36 Teams in the Hunt for 420 Medals.
420 teams are preparing to descend on Clwb Hwylio Pwllheli Sailing Club for the RYA's premier Youth Racing event. Starting this weekend, a record number of the nation’s top Youth sailors lock horns out on the Welsh waters of Cardigan Bay, hosted by Clwb Hwylio Pwllheli Sailing Club, for the chance to be crowned RYA Volvo Youth National Champion 2012.
The annual regatta being held from 1-6 April 2012 is the premier event on the RYA’s Youth Racing calendar, and will welcome the largest number of sailors it has seen in the event’s history. A staggering 390 dinghy, catamaran and windsurf racers across six Youth classes will compete out on the three race courses for Championship honours and the chance to be selected to represent RYA Team GBR at a range of International Competitions, World and European Championships in 2012.
RYA Volvo National Youth Squad, Transition Squad, sailors who are making the step up from the RYA Junior Squads plus club sailors from across the country are all making the trip to North Wales to compete at the pinnacle event on the Youth racing circuit. RYA Volvo Team GBR which cumulatively had a fantastic year in 2011 winning a total of 60 medals at World and European Championships will also be in attendance looking to stamp their authority against the international competitors being welcomed to take part for only the second time in the event’s long history.
Racing in the 420 fleet will be for all-boy, all-girl or mixed crews. Racing is also taking place for boys in Laser Standards, girls and boys in Laser Radials, RS:X 8.5, 29ers and Spitfire catamarans.
The 420 fleet boasts a selection of star sailors with extremely tight racing anticipated in both fleets. In the girls’ fleet contesting the event will be last year’s champions and ISAF Youth Worlds representatives Jess Lavery/Georgie Mothersele. The Emsworth SC duo finished the ISAF Worlds within the top ten which was a fantastic achievement for a young pairing in such a highly competitive 420 fleet. The girls then went onto claim a silver medal at the 2011 Open 420 Junior European Championships in Nieuwpoort, Belgium and recently finished second at the Spring Championships, behind Royal Southern Yacht Club’s Annabel Vose/Kirstie Irwin who are also a pairing to watch out for, Annabel being the current Ladies World Champion with previous crew Megan Brickwood.
Paving the way in the 420 boys/ fleet, once again are the 2011 Champions Craig Dibb/Charlie Cox who will have their work cut out against fellow south coast sailors Tim Riley/Ed Riley, both from Warsash SC, and Emsworth SC’s Harry Derbyshire with crew Tom Lovesey from Warsash SC.
Duncan Truswell, RYA Youth Racing Manager, commented, “I am absolutely delighted to see such a fantastic turnout for the 2012 RYA Volvo Youth National Championships at Pwllheli. In a year where understandably a huge focus will be on our Olympic team, the turnout, pedigree and number of medals already boasted by the huge number of sailors taking part is a great testament to the strength of our Junior and Youth programmes and perhaps more importantly to the fantastic work done by an army of skilled, enthusiastic and motivated volunteers within our clubs and class associations.
“The sailors have been working hard all winter and I am looking forward to seeing how they fair against each other, and also the International teams attending the event who we are very pleased to welcome to our event once more. This event is a great opportunity to showcase the sailors skills, develop their competition routines and experience and thereby ensure they are best prepared to achieve success on the international stage this summer.”
John Derbyshire, RYA Racing Manager/Performance Director, added, “The bumper turnout, particularly given the current economic climate, is fantastic to see and a real positive for the sport of sailing. It’s a credit to the sailing club that they are able to hold such a large event given the current developments which are taking place- clearly the large investment of £8.3 million that the Welsh Assembly Government has put into enhance the facility for the future of the sport is indicative of what a fantastic venue this is and we are grateful to the club for ensuring a full sailing programme can still take place while these enhancements are underway.”
This year Sarah Webb Gosling OBE, who progressed through the ranks to represent Britain twice at the ISAF Youth Sailing World Championships in the Laser Radial and went on to win two consecutive Olympic gold medals at Athens 2004 and Beijing 2008, will be among the panel of RYA National Youth Squad and ISAF Youth Worlds selectors at Clwb Hwylio Pwllheli Sailing Club.
Source: Matt Carter
Image: Craig Dibb/Charlie Cox at the 2011 RYA Youth Nationals © Paul Wyeth/RYA