Windsurfing prodigy in Olympic link-up

Robert carried out five weeks of training alongside the Olympic squad.
Robert carried out five weeks of training alongside the Olympic squad.
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A dedicated windsurfer has returned from five weeks of training alongside the Olympic Windsurfing Squad.

Robert York began the summer training with Bryony Shaw, an Olympic Bronze Medalist. Sailing around Poole harbour and the Dorset Coast the ideal conditions saw Robert’s speed and Bryony’s tactical knowledge and experience battle it out all week.

Robert said: “It was a fantastic experience being able to learn from Bryony’s experience, my technique has improved loads.”

Next it was off to Portugal to take on Europe’s elite in the Youth EUROSAF championships. Over five days of competition, the Rusians, French and Italians were the competitors to beat, and despite some serious kit failure Robert gained two top five finishes and ended up with a creditable seventh position overall.

It was straight back to Weymouth for two more weeks of training with the Olympic Squad - nine hours a day of training starting with a two hour gym session, technique, tactics. Five hours on the water were also scheduled for five days of each week.

The summer culminated in Pwllheli, north Wales, with some more training and round four of the National Sea Cup Championships. Over two days of competition Robert gained four victories and four second places to score an emphatic victory - winning by 11 points from his nearest rival.

Robert said: “I’ve worked extremely hard over the summer and it seems to have paid off. I am now looking ahead to the world championships in Italy in October with confidence.

“This summer has shown me what I need to do to perform at Olympic level and made me more determined than ever. I would like to thank all those who have supported me this summer, with special thanks to the Nottingham Building Society.”

“It is back to school this week for Robert and he is moving from Skegness Grammar School to the Skegness Academy as they are able to offer him the support and flexibility in combining his education with commitment and training at Olympic level,” said a spokesperson.