Kind weather for latest battle on water

Gustavo Takiguchi at the RYA Team15 junior windsurfing event held at Kielder
Gustavo Takiguchi at the RYA Team15 junior windsurfing event held at Kielder

Kielder Water showed its kindest face on Sunday when junior windsurfers from clubs as far away as Lincolnshire met at Kielder for the third meeting of the RYA Team15 Inter-Club Championship.

With a south-westerly breeze and a cloudless sky, conditions on Europe’s largest man-made lake could not have been better.

The young windsurfers, all of whom are 15 years of age 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.

Teams competing at Kielder were: Coquet Crushers (Amble); Kielder Kestrels (Kielder Water); Derwent Devils (Durham); Pugneys Pirates (Wakefield); North Lincs Invaders (Barton on Humber).

In the 3.5m class, Kielder Kestrel star, 12-year-old Archie Dodd from Crawcrook in Durham, was just toppled off the top slot by 11-year-old Katelynd Smith, from Wakefield’s Pugneys Pirates team.

The Kielder Kestrels triumphed in the 4.5m class, however, with Jane Vallance, 14, from Bedale, bringing the Kestrel flag home in first place, followed by 13-year-old Leonardo Takiguchi (second) and 13-year-old Aaron Hobb (third), both sailing for the Coquet Crushers.

The Pugneys Pirates team sailed off with all the honours in the 5.8m fleet as first, second and third places went to youngsters from Yorkshire.

In the 6.8m class, Coquet Crusher 15-year-old Gustavo Takiguchi was just beaten by one point to come second behind RYA Team15 Ambassador and Pugneys Pirate, Joe Thompson from Halifax. Third place went to fellow Pugneys Pirate, 15-year-old Oliver Anderson from York.

Merit awards for effort went to Euan Davis (Derwent Devils), Maya McGarvey (Coquet Crushers) and Luke Stewart (Kielder Kestrels).

This was the first Team15 event to be held on the lake and the hosts, Kielder Water Sailing Club are looking forward to many more, although matching Sunday’s weather on future occasions might be more difficult.

The overall winning team was Pugneys Pirates, who, having won the team prize at all three zone events this summer, now go on to compete in the final event on their home waters at Wakefield on Sunday, September 15, already wearing the zone winners crown.

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