A TALENTED teenager who was born and raised in Cromford has continued his illustrious progress in the world of windsurfing by winning a world championship at the weekend.
Kieran Holmes-Martin spent his first eight years in the village and, although he now lives in Cheadle and attends Denstone College in Staffordshire, he returns to Cromford, where his dad Mike lives, regularly, and still considers Carsington to be his home club.
Following on from a bronze medal in last year’s Youth Olympic Games in Singapore, Kieran travelled to San Francisco last week for the five-day 2011 Junior Techno Windsurfing Championships and went on to win the under 17s section, beating a field of 64 competitors from around the world, including a number of rising stars from Great Britain.
Competing in striking surroundings off the San Francisco coast, and with impressive views including the former Alcatraz island prison, Kieran recovered from a slow start to take the main prize, building on the promise shown last year when he came fourth.
He had also previously won the under 15s section in 2009.
Dad Mike Holmes was naturally very pleased with his son’s latest impressive achievement.
He said: “I have to say that he didn’t get off to the best of starts and was ninth at the end of day one but he gradually improved over the course of the five days and he was still going strong at the end.
“Kieran takes it all in his stride and is laidback about this sort of thing but it was an impressive achievement, particularly as he recovered from a not too good start against what was a strong field.”
Asked about the key attributes that have helped Kieran to sustained windsurfing success, Mike went on: “He’s very strong for his size (five ft 10 inches), he’s determined and he’s committed to his sport.
“There’s many a morning that he’s broken the ice at Carsington or other venues before getting out there to train in freezing cold conditions, and that takes dedication.
“He trains regularly and his mum, Christine, is also a driving force to get him going.
“Kieran first started windsurfing when he went down to Carsington Water at the age of seven or eight and although he moved away from here a while ago, he still sees it as his home club and he goes down when he can.”
Windsurfing is an interest that runs in Kieran’s family. “His mum used to windsurf, I still windsurf, as does his older brother Kyle, so you can see where he got his interest in the sport from.
“It’s been a good year for Kieran so far. In between studying for his GCSESs, he has won the North Sea Cup and now this.”
Looking to the future, Mike added: “He’s started doing a bit of training with the Olympic squad and it’s not out of the question that he could be in the squad for the 2016 or 2020 Olympics, although that obviously that will be a tough ask.
“But if he keeps going as he is doing, who knows?”