New GBR Yngling team
The girls have recently acquired the boat that the German team sailed to sixth place in Athens last summer. This is a big step up for the girls who have, until now, been using a very basic RYA training boat. “We’re really looking forward to seeing what we can do in the new boat and getting stuck into the campaign,” comments bow girl, Rachel Howe.
The girls surprised themselves and their coach, Mark Nicholls, when they attended their first regatta as a team last summer. Gemma, Lucy and Rachel found themselves being presented with a silver medal after the first day of racing at the Yngling Open Europeans in Stavoren, where 81 boats had entered - including Athens Olympic Silver Medallist Ruslana Taran of Ukraine.
The middle crew, Lucy Burn stated, “our expectations were not very high. We hoped to come mid-fleet, so when we rounded the first windward mark in the first race, in first place - we could barely believe it!” The girls finished a credible 22nd overall, finding they were extremely quick in the light stuff – an important area of skill to have, as the wind in Quingdao is rumoured to hold an average of 8knots!
All three girls have come from very different sailing backgrounds - Farrell rised quickly through the RYA youth squad programme, Burn has an interesting and successful yacht racing CV behind her and Howe was the Cambridge University sailing captain. All three are keen match racers giving them a diverse range of skills to bring to the Yngling.
As with all new teams to Olympic campaigns, the girls are short of cash and will only be competing at three events this year; Princess Sofia, Kiel Week and their Class World Championships. They will be training hard in the UK in between events and have some interesting ideas on how to raise some funds, so watch this space!