by Matt Carter
The British Youth Sailing Team’s Sarah Norbury and Mari Davis clinched a bronze medal at the 420 Junior European Championships in Marina Gdynia, Poland, on Monday (18 August).
420 Junior European Championships podium with Sarah Norbury and Mari Davis winning bronze
It was the first piece on international silverware for the double-handed 420 sailors, who earlier this summer finished 10th at the 2014 ISAF Youth Sailing World Championships in Tavira, Portugal.
Norbury, from Stone, Staffordshire, and Welsh sailor Davis battled against 108 talented 420 teams across five days of fierce competition to finish 12th overall and seal the third step on the podium behind Spain’s Paula Barceló- Margarita Alba in second and Poland’s Ewa Romaniuk- Katarzyna Goralska who took the female 420 European title on home waters.
'We are very delighted to walk away with the bronze! It feels amazing to win our first international medal, hopefully there will be many more to come in the future,' expressed 17-year-old Norbury, who is a student at Alleynes Academy.
'I think we were always aiming to medal, but we also take pride from exceeding our other goals such as improving our team work, starting - which we have improved significantly - and sailing fast.'
Posting four top ten finishes across the 12 race series, Davis, 17 from Bethesda, Gwynedd, confirms the duo were pleased with their performance amid the tricky sailing conditions at the Polish venue.
'The regatta was challenging due to the difficult, shifty conditions. We had a good range of wind which provided interesting and exciting racing around the course, with lots of opportunities to overtake boats enabling us to pull some good results out of the bag. We sailed well on several of the more tricky days, and feel we made the most of the tactical gains around the course,' she explained.
Davis concluded: 'We are now looking forward to the 420 National Championships in Hayling Island and our autumn events coming up.'
Fellow British Youth Sailing Squad members Max Clapp and Joseph Burns finished their regatta in sixth overall.
For more information from the 2014 470 and 420 Junior Europeans, visit the event website.
For more information on the RYA Youth Racing programme please visit www.rya.org.uk/racing.