Eastbourne windsurfer awarded vital kit

Sam Williams, windsurfing SUS-150212-130432001
Sam Williams, windsurfing SUS-150212-130432001

A talented young windsurfer from Eastbourne has been given a huge boost to his ambitions of competing in Europe after being given his own board by a sailing charity.

Sam Williams, 14, was given the new board by the John Merricks Sailing Trust as part of a national scheme to improve the sport by the Royal Yachting Association (RYA).

Sam, who sails with the Spray Sprites windsurfing club based at Buzz Active on Royal Parade, was chosen to win a new windsurfing board after impressing at the South East windsurfing championships in September.

Sam said, “I love windsurfing, it’s the best feeling ever. It is exhilarating and one of the best bits is sharing the amazing experience with my friends. We have a laugh and it’s an excellent sport. The ultimate feeling comes with the adrenalin rush you get at the start of a race, especially on the start line with 30 seconds to go and then you are off.

“Planing gives me the best feeling ever, skimming across the water as if you are lighter than air!

“Having my own board means I can practice my skills whenever the weather conditions are good as I can sail outside of club times with my dad to practice.”

Sam has not owned his own windsurfing board before and has had to borrow kit from Spray Sprites to practice.

Sam said, “I’m sure more time on the water will help me to improve even further. In two years’ time I would love to have been successful at regional and national level in different windsurfing class fleets but also to have competed at European and World competitions.”

Sam has been a committed Spray Sprites windsurfer for more than four years and was made the club’s team captain.

He has also regularly performed well at national competitions and was recently chosen for a team representing the East and the South East for 2015-16, which is the first rung on the ladder towards Olympic Classes sailing

Sam’s dad, Julian, himself a windsurfer, said, “Each year Sam has pushed himself to the next level. He hasn’t missed a regional Team15 event in three years, always attends team training on Tuesday evenings and Saturday mornings and regularly goes to the club to try to get in extra training.

“He encourages new members to the team and is always seen helping others with carrying their kit, or with rigging or general sailing advice.

“His recent successes have inspired both of us to the point we will try to find a way to help him go to the Bic Techno World Championships in 2016. Buzz Active is an excellent club with really inspiring coaches, who are always willing to help all their windsurfers with reaching their full potential.”

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