A TEENAGE windsurfing champion is devastated after thieves stole his specialised watersports equipment.
Freddie Ide, who won the British Wavesailing Association’s 2012 junior championships, had set his sights on qualifying for the youth section of the Professional Windsurfers Association world tour in Tenerife in August.
But this dream went out of the window when thieves targeted his dad Nick’s van where the equipment was kept.
“This is devastating, I’ve only just become old enough to do the world tour and was looking forward to it. I will miss all the competitions until I get some new equipment. It’s going to hit me really hard,” said 13-year-old Freddie, who lives at Abbotswood in Romsey.
Besides having his Tenerife hopes of winning a trophy dashed, Freddie said his plans to take part in another British Wavesailing Association competition in September is in doubt because he hasn’t qualified yet and he’s not got the equipment to prepare for the event on Tiree off the Scottish mainland.
Appealing for the thieves to return his prized equipment, Freddie who is sponsored by 24-7 Boardsports, added: “Some of my boards and sails are custom made for me, so they are no good to anyone else.
“It’s taken me many years of practice to do what I do. Watersports are my life and until I can get some new equipment I have got a problem.”
Beside Freddie’s equipment, his dad Nick and older brother George who are also watersports fanatics lost their gear too, when the black Mercedes long wheel-base Sprinter van was broken into.
Six 2014 windsurfing boards, ten sails, seven kites and seven boards were in the van and the new equipment, which had only been bought in May, is valued at £15,000.
Nick, 49, estimates that with other property that was in the van, the thieves got away with about £25,000 worth of equipment.