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Stolen RS:X equipment found by Weymouth beach

DUTCH Olympic windsurfer Dorian Van Rijssel-berge is celebrating a stroke of good fortune after his stolen raceboard was found just in time for the 2012 test event. Dorian, 22, who is Holland’s top RS:X windsurfer, was amazed when just days after appealing for help to find the stolen kit in the Dorset Echo, his team’s chef uncovered it in bushes by a Weymouth beach.

His board plus a rig, mast, fins and daggerboard belonging to his training partners Jon-Paul Tobin of New Zealand and Canada’s Zac Plavsic, 28, was stolen from a secure lock-up on Sandsfoot Beach around 10 days before the big event.

The Olympic hopefuls described the stolen items as ‘priceless’ as they represented hours of testing to find the best possible equipment.

They were amazed when the specialist kit, worth thousands of pounds, was uncovered 200 metres from the lock-up by the cook from their Rodwell holiday accommodation.

The discovery came just in time for the official 2012 test event, the Weymouth and Portland Inter-national Regatta, where racing got underway last Tuesday.

Dutch star Dorian managed to break the windsurfing deadlock with Skandia Team GBR’s Nick Dempsey yesterday after some particularly testing racing on the Nothe course area to claim top of the leaderboard in the men's RS:X fleet.

Dorian said: “We got almost everything back. It was really funny, our cook Delia Harris was sitting with her sons down on the beach and she moved back into the shade and saw a white fin sticking up.

“All the kit was spread out and hidden in the bushes – the board, sail and mast and boom – around 200 metres from the lock-up where they were taken.

“Delia’s kids were great they went commando-style into the bushes to find it all. I’m using the board now at the test event.”

American 2012 hopeful Bob Willis said: “It’s amazing they got it all back. It was just hidden in the bushes, we did wonder how the thieves carried it off the beach by the steps, it’s pretty heavy.

“I was the one person that didn’t get anything taken, my equipment was right in the middle of theirs.”

The 14-day regatta, which ends on Saturday is a crucial qualification event ahead of the 2012 Games.

PC Richie White, of the Dorset Police Marine Section, said: “It’s great news, the guys emailed me to say it had been found.

“It’s bizarre because three police officers searched that area. I’m glad they got it back, it’s brilliant.”

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