Luke Hayes on his way to becoming national champion

WATER SPORT: A young West Norfolk windsurfer has taken the first steps on the route to Olympic glory.

Luke Hayes, a pupil at St Clement’s High, Terrington St Clement, was crowned UK Windsurfing Association National Boys champion at the weekend, despite only having taken up the sport a year ago.

The 13-year-old, who first got hooked on the sport through Wisbech Sea Cadets, had gone to the championships, held at Grafham Water, near Huntingdon “for the experience”.

His mum Nicola said he had surpassed all expectations, despite having already won two regional gold medals at Midlands Area competitions.

“We went along, thinking it would be a good experience for him, competing against 200 others but the weekend just kept getting better,” she said.

“He was in about 10 races altogether, with points for each one added together for the overall score.

“After Saturday morning’s session he was 14th overall and by the end of the day was up to sixth. After Sunday morning’s session he was second overall and kept that position until the end, but was first boy overall.”

The championships formed part of the selection process for the Zone Squad, part of the pathway to possible Olympic selection.

The youngster has been attending weekly Team 15 sessions with the Sea Cadets at their sailing base at Thrapston and has also been on some training weekends as part of the Royal Yacht Association qualification process.

He is in action again at the end of the month near Rugby for another selection event and is determined to make it all the way to the Great Britain Olympic team.

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