Nippers at the ready
The nation’s finest young sailors have been greeting the shores of Hayling Bay over the weekend in preparation for the prestigious 2011 RYA Volvo Youth National Championships due to take place over 11-15 April.
Over 335 of the country’s finest Youth dinghy, catamaran and windsurf racers in 247 boats/windsurfers are now ready to set sail set for the opportunity to be crowned 2011 RYA Volvo Youth National Champion and also for the chance to be selected for RYA Volvo Team GBR the British Sailing team for the ISAF Youth Sailing World Championship 2011.
The championships are welcoming some of last year’s winners as well as a host of younger sailors, who for some will be their first regatta in the Youth racing programme.
Annabel Vose and Megan Brickwood, current 420 Ladies World champions, are among the young competitors vying for championship glory over the next week of racing at Hayling Island Sailing Club.
Vose, whilst in the boat park prepping her 420, commented: “We are really looking forward to the Championships this year and are hoping for some positive results as well as the chance to develop our skills. Weather permitting, we want to sail as well as we can and are are hoping not to make too many mistakes which in turn will hopefully improve our final race results”.
Brickwood, added: “Today's conditions have been great and we are hoping that the Championships are greeted with a range of winds making for a fair and competitive series. A variety of winds will make the racing a lot more enjoyable and will provide all the competitors with the chance to sail well.”
Vose concluded: “The Championships always have good, strong sailors but this year the 420 fleet looks like it could be very tough. The RYA National Youth squad sailors always provide strong competition but we believe everyone in the 420 fleet has the potential to do well. Towards the end of the week is when things will become challenging but hopefully we have put in enough training and preparation over the winter period to do well.”
As part of the sailors’ whole sailing education programme, a number of guest speakers and experts will be hosting special lecture sessions over the course of the week. Today, RYA Volvo Youth Programme sports psychologist Gemma Douglas presented a session on ‘Delivering Your Potential’.
She said: “Everyone has arrived with a potential this week, the key is that we help them to manage the distractions and focus on the things that will help them to deliver this potential. In competition the goalposts are always moving, the main thing is that they expect the unexpected, respond logically and take every bit of learning from one day to the next.”
As always the event also doubles up as a selection event for the ISAF Youth Sailing World Championships 2011, which this year take place in Zadar, Croatia in July.
Duncan Truswell, RYA Youth Racing Manager, commented: “This year’s Championships are shaping up to be a very competitive, as well enjoyable, week of sail racing. With over 247 entries we are hoping to provide competitors with a regatta which will prepare them for international sail racing, the forthcoming ISAF Youth World Championships as well as offer a good insight for the younger sailors who have only recently moved up from the RYA Junior programme.
“The weather forecast for forthcoming week of racing is varied and will provide the sailors with a mixture of conditions, which will only aid their development and offer the opportunity for the young sailors to really impress.”
In addition, Skandia Team GBR and Team Volvo for Life Laser star Paul Goodison, the 2008 Olympic gold medallist, and Annie Lush, part of Lucy Macgregor’s current Women’s Match Racing World champion team, will be making special appearances to support the young sailors towards the end of the week.
Day one of racing is set to commence at 11.25am tomorrow (Monday) with three races scheduled for all classes, except the Laser Standards who commence their racing programme on Tuesday.