Breezy conditions greet youth championships

Sacha Oswald reports from Hayling Island SC

Monday April 14th 2003, Author: Sacha Oswald, Location: United Kingdom
The 2003 RYA Youth Championships and Trials got underway today in windy conditions. 233 boats have made the trip to Hayling Island Sailing Club from all across Great Britain for the weeklong event, hoping to win their place in the prestigious RYA National Youth Squad and also decide who will represent Great Britain at the 2003 ISAF Youth Sailing World Championships in Madeira in July.

With the first race taking place in 20-25 knots which later decreased to 16 knots, Mistral sailor Peter Bird from Largs Sailing Club excelled in the windy conditions and finished the day with three first place finishes. This gave him an early lead from Richard Potter of Notts County Sailing Club with James Bulleid from Hollowell Sailing Club in third place. Unfortunately due to the windy conditions none of the female Mistral sailors finished a race, so the ticket to Madeira for the youth worlds is still wide open.

Close racing was enjoyed in the Laser class with a number of talented sailors vying for the top spot. Nicholas Scott from Grafham Water Sailing Club got off to a good start scoring two first places, but an eleventh place finish in the third race of the day saw him drop to third place overall. Consistency paid and with a 2,4,1 score line, Giles Scott, also from Grafham Water Sailing Club, is lying in first place overall at the end of day one closely followed by last years championship winner Andy Brooks from Elton Sailing Club.

Scott said, "I had a good day. When I first got out to the course I wasn't enjoying the conditions much, but I got better as the races went on and I am pleased to have finished with a first place in the last race."

With the Laser Radial class attracting 107 boats, the fleet has been split into four groups sailing in two flights. For the first two days of the championships each group will race in qualifying rounds before being split into gold and silver fleets for the last three days.

Sailor of the day in the Radial class went to Keir Clarke from Lyme Regis Sailing Club who couldn't have sailed better, scoring three first places to take an early lead from Tony Adams from Burghfield Sailing Club with Luke Matley-Jones from Restronguet Sailing Club third.

For 2003 the Byte has been changed back to a Laser Radial as the girls class for the ISAF Youth Sailing World Championships and the top girl at this championships will win her place in the team. Charlotte Dobson from Royal Northern and Clyde Yacht Club is leading the girls at the end of day one after scoring a seventh and two fourth places. One point behind her is Colette Blair from Bewl Valley Sailing Club who scored a sixth, seventh and a third.

Charlotte Dobson commented, "I don't normally enjoy sailing in these conditions but I enjoyed the racing today. I had my best result in the third race where I thought I might be over as I was right on the line when the gun went, luckily I wasn't and I scored a fourth place."

With twelve boats competing in the championships the Hobie 16 fleet has seen a healthy increase in participation at this event. The breeze provided testing conditions for the fleet but at the end of three races it was the pairing of Simon Kearns/Ben Burns from Grafham Water Sailing Club who came out on top. Scoring a second and two first places they have taken an early one-point lead from event favourites Ben Mansfield/Ben Hinks from Royal Southern Yacht Club.

"We are used to racing and training on a lake so the conditions we had today were a little different from what we are used to. The racing was very close and it is the best Hobie fleet that we have sailed against. We did have a couple of scary moments but we kept it together and are pleased with how we sailed." Said Kearns.

With the 420 back in as a youth worlds class, racing is tight in the 46-boat class. Tied on even points after day one are two Scottish crews, Luke Patience and Adam Wagner who scored a fourth and two first places, and Callum MacDonald and Haakon Karlsen who finished the day with a 1, 2, 3 score line.

Last years 420 girls youth championships winners and pre-race favourites Charlotte Savage and Maia Walsh from Barnt Green Sailing Club had the unfortunate incident of gear failure in race one when they returned to shore with a broken mast, luckily they managed to get a replacement and were back out scoring two eleventh places. Alison Martin/Bethan Carden from Burghfield Sailing Club head up the girl's fleet closely followed by Joanne Macdonald/Laurie Marsden from the Royal Northern and Clyde Yacht Club.

Although out of the youth worlds for this year, the breezy conditions provided exciting racing in the 29er class. Scoring two first places and a second David Evans/Richard Peacock from British Steel Sailing Club lead the fleet closely followed by fellow club members Dave Freemantle/Ben Redwood.

First all girls team is Jenny Gammon/Penny Jeffcoate from Covenham Sailing Club who are in 18th position overall.

RYA Youth Manager Steve Joel commented, "We have seen some fantastic racing today in conditions that started off with gusts of 25 knots, which later dropped to 15 knots towards the end of the day. The courses have been good and it has been interesting to see many of the top boats putting in good first day performances."

Hobie 16 - 12
1, Simon Kearns/Ben Burns, Grafham Water SC (2,1,1) 4 pts
2, Ben Mansfield/Ben Hinks, Royal Southern YC (1,2,2) 5 pts
3, Ryan Crawford/Lewis Crawford, Penzance SC (4,4,4) 12 pts

29er - 29
1, David Evans/Richard Peacock, British Steel SC (1,1,2) 4 pts
2, Dave Freemantle/Ben Redwood, British Steel SC (2,2,1) 5 pts
3, Josh Metcalfe/Ian Haywood, Port Dinorwic SC (4,3,4) 11 pts

Laser Standard - 26
1, Giles Scott, Grafham Water Sailing Club (2,4,1) 7 pts
2, Andy Brooks, Elton SC (3,2,2) 7 pts
3, Nicholas Scott, Grafham Water Sailing Club (1,1,11) 13 pts

Laser Radial - 107
1, Keir Clarke, Lyme Regis SC (1,1,1) 3 pts
2, Tony Adams, Burghfield SC (1,3,2) 6 pts
3, Luke Matley-Jones, Restronguet SC (3,2,2) 7 pts
6, Charlotte Dobson, Royal Northern & Clyde YC (7,4,4) 15 pts
7, Colette Blair, Bewl Valley SC (6,7,3) 16 pts
10, Kate Williams, Port Dinorwic SC (5,8,9) 22 pts

420 - 48
1, Luke Patience/Adam Wagner, Royal Northern and Clyde YC (4,1,1) 6 pts
2, Callum MacDonald/Haakon Karlsen, Royal Northern and Clyde YC (1,2,3) 6
3, Ben Ainsworth/Thomas Heywood, Bewl Valley SC (2,4,2) 8 pts
8, Alison Martin/Bethan Carden, Burghfield SC (10,10,8) 28 pts
11, Joanne Macdonald/Laurie Marsden, Royal Northern and Clyde YC (9,14,10)
33 pts
12, Rachel Wigmore/Mary Rook, Hayling Island SC (13,16,7) 36 pts

Mistral - 11
1, Peter Bird, Largs SC (1,1,1) 3 pts
2, Richard Potter, Notts County SC (3,2,2) 7 pts
3, James Bulleid, Hollowell SC (5,3,5) 13 pts

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