race, but it was Josh Carey (WPNSA) who ended his regatta with silver and bronze for Isaac Lines (Toward SC).
It was a second gold for Scottish windsurfers as Erin Watson (Loch Insh) took the girls’ title. Wrapping up her regatta with a 2,3 Watson finished fifth overall in the RS:X fleet. Lily Young (WPNSA) took silver for the second year running and Islay Watson finished third girl.
After crossing the line and securing her title, Watson smiled: “It was a really good event and I’m really happy with how it went. It’s been light winds most of the time which are my sort of conditions, but we’ve also had a range with new conditions to work in which has been really fun.”
At the first Youth Nationals for the Techno fleet, Finn Hawkins (Porthpean SC) took the regatta win after taking two bullets on the final day of racinf. The podium was completed by James Bulson (Croft Farm) in second and Ethan Moody (Oxford SC) third.
Hawkins described a tricky last race: “It was a good but hard last two races, especially with the tide downwind.
“It feels great to have won. The whole event has been a really good experience and a great vibe,” he continued.
Izzy Adcock (WPNSA) dominated the girls’ fleet from the go to walk away with the win and fourth overall.
Adcock, relieved to have taken event honours, said: “It’s a relief to have finished after a good but tiring week.”
Emily-Jane Eldred (Queen Mary SC) pipped Zoe Bassett (Bristol Corinthian YC) to silver by a mere one-point to complete the girls’ podium.
Mark Nicholls, Event Director, said: “It’s been an absolutely fantastic week at Hayling Island.
“The club and the volunteers are outstanding and have really supported a wonderful event.
“The weather has cooperated and the standard of sailing has been the highest I think I’ve ever seen. It’s been a brilliant event.
“I look forward to welcoming you all to Largs next year.”