A TEENAGE wind-surfing champion is devastated after thieves stole his 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 his dreams were shattered when thieves broke into his his dad’s van, where the equipment was kept.
“This is devastating and very disappointing for me because 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.
Besides having his Tenerife hopes dashed, Freddie said his plans to take part in another British Wavesailing Association competition in September are also now in doubt.
Appealing for the thieves to return his prized equipment, Freddie, who is sponsored by 24-7 Boardsports, added: “I would love to get it back. Some of my boards and sails are custom made for me, so they are no good to anyone else.
Freddie’s dad, Nick, and older brother, George, who are also watersports fanatics also lost gear.
Their black Mercedes Sprinter van was broken into last Friday and six 2014 windsurfing boards, 10 sails, seven kites and seven boards were taken – the equipment, all just two months old, is valued at £15,000.
Dad Nick, 49, estimates the thieves’ haul may have totalled £25,000 as they also took hand-held underwater cameras, carbon paddles, stand-up paddle boards, electric pumps and other equipment.
Continued on page 2 Nick said: “I think it was an opportunist theft and they thought it had motorcycle gear in the van because it has sports seats in the front similar to the van used in motorsports. It’s bit like the A-Team’s van from the TV show.
Nick who has been sailing since he was a teenager, said that he is considering offering a £1,000 reward for the safe return of the stolen equipment.
Freddie’s brother George said: “This is a very big loss to us and I can’t believe it has happened. My dad came home from work at 3pm last Friday and the van was empty. They must have had a van to put the equipment in.”