Ten British youth sailors heads to Korea

to compete at the 2005 Volvo ISAF Youth World Championships

Friday July 15th 2005, Author: Myrrh Walker, Location: United Kingdom
Ten British sailors have gathered in Busan, Korea to compete against the best youth talent in the world for the title of Youth World Champion. Racing starts on 16 July 2005 at the same venue that hosted the 1988 Soul Olympic Games. So far the weather has been hot and humid and the winds have been light and challenging, a combination that will keep all 250 competitors, representing 47 countries, on their toes.

Qualifying for the Volvo ISAF Youth World Championships at the 2005 RYA Youth Championships and Trials in April, are sailors from England, Scotland, and Wales. Giles Scott will be competing in the boy's laser and Alison Young in the girl's Laser Radial. Both sailors have been training hard and have recently been seen competing in several Olympic Class Regattas. At the 2004 Youth Radial Europeans, Alison finished in second place overall, making her a tough contender for this year’s gold medal. A fit, quiet and organised sailor, Alison’s biggest sailing goal is to win an Olympic gold medal. Grafham sailor Giles is also no stranger to international competition. Placing sixth overall at the 2005 Princess Sophia Olympic Class Regatta in Palma, Giles proved that he can hold his own when sailing with Olympic Athletes.

In the boys 420 is the relatively new pairing of Tom Mallendine and James Clark. Tom started his sailing career in the Optimist and qualified for six Optimist World Championships in consecutive years and won four world titles. James Clark has progressed through the RYA Youth Racing Programme from South West Topper Zone Squad to the National Youth Squad.

Racing in the girls 420 are Hannah Mills and Peggy Webster. At the age of 17 the girls are two of the youngest members of the team. “I am very excited about sailing at the ISAF Youth Worlds,” Hannah explained, “it will be our biggest event yet and we know there will be some really good competition from all over the world.”

Tom Phipps and Jon Cook, sailing in a catamaran Hobie16, have been sailing together for almost five years and have the longest partnership of the teams representing the UK. Winning a gold medal at last years 2004 Youth World Championships, the pair will set out to defend their title.

Windsurfer Peter Bird, hailing from Scotland, has been training full time over the last six months and will compete in the Mistral. Also in the Mistral is Beth Williamson, the 2004 Female UKWA Junior Raceboard Champion.

RYA Youth Racing Manager, Simon Wergan praises his team. “The team has worked hard since the RYA Youth Championships and Trials in April with most having to balance their training with a full exam timetable. Despite this they have fit in a lot of personal sailing, coaching and some international regattas into their build-up programmes. The team is all set to go and ready to meet the challenge of what will be a very tough regatta. We are all looking forward to competing in Korea.”

Racing begins 16 July 2005 and continues on until 22 July 2005.

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