WINDSURFER Finlay Forster-Davies has ridden a wave of success into the Great Britain squad.
The talented 14-year-old, who only took up the sport two years ago, has cruised up the ranks and has now swept into the elite surfers of his age in the country.
After finishing fifth in both the World Championships in Poland and RYA National Youth and Masters Windsurfing Championships in Weymouth, and being awarded the RYA Robert Cartwright Trophy in recognition of an outstanding 12 months, his selection can hardly have come as a surprise.
But the Sandbach School pupil is delighted at the recognition. He said: 'To be officially selected for the British U15 squad is fantastic news for me. I now know that my performances counted when it mattered most.
'I really wanted to go to the World Championships to see if I could compete with the best in the world in my age group. The high point of the week for me was actually winning the last race and proving to myself that I can achieve top results.'
Finlay, who has been sailing since the age of eight, learned to windsurf at Astbury Sailsports, near Congleton, with instructor Alison Yates.
He has dedicated himself to the sport in the short time he has participated. Along with being part of the West Zone squad for talented windsurfers, he keeps fit by going to the gym, cycling and running.
Former instructor Alison and Zone coach Ian Roberts both agree he has potential to go to the top. Alison said:
'When I first saw him on the water, I knew he could be great. He learns very quickly,
performs well under pressure and has boundless energy. His selection for the RYA squad is great news and well deserved.'
Ian added: 'The progress Finlay has made in 2004 has been exceptional and justifies his selection to the National Squad. Finlay has the potential to go all the way to the Olympics.'
The youngster's first involvement in the national set-up will be a training session at Hayling Island Sailing Club, Southampton, next week.
National selection also means competing in more events and attending more training weekends in the UK and overseas. While that is a boost to the youngster, it does place financial pressure on his parents, Paul Davies and Fiona Forster.
Fiona said: 'We've managed so far to find the money to support him and would love to see him reach his potential. But the costs are going to increase as he moves through the levels.'
Paul added: 'It would be great if a local company could now come forward with an offer of financial support or sponsorship. Who knows, they could be backing a future Olympic champion!' * Anyone interested in sponsoring Finlay is asked to contact Fiona Forster on 01270 760440 or Ian Roberts on 07870 673279.