After a successful 2011 for Britain’s youth sailors entries for the 2012 RYA Volvo Youth National Championships, the premier event on the RYA Youth Racing calendar, are now open.
The 2012 regatta will be staged at Pwllheli Sailing Club (North Wales) from the 31st March - 6th April and look set to attract the top Youth racers from around the country vying for top level competition, including those looking to earn selection to the RYA Volvo National Youth Squads.
Racing will be highly charged as selection for RYA Volvo Team GBR – the team which will represent Great Britain at the ISAF Youth Sailing World Championship in Dublin in 2012 – will also be up for grabs along with the opportunity to stake their claim as Britain’s top young sailors and win a host of International travel grants.
RYA Volvo National Youth Squad, Transition Squad and sailors who are making the step up from the RYA Junior Squads are all expected to make the trip to North Wales to compete at the pinnacle event on the Youth racing circuit. In addition to the British sailors, RYA event organisers are expecting a strong turnout from International squads including strong competition from as far as Sweden and New Zealand.
Last year’s conquerors Craig Dibb/Charlie Cox and Jess Lavery/Georgie Mothersele who sail in the double-handed 420 class are expected to be in fine form as they look to secure the Championship crown for a second consecutive year as well as the prestigious RYA Volvo Team GBR spot.
Last year’s RS:X champion Jade Rogers will also be looking to build on her success from Hayling Island in 2011 but will face strong competition from the RS:X U17 World and European Champion Noelle Finch. Now that Sam Sills and Connor Bainbridge have made the step up into the Skandia Team GBR Transitional Squad, Kieran Martin will be amongst the ones to watch in the male RS:X fleet.
The RYA Volvo Youth Racing programme, which receives generous support from title sponsor Volvo Car UK and official clothing supplier Henri Lloyd, has had a fantastic year winning a total of 60 medals at World and European Championships as well as at major international regattas.
Key highlights include Annabel Vose/Megan Brickwood kick starting 2011 in golden style by securing the Ladies World Title in Buenos Aires, Argentina at the 420 World Championships. Adding to the RYA Volvo Youth Squad success was Elliot Hanson by sealing the Laser Radial World bronze medal, the U21 European Laser Radial title and U19 World and European silver medals over the course of the summer period. In the RS:X and Techno classes, the GB sailors from both the Junior and Youth Squads were dominant wining an incredible total of 21 medals at World and European Championships.
At the 2011 ISAF Youth Sailing World Championships, Zadar, Croatia, RYA Volvo Team GBR put up a good fight in testing sailing conditions. Nicki Boniface/Rupert White who secured their spot after an impressive performance at the 2011 RYA Volvo Youth Nationals Championships, walked away with a bronze medal after their efforts in the SL16 Catamaran class, the only medal for RYA Volvo Team GBR.
Duncan Truswell, RYA Youth Racing Manager, commented: “2011 has been a fantastic year for RYA Team GBR. As well as stand out individual performances there have been some truly dominant team performances in a number of classes which really illustrates the strength and depth of the GBR programmes.
“Particularly pleasing are results in some of the classes where we have struggled to make the podium in the recent past, and in 2011 it has been great to see GBR’s young sailors achieving across the piste of disciplines – this can only bode extremely well for our Youth and Junior programmes in 2012 and for our sailors progression into the Olympic programme.
Truswell concluded: “We have an ambitious programme and we are extremely grateful that our vision is shared not only by the Sports Councils and the National Lottery, but also from our long term sponsor, Volvo Car UK, and also Henri Lloyd our recently appointed official clothing supplier. Without their support we would be unable to deliver the scale and quality of programmes our young sailors need to succeed on the global stage, long may it continue.”
Duncan Forrester, Head of Public Relations, Events & Sponsorship for Volvo Car UK, added: “Volvo Car UK is extremely proud of their association with Youth sailing in the UK and are committed to supporting young sailors to develop their racing skills. There has been some fantastic, talented sailing showcased across all the Youth classes this year and it was great to get out and watch it first hand at Hayling Island. 2012 looks set to be a very exciting year for British sailing and we look forward to more great racing.”
Racing will be held for boys in Laser Standards, girls and boys in Laser Radials and Neil Pryde RS:X 8.5, and for all-boy, all-girl or mixed crews in 420s, 29ers and Spitfire catamarans.
The entry deadline for the RYA Volvo Youth National Championships 2012 is up until midnight on Sunday 25th March - late entries will not be accepted.
Photo © Paul Wyeth/RYA