Mills and Webster crowned International 420 Ladies World Champions 10/8/06

British sailors Hannah Mills, Pindar’s 18-year-old sailing prodigy, and her crew Peggy Webster, were this weekend crowned International 420 Ladies World Champions.

Sailing in windy conditions in Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, they sailed a solid 12-race series from 31 July to 6 August, in close competition with Spanish duo Tara Pacheco and Elena Barambio. Competing against 37 international competitors, Mills and Webster lifted the trophy on the final day, when they posted a third and second place in the last two races.

The International 420 Ladies World Championship was raced in conditions which were tough for the light pair at the beginning of the week, with waves of up to 15ft. Mills, who is sponsored by leading British printing company Pindar, won the Optimist World Championship in Gran Canaria in 2003 and trained there with Webster for a week prior to this event. The couple finished third overall in the French 420 Nationals in July, where they were the highest rated female and British competitors.

Having missed out on selection for the ISAF Youth World Championships in Weymouth last month, Mills and Webster desperately wanted to do well at the International 420 World Championships; the most important regatta of the year. One of 14 British entries to take part, they were modestly aiming for a top five finish and so the result comes as an all-time high.

“Peggy and I are absolutely ecstatic,” said Mills. “This is exactly the result that we wanted. We were aiming for a top five finish, but secretly we really wanted to win it. The conditions were tough for us but it’s a good venue and I can’t believe that we are world champions – it feels great!”

Hannah Mills and Peggy Webster are also the current 420 Junior Ladies European champions, and they will now compete in Tavira, Portugal, to fight for the title again.