Stuart Godwin produced an awesome display of nerve and guile to take the Laser title in the final race as 2008 RYA Youth Nationals come to close. James Peters and Ed Fitzgerald claimed both the 2008 RYA Youth Nationals overall and boys’ 29er crowns.
Godwin had led the hotly-anticipated class battle from day one but agonisingly lost his grip on his title on the penultimate day of racing at Pwllheli Sailing Club as Oli Tweddell took advantage of Godwin’s discarded race eight eighth to snatch the overall lead.
With just two points between the boys as the flags were raised this morning, Godwin, from Hammersmith, eked the deficit back to a single point with a dramatic race nine victory.
And when it came to the crunch it was the 17-year-old defending champion who rose to the occasion producing another stunning performance to win the race and subsequently his second successive Championship.
James Peters (Hayling Island) and Ed Fitzgerald (Chichester) have produced almost a flawless week’s racing to claim both the 2008 RYA Youth Nationals overall and boys’ 29er crowns.
The duo won six of the 10 races in the series to romp to overall glory by eight points from James’ elder sister Frances and Claire Lasko (Thame, Oxon). However in claiming overall silver, Peters and Lasko are 2008 29er girls’ champions, Frances successfully reclaiming the title she won at Hayling Island in 2007.
At Hayling last year Ben Saxton (Baldock) was winning a boy’s 29er bronze while David de Boltz (Danbury) was sailing a single-handed Radial.
But since teaming up in the 420 last summer the pair have gone from strength to strength and landed the overall RYA Youth Nationals prize with an impressive display at Pwllheli.
Leading from day one, Saxton, 17, and 18-year-old de Boltz were made to work for their title on the final day however as a win for Owain Matthews and Tim Saxton, and a discarded eighth for the eventual winners saw them edge the gold by just a point.
Imogen Stanley (Stanton St John, Oxon) and Kate Macgregor (Poole) were never in danger of seeing their 420 girls title float away on the North Wales waves as they secured their second successive Championship with a massive 68-point advantage.
The battle for RS:X supremacy between Jacob Brubert (Stockwell, London) Ali Masters (Clevedon) also went to the last day wire. The boys swapped firsts and seconds all week but despite a repetition of that pattern in the last two races of the Championship, it was Brubert, who celebrates his 18th birthday tomorrow, who narrowly edged victory by a single point.
Izzy Hamilton (Holsworthy, Devon) hugely impressed on her RYA Youth Nationals debut, the 15-year-old finishing third overall to take the girls’ RS:X title.
On a day of one-point deficits, 16-year-old Adam Butler (Christchurch) and Gilbert Sutcliffe (Marlborough), 14, also claimed the SL16 title by the same margin from James Ellis and Andrew Glover.
Meanwhile a final day seventh was enough to clinch debut RYA Youth Nationals Radial overall and boys’ glory for 15-year-old James Grant (Falmouth). Sophie McKeeman (Kempsford, Glos) took the girls’ title and finished seventh overall.
McKeeman and Izzy Hamilton also had double cause for celebration after discovering they have been selected for the Musto Academy for 2008.
The girls, plus Martin Evans who won Laser Radial Youth class silver in New Zealand last week, will receive of a range of technical and casual sailing clothing from Musto for next 12 months as part of their initiative to recognise and support emerging talent in the RYA Youth and Junior programmes.
After a difficult first half of the week, where wind conditions resulted in postponed starts, almost a day of lost racing and late finishes, Thursday and Friday saw the sailors start on schedule and race officers dedicated to getting as many races as possible completed. Laser - Final leading positions
1st Stuart GODWIN 20
2nd Oliver TWEDDELL 24
3rd Iain MCKEEMAN 29
4th Evan SCOTT 36
5th Rob SPENCER 38
6th Alex MILLS-BARTON 38
7th Eifion MN 44
8th James CHAPPLE 59
9th Tom HAYES 60
10th Phillip REYNOLDS 62 Laser Radial - Final leading positions
1st James GRANT M 35
2nd Oscar MCVEIGH M 39
3rd John CURRIE M 53
4th Robert HOLMES M 57
5th Tom WILLIS M 62
6th Freddie CONNOR M 63
7th Sophie MCKEEMAN F 64
8th Robin ELSEY M 69
9th Gareth HENSHALL M 76
10th Andrew BROWN M 82 29er - Final leading positions
1st James PETERS M Edward FITZGERALD M 12
2nd Frances PETERS F Claire LASKO F 20
3rd Bleddyn MON M Tom HUMPHREYS M 27
4th Becky DIAMOND F Fiona HAMPSHIRE F 34
5th Max RICHARDSON M Alex GROVES M 36
6th Tom DURHAM M Alex COOPER M 46
7th Mike WOOD M Ollie SPENSLEY-CORFIELD M 80
8th Lilly CARLISLE F Becky WALLBANK F 81
9th Matthew HOLLIS M George HAND M 94
10th Henry LLOYD WILLIAMS M Sam BATTEN M 97 420 - Final leading positions
1st Ben SAXTON M David DE BOLTZ M 16
2nd Owain MATTHEWS M Tim SAXTON M 17
3rd Philip SPARKS M Ben GRATTON M 21
4th James RUSDEN M Joe WILLIAMS M 21
5th Imogen STANLEY F Kate MACGREGOR F 26
6th Peter IRWIN M David KOHLER M 28
7th Hamish STONE M Chris PROFFITT M 51
8th Ben PALMER M Piers STRONG M 53
9th Matt RAINBACK M Simon FOSKETT M 60
10th Tom KINVER M Charlie MAKEPEACE M 62 RSX - Final leading positions
1st Jacob BRUBERT M 10
2nd Ali MASTERS M 11
3rd Izzy HAMILTON F 25
4th Ed STRANGE M 28
5th Ryan TILBURY M 36
6th Daniel SKUDDER M 40
7th Connor BAINBRIDGE M 44
8th Duncan BRYAN M 60
9th Jamie INGRAM M 64
10th Tom ESKDALE M 64 SL16 - Final leading positions
1st Adam BUTLER M Gilbert SUTCLIFFE M 11
2nd James ELLIS M Andrew GLOVER M 12
3rd Sebastien GREBER M Nikki BONIFACE F 19
For full results and list of winners visit www.ryaracingevents.org.uk