29er World Championships at Sorrento Yacht Club
RYA Youth Squad pair Max Richardson and Alex Groves have double cause for celebration after being crowned Under 19 World 29er Champions and clinching a hard-fought overall bronze at the 29er World Championships in Australia.
With the championships being staged alongside the Olympic Classes 49er World event at the Sorrento Sailing Couta Boat Club near Melbourne, Richardson and Groves ensured RYA Team GBR walked off with the Youth 29er World title for the second year running – Sophie Weguelin and Sophie Ainsworth having taken gold in Argentina last year.
The 16-year-old duo led the way for the other six Team GBR crews, qualifying for gold fleet in third behind eventual gold medallists Steven Thomas and Jasper Warren (AUS) and 2007 ISAF Boys World 29er champions Henrik Sogaard and Soren Kristensen (DEN).
And having sailed into medal contention courtesy of strong mid-series 5-7-2-3 results, a sixth and seventh in their final two races was enough to seal them the silverware.
With reigning 29er National Champions Bleddyn Mon and Tom Humphreys holding their nerve on the final day to finish fourth overall to claim a fantastic Under 19 silver, it was a happy Team GBR Down Under.
Youth Racing Manager Simon Wergan said: 'What is really pleasing is that all seven of the RYA Team GBR crews made gold fleet, when there were silver, bronze and emerald fleets all being contested. The sailors deserve a lot of credit for sustaining such consistent results over the six days of racing when conditions really were varied.
'Max and Alex and Bleddyn and Tom will rightly claim the plaudits for their medals, which are a great fillip for the RYA Youth Programme, but all the sailors have worked so hard to produce the performances they have in Australia this week and should be really proud of what they have achieved.'
Frances Peters and Claire Lasko finished the event as the top Team GBR girl crew, taking fourth in the Girls Under 19 competition.
Australia claimed a one-two overall with Thomas sailing to gold with Warren 19 points ahead of teammates Byron White and William Ryan.
29er World Championships - Final leading positions
1 AUS THOMAS, Steven 54pts
2 AUS WHITE, Byron 75
3 GBR RICHARDSON, Max 83 - 1st Youth
4 GBR MON, Bleddyn 87 - 2nd Youth
5 AUS CHAPMAN, Andrew 93
6 NED BEKKERING, Annemiek 95
7 GBR PETERS, James 98
8 DEN SOGAARD, Henrik Rask 100
KRISTENSEN, Soren Wiegand
9 NZL MALONEY, Alexandra 103
10 AUS ROSE, Joel 107
ISAF Grade 1 - 29er World Championships RYA Team GBR Results:
3 (1st Under 19) – Max Richardson/Alex Groves
4 (2nd Under 19) – Bleddyn Mon/Tom Humphreys
7 – James Peters/Ed Fitzgerald
16 – Frances Peters/Claire Lasko
19 – Hannah Diamond/Dicken Maclean
22 – Becky Diamond/Fiona Hampshire
24 – Tom Durham/Alex Cooper
29er World Championships start. Sail Melbourne 2008