Rawlinson sisters look for second gold
After their success last year in Sydney Harbour, sisters Victoria and Emma Rawlinson are looking for their second gold medal at the 2001 Volvo Youth Sailing ISAF World Championships. This year the event is hosted by France in the Breton town of Brest from 3-10 July.
The GB Volvo RYA Youth Worlds Team will compete against 48 other nations and 247 competitors, for both individual and team medals. The top nation receives the Volvo Trophy, which France has won for the past four years. The host nation will again be tough to beat, especially sailing on home waters.
The seven day long annual event is widely recognised as being a place to spot future talent for the three pinnacles of world sailing: the Olympic Games, America's Cup and The Volvo Ocean Race.
Past Youth Worlds winners include Sydney Gold medallist, Ben Ainslie and 1997/1998 Whitbread Round the World Race winner (now the Volvo Ocean Race) and America's Cup skipper, Paul Cayard.
Since qualifying for the GB Volvo RYA Youth Worlds Teams, all the sailors have had to carry out their training, coaching and fitness while revising and sitting their GCSEs and A levels.
The GB Volvo RYA Youth Worlds team consists of:
420 Girls - Victoria (17) & Emma (16) Rawlinson from Farnham, Surrey.
Victoria and Emma are current Volvo Youth Sailing ISAF World Champions in the 420 class. The sisters sailed Cadets together before teaming up in the 420 class two years ago. Both see sailing together and their teamwork as their major strength.
Prior to Sydney last year their ultimate goal was to win gold in 2001, at Brest. They achieved this a year early and now have their sights firmly set on a second youth gold medal, then onto the Olympic stage in a 470 for Athens, 2004.
420 Boys - Nick Asher (16) & Paul Davies (16) from Lowestoft and Ipswich, Suffolk.
Nick and Paul won selection at the Volvo RYA National Championships in Largs this April after a hard-fought battle with brothers Athol and Eamonn King for the place. Nick lists their strengths as "passion, commitment and consistency".
Laser Radial - Natalie Lloyd (17) from Crosby, Liverpool.
Natalie started sailing at the age of 10 at the Crosby Scout and Guide Marina Club in Merseyside. She sees her strengths lying in her commitment: "I am a lot fitter than most of the girls and work a lot harder, especially in a breeze."
Laser Standard - Mark Powell (18) from Hayling Island, Hampshire.
Mark as an Optimist sailor won a Silver medal in the 1977 European Youth Olympics and is now sailing the Laser and hope to get gold in the future.
Girl's Mistral - Bryony Shaw (18) from Oxford
Bryony is also a member of the RYA's Olympic development squad. "I'm really excited to be going to this event and am aiming to bring home a medal," she says.
Men's Mistral - Daniel Ince (17) from Huntington, Cambridgeshire
Last week Daniel qualified for the gold fleet while competing in his first Olympic classes regatta in Kiel. His inspiration for taking up windsurfing came from his mother Lesley. She competed in the Raceboard class at a high level.
Hobie Cat 16 - Dan Heubert (18) and Mike Thompson (16) from Seaford, Sussex and Emsworth, Hampshire.
This is the first time since the Hobie 16 has been included at the Youth Worlds since 1998 in South Africa. Dan has not just competed at sailing on a national level, but also swimming and mountain biking.
Steve Joel, RYA Youth Manager, is quietly confident about the team's prospects: "We're quite excited about the prospects of the 2001 GB Volvo RYA Youth Worlds Team. They have all prepared superbly, with everyone working very hard fitting coaching, training and fitness in between their exam commitments. All the sailors are currently performing to the best of their ability.
"Last year France won the overall Volvo Trophy with Australia second and the Netherlands third. We were fourth overall, our goal as a team is to go one better than last year and get into the top three nations."