WINDSURFING youngsters are leaving Eastbourne to try their luck at the national final of a watersports cup.
Eastbourne-based outfit the Spray Sprites recently won the regional final of the Royal Yachting Association (RYA) Team15 Champions Cup to qualify for the national surf-off this weekend.
The team will travel to Northampton to take on more than 100 others windsurfers during the two day competition.
Each surfer is under 16 and members of the Eastbourne team will take part in four different classes – the 3.5m, 4.5m, 5.8m and Techno 6.8m categories.
The Spray Sprites, who sail at Spray Watersports here in Eastbourne, earned their place in the final by winning a series of highly competitive heats which took place throughout the region this summer.
The Sprites beat teams from as far afield as Hythe and Redhill on their way to being crowned south east regional champions – securing their place in the national final.
Craig Coupe, who is the chief instructor at Spray Watersports, said, “The team have worked very hard this year. The squad is full of regular sailors and this shows in all their sailing.
“Although there is the pressure of the national event I know that Spray Sprites will ultimately have fun which is the aim of Team15.”
Team15 was set up by the RYA to help make windsurfing more accessible and appealing to youngsters at a grass roots level.
Fun and informal training sessions take place at clubs all over the country for youngsters up to the age of 15 and the T15 inter-club championship takes place each year to add a competitive edge and race training for those keen to hone their skills. Kit can be borrowed from the clubs and the cost of each session is kept low.
RYA national windsurfing development officer Gillian Wright, who organises the competition, said, “We are very excited about the Team15 Champions Cup this year, it’s always a fantastic weekend with a fun yet competitive atmosphere.
For many youngsters and parents this will be their first taste of competing at a national regatta.
“With changes to the zones this year, new teams and plenty of new faces it will be really exciting to see which windsurfing team will be crown the champions