It is now even easier for RYA Team15 (T15) clubs to enter the inter-club zone championships this summer thanks to a few rule changes which allow even more children to take part.
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For participants who turn 15 halfway through the season, the new rules state that they will now be able to take part in all four of the T15 Zone Championships including the national T15 Champions Cup.
The 2010 season will also see a change to one of the sail size fleets; the 5.5m fleet will change to a 5.8m fleet which will be the maximum sail size that can be used. It will still remain an open fleet, allowing any board to be sailed and the Techno Award will still be presented to the winning Techno sailor outside of the top three.
This year, RYA Zone Squad Sailors who are members of T15 clubs can represent their team in an appropriate class of any of the four T15 sail size fleets, though the rule remains that they must sail a Techno; this includes squad sailors who have previously sailed a 7.8m sail in other competitions.
Finally, if a T15 sailor improves their sailing sufficiently throughout the season and is selected for the RYA National Junior Windsurfing Squad, then providing their team qualifies, they can now continue to represent their team at the Team15 Champions Cup. However, the exclusion rule still remains for existing National Junior Windsurfing Squad Sailors and ex-National Junior Windsurfing Squad Sailors, who are ineligible to complete.
RYA’s Windsurfing Development Officer Gillian Wright says: 'Team15 continues to evolve in order to make the programme stronger and even more successful. We listen to feedback from Team15 clubs throughout the season and take this into account at the end of season review meeting. We hope the rule changes for 2010 will encourage more T15 clubs to field a team at their local events, whilst also helping sailors to progress to the next level of the competition pathway when it is appropriate to do so.'
For more information, parents and coaches are encouraged to read both the T-15 inter-club ‘Notice of Race’ and ‘Sailing Instructions’ before every event which can be found at www.team15.org.uk.
Supported by industry leaders Neilson, Tushingham/Starboard, Windsurf magazine, Boards magazine, Neil Pryde and Boardwise, T15 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 T15 clubs all over the country for kids up to the age of 15, which are run weekly by specialist RYA coaches. The T15 inter-club championships takes place regionally over the summer culminating in the national final , the T15 Champions Cup, adding a competitive edge and race training opportunities for those keen to hone their skills.
Kit can be borrowed from the clubs and the cost of sessions is kept low – to find out how to get involved and your local club visit www.team15.org.uk or contact the RYA on 0845 345 0400.