Local UKWA 2019 champ waves goodbye to windsurfing for A-level year

Battling against a strong wind when you’re walking or riding a bike is tough enough but when you have a 17ft sail in your hands and a surfboard capable of over 30 knots (35mph), it’s time to ride the wave of adrenalin and get your head in the zone.

Sam and his UKWA Coastal Champion trophies
Sam and his UKWA Coastal Champion trophies

9th October 2019 — For the second year in a row, Eastbourne College sixth former and GBR windsurfer, Sam Williams, has won the United Kingdom Windsurfing Association (UKWA) coastal series after a testing final race-day at Herne Bay on the weekend.

The weekend of racing pitched competitors against two extremes of the weather spectrum, with light winds on the Saturday, and near gale force winds on the Sunday which saw two thirds of the fleet retire because they couldn’t hold their kit on the water.

Taking second place, with a single point separating him from first, Sam carved his way through to an overall season win thanks to his consistent performances across a number of events around the UK, including: Stokes Bay in Hampshire, Christchurch, Weymouth in Dorset, Pwhelli in Wales and Bridlington, Yorkshire.

Being crowned coastal champion two years in a row marks the pinnacle of seven years’ of racing at Junior and Youth level for Sam as he turns 18 next month. Over the past 7 years he has won several national titles and been selected to represent the British Sailing Team's National Junior and Youth Squad's for the European and World Championships in the RS:X Olympic Class. In 2016 he was the London and South East Royal Yachting Association sailor of the year.

Sam is now taking a break from windsurfing to focus entirely on his A-level studies but he hasn’t given up altogether. After A-levels he plans to enter into the relatively new and exciting world of windfoiling, a surface water sport which sees competitors using the wind to create hydrodynamic lift, travelling above the water at speeds approaching 60 mph.

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