EUROSAF Youth Europeans - Golden hat-trick for GBR sailors
by Lindsey Bell on 26 Aug 2014
British Youth Sailing talents scooped a hat trick of gold medals and two bronzes on an exciting final day of racing at the EUROSAF Youth Sailing European Championships in Gdynia, Poland (23 August).
British Youth Sailing Team medallists at the EUROSAF Youth Sailing European Championships 2014. British Youth Sailing Team
With place changes and medals possible in most of the seven classes heading into the final day, the medal race format – which many of the British squad had not experienced – provided an opportunity to learn new skills.
Both medal races and final fleet racing took place on the closest course to the marina with an offshore 8-12 knot breeze which continued the theme of tricky shifty conditions that the sailors had raced in throughout the series.
Emma Wilson led the regatta from the outset, and claimed gold in the RS:X windsurfing class, working hard to avoid the windless holes around the medal race course to take victory just two board lengths ahead of her nearest rival from Italy.
The 29er medal race was always going to be a difficult one with both British boats in contention for the gold medal, following on from a steady opening series. Rowan Edwards and Daniel Blight, who led at the start of the day’s racing, crossed the finish line third to clinch the gold medal from the Norwegian team, followed by Mimi El-Khazindar and Emma Loveridge who took bronze.
Dan Whiteley and James Clemetson in their 420 were separated by just one point from two strong Italian pairs going into the final race of the male fleet. The British crew sailed a very calm and controlled race which they won and in doing so secured gold medals for themselves and a third gold for the British Youth Sailing Team.
There was more medal success to come, and in the Laser Radial female fleet Clementine Thompson led at the final windward mark and held this position to win both the race and the bronze medal.
RYA Double Handed Pathway Manager Roy McCubbin commented: 'The whole team worked hard throughout the week to develop their racing skills and in addition have come back with some excellent individual results and an excellent team result, finishing second in the Nations Cup one point behind the host nation Poland and ahead of a strong Italian team.'
For more information on the RYA Youth Racing programme please visit RYA.