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Youth and junior sailors from Draycote Water Sailing Club continue their winning ways

by Paula Irish 22 Jun 02:06 PDT
Fleets lining up to start a race at the Regional Junior Championships, Draycote Water SC © Steve Irish

Youth and junior sailors from Draycote Water SC in the Midlands have been continuing their winning ways after claiming top places at regional and national championships.

The club hosted the British Youth Sailing Regional Junior Championships for the Midlands over the weekend (18-19 June) with a number of competitors from its hugely successful Draycote Academy awarded medals for podium results.

The regatta brought together junior competitors from 18 clubs across the region with a full range of conditions from light airs to breezy winds to test their skills.

Draycote Water SC sailors winning medals for their performance over two days of championship fleet racing were: Topper: 1st overall and 1st girl Jess Powell; 3rd overall and 3rd girl Clem Middle; 3rd boy Oscar Rowe; Topper 4.2: 1st Morris Mellor; RS Feva: 1st overall Imogen Green/Felicity Angel (Draycote Water); 3rd Theo Smith/Will Cowley; Optimist: 2nd Noah Byrd (Draycote Water); RS Tera: 3rd Henry Byrd.

The club also had winners in the coached fleet for upcoming sailors wanting to develop their racing skills, with William Shaw claiming 1st overall Peter Astley 3rd in the Topper Regatta Fleet. William, aged 12, said: "The coaching was friendly and really good and it was a fun weekend. It was great to go sailing and work on my racing technique."

Other recent club successes have included juniors Joe Rowe and Jess Powell claiming 1st and 3rd overall at the Midlands Topper Championships at Notts County Sailing Club.

The club's youth and junior sailors also put in an impressive performance at the RS Feva National Championships, hosted by Weymouth and Portland National Sailing Academy, where their combined results saw Draycote Water SC winning the 'top club' trophy.

In a highly competitive 82-boat fleet, Freddie Sunderland and Stella Nygard, both aged 15, finished the four-day regatta on the podium in 3rd overall and as 1st mixed team. Second-placed Draycote boat was sailed by brother and sister combination Katie and Bob Byne, aged 19 and 14 respectively, who were 9th overall and 3rd mixed team. Also in the club's winning team were Imogen Green, aged 13, and Felicity Angell, 14.

Felicity said: "The first two days were very light winds but we got to see dolphins, which was amazing! The winds then picked up for the last two days, which we prefer, and we had our best result in the last race, where we came 9th, which gave us 4th girls, 18th overall and helped Draycote Water win the team prize."

Felicity and Stella's younger siblings, Ben Angell and Mona Nygard respectively, also competed at the event.

The top club trophy is awarded to the club with the best three boats overall and Draycote Water's inland-based sailors beat the south coast's Royal Lymington Yacht Club (second) and Port Dinorwic Sailing Club in Wales (third) to claim the title.

Draycote Water SC Commodore, William Whittaker, said: "Following on from our winning the Rugby Sports Club of the Year, this victory by our fabulous young sailors really cements the club not only locally, but also nationally. It also shows what sailing can give to young people. Last year we taught 240 children to sail during the summer holidays and we hope to teach even more this year!"

To find out more about opportunities and training for children and young people at Draycote Water Sailing Club visit

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