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|Boards News - CONNOR NAMED N.E.W.S. CHAMPION
|Date: 11:23 12th November 2005
Taking the Leap of faith from T15 to
UKWA Racing isn't as difficult
as it may appear...
Connor Bainbridge, GBR 678, who is sponsored by Seasprite Sports,
Sails & RRD boards, Surfstore and Red Nemesis Dog, was named
N.E.W.S. Youth & Junior Race Champion for 2005 at the RYA
Super 8 event
at Derwent Reservoir in October.
Connor, aged 12, has only been windsurfing for 2 and a half years
2004 started racing in the RYA T15 initiative having formed the
Hurricanes T15 team with his younger brother, Kai.
After his first season of T15, Connor had caught the racing bug,
with the T15 circuit offering 'only' 4 race days a year, the
on to find more opportunities to race, but without having to
length and breadth of the UK.
Fortunately, the North East Wind Surfers Association (N.E.W.S.),
is affiliated with the RYA, and which has been established since
organise 7 race events each year, attracting a broad range of ages
sailing abilities, including the likes of Alan Jackson and Andy
from Scotland and Richard Hamilton and Alex Griffith from England.
N.E.W.S crew, are a friendly, nomadic group of passionate
who enjoy racing in some of the most stunning inland locations in
England and have a robust philosophy in terms of keeping it simple
For a 12 year old, moving from T15 events to racing alongside some
the UK's best sailors may seem a daunting prospect, however, the
is that the Regional racing circuit is populated with a broad
passionate windsurfers who are incredibly supportive of young
Each race follows a standard format, starting with an upwind leg
usually followed by a tour of the remaining buoys, which is great
training for future National and International events. Advice and
are in abundance after each race, with the more experienced
completely open to handing over their winning tips and techniques.
the N.E.W.S. events there is no strict ruling about board type or
size, which means everyone can join in and use the most
they have for the conditions on the day.
Having experienced T15 and Regional events, the time has now come
Connor to enter the UKWA circuit in 2006. Without the experience
racing in regional events the prospect might have been too
consider, however, because the format of the events and the
are competing are often the same, then the move up the competition
ladder will be smooth.
A first taste of UKWA racing in the Free Formula class at
September, confirmed that windsurfers are some of the friendliest
on the planet (at least while they are windsurfing!) and that the
from T15 to UKWA is not so difficult to make.
Connor is a team rider for Seasprite Sports and benefits from
with Ezzy Infinity sails, which have removable cams, this means
can set his sails to suit the conditions across a broad range of
conditions. With the cams in place, the sails are incredibly
easily driving a Formula or Long-board onto the plane in lower
speeds. In higher winds, the cams can be taken out to give a
softer sail characteristic, whilst still enjoying all the power
available from a more variable wind.
Many thanks to the RYA for the T15 concept, which has inspired so
To learn more about the challenges facing a windsurfing junior
to get the most out of the sport, visit www.rednemesisdog,com,
about Ezzy Sails and RRD boards visit www.seaspritesports.comand
the best mail order service in the UK visit www.surfstore.co.uk''
Young Gunz introduce….Connor Bainbridge
Connor Bainbridge has been windsurfing for 3 years. He has
just got his first kit sponsorship deal with Ezzy and RRD as
well as being supported by Surfstore.
Connor going all Gecko on us!
|Started Windsurfing (with
3 years ago
Halifax Sailing Club
|How did he start?:
Connor is one of four in the Bainbridge clan. He started
windsurfing when he was 7 years old on a BIC Veloce 328. All
four kids now windsurf through the Team 15 scheme but it was
Connor who really put all his time and energy into getting
better and was planing in the harness and straps by the end of
his first season.
Competition: Connor has
just finished his second season racing in the Team15 North Zone
where he has been consistently in the top 3 but his passion is
freestyle. He has also competed in the N.E.W.S (North East
Windsurfers) events this year, again coming
consistently first or second in the Junior & Youth fleets.
Short Term Goals: Connor
wants to make it onto the RYA regional and then national racing
squads and has attended both Calshot and Rutland RYA residential
courses this year. He will compete in the UKWA Freewave &
Racing events in 2006 so Connor will be taken to Rhosneigr most
weekends (weather permitting) by his Dad for some wave practice.
No doubt Dad will be practicing too. Cunning, very cunning!!
Long term plans:
Ultimately he wants to represent Britain as a windsurfer,
but also get into the UKWA/PWA circuit. His hero is Robby Swift.
We will be keeping in touch with Connor to see how his winter
training is going and then how he fairs come the 2006
Connor and his new Ezzy/RRD kit.
LISTEN UP!! If you want
to follow in Connor’s footsteps then go to www.team15.com
and find your nearest T15 Club and get up, get into and get
going on that windsurf board. Who knows where it will take you.
News - THE UK'S YOUNGEST SPONSORED SAILOR?
Date: 13:15 6th September 2005
THE UK'S YOUNGEST SPONSORED SAILOR?
Ezzy and RRD Sponsor UK 11
year old junior sailor
After attending the first UKWA Youth and Junior Freewave Clinic,
in August 2004, Connor Bainbridge from West Yorkshire returned
home to Halifax with a head full of advice, information and
The Freewave clinic was created by Trevor and Linda Funnell for
young windsurfers following the tragic death of their son Andy,
and is supported by the UK’s windsurfing community, including
many distributors, coaches, and professional sailors and of course
Spot on Water. This year’s event, which Connor also attended,
saw a 50% increase in sailors attending, proving that Windsurfing
is flourishing in the youth and junior fleets.
How to get sponsorship’ had been the subject of a 2 hour
coaching session at the 2004 event, and ‘personal presentation
and self marketing’ was obviously important, so… Connor worked
hard to build his own windsurfing website (with some help from his
father) and the windsurfing section of www.rednemesisdog.com was created. Then, he diligently
researched the distributors in the UK, wrote an email to them and
using the website as his marketing tool he asked for sponsorship.
Seasprite Sports, who are the UK importers for Ezzy sails and RRD
boards decided to give Connor a chance. They were looking for a
sailor in the North East of England and despite his limited
experience and age they decided to sponsor him for the 2005/6
season as he was clearly in windsurfing for the long term.
At age 11, in the very confusing world of UK junior windsurfing,
it is very difficult to know where to focus your energies to get
the maximum input and fun from the sport once you have learned to
plane in the straps and harness. The T15 initiative was his first
induction into organized windsurfing, swiftly followed by racing
alongside adults in the North East Windsurfers events and of
course at the Freewave Clinics which have given massive energy to
every young windsurfers passion of spending time on the water
doing cool tricks, whilst learning new skills.
As to the future, and being quietly competitive, Connor wants to
continue racing, moving up to compete in the UKWA events in 2006
as well as hopefully getting one of the coveted places on one of
the RYA Regional squads. However, once the race season is over,
the winter will be spent at Rhosneigr learning the first stages of
wave sailing on his new 2006 RRD Freestyle Wave, in preparation
for the 2006 UKWA Freewave events.
Ezzy Sails are a great choice for the younger sailor who is doing
everything from Freestyle to Racing, as the Infinity sails can be
used with or without their cams, so if you want to race you put
the cams in, if you want to do freestyle or freeride you take the
cams out, and they are perhaps some of the strongest sails on the
Surfstore and Red Nemesis Dog sponsor Connor, in partnership with
Seasprite Sports. If you want to know more about how it feels to
get into windsurfing starting at the tender age of 8 and want an
idea of what is on offer from the T15 initiative, as well as the
RYA and UKWA events across the UK, then please visit Connors
windsurfing section of the www.rednemesisdog.com website.
Next time you see a red sail, sporting a Red Dog emblem on the
water, that will be Connor, probably one of the UK’s youngest
Thanks go to Surfstore and Seasprite Sports for investing in the
UK’s future windsurfing generation. www.surfstore.co.ukand www.seaspritesports.com
More Information: www.rednemesisdog.com
August 2005: Halifax
Courier: Halifax Hurricanes
GBR 678 & 679
August 2004: Halifax Courier: Halifax Hurricanes
GBR 678 & 679