A talented young windsurfer from Eastbourne has picked up a coveted award at the RYA Regional Youth Champion Awards in London.
15-year-old Sam Williams, from the Buzz Active Centre, was presented as the London and South East Champion, one of nine regional winners from across the UK. He was selected as a winner by the RYA London and South East regional committee.
Sam has been windsurfing at Buzz Active for seven years. After progressing from RYA Team15 events where he dominated the race course with the Spray Sprites, and following some intensive coaching and race training with the RYA, 2016 saw Sam compete at national UKWA and RYA events across the country. He won the final Techno regatta of the year at Stokes Bay to finish sixth in the sea series, and was overall winner of the inland series. He also won the Eric Twiname Championships Techno class.
He was chosen to represent the UK in the Techno windsurfer class at both the European championships in Poland and the World Championships at Lake Garda in Italy.
Sam was selected for the RYA National Junior Squad over winter and is travelling the country to take part in the training events. He recently received a grant from the South East Youth Training Fund - a small charity associated with the RYA in the South East to support youth development.
Sam said on receiving his award, “It's been a great year, transitioning from being an RYA Team15 racer to an international racer. I had no idea any of this was possible. I'd really like to thank my local RYA club 'Buzz Active" and the John Merrick Sailing Trust who have both been really supportive together with the RYA Zone and National Squad coaches.”
RYA Director of Sport Development, Alistair Dickson, said, "We are delighted to recognize the achievements of the Regional Youth Champions, who have all shown lots of hard work, sacrifice and determination to do well in the sport. The Awards also help to emphasize the endless support of our many volunteers who work so hard at the club level to give our young sailors the best possible start to their future sailing careers."