North Devon Olympians in the making

Joseph Bulmer

The Actavis sponsored Devon team took second place in the Atlantic Watersports Games, which brought more than 300 young competitors from 10 regions across five countries to compete on North Devon’s beaches and waterways.

The 80-strong Devon team, which included 65 North Devon competitors, came in a close second behind Brittany, with Cornwall in third place overall in a tough competition which featured under-21 athletes who have competed at world and national level.

Overseas officials and competitors rated North Devon as one of the top three destinations in the 17 year history of the event.

North Devon winners

Successes in surfing saw Lucy Campbell take gold for the U18 Girls Shortboard, and Peony Knight for the U16 Girls Shortboard RD3.

Zak Lawton took a third gold for the Devon team the U18 Boys Longboard and Jack Unsworth delivered a fourth in the U16 Boys Longboard.

Two silver medals followed, thanks to Beau Bronham in the U18 Boys Shortboard and Will Bailey for the U14s. Alex Maddocks brought home bronze for U18s Longboard, with Taz Knight for U16s shortboard.

Thirteen-year-old kite surfing European Champion Oliver Bridge won gold for the Kite Surfing race course U21s at Westward Ho!

In the rowing, Alice Jackson of Abbotsham won bronze for the Olympic Double Junior Female with Kathryn Mansell of Exeter. Alice recently secured a place in the England team for the Home International Regatta.

Zoe Roberston, Katherine Crossley, April Marlow and Katie Cudmore took silver in the Olympic 4x Cadet Female.

The Devon Team brought home a clutch of kayaking medals, with Phillip Watson taking gold, Jack Barker silver, and Aiden Brackenbury bronze, for Kayak Surf Short Boat Male U21. The trio repeated their winning performances with a gold, silver and bronze respectively for the Kayak Surf Open Long Boat Under 21. Ryan Lark secured a gold medal for the K1 Short Distance Boys

Robbie Robinson secured a sailing silver medal for the Laser Radial Boys, with Emma Phillips taking a bronze for Laser 4.7 Girls.

In Surf Life Saving James Bunney, Scott Stitt, Freddie Hedger, Lily Nichols, Ellie Parker and Fay Mills romped home with the gold medal for Surf Relay, while Joe Wall, Sean Deasy, Alex Bunney, Eva Murphy, Katherine Larcombe and Jo Devine brought home a silver.

Jo Devine and Ellie Parker took gold for Female Board Rescue. Alex Bunney and Joe Wall achieved gold for Male Board Rescue. James Bunney and Scott Stitt landed a further gold for Tube Relay.

In total the Devon Team secured 11 gold medals, 14 silver and 13 bronze. Strong friendships were formed, and several North Devon sporting organisations are now making plans for taking a Devon Team to the 18th Atlantic Watersports Games in Brittany next year.

Bideford Blues have already received an invitation from the Pays De La Loire sailing team to join them later this month for a sailing competition, complete with an offer of funding to help them attend.

For further updates on the 17th Atlantic Watersports Games 2011, images and video footage go