Spray Sprites make waves in national contest

Members of the Spray Sprites Team 15 squad celebrate their success at the National Windsurfing ChampionshipsYOUNG windsurfers from East Sussex showed their class after achieving a top-three ranking in a national competition.

Spray Sprites, based at the East Sussex County Council-run Spray Water Sports Centre in Eastbourne, finished third in the Royal Yachting Association (RYA) Team 15 National Windsurfing Championships.

The team, made up of 14 members aged between 11 and 15, beat their previous highest finish of fourth in the contest after competing against 17 teams from around the country.

After weeks of frantic training and organisation, the team headed up to the East Midlands for the event, held in the picturesque setting of Rutland Water.

The Sprites’ appearance in the competition was the culmination of four inter-club events around the south east, whereby teams from across the region competed for a spot on the national stage.

Head coach Oli Richardson said: “I am really pleased for the team, who have worked so hard. Our aim was to beat previous results and not only have we done this, but we’ve done it convincingly.

“The team thoroughly deserves the first place finish, having got better and better as the season has progressed and dominating the inter-club events.

“I’d like to say a big thank you to the parents for their support and help with getting kit to and from the events over the year. It wouldn’t have been possible without their help.”

Team members earning plaudits at the event included Lucas Hay, who finished in second place overall and Jess Williams, who picked up the Techno award for being the first girl in her class on a Techno, a youth and junior Olympic pathway one design class race board.

Meanwhile, Louis Walker and Max Ryan came second and third respectively in their 3.5m open class, while Sam Williams finished second overall in his class on a Techno.

Team 15 is an RYA initiative aimed at introducing youngsters aged 15 to windsurfing. The junior squad meets at Spray Water Sports Centre, in Royal Parade, on Tuesday evenings throughout the summer and on Saturday mornings until December.

The centre also offers RYA courses in sailing, windsurfing, first aid training and power boating for juniors and adults, as well as kayaking and body-boarding for juniors.

More information is available by calling 01323 417023, emailing spray.watersports@eastsussex.gov.uk or online at www.eastsussex.gov.uk/leisureandtourism/sport/clubs/watersports/spray