West Kirby Youth for a fourth time
The superstars of team racing have dominated once again as West Kirby Sailing Club’s U19 sailors retained the RYA Eric Twiname Youth Team Racing title for an incredible fourth year running while Bluefin took home the Junior title for a second consecutive year as the Championships drew to close on Sunday.
With a delay in racing on the opening day due to very light winds on Saturday, the sailors eventually took to the waters of Oxford Sailing Club, Farmoor Reservoir, where both the Youth and Junior fleets enjoyed some intense team racing. The Youth sailors, who were racing in Fireflies, completed an approximate 75 races while the Junior fleet, who battled it out in RS Fevas, were not far off with 65 races held on the opening day of the regatta.
The overnight leaders in the Youth fleet compromised of ‘West Kirby Youth’, ‘Magdalen College School’ and ‘420 team’ after finishing the day off on an equal number of race wins. The youngsters from ‘Bluefin’ were in top spot at the close of play on Saturday in the Junior fleet with ‘Spinnaker Flying Shrimps’, ‘Teamextreme’ and ‘Port Dinorwic Pirates’ hot on their tail all level on race wins.
The final day of the regatta on Sunday was of a similar story to the opening day with the force 2-3 wind not filling in until lunchtime only allowing for an approximate 100 races to take place in both Junior and Youth events. On Sunday, the Youth fleet were split into gold and silver leagues and raced a total of 60 races where ‘West Kirby Youths’ were unstoppable with sailors who triumphed at the ISAF Team Racing World Championships 2011 proving influential in the overall win.
‘Bluefin’, who are made up of U16 sailors from Burghfield SC, Cardiff Bay SC and Penarth SC, continued their dominance in the round robin stages booking their place in a semi-final showdown with ‘Teamextreme’ who are made up of sailors from Dabchicks SC, Royal Lymington YC, Burfield SC and TBSC.
With ‘Bluefin’ entering the Championships favourites after winning the title in 2010, ‘Teamextreme’ put up a good fight winning the first race of the semi-finals, the first team to beat ‘Bluefin’ over the course of the weekend. However the defending champions hit back by taking the next two race wins and securing their place in the final against ‘Spinnaker Flying Shrimps’ who beat ‘Port Dinorwic Pirates’ 2-1 in the other semi-final.
With the 2011 RYA Volvo South Zone Laser 4.7 Champion Matt Whitfield leading the charge for ‘Bluefin’, the 2010 Junior RYA Eric Twiname Team Racing champions were just too strong for the ‘Spinnaker Flying Shrimps’ as they clinched event victory with a 2-0 win in the grand finale.
Tim Hall, RYA Competitions Manager/Event Director, commented: “The event has been extremely popular and as always has turned out to be a huge success. The Championship is now a well-established event with teams entering from across the country. Although a slow start on both days, the weather eventually provided the young sailors with some superb conditions in which some excellent racing took place.
“It is an incredible achievement for the sailors from West Kirby Sailing Club to win the event for a fourth year in a row. It’s also fantastic to see ‘Bluefin’ return again and defend their crown for the second year running.
“With the event filling up in record time this year, the dates have now been finalised for next year’s event so I would highly recommend for any keen team racers to keep an eye on the RYA website for further details on how to apply. The event will take place on the 13-14 October 2012.”
Hall was also keen to highlight the work put in by all the volunteers and event organisers involved in making the event a huge success: “A massive thank you must go to Oxford Sailing Club for hosting the event as well as the team from West Kirby Sailing Club. We also had a great team of volunteers and umpires who played a vital role in the success of the event.”
Trophies for the top three finishing teams were awarded by Bruce Aitken from the Eric Twiname Trust, who commented: “On behalf of the Trust I would like to express my appreciation of the RYA's excellent organisation of the Championship, noting also that this successful event has again demonstrated its value with the opportunities it gives to Junior and Youth sailors to participate in a national team racing event".
2011 RYA Eric Twiname Team Racing Championships results
1st – West Kirby Youth (West Kirby SC) – Ben Robinson, Cameron Douglas, Sophie Shepard, Charlie Fitzgerald, Sarah Lombard, Alex Jardine.
2nd – Spinnaker Pirates (Spinnaker SC, Emsworth SC, Royal Southern YC) – Harry Derbyshire, Craig Dibb, Tarra Gill-Taylor, Matt Wallis, Annabel Vose, Toby Morsley.
3rd – Magdalen College School (Magdalen College School, Oxford) – Josh Adams, Guy Dickson, Sam Jenkins, Tom Maxwell, Nick Upton, Jo Gough.
1st – Bluefin (Cardiff Bay YC, Penarth YC, Burghfield SC) – Fraser Woodley, Scott Wallis, Matt Whitfield, Alex Cole, James Taylor, Gareth Viney.
2nd – Spinnaker Flying Shrimps (Spinnaker SC) – Robbie King, Jo Burns, Milo Gill-Taylor, Will Bedford, Ross Banham, Josh Atherton.
3rd – Port Dinorwic Pirates (Port Dinorwic SC) – Daniel Whitley, Josh Dawson, Tom Joesbury, Emlyn Williams, Alex Joesbury, Hugh Edwards.