Photo: David Franks

Etchells scholarship winners announced

Ahead of a massive season taking in September's World Championship

Monday April 4th 2016, Author: James Boyd, Location: United Kingdom

After some fierce competition, three Etchells Youth Teams who have won a fully funded Etchells campaign for 2016 with the Royal London Etchells Youth Academy.

In the past four years, over 160 highly talented young sailors have sailed in the Cowes Etchells Fleet, some going on to win Youth Match Racing Championships at National, European and World level. Recently Bleddyn Mon has joined Land Rover BAR America Cup’s team. A significant number of youth sailors have experienced top level Etchells racing in Cowes, as well as travelling to Newport, USA, Hong Kong, Miami, Italy and Australia.

The three Royal London Etchells Youth Academy Teams for 2016 are sponsored by the Cowes Etchells Class, the Royal London Yacht Club, Doyle Sails, RYA British Keel Boat Academy, North Sails, Red Funnel, David Heritage Racing Yachts, Spinlock and Cowes Yacht Haven. Great support has also been given over many years by Ted Ford, Admiral of the Etchells Fleet.

Of the 12 chosen sailors, five are women underlining the fact that women can compete effectively on an Etchells.

Anna Watkins' Team: Rory Davis, Ali Hinds, Ed Hampton-Mathews.

“I am extremely excited and immediately texted the rest of the team who were all overjoyed!” commented Anna Watkins. “The Etchells class is a great one to be involved in, it is rare to find such a thriving and competitive one design fleet to race in the Solent. With such an abundance of world class sailors to compete against, you are kept constantly on your toes, and yet it is one of the most friendly classes to experience - people are always willing to help you out and share advice.”
Martin Evans' Team: Sophie Stockton, Libby Watkins, Andrew Clear.

Martin Evans was UK National Laser Champion in 2015 and a former World Junior Bronze medalist and European Silver medalist in the Laser.

Emily Wiltshire's Team: Jack Preece, Tom Williams, Calum Healey.

“I am super excited!” commented Emily Wiltshire. “I've been dabbling in the fleet for the last few years so it is a great feeling to finally have a chance to give the whole season a whirl. The team's aims are to try and learn as much as possible, to sail as much as possible and to have fun. It's a really competitive fleet with friendly faces around; Everyone is there to help and improve. The boats are a nice change to the big boats or dinghies and we are all going to give it our best effort.”

The Cowes Etchells Fleet has a huge Solent-based programme for 2016, including two World Championship Qualifying events: Etchells South Coast Championship over 30 April–2 May and the Etchells UK National Championship over 24-26 June.

The Invitational for the Gertrude Cup, taking place on 30 July–3 August, now in its third year, will see 20 Etchells going head to head. After this is Cowes Week, followed by the European Championship and the highlight of the season: the Etchells World Championship, hosted by the Royal London Yacht Club in Cowes over 31 August-9 September.

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