York returns from eventful international competition to join Senior Olympic squad

Skegness windsurfer Robert York has been invited to train with Great Britain's Olympic senior squad.
Skegness windsurfer Robert York has been invited to train with Great Britain's Olympic senior squad.

Skegness Windsurfer Robert York has returned from a month of international competition after competing first in the European championships in Cesme Turkey then the ISAF Youth World championships in Tavira Portugal.

Robert set off for Turkey On Tuesday, June 24 and the plan was to train and acclimatise during the first four days.

This would be followed by five days of competition.

However, problems started on day one with the windsurf kit getting left at gatwick; taking three days to arrive.

Robert finally took to the water on Friday but his training was interrupted after he picked up an ear infection which affected his balance.

The infection was still troubling him on the opening day of racing.

Three races on day one saw below par Robert lying in the mid twenties of the competition placings.

However on day two the ear infection started to ease and Rob had a better day and the third day saw Robert’s health back to normal, finishing his three races all in top ten which moved him up to 18th.

Turkey then experienced exceptionally high winds and no further racing took place as Robert finished 18th, the highest placed competitor from Great Britain.

With no time to rest, it was a quick turnaround in the UK for Robert who headed straight off to Portugal for the ISAF Youth Worlds.

This competition sees 32 nations send out their national windsurfing champions to compete and 12 sailors from eight classes made up team GB for another five days of competition.

The first day saw Robert mixing with the best, finishing eighth, fourth and third for sixth place overall.

Conditions got a little tricky for the next three days with light unpredictable winds. The Mediterranean sailors took best advantage of this and Robert slipped just out of the top ten to 11th.

Going into the final day it was going to be tough to maintain his position but a return of the wind saw him finish the competition with a well earned fourth, just behind the overall winner from Israel consolidating his 11th in the World placing.

On his return to the UK Robert received an invite to train with the senior Olympic Squad.

He sets off, after collecting his AS results from Skegness Academy, on August 16 to Weymouth for a month of intensive training, where he will be watched and assessed to identify his potential for selection.

Robert would like to thank the many local organisations and businesses who have financially supported him over the last six months and recently received a cheque for £200 from Richard Morris on behalf of Fenwold Veterinary Practice.

“Windsurfing is an expensive sport, my parents continue to help me as much as they can, without the help of the Skegness community I would not be able to compete at world level,” said Robert.