Team GBR sailors Pippa Wilson (16, from Lymington, Hants) and Jenny Marks (17, Northampton) walked away with the gold medal in the 29er girls' class at the Volvo Youth Sailing ISAF World Championship

Team GBR sailors Pippa Wilson (16, from Lymington, Hants) and Jenny Marks (17, Northampton) walked away with the gold medal in the 29er girls’ class at the Volvo Youth Sailing ISAF World Championship, Lunenburg, Canada.

The 29ers did not race on the final day as the breeze was unsteady, which therefore meant that Wilson and Marks won the championship and are crowned the World Youth Champions in the 29er girls’ class.

Racing has been tight all week, with the British girls sailing a near perfect regatta, scoring nothing worst than a sixth place finish in the highly competitive fleet, to finish one point ahead of Australia’s Elise Rechichi and Rashele Martin. The New Zealand pairing of Rachel O’Brien and Kelly Riechelmann finished in third place.

Marks commented, “This is the last year I am able to compete at the Youth Worlds so it means a lot to go home with the gold medal, we are both so happy with the outcome.”

In the boys’ 29er class, fellow British sailors Jonny Marshall (17, Lymington) and Tom Smedley (15, Langstone, Hants) finished in eighth place overall, and certainly showed potential as they scored a number of results in the top three in one of the most competitive classes at the youth worlds. The gold medal was awarded to Australia’s Nathan Outteridge and Ayden Menzies, two points behind was Geoff Woolley and Mark Overington of New Zealand who took the silver and France’s Guillavme Vigna and Thibaut Gatti finished in bronze medal position.

No racing could get underway in the Mistral classes on the final day, as there was just not enough breeze for them. Team GBR sailor Dan Binney (17, Cumbria) put in a good performance all week in the tricky conditions to finish just outside the medals. New Zealand’s Thomas Ashley took the gold medal with Byron Kokkalanis of Greece claiming silver and Switzerland’s Jan Schenck the bronze medal.

In the girls’ Mistral class, Catherine Potter (18, Nottingham) finished in eighth place overall. Zofia Klepacka of Poland dominated the fleet, sailing a perfect regatta and scoring six first place finishes out of eight races. Blanca Manchon of Spain won the silver medal with Wai Man Chan of Hong Kong took bronze. Close racing was experienced in the girls’ Byte class, with the class leader swapping hands on many occasions. By the end of the championship it was Canada’s Jennifer Spalding that was at the top of the scoreboard and crowned as the World Youth Champion in the girls’ Byte class. Karin Soderstrom of Sweden won the silver medal with Paige Railey of the United States taking home the bronze medal. Team GBR sailor Colette Blair (16, Bewl Valley) finished in eleventh place overall. In the boys’ Laser class, Andrew Campbell of the United States won the gold medal, with Croatia’s Ivan Kljakovic Gaspic taking silver, and Tobias Schadewaldt of Germany the bronze. British sailor Andy Brooks (16, Manchester) finished in fourteenth place overall.

The New Zealand team went home with the Volvo Trophy, which is awarded to the top nation. France finished in second place and the United States of America in third. Great Britain finished in fourth place overall. Team Manager Mark Barron commented, “The highlight of the week, without a doubt is the performance by Pippa and Jenny in the 29er class. The girls have put together a good training programme and have worked very hard to reach the top of this class; both girls deserve to take home the gold medal. Dan Binney also put in a good performance in the boys’ Mistral class and was unfortunate not to come home with a medal.”

“For some members of the team they have gained valuable experience by competing at the worlds and it has been their first taste of a major championships. I am sure that some of the younger members of the team such as Andy and Colette will train hard and hope to come back next year and have another go at the Volvo Youth Sailing ISAF World Championships.”