by Matt Carter
At the 2013 RYA Zone and Home Country Championships, more wind came out to play for the closing, allowing race action to take place at all nine championship events across the United Kingdom on Sunday (29 September).
Bryony Shaw at Poole Yc
With all of the RYA Zone and Home Country venues enjoying a full schedule of racing on Saturday (28 September), more than 1,000 young stars of the future were once again able to shine as the weather across the UK delivered some great sailing conditions on the closing day of the regatta.
The Championship has proved once again to be one of the biggest and most popular events on the RYA Racing calendar and it traditionally marks the end of the Junior racing season. The RYA High Performance Managers have seen some impressive dinghy and windsurf racing from the nation’s Olympic hopefuls who have been competing for selection into the RYA Zone and Home Country squads.
The event has attracted an assortment of sailors, supporters and volunteers from clubs and training centres across Great Britain and has given the young competitors the chance to experience big regatta racing without having to travel far from their home sailing clubs. For some, the sailors competing in the Regatta fleets will have honed their racing skills and overall ability after venturing out onto the competitive circuit for the first time.
Sailors competing at the RYA South, South East, South West and East Zones events were the lucky ones this weekend with a number of surprise visits from members of the British Sailing Team.
2008 Beijing bronze medallist and London 2012 Olympian Bryony Shaw dropped in on the action at Poole Yacht Club and took to the water to give sailors advice and support before coming ashore to give an insight into her Olympic campaigns. Finn sailor Andrew Mills made the trip to Queen Mary SC, RS:X Windsurfer Izzy Hamilton visited WPNSA while 2.4mR sailor Carol Dugdale was at Grafham Water SC.
Teams in action
Shaw said: 'I have been really impressed by the standard of sailing and also the attitude and commitment of the young sailors down at Poole Yacht Club this weekend. These kinds of regattas provide the perfect platform for the sailors to really develop their skills and racing knowledge whilst also enjoying themselves out on the water, and to think that this event is happening at another eight venues around the UK is fantastic and great for the sport of sailing.'
Duncan Truswell, RYA Youth Racing Manager, commented: 'At nine venues all over the UK this weekend we had over 1000 young sailors racing against their peers and receiving coaching input and support from RYA staff and coaches as well as a host of volunteers on race teams and protest committees with the intent of creating a competitive, yet fun and developmental environment. I hope that the young sailors learned a lot, and above all feel inspired by their experiences this weekend, hopefully it will be the catalyst to encourage them to practice at their local clubs, and within regional RYA and class association programmes and we look forward to seeing how they progress over the winter and into next season.
'I would like to record my sincere thanks to all the venues and volunteers who made us, the parents and the competitors so welcome and delivered such a great event, by definition with such a small team of staff we work in close partnership with the venues to deliver these events and it represents the culmination of a lot of effort for them. We truly are indebted to them for their continued support.'
The RYA South Zone Championships – Poole Yacht Club.
A south easterly light and not so cold 5-10 knot breeze was the order of the day at the RYA South Zone Championships on Sunday. Poole Yacht Club, which welcomed spells of warm sunshine throughout the day, witnessed for the second day running some spectacular racing across the three Junior classes at the RYA South Zone event.
Having completed the full schedule of races on the opening day of the regatta yesterday, the south coast sailors completed a further three races as they battled against their peers for Championships honours and those all-important RYA South Zone Squad places.
Chris Atherton, RYA High Performance Manager for the South and South West, commented: 'We have had another fantastic day down here on the South Coast with Olympian Bryony Shaw dropping in on the action which the young sailors thoroughly enjoyed. We have had a real mixture of conditions across the two days with some strong gusts on day one to some very light fickle breeze today, giving the sailors a real test across a range of conditions.
'I have been really impressed with the level of racing across the classes and it is clear to see that the sailors have been working hard in the build-up to this event. Poole Yacht Club has provided the perfect setting for sailors to test themselves and develop their skills and experience in a fun, safe and supportive environment – I look forward to returning to such a great venue.'
1: Jack Butters (Parkstone YC)
2: Simon Page (Swanage SC)
3: Billy Vennis-Ozanne (DSWC/HISC)
1:Alex Smallwood (Wraysbury Lake SC)
2: Julia Mellars (Chichester YC)
3: William Heathcote (RLYC)
1: Piers Nicholls/Freddie Peters (HISC)
2: Alairc Bates/Matt Walker-Morecroft (Bowmoor)
3: Jessie Main/Lucy Mellers (Warsash SC/Chichester YC)
RYA Zone and Home Country Championships
The RYA South West Zone Championships – Weymouth and Portland National Sailing Academy.
It was another great day of sailing at WPNSA with everything running to schedule at the South West Zone event. Conditions were similar to yesterday with an easterly 8 – 12 knots overcast but dry in Portland Harbour, with the average wind speed slightly lower than Saturday, around 10 knots. All fleets had three races today with racing completed by 13:30 on the dinghy course and by 14:15 for the windsurfers.
Girls ruled the roost on the London 2012 waters in both the Optimist and Topper fleets with impressive wins for Bella Fellows and Rosie Williamson.
Bella Fellows, winner of the Topper Main Fleet, said: 'I enjoyed yesterday with more wind and I’m pleased with my five race wins this weekend, I think it was my boat speed that made the difference.'
Rosie Williamson, winner of the Optimist Main Fleet, added: 'It’s been a really good event and I’ve really enjoyed it, we have had good winds and good competition. It’s been tight competition and overnight there were three of us on joint points for first. Observing the shifts made the difference and my boat speed upwind. I’m hoping to make the Optimist European Team next summer.'
James Tilley, RYA Event Director, said: 'The racing this weekend has been really close and competitive on both the dinghy and windsurf courses all the way through the fleets and it’s been great to see so many young smiling faces out on the water. The British Sailing Team’s Izzy Hamilton was our ‘super star windsurfer’ at the Academy today. Izzy spent some time in the boat park chatting to the young sailors and windsurfers as they came ashore from their three races on the water finding out how their weekends have been and asking what they have learned and enjoyed most about the event.
'The many volunteers who have been the face of the event from the shore crew, medics, results team, race teams, safety crews and protest chairman across the three race courses (dinghy, windsurf and regatta fleet) have enabled the event to run to schedule with some fantastic racing, so a huge thanks goes to everybody involved.'
Teams in action
1: Rosie Williamson (Bowmoor SC)
2: Ben Gray (Bowmoor SC)
3: Matthew Beck (Bowmoor SC)
1: Bella Fellows (Yealm Yacht Club)
2: Rory Cohen (FOSSC)
3: Jonathan Wilson (Wimbleball SC)
Bic Techno 4.5
1: James Bulson (Croft Farm Flyers)
2: Isabel Lawrence (Farmoor)
3: Josephine Spencer (Siblyback Water Warriors)
Bic Techno 5.8
1: Izzy Adcock (Academy All Stars)
2: Katie Hatcher (Bristol Corinthian Yacht Club)
3: Lowenna Penny (Roseland Wave Riders)
Bic Techno 6.8
1: Adam Phipps (Polkerris Pirates)
2: Ben Tweedle (Emsworth SC / Calshot Flyers)
3: Mollie Densley Robins (Axbridge Animals)
Bic Techno 7.8
1: James Hatcher (Bristol Corinthian Yacht Club)
2: Alice Read (Oxford SC)
3: Lucy Grayston (Roseland Waveriders)
The RYA South East Zone Championships – Queen Mary Sailing Club.
Another day of fantastic racing conditions greeted the 140 sailors doing battle at the RYA South East Zone Championships today. Beautiful September sunshine was in residence again at Queen Mary Sailing Club along with an average 10 knots of steady breeze which made for some stunning racing on the closing day of the regatta.
Another three back-to-back races were run on the Optimist and RS Feva courses which witnessed some exhilarating battles at the top of the fleet. Like yesterday, the Windsurfers completed another five races while the regatta fleet continued to race whilst learning and having fun under the watchful eye of their RYA coaches.
Paul Wren, RYA High Performance Manager for the East and South East, said: 'We have seen some fantastic racing this weekend and it is a credit to the RYA Coaches for the amount of work that has gone into developing these young sailors within the RYA South East Zone. The conditions have been fantastic across the two days of racing and have contributed to a really good and exciting final day of racing. Prize giving begun at 16:15 with a surprise visit from the British Sailing Team’s Finn sailor Andrew Mills who then presented the prizes to the sailors. The perfect end to the prefect regatta.'
1: Nancy Scott (Island Barn SC)
2: Lewis Humphries (Pevensey Bay)
3: William Cook (Hayling Island SC)
1: Daniel Lewis/Elliott Marshall (Draycote Water SC)
2: Daniel Discombe/Dom Lewis (Tonbridge School)
3: Jack Lewis/Lucas Marshall (Draycote Water SC)
1: Jonny Thompson (Grensham Pond SC)
2: Zac Riley (Weir Wood SC)
3: Flavia Tritto (Papercourt SC)
Bic Techno 4.5
1: Josh Lane (Queen Mary SC)
2: Tom Skoulding (Queen Mary SC)
3: Elise Chandler (Alton Water)
Bic Techno 5.8
1: Tom Cunningham (Bewl Valley SC)
2: Ben Temme (Bewl Valley SC)
3: Eleanor Gibson (Hythe & Saltwood SC)
Bic Techno 6.8
1: Hugo Thomas (Queen Mary SC)
2: Toby Cave (Grafham Water SC)
Bic Techno 7.8
1: Alexei Murphy (Bray Lake Manic Monkeys)
2: Ben Barnwell (Queen Mary SC)
3: James Barnwell (Queen Mary SC)
The RYA East Zone Championships– Grafham Water Sailing Club.
Fantastic conditions topped off a brilliant weekend at Grafham Water SC. Bright sunshine with 14 to 16 knots of breeze from the North East made for challenging but manageable conditions for the final day of racing.
Optimist fleet during the 2013 RYA Zone and Home Countries Championships
Race teams worked efficiently to run the three final races and have all sailors back ashore in good time for prize giving and journeys home. A special prize for top club was awarded to Gordy from OnBoard Centre Grafham for a clean sweep in the Regatta Toppers.
Tim Hall, RYA Event Director, said: 'We have had a fantastic event here at Grafham this weekend. We couldn’t have asked for better weather or Race Management. Fiona Whiley, RYA Eastern Region Chair, also summed up a very relevant point following presenting the prizes when she asked the sailors to thank their parents for them to attend the event. British Sailing Team 2.4mR sailor Carol Dugdale was also on hand on Sunday to support the Regatta Fleet sailors and present their medals.'
1 Gemma Keers and Imogen Bellfield – Itchenor SC
2 Emma Clayton and Fay Caswell – Yorkshire Dales SC
3 Tom Weston and Paddy Jefferies – Itchenor SC
1 Lulu Knott and Daisy Nunn – Waldringfield SC
2 Daisy Colleridge and Hatty Colleridge – Waldringfield
3 Alex Page and Aaron Chadwick - Brightlingsea
1 Ben Whaley – Swanage SC
2 William Bedford – Hayling Island SC
3 George Ford – Hayling Island SC
11th (first girl) Elizabeth Sherwood – Hayling Island SC
1 Arthur Brown – Royal Burnham YC (Also received the RYA Eastern Region Shield – lowest points overall)
2 (and first girl) Colette Bacon – Corinthian Otters / Burnham on Crouch
3 Conor Wey – DSC / WMYC
1 Alexander Clarke – Brighlingsea SC
2 Ollie Dixon – Royal Harwich YC
3 Joseph Drake – Royal Harwich YC
7th (first girl) Arabella Sabberton – Norfolk Broads YC
1 Finlay Campbell – Norfolk Broads YC
2 Oliver Leary – Norfolk Broads YC
3 James Gifford – Royal Harwich YC
1 Matthew Hood – OnBoard Grafham Water Centre
2 Max Oscroft - OnBoard Grafham Water Centre
3 Abigail Clarke - OnBoard Grafham Water Centre
1 Lucy Greenwood – Alton Watersports Centre
2 James Oakley – Royal Hospital School
3 Lucy Bakker – Hayling Island SC
The RYA West Zone Championships– Draycote Water Sailing Club
Sailors form the RYA West Zone concluded their regatta today with some great racing at Draycote Water Sailing Club. Bright sunshine, with an Easterly breeze averaging 15 knots but gusting up to 20 knots at times made for some challenging conditions for some of the sailors on day two of this annual regatta.
The race teams carried out a fantastic job in completing the schedule of racing in good time by Sunday afternoon, with all sailors coming ashore happy but tired after a testing weekend of close racing.
Chris Blackburn, RYA High Performance for the North and West, said: 'I was very impressed with the standard of racing this weekend - competitors were all well behaved, with only one ocs all weekend. The sailors have battled it out in a range of conditions which I’m sure will stand them in good stead for future regattas.'
1st: George Williams (Chester Sailing Club)
2nd: Thomas Rollit (Upton Warren)
3rd: Oliver Irvine (Chester SC)
1st: Tom Edwards (Leigh and Lowton)
Bic Techno 4.5
1st: Cameron Green (Glossop)
1st Girl and second: Victoria Patrick (Pitsford)
3rd: Daniel Beedham (North Lincs)
Bic Techno 5.8
1st Boy: Ollie Mulhall (Hollingsworth Hunters)
2nd: Aaron Hobb (Coquet Crushers)
3rd: Thomas Anderson (North Lincs)
Bi Techno 6.8
1st Boy:Josh Carey (Pugneys)
2nd: Paul Halliwell (West Kirby Warriors)
3rd: Thomas Sambrook (Pugneys)
Bic Techno 7.8
1st Boy: Matt Carey (Pugneys)
1st Girl: Molly Howell (Hollingworth Hunters)
2nd: Joe Thompson (pugneys)
3rd: Robin McCallister (Hollowell)
1st Girl: Chloe Felton (Staunton Harold)
1st Boy and second Overall: Dan Wellbourne Hesp (Carsington)
3rd: Callum Davidson-Guild (Treaddur Bay)
1st Boy: Alexander Hughes (Sutton SC)
1st Girl and second Overall: Lucy Mearns (Leigh and Lowton)
3rd Sam Platt (Bolton)
The RYA North Zone Championships – Yorkshire Dales Sailing Club.
The hardy North Zone sailors battling it out for zone honours up in the Yorkshire Dales took a battering from the wind on the final day of competition with gusts of up to 25 knots. The young sailors competing in the Topper class managed to complete the full schedule of races in the strong breeze resulting in some exhilarating sail racing in the final stages of the regatta. The Optimist competitors sailed five of the six race series, with the sixth race being canned on the final day due to the building breeze which peaked at 25-27 knots. With the predicted strong winds the regatta fleet remained ashore under the capable hands of RYA coach Bret Cockayne and his coaching team.
Roy McCubbin, RYA Double Handed Pathway Manager, said: 'Today we have witnessed some challenging conditions at Yorkshire Dales. The sailors did extremely well in the strong breeze which will go a long way towards their progression through the RYA Youth and Junior pathway. Yorkshire Dales Sailing Club have done a fantastic job in organising the event and all the competitors were fortunate to have the use of their fabulous new facility across the course of the weekend.'
1: Ruben Stokroos (Derwent Reservoir SC)
2: Ben Russell (Kielder Water SC)
3: Oscar Shilling (DRSC)
1: George Coles (Casington SC)
2: Simon Gadsby (Nottingham SC)
3: Georgia King (Hollowell SC)
Teams in action
Welsh Youth & Junior Championships – New Quay Sailing Club, Ceredigion
Sailors were today greed by some more fantastic conditions in beautiful New Quay in mid Wales for the 2013 RYA Welsh Zone Championships. With the wind still blowing out of the east, conditions were variable and it paid to be patient as the race courses contained many snakes and also many ladders.
Races were underway for both fleets by 10:30 am but the wind dropped as the fleets proceeded around the course. Protecting the right side of the course was difficult for the leaders and sailors did their best to find the next gust of wind.
However, the sun and wind soon came through and competitors enjoyed three great races in excellent conditions and a prize giving next to the beach in the glorious sun.
High Performance Manager, Alistair Dickson said: 'The competition and standard of racing in all fleets has been truly remarkable. Winners of all fleets, even the regatta fleet have really had to work really hard and sail really well to keep their leads. The squad selection committee certainly have their work cut out this year!'
1st Overall and 1st Junior - Rhys Lewis
2nd Overall - Iago Davies
3rd Overall - Gethin Owen
1st Tom Renny
2nd Callum Elwin
3rd Alex Whitfield
Main General Handicap
1st Danielle Rowe and Rachel Tilley 29er
2nd Alex and Tom Joesbury 29er
3rd Josh and Jake Davies 29er
1st Ceri Roberts
2nd Thomas Watson
3rd William Martin
1st Evelyn Jones
2nd Eabha Strong-Wright
3rd Finn Roberts
General Handicap Regatta
1st Iwan Roberts
2nd Isy Ace and Zac Healy
3rd Aaron Kane Spencer
RYA Scotland Youth and Junior Championships – East Lothian Yacht Club
East Lothian Yacht Club threw up another great day of sailing conditions as the sailors revelled in an easterly 13-18 knots with the occasional gust of 20 knots making for challenging and shifty conditions.
Three races were completed across all fleets with notable performances at the top of all the fleets. Sailors battled hard across the six race series with champions being crowned in the final races of the regatta.
Nick Scott, RYA High Performance Manager for Scotland, said: 'What a day! I continue to be amazed at how skilled these sailors are at such a young age. East Lothian YC have really helped put on a magnificent event, really showing off some of the best sailing waters Scotland has to offer.'
1: Anna Sturrock
2: Calum Rosie
3: Angus Lawson
1: Hamish Taylor
2: Rory Harper
3: Calum Cook
1: Dean Hargreaves
Bic Techno 5.8
1: Jude Nichol
Bic Techno 6.8
1: Isaac Lines
Bic Techno 7.8
1: Andrew Brown
1:Gillies Munro/Daniel Harris
2:James Grummet/Daniel Budden
3:Aaron Murray/Lewis Marr
1: Alasdair Ireland/David Abraham
1: Iain McLaughlan
2: Ross Maclean
3: Dugal Wilson
1: Emma and Robbie Fowler
Teams in action at the RYA Zone and Home Country Championships
RYANI Youth Championships and NI Schools Cup In association with McCready Sailboats – Ballyholme Yacht Club, Co Down
Today Ballyholme Yacht Club had sunshine, but a building breeze, which peaked at 24 knots this morning, so racing was held ashore until it moderated in the early afternoon. PRO, Robin Gray got two races in in 12-16 knots on the main fleet, and the Topper 4.2s on the Regatta Fleet course also got two races in. The Regatta 4.2s, Topper and Optimists were abandoned due to the blustry winds. The Regatta Fleet sailors did gain from some shore based training with coach Ross Vaughan.
Richard Honeyford, RYA High Performance Manager for the Northern Ireland, said: 'Ballyholme Yacht Club ran a great event with assistance from clubs all over Northern Ireland in order to make the event happen. Our thanks to the club for hosting a record number of boats and families across two race tracks.'
1st – Ellen Barbour
1st Louise Mackey
2nd James O’Neil
3rd Ellie Mackey
Topper 4.2 Regatta
1st Sam Rutherford
2nd Mary Smartt
3rd Ruth Moore
1st Jenna McCarlie
2nd Callum Harley
3rd Erin McIlwaine
1st Peter Gilmore
2nd Conor Quinn
3rd Andrew Mitchell
1st Nicola Eames & Claire Kennedy
1st Anna McNulty
2nd Emily Hill
3rd Rory Fekkes
1st Lucy Burrow & Katie Kane
1st Ryan Glynn
2nd Sarah Eames
3rd Gary Fekkes
1st Adam Walmsley
Further information can be found at RYA Website