Kestrels take off with windsurfing prizes

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Windsurfing youngsters from Kielder Kestrels are already winning medals in only their first full season.

On Sunday, the juniors from Kielder Water Sailing Club joined junior windsurfers from around the RYA North Zone as the fleets took part in round two of the RYA North Zone Team15 Inter-Club Championship.

The event, hosted by North Lincs and Humberside Sailing Club, was the second event out of four in this year’s Team15 Competition.

The windsurfers, all 15 or under, sail for their local team and the team with the best score at the end of the summer wins the RYA North Zone Team15 Inter-Club Championship, earning a place in the national final, the Team15 Champions Cup.

Twelve-year-old Archie Dodd from Crawcrook achieved his second Team15 win in succession for the Kestrels. Already winner of the 3.5m class at Derwent Reservoir last month, Archie won four races out of eight on Sunday to take the 3.5m crown. Fellow Kestrel, 14-year-old Jane Valance from Bedale, North Yorkshire, won five races out of seven to take the overall honours in the 4.5m class.

Other northern competitors also did well. Sailing for the Coquet Crushers team from Amble, 15-year-old Gustavo and 12-year-old Leo Takiguichi from Morpeth, came third and second respectively in the 5.8m and 4.5m classes.

Aaron Hobb, also sailing for the Coquet Crushers, came third in the 4.5m fleet and Jessica Waugh came third in the 3.5m fleet for the Derwent Devils.

The RYA Team15 programme is now in its 12th year and was set up to make windsurfing more accessible and appealing to youngsters at a grass roots level.

North East teams taking part this year include: Derwent Devils (Derwent Reservoir Sailing Club); Coquet Crushers (Coquet Shorebase Trust); Kielder Kestrels (Kielder Water Sailing Club).

The teams will all meet up again in the third round of this year’s championship which takes place at Kielder Water Sailing Club on Sunday, July 14.

Fun and informal training sessions take place at T15 clubs all over the country for kids up to the age of 15, which are run weekly by specialist RYA coaches. Kit can be borrowed from the clubs and the cost of sessions is kept low.

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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