Double 29er honour for two sailing Sophies 29/1/07

British youth sailors Sophie Weguelin and Sophie Ainsworth scooped a double honour at the 2007 29er World Championship, becoming Ladies World Champions and Under-19 World Champions on the same day.

Only six months after swapping their 420 for a new 29er, Sophie Weguelin and Sophie Ainsworth, both members of the RYA Youth Squad, earned a top honour two times over, and bring two gold medals from the Argentinean-hosted World Championship held from 21-27 January.

The 2007 29er World Championship marked the first international competitive event this newly paired-up crew have sailed together and with only a winter’s worth of training behind them they have proven they can already hold their own among the world’s best.

A member of the 2006 Volvo RYA GBR Youth Worlds team, Lymington’s Weguelin has changed class in anticipation of the 2007 Volvo Youth Sailing ISAF World Championship due to be held in Kingston, Canada in July which will see the 29er replace the 420 as the double handed class.

Weguelin, 17, combined forces with former rival Sophie Ainsworth, also 17, from Ashford and the duo are now campaigning for the 2007 ISAF Youth Worlds together.

A home advantage seemed to pay on the Buenos Aires waters, with seven Senior Argentinean teams taking the top seven places. Weguelin and Ainsworth finished the event in eighth place overall becoming the highest placed non-Argentinean boat and the highest placed British boat in addition to World Champions in two categories.

RYA Youth Racing Manager, Simon Wergan was thrilled to hear of the girl’s success. “I am delighted that Sophie and Sophie have done well here, proving that their winter training has really paid off. They have only been sailing together for a short time and the boat is still relatively new to them so this result is a true testament to their hard work, perseverance and talent. I think this pairing have plenty more in the tank and I look forward to working with them in the future.”

GBR also has good showings from the other nine RYA funded youth teams that made the journey to South America with James Ellis and Rob Partridge, former 29er Under19 World Champion, finishing in 11th and current European Champions Huw Humphreys and Max Todd finishing just behind in 12th from the 50 boats competing.