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North win RYA Eric Twiname Championships

'Winning North Zone team, 2008 RYA Eric Twiname Championships'    © Paul Wyeth / RYA

More than 330 sailors – all aged between eight and 15 - in some 270 boats took to the water to try to wrestle the coveted Eric Twiname Shield from the grasp of 2007 event winners the South Zone. And it was the North Zone who ruled the roost at Rutland Water as day two of the 2008 RYA Eric Twiname Championships came to a thrilling finish.

With the six Zone and three Home Country teams still all square at the start of Sunday’s proceedings, after a lack of wind had thwarted any hopes of racing on Saturday, there was everything to sail for when racing eventually got underway at around 11am.

More than 330 sailors – all aged between eight and 15 - in some 270 boats took to the water to try to wrestle the coveted Eric Twiname Shield from the grasp of 2007 event winners the South Zone.

And it was the North Zone who emerged victorious claiming not only the overall Championship title but also the overall windsurfing crown while finishing third in the race for the overall dinghy trophy behind the West and East Zones respectively.

In the single-handed classes, Wales’ Joshua Burgess (Mumbles) topped the Optimist class while Samantha Towers (Ripon) picked up a class win for the North in her Topper. John And Alexander Page (Waldringford) led the way for the East Zone, taking double-handed Cadet victory as Harry Yeoward / Nicholas Elsdon (Rhosneigr) did the same for the West in the Mirror class.

Emma Labourne (North Lincolnshire & Humberside) and Josh Leadbetter (Bosworth) picked up a windsurfing double for the North in the Bic Techno 4.5m and 7.8m respectively while the South West were also celebrating a double windsurfing win courtesy of Ross Bromhead on the Techno 5.5m and Laurel Townsend on the Techno 6.8m.

North Zone Techno 7.8 winner John Leadbetter said: 'This was my second Eric Twiname Championships but the first medals I have won so to go home with two golds is a really good weekend!' Techno 4.5 winner Emma Labourne added: 'I’ve never been to an event this big before and never expected to win two gold medals. I really enjoyed the racing and it feels really exciting to be part of the winning team.'

Meanwhile the North Zone’s Topper class champion Samantha Towers said: 'The weekend’s been really good fun and a great chance to meet up with all our friends from the Zone as well as meet a lot of new people. I’m really happy.'

Taking place alongside the battle of the Zones was the first part of the selection process for the Laser 4.7 National Junior Squad with results from Rutland being used in conjunction with those from a second indicator event at Chew Valley in a fortnight to determine the 12 sailors who will make up the 2008 Laser 4.7 NJS.

Last year’s Eric Twiname Topper champion Andrew Dawson (Winsford Flash) was left to rue a six-point penalty following the result of an arbitration hearing to hand David Grant (Restronguet), who was named as a new 2008 Junior Musto Academy recruit yesterday, first place.

RYA Junior Racing Manager, Duncan Truswell, said:

'After what was a really tricky day one everyone really made the most of the breeze we had today and we were delighted to get some high-quality racing in. The sailors deserve a lot of credit for their constant enthusiasm and energy in what was a pretty frustrating situation on Saturday. Despite the lack of sailing, everyone still seemed to enjoy themselves and then put on a fantastic show on the water today.'

2008 RYA Eric Twiname Championships Results:

Overall winners of the Eric Twiname Shield: North Zone

Dinghy overall winning Zone: West

Optimist class:
1) Joshua Burgess (Mumbles) (Wales)
2) Murray Hampshire (Papercourt) (South East)
3) Benjamin Haynes (Carsington / Trent Valley) (North)
Winning Zone: Wales

Topper class:
1) Samantha Towers (Ripon) (North)
2) Tom Bucktrout (Grafham Water) (East)
3) George Meredith (Brancaster) (East)
Winning Zone: North

Cadet class:
1) John Page / Alexander Page (Waldringfield) (East)
2) Marcus Young / Alexander Philpott (Frensham Pond) (South)
3) Madeline Harris / Annie Knott (Waldringfield) (East)
Winning Zone: East

Mirror class:
1) Harry Yeoward / Nicholas Elsdon (Rhosneigr) (West)
2) Nicky Haigh / Will Nickson (Royal Windermere) (West)
3) John Peterson / Clare Peterson (Whitstable) (South East)
Winning Zone: West

Windsurfing overall winning Zone: North

Bic Techno 4.5
1) Emma Labourne (North Lincolnshire & Humberside) (North)
2) Robert York (Covenham) (East)
3) Dani Conroy (Hythe & Saltwood) (South East)
Winning Zone: North

Bic Techno 5.5
1) Ross Bromhead (Tamar) (South West)
2) Joseph Dickinson (Covenham) (North)
3) Jack Bailey (Team Astbury) (West)
Winning Zone: South West

Bic Techno 6.8
1) Laurel Townsend (South Cerney) (South West)
2) Imogen Sills (Roadford) (South West)
3) Nat Warren (Roseland) (South West)
Winning Zone: South West

Bic Techno 7.8
1) Josh Leadbetter (Bosworth) (North)
2) Sam Jenkins (Oxford) (South)
3) Charlie Money (North)
Winning Zone: North

Laser 4.7 indicator results:
1) David Grant (Restronguet)
2) Andrew Dawson (Winsford Flash)
3) Katie Russell (Burghfield)

Full results and further event information can be found at the RYA Racing Events website (

by Karenza Morton


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9:43 PM Sun 11 May 2008 GMT

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