Seven young windsurfers plus coach are heading over to San Francisco this week for the 2011 Techno 293 World Championships.
Based at the St Francis Yacht Club, directly in front of the Golden Gate bridge, the event runs from 17 to 24 July. The kiwi sailors, four boys and three girls, are all in their mid-teens, and come from sailing clubs in Whangaparaoa, Auckland, Tauranga and Christchurch. Their coach, Kate Ellingham from Devonport, is a former NZ number one in the Olympic RS:X class.
“We’re thrilled to have been able to put together such a good team for this big event” said Techno Association development officer Stuart Pedersen. “This is a really cool sailing class for kiwi kids to get into, and there’s a fun and exciting pathway from zero to hero of which this event is just part. We’re working to make the sport grow nationwide and so we’re looking for kids around intermediate school age, whether they can sail or windsurf or neither, to put their hands up and ask to be involved. Subsidised gear and instruction will be available this spring and summer.”
Sailing in the under 17 boys division will be Hamish Dunning-Beck, Luke Holliday and Alex Hart, plus Steph Corkery, Xanthe Bowater and Charlotte De l’Isle will race in under 17 girls. Racing in the open division will be Tony Mackenzie. Some of the sailors are also attending other US regattas on this trip.
More than 40 countries have adopted the Techno 293 One Design as their chosen tool for bringing on young riders. The Techno board is now the biggest fleet in world windsurfing and the most dynamic class in windsurfing and in sailing.
The first Techno 293 World Championships in Marsala, Italy in 2006, attracted 109 competitors and over the following four years, as the World Championships were hosted by 4 more European nations, numbers increased to 364 competitors from 26 countries in 2010. This year the event is moving outside Europe and while many European sailors will not make the trip, entries exceed 200 sailors from more than 30 countries.