Mon 13 May. Sport. The Axbridge Animals windsurf team blow away the opposition on the choppy waters of Portsmouth
Axbridge Animals took a first step towards inclusion in the national Team15 Champions Cup when the young team took victory in the opening event of the 2013 Team15 (T15) South Zone Inter-Club Championship which took place in Portland last Saturday (04 May).
35 young windsurfers converged at the Official Test Centre UK, located in the grounds of the Weymouth and Portland National Sailing Academy, home of T15’s newest team Will’s Weymouth Warriors, who hosted the event.
Samuel Anstey from Will’s Weymouth Warriors, put in a stunning performance to win the 4.5 fleet on his first ever team15 event, contributing to the team’s second placing overall. Despite their success he said, “It didn’t matter where we came, it was our first ever event and we were loving it.” The Oxford Zoomers made up the trio on the podium with their third position overall.
The windsurfing teams, which came from Dorset, Devon and neighbouring counties, included the three top teams plus the Academy Allstars from Poole, the Calshot Flyers and Queen Mary Skimmers.
“Portland Harbour is a great place for windsurfing,” commented Team15 Coordinator Tessa Ingram. “The youngsters were sailing on the same circuit that last year hosted the London 2012 Games, where our very own Nick Dempsey won Silver.”
In challenging conditions with winds as high as 25 knots earlier in the day, all the sailors showed huge determination and fantastic skills to get around the course. There were four highly competitive races on a triangle course, with a master blaster blast across the legendary Weymouth speed strip to finish a great day’s sailing. Lauren Goodall scored a win in all her races in the 6.9m class while Frankie Brown and Mollie Densley-Robins also put in impressive performances. All three were part of the dominant Axbridge Animals team.
The youngsters competed in four different windsurfing classes, 3.5m, 4.5m, 5.8m and 6.8m, with their performances counting towards the team results. At the end of the season the team with the best score will win a place in the Team15 Champions Cup final.
T15 is an initiative set up by the RYA to help make windsurfing more accessible and appealing to youngsters at grass roots level. The Team15 Inter-Club Championships takes place regionally over the summer across the UK adding a competitive edge and race training for those keen to hone their skills.
To get involved with Team15 and locate your nearest local club visit www.team15.org.uk or contact the RYA 0845 345 0400.
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