The RYA Volvo Zone and Home Country Championships concluded on Sunday, 30th September with competition amongst Great Britain’s sailing stars of the future. With all of the venues enjoying a full schedule of racing on Saturday, 29th September, sailors faced testing conditions on day two with some venues having to postpone races due to too much breeze.
The weekend has seen more than 1,200 of Britain’s rising young stars of the future compete across nine venues throughout the UK which has proved to be one of the biggest and most popular events on the RYA Racing calendar.
The RYA High Performance Managers have seen some fantastic dinghy and windsurf racing from the nation’s young guns who have been competing for selection into the RYA Volvo Zone and Home Country squads as well as Championship honours.
The event has attracted a variety of sailors and supporters from sailing clubs 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 will have improved their racing skills and overall ability after venturing out onto the competitive circuit for the first time.
All nine Zone and Home Country Championship events are sponsored by Volvo Car UK, and yesterday (Saturday 29 September) most events welcomed an array of world class performers as Skandia Team GBR and Team Volvo sailors made appearances up and down the country.
Sailors from the South Zone and North Zone were the lucky ones however as they were treated for the second day running as Paralympic gold medallist Helena Lucas visited WPNSA and Olympic silver medallist Nick Dempsey dropped in on the action at Rutland. London 2012 Paralympic bronze medallist Alexandra Rickham went to the East Zone while Stuart Bithell visited the West Zone.
Duncan Truswell, RYA Youth Racing Manager, said: 'It was great to see yet more Olympic and Paralympic athletes attending venues today, thanks to the support of Volvo Car UK. I know the Team Volvo sailors had a great time and were really impressed by the standard of sailing and also the attitude and commitment of the young sailors.
'It was a testing day with most venues recording pretty big gusts, this compromised the number of races we were able to complete but for most there was more than enough in the fresh conditions. Our thanks must go to the parents and volunteers from local clubs helping out on safety boats, without them it could not happen and most seemed to have a pretty busy day! Congratulations to all the competitors and the prize winners, they really were worthy winners.'
RYA Volvo South Zone Championship (Weymouth and Portland National Sailing Academy, Dorset)
The Weymouth and Portland National Sailing Academy took a battering from the wind today confining the South Zone dinghy sailors to the shores with gusts of up to 30 knots in Portland Harbour, while the windsurfers managed to brave the conditions and complete one race.
The topper fleet attempted one race which was quickly abandoned, while the other remaining dinghy fleets were left hopelessly waiting for the breeze to die.
To occupy the sailors, London 2012 Paralympic gold medallist Helena Lucas attended the Olympic sailing venue where she gave tips and advice in the dinghy park before conducting a Q&A session from the sailors and parents. Lucas then presented the young competitors with their hard fought trophies which only added the joy of young competitors.
Optimist: 1st: Robbie King; 2nd: William Heathcote ; 3rd Dan Atherton
Topper: 1st William Birch-Tomlinson; 2nd Chloe Barr; 3rd Nathaniel Gordon
Regatta Fleet: 1st Sophie Stoate; 2nd Henry Heathcote ; 3rd Oliver Evans
Windsurfer 4.5: 1st Joe Parrott; 2nd Scarlett Croft; 3rd Izzy Adcock
Windsurfer 5.8: 1st Chay Tudberry; 2nd Ben Tweedle ; 3rd Bethany Horsnell
Windsurfer 6.8: 1st Alice Read; 2nd Ross Warren; 3rd Lucy Grayston
Windsurfer 7.8: 1st Emma Wilson; 2nd Daniel Wilson; 3rd James Hatcher
RYA Volvo South West Zone Championship (Chew Valley Sailing Club, Bristol)
Chew Valley Sailing Club threw up another great day of sailing conditions as the sailors revelled in 12-15 knots with the occasional gust of 20 knots making for challenging and shifty conditions.
There were a fair few sailors who spent more time in the water than they did in their boats, keeping the safety team and rescue boats busy throughout the day.
Three races were completed across all fleets with notable performances at the top of both the Topper and Feva fleets. The Regatta fleet had another great day out on the water where they completed some short races as well as receiving coaching from RYA coaches.
James Tilley, RYA South West Zone Event Director, commented: 'We have seen some fantastic racing this weekend at Chew Valley Sailing Club with a full series being completed. It is a real credit to the RYA Coaches for the amount of work that has gone into developing these young sailors. The conditions have been fantastic this weekend and have contributed to a really good and exciting final day of racing.'
Optimists: 1st: Jamie Harris; 2nd: Ryan Bush; 3rd: Ben Gray
Toppers: 1st: Luke Robertson; 2nd: Emily Lloyd; 3rd: Paris Thomas
RS Feva XL: 1st: Elliott Wells/Jake Todd; 2nd: Huw Nunn/Dominic Cotterill; 3rd:Edward Norbury/Charlie Hutchings
Regatta Fleet RYA Volvo South East Zone Championship (Weir Wood Sailing Club, East Sussex)
Sailors form the RYA Volvo South East Zone concluded their regatta today with some great racing at Weir Wood Sailing Club. The forecast predicted 10-12 knots with gusts of up to 18-20 knots, however in the first race of the day the sailors battled in a light, fickle breeze of no more than four knots.
The predicted breeze eventually filled in soon after lunchtime and the keen competitors, who were enthralled by Team Volvo sailor Annie Lush’s Olympic presentation yesterday, competed in gusts of 15-20 knots resulting in some intense racing in the final stages of the regatta. Sailors were given a good test of their racing ability rounding off a fantastic 2012 RYA Volvo South East Zone Championships, giving the RYA squad selectors plenty of racing to appraise.
Southeast Zone - 2012 RYA Volvo Zone and Home Country Championships - Paul Wyeth - RYA
Roy McCubbin, RYA Double Handed Pathway Manager, who was at the South East Zone event, commented: 'The event at Weir Wood Sailing Club this weekend has been fantastically run with the club going that extra mile to accommodate the sailors, parents and everyone involved in the event. I have witnessed some great racing across all classes in what were some tricky conditions at times.'
Optimists: 1st: Jack Lucas Clements; 2nd: James Hammett; 3rd: Oliver Hill
Toppers: 1st: Patrick Croghan; 2nd: Patrick Keech; 3rd: Michael O’Driscoll
Feva: 1st: Courtney Bilbrough/ Orla Mitchell; 2nd: Sophie Hempsell/ Izzy Welch; 3rd: Emma Baker/ Issy Black
RYA Volvo East Zone Championship (Alton Water Sailing Club, Suffolk)
All classes completed their three scheduled races today at Alton Water Sailing Club, before coming ashore to receive their medals which were awarded to them by London 2012 Paralympic bronze medallist and Team Volvo sailor Alexandra Rickham.
The South East Zone battled it out in 10-15 knots of breeze, with the Topper fleet being the tightest of them all with each race being won by a different sailor. The sailors were able to showcase their talent in front of Rickham as she ventured out onto the water to witness the racing first hand. Once ashore, sailor quizzed Rickham about her sailing career where she gave the young sailors a detailed race strategy presentation, focusing on starting techniques.
Paul Wren, RYA High Performance Manager, said: 'We have had a fantastic weekend of racing at Alton Water Sailing Club. Having Alexandra here today was so inspiring for the young sailors and for that I thank Volvo Car UK. The sailors had a great Q&A with Alexandra and we were extremely pleased to welcome here to the East Zone event.'
Optimist: 1st: Alistair Grant; 2nd: Arthur Brown; 3rd: Bethan Matthew
Topper: 1st: George Hunter; 2nd: Georgia Grice; 3rd: Joseph Mullan
4.5 Open Class: 1st: Tom Cunningham;
5.8 Open Class: 1st: Hugo Thomas
Bic Techno 7.8: 1st: Galahad Wisbey
RYA Volvo West Zone Championships (Leigh and Lowton Sailing Club, Greater Manchester)
Today all competitors arrived at Leigh and Lowton, ready for another testing day with a forecast of 16 knots with gusts of up to 30 knots, however the breeze never quite materialised as forecast, with 10 knots, average, dropping periodically throughout the day. It stayed dry until the end of the final race of the day, making for a wet and soggy pack up but otherwise a good dry day with some close racing from all the competitors.
Racing got underway in the morning, with just a slight delay as the race teams waited for the breeze to stabilise, two races before lunch, and one race after lunch, completing the series of six races for the main fleet, and the regatta fleet completing seven races over the weekend.
London 2012 Olympic 470 silver medallist Stuart Bithell arrived at lunch time and gave an interview to Lucy Mearns who sails in the topper class, the young competitor then went out and won the last race of the day after lunch, taking on board the top tips she received from Bithell.
After racing Bithell gave a presentation to all the competitors about his journey from Junior to Olympic sailing, and talked about his recent exploits at the London 2012 Olympic Games where he won a silver medal in the 470 class.
Thomas Wallwork (Redesmere SC) had a consistent day in the toppers securing top three race results in every race today securing the overall championship title, however it was Lucy Mearns (Leigh and Lowton SC) which capitalised on the days conditions with a 1,2,1 to secure first girl and third overall. Second overall was Nick Devereux from Budworth SC.
Drew Wright had a perfect day in the Optimist fleet, with three bullets from today’s three races securing overall victory, followed by Archie Leckie in second, and Chloe Felton in third and first girl overall.
Optimists: 1st: Drew Wright; 2nd: Archie Leckie; 3rd: Chloe Felton
Toppers: 1st: Thomas Wallwork; 2nd: Nick Devereux; 3rd: Lucy Mearns
The RYA Volvo North Zone Championships (Rutland Sailing Club, Rutland)
A fresh day dawned at Rutland Sailing Club with all sailors launching at 10.30am in an average 15-18 Knots from the South - South West.
The Laser 4.7, Toppers and Windsurfers completed two races in building breeze today while the Feva, Mirror, Cadets and Regatta fleets only managed the one race due to some very strong gusts on Rutland Water. Team Volvo sailor Nick Dempsey arrived at the North Zone event and watched some impressive racing on all course areas in the fresh and gusty conditions.
Karyna Manual, Laser 4.7 - 2012 RYA Volvo Zone and Home Country Championships - Paul Wyeth - RYA
The London 2012 Olympic silver medallist had a fantastic time observing proceedings, offering some specially tailored World Champion windsurf advice to the young windsurfers at the event. He also dished out on water tips to the dinghy class sailors before sharing his Olympic experience after racing at the specially organised Q&A session.
Kirsty Bonar, RYA Single Handed Pathway Manager, added: 'It’s been an incredibly impressive weekend watching the record number of 319 sailors race in the fantastic conditions, yet challenging conditions, which they’ve had over the two days.
'The standard has been very high on the whole and there have been some great battles at the top of the leader board! There are also many sailors here racing their first event and it’s been great to see them working with the coaches and gaining experience on the regatta course. Having Team Volvo sailors Helena Lucas and Nick Dempsey here over the weekend has been very inspiring for the kids – getting to chat with the Olympians, see the Olympic medals and also gain some top tips, including what Nick eats for breakfast at a weekend!'
RYA North Zone Championships 2012 - 2012 RYA Volvo Zone and Home Country Championships - Paul Wyeth - RYA
Cadet: 1st: Arran Holman/Tom Smith; 2nd: Alex Philpott/ Harry Fitzsimmons; 3rd: Ben Shorrock/ Ellie Walting
Mirror: 1st: Isabel Davies/Milly Moss; 2nd: Max Odell/ Finley Boon; 3rd: Madeleine Watkins/ Harriet Watkins
Topper: 1st: Zak Morton; 2nd: Georgie McKenzie; 3rd: Freddie Cranfield ;
Laser 4.7: 1st: Joe Woodley; 2nd: Jamie Calder; 3rd: Karyna Manuel
RS Feva XL: 1st: Harvey Martin/Will Ward; 2nd: Rebecca Lewis/Immi Slinn; 3rd: Hannah Bristow/ Bobby Hewitt
4.5 Open Class: 1st: Oli Mulhall
5.8 Open Class: 1st: Paul Halliwell
Bic Techno 6.8: 1st: Matt Carey
Bic Techno 7.8: 1st: Ruben Lansley
RYA Volvo Welsh Youth and Junior Championships (New Quay Sailing Club, Ceredigion)
The sailors at New Quay Sailing Club for the second day running competed in some fierce conditions with the wind continuing on from day one with 15-20 knots. The sailors had to deal with some big swell as well as some impressive waves as they battled it out for Championships honours. Sailors were also joined by a large pod of dolphins as they completed two races today across all fleets.
Topper: 1st Harri Pain; 2nd Tobias Shapton; 3rd Chloe Butterworth
Optimist: 1st Hatty Morsley; 2nd Williams Hall; 3rd Rhys Lewis
RYA Scotland Volvo Zone and Home Counties Championship (Largs Sailing Club, Largs)
There were some tricky conditions for the Scottish sailors at Largs Sailing Club today with massive shifts in wind swinging from two knots up to 20 knots.
After a visit from Scottish Olympic silver medallist Luke Patience yesterday, the young sailors battled in the fierce conditions showing true grit and determination as they battled against the elements. The sailors managed to complete two races before all racing was postponed mid-afternoon.
Nick Scott, RYA High Performance Manager for Scotland, said: '2012 has been a great year for sailing in Scotland and it is great to have London 2012 Olympic silver medallist Luke Patience here to watch some fantastic racing. Sailing in Scotland has never been in a stronger position.'
29er: 1:Gillies Munro/Daniel Harris; 2:Rory/Neil Hunter; 3: Cameron/Fraser Kitson-Jones
Bic Techno 5.5: 1:Lsaac Lines;
Bic Techno 6.8: 1: Andrew Brown
Bic Techno 7.8: 1:Tristan Levie
Laser 4.7: 1: Lindsay Johnstone
Radial: 1: Iain McLaughlan; 2: Alex Still; 3: Jack Aitken
Optimist: 1: Fiona Mackay; 2: Rebecca Bryant; 3: Rory Harper
Topper: 1: Dugal Wilson; 2: Callum Rosie; 3: Tom Graham
RYANI Volvo Youth Championships and NI Schools Cup In association with McCready Sailboats (Ballyholme Yacht Club, Co Down)
The entries into this weekend’s RYANI Youth championships reached over 100 from across the province.
'It's great to see the young kids coming through, I took inspiration from an Olympic sailor from my club and it’s great to think that I could inspire someone here this weekend to follow in my footsteps.' said James Espey (London 2012, Laser class).
'This is one of our biggest Youth Championships ever' said Richard Honeyford, Performance Manager for RYANI. 'It's the place where many of great sailors started. All of our current Olympic sailors would have competed in this regatta, and we are looking for the next generation of Olympic Sailors here this weekend.'
The Race Officer, Robin Gray managed to get six races in for the Topper, Laser and 420 fleets in tough conditions and an additional race course held three races for the Regatta and Topper 4.2 fleets.
As an addition to the prize Giving Miss Northern Ireland, Tiffany Brien, presented the Schools Cup to the winners, Methodist College.
Topper: 1st: Liam Glynn; 2nd: Tom Purdon; 3rd: Noah McWatters
Laser Radial: 1st: Robbie Gilmore; 2nd: Ryan Glynn; 3rd: Janck Brien
Laser 4.7: 1st: Conor O’Farrell; 2nd: Katie Kane; 3rd: Sean Ritson
RYA Volvo Zone and Home Country Championships website
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6:35 PM Mon 1 Oct 2012GMT
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