Royal London YC Charitable Youth Trust for young Optimist sailor

Young Isle of Wight Optimist sailor, Haydn Sewell in action
Peter Newton
Young Isle of Wight Optimist sailor, Haydn Sewell has won the admiration and support of members of the Royal London Yacht Club who have chosen to help the 11 year old sailor though their Charitable Youth Trust.

Haydn started sailing at the age of seven and has had a rapid rise through the Optimist fleet which this year has seen him competing in two events for Team GBR.

The aim of the Royal London Yacht Club Charitable Youth Trust, which is chaired by long standing member, club trustee and Cowes resident Rodney Barton, is to provide bursaries for young people to experience character building maritime activities, to advance the education and training of young persons up to the age of 25 years, from the Isle of Wight, in sailing, boat handling, seamanship and navigation.

The Trust has also supported Olympic hopefuls, one of whom is Chris Rashley from St Helens who is currently three times Moth European Champion and RYA coach to the potential Rio Olympic squad in the 49er and FX women’s skiff class.

Haydn is the latest sailor to benefit from the Trust's support and caught the eye of the Trustees with his progress through the Optimist ranks.

Last year competing in the regatta fleet Haydn won the Inland and National Championships before moving up to compete in the main fleet against sailors aged up to 15 and national squad standing.

Undaunted by the older, more experienced competition, Haydn went on to finish 25th out of 208 in the End of Season Championship in October 2012. A 23rd in the 2012 Winter Championship saw Haydn qualify for the British Team for the 2013 Irish Nationals.

Earlier this year, at the selection trials, Haydn qualified for the British Optimist Development Team that competed in the Bodrum International Regatta where he finished the fifth highest ranked Junior sailor (age 12 and under) from an overall fleet of 300 sailors.

Haydn's strong performances have continued throughout the year at local and national events including ninth out of 141 at the Spring Championship, seventh at the Inland Championship, 22nd at the British Nationals and 19th at the Irish Nationals. Haydn is currently ranked eighth sailor in country in the Optimist Class Association rolling ranking.

Commenting on the Trust's award Peter Taylor, Rear Commodore Yachting at the Royal London and a founding Trustee, said.

'Haydn's results and progress speak for themselves, he is clearly a talented young sailor. What really impresses us too is his commitment, drive and enthusiasm. Haydn takes his training as seriously as his racing and he is a young sailor who has the ability and desire to go far which is why everyone at the Trust is delighted to be supporting him'

Haydn participates in a year round programme of training and racing which takes him around the country and this year has included two overseas event and the support from the Trust will go a long way to helping with this. As Haydn said:

'Getting help from the Royal London Charitable Youth Trust is just brilliant. I'm really proud that they have recognised my sailing achievements. My dream is to win a gold medal at the Olympics so I do as much sailing, training and events as I can. This support is going to be a real help with all my sailing'

Haydn has a busy Autumn coming up with the South Zone Championships, End of Season Championship and the start of winter training programme all of which he will be doing while proudly displaying the Royal London Yacht Club burgee on his hull.