by RHKYC Media
Six members of the Royal Hong Kong Yacht Club (RHKYC) Youth Sailing Squad are in Sopot, Poland ready for the 29er European Championships which take place from 13-20 July. The sailors are Henry Salmon (skipper) and Aymeric Gillard (crew), Florrie Manzoni (skipper) and Isabel Tulloch (crew) and Campbell Manzoni (skipper) and Lilly Manzoni (crew).
RHKYC Youth Squad, l to r: Isabel Tulloch, Florrie Manzoni, Lilly Manzoni, Campbell Manzoni, Henry Salmon, Aymeric Gillard
Whilst this is Henry Salmon’s first international event, his crew Aymeric has some experience under his belt after competing in the Feva Worlds in Holland last year and says 'It’s going to be hard work getting off the start line with so many boats. With it being our first 29er year, we hope to finish in the top half of what is certain to be a highly competitive fleet'.
For Florrie Manzoni, this is also her second World Championship but her first as helm. 'It’s going to be a great experience' she said and is looking forward to applying everything she has learned since her last experience and sees the 29er Championships as essential for her personal development. Crew Isabel is really looking forward to the events too 'Not only will it be a fantastic sailing experience but it will also be great to make lots of new friends from different countries' she said.
It will be the third World Championship for Campbell Manzoni - his first being in the Laser Class in 2010 and then the Feva Worlds last year where he finished a very credible 34th out of 180 boats. This time he will be teaming up with sister Lilly who is also an experienced racer.
After Poland, the group packs up and heads for Travemunde, Germany for the Worlds starting on 22 July.
Both events are expected to attract around 250 entries from a broad spectrum of nations - the cream of youth sailing talent and future Olympians, sometimes even current Olympians, and other top international sailors from other classes.
Accompanying the young sailors is RHKYC’s Performance Coach Nick Hollis who said 'These events are the top level of youth racing internationally. Many of these sailors that are attending could be looking at representing their country at the Rio Olympics in 2016. It will be a gruelling two weeks of hard work, both physically and mentally, but a huge step in the right direction for the development of our youth racing squad here at RHKYC, and will greatly improve Hong Kong youth sailing in general.'