Today the PWA announced the Youth PWA World Champion titles in Freestyle, Slalom and Waves. The future of windsurfing is looking extremely bright with so many talented young riders on the tour. This season we have seen unbelievable performances from competitors as young as fourteen, and witnessed two youth sailors win two of the world champion titles. Following windsurfer have been awarded the youth world champion titles in the categories; men and women’s freestyle under 18’s, men and women’s wave under 20, men and women’s slalom under 22.
Rich Page (PWA Tourmanager) explains:
“Originally the Youth Ranking was specifically to target Slalom racing only as it is a discipline that is harder for young people to break into and harder for them to get recognition for their achievements. However, once this was implemented it became obvious that there would be benefits across the disciplines. If the same under 22 rule had been applied to Freestyle and Wave Performance, it would have limited the benefits to the true new comers in the disciplines as the average age of Wave and Freestyle sailors is lower than that of the Slalom fleet so this would have defeated the object of the ranking, namely to allow young talented sailors to achieve greater recognition, despite the fact they might not yet have the possibility to win the main title – obviously Philip and Sarah Quita are a fantastic exception to this rule but, unlike some comments have suggested, we would never engineer a ranking just to ensure that a certain person won, and such unbelievably talented sailors will always achieve beyond the expectations of their age group. The system will continue into the future where we hope to ensure that PWA Youth Champions are not only recognised, but given the support they need to ensure that they receive every possible chance to develop into the stars of the future.”
Youp Schmit (JP / NeilPryde / Dakine) Mens Freestyle U18
Schmit has really blown the judges away this season, making his first appearance of the year on his home spot in Bonaire and finishing in eleventh place. He holds the ability to pull all the most impressive moves in even the toughest conditions, we can expect big things from Schmit in the coming years.
“Thank you for this title! It is a big honour to be the PWA freestyle youth champion. This year has been amazing for me, due to getting a great sponsorship deal with JP/NP following the PWA Fuerteventura event in 2010. Thanks to them I have been able to attend a lot of the PWA events, sadly because of school I had to miss the first two competitions (Vietnam and Austria). But now I have graduated I can fully focus on windsurfing and I’ll be able to go to all the events and to go train in other countries. I would like to thank my sponsors for making this all possible!”