Despite the continuing light airs, racing at the RYA Youth Championships and Trials in Pwllheli commenced yesterday

Sailors at the RYA Youth Championships and Trials in Pwllheli yesterday woke up yesterday to similar conditions that prevented them from racing the previous day, but some early frustrations were soon swept away as six knots provided sailors with enough wind to begin sailing.

Nearly 200 boats and windsurfers rushed down the beach, anxious to go afloat for the first race at the biggest youth sailing event in the UK. For many sailors the regatta is incredibly important and after months of winter training, sailors are hoping to gain a place in the RYA national youth squad. For the 420, Mistral and Hobie 16, sailors are also racing for a prestigious place in the British team for the Volvo ISAF Youth World Championships 2004 in Poland.

With a team of RYA youth selectors on hand, Jonathan McGovern and Stuart Bithell from Hollingworth Lake made an excellent start impressing them with a first in race one and, after a dog fight with Pippa Wilson and Harriette Trumble from Lymington, a first in race three. Going into the night as leaders Stuart said:

“Not long ago Jonathan and I swapped positions in the boat and subsequently we have not been training as long with me helming as our rivals have. Therefore it was really encouraging to put in such a consistent performance in very shifty wind. However we still have a long way to go in the event.”

Racing on the south side of Pwllheli Bay was the Mistral class in which Peter Bird made a perfect start with two firsts. Lying second overall is RYA East Midlands Young Sailor of the Year, Richard Potter who is counting a second and third. Steph Thompson from Queen Mary Sailing club is currently sixth overall and first girl.

The third class in which sailors are being selected for the world championship in Poland is the Hobie 16. Tom Phipps and Jon Cook, from Restronguet, impressed the RYA youth selectors by winning both races of the day by nearly a whole leg. Also from Restronguet, Sam Newton and Nick Taylor came second in both races.

In the light airs that persisted throughout the day race organisers did well to fit three races in for the 29er class, all of which were won by Tristan Jaques and Alain Sign from Stokes Bay Sailing Club. After the first day of sailing, the race for second is much tighter with David Evans and Emily Penn from Corus, and James Stewardson and Tom Morris from Ullswater joint on 12 points.

The largest class of 96 competitors is the Laser Radial who have been split into flights and Richard McCullough from Ballyholme worked hard to fend off fellow competitors to sit on top of the leader board over night. Only one point behind and hot on the heels of Richard is Andy McKee from Dovestone. After winning the first race in her flight, Alison Young is just one point ahead of Colette Blair, in fifth.

After the first day, the competitors still have a long way to go before new national champions are established and the selectors announce the British team for Poland. Racing continues through until Friday 16 April.

Results (day 1)

29er – 17 entries

1, Tristan Jaques/Alain Sign, Stokes Bay SC (1,1,1) 3 pts

2, David Evans/Emily Penn, Corus SC (7,3,2) 12 pts

3, James Stewardson/Tom Morris, Ullswater SC (3,6,3) 12 pts

Mistral – 11 entries

1, Peter Bird, Largs (1,1) 2 pts

2, Richard Potter, Notts County (2,3) 5 pts

3, James Bulleid, Hollowell (4,2) 6 pts


6, Steph Thompson, Queen Mary SC (6,6)12 pts

7, Laura Bray, Astbury (7,7) 14 pts

8, Beth Williamson, Southport Board Sailing Association (8,10) 18 pts

Hobie 16 – 10 entries

1, Tom Phipps/Jon Cook, Restronguet SC (1,1) 2 pts

2, Sam Newton/Nick Taylor, Restronguet SC (2,2) 4 pts

3, Simon Kearns/Ben Burns (3,5) 8 pts

420 – 56 entries

1, Jonathan McGovern/Stuart Bithell, Hollingworth Lake (1,2,1) 4 pts

2, Pippa Wilson/Harriette Trumble, Royal Lymington SC (2,8,3) 13 pts

3, Nathan Batchelor/Joe Crabb, Chew Valley Lake (3,1,20) 24 pts


9, Claire Walsh/Clare Best, Barnet Green (9,24,10) 43 pts

10, Joanne Brigg/ Mary Rook, Itchenor SC (14,13,18) 45 pts

Laser Radial – 97 entries

1, Richard McCullough, Ballyholme (3,1,1) 5 pts

2, Andy McKee, Dovestone (1,3,2) 6 pts

3, Daniel Belben (2,1,5) 8 pts


5, Alison Young, Trimpley (1,2,11) 14 pts

6, Colette Blair, Bewl Valley (2,12,1) 15 pts

19, Rosie Chapman, Mounts Bay (6,14,9) 29 pts