Wild and windy on penultimate day of RYA Youth Championships

Day four of the RYA Youth Championships and Trials at Largs brewed wild and windy even before the competitors had left the shore, and the race committee were keen to get the competitors in and out as quickly as possible due to a forecast of increased breeze.

The three course areas were set closer to shore allowing a great viewing from Largs Sailing Club balcony of the racing as well as a few unfortunate capsizes.

The Laser Radial class were the only fleet to manage two races before the wind reached 30 knots and the race committee decided it was time to call it a day.

Like the previous day, the challenge was to stay upright and avoid breakages and despite a broken tiller in the final race of the day, Max Holloway from Mudeford Sailing Club managed two third place finishes in the Laser Radial class, which kept him in the lead going into the final day of racing.

Holloway commented: “I got two third places today which I am pretty pleased with although I was leading the second race until I capsized and broke my tiller extension which was a bit annoying but I am pleased that I managed to get two good results.”

In the windy conditions Alison Young sailed well in the Radial fleet to score two fifth place finishes, which keeps her in second place overall and puts her in a strong position for ISAF Worlds selection as the event goes into the final day. Sarah Williams from Port Dinorwic Sailing Club is the next best placed girl in thirteenth, in front of seventeenth placed Rosie Chapman. However, with additional races to be sailed today there is still plenty to play for prior to the selection committee making any decisions.

One race was enough for the eleven boat Hobie 16 fleet and there was plenty of action out on their course. The race win went to Ben Mansfield and Ben Hinks from the Royal Southern Yacht Club, who managed to keep their boat upright to take their fifth race win of the championship. Tom Phipps and Jon Cook took second place and were pleased to finish just behind the race leaders.

Phipps explained: “We were happy with a second place today as it was pretty hard conditions and we decided to sail conservatively as we only had a small lead. The last few days the wind has built and we have enjoyed the conditions. We have spent quite a lot of time training over the winter months with the others [Ben Mansfield/Ben Hinks] in windy conditions and I think this is paying for us now.”

This result gives Phipps and Cook a one point lead over Mansfield and Hinks going into the final day and all eyes will be on these two pairings as to who will take the national title and win the ticket to Busan, Korea, for the Volvo Youth Sailing ISAF World Championship.

The Laser class managed one race before being sent back to shore, and with the results that he has already clocked up this week it came as no surprise that Giles Scott from Grafham Water Sailing Club went on to score his eighth race win of the series. Discarding his worst result, a second place, he has a commanding lead over second placed Luke Breen-Turner and will be hoping that he has done enough to win his place in the GB team for the Youth Worlds.

Scott commented: “It was pretty scary conditions out there today but quite enjoyable! I managed to overtake Luke [Breen-Turner] on the first downwind leg and managed not to capsize to win the race which I was pleased with.”

Selection for the Youth Worlds was also on the forefront of many sailors minds in the 420 fleet. Female sailors Hannah Mills and Peggy Webster got off to a great start in far from their ideal conditions and managed to establish a good lead on the fleet before capsizing, which dropped them down to 34th. Their persistence paid off and they continue to lead the girl’s fleet from Maria Stanley and Catherine Alton from Oxford Sailing Club.

In the boy’s fleet, Fynn Sterritt and Matthew Day from Loch Morlich Sailing Club excelled in the windy conditions and scored their first race win of the week. Overall leaders Tom Malindine and James Clark from Corus Sailing Club managed a fifth place which they discarded, and continue to lead the fleet by eleven points from Richard Mason and Dan Schieber from Royal Lymington Yacht Club. Today will see all three of these teams locked in battle to try and win their seat on the plane to Korea.

The final places in the Youth Worlds team will be made up from two windsurfers, a male and female Mistral sailor. The windy conditions suited local sailor Peter Bird and he scored his fifth race win of the week. With Richard Hamilton just three points behind after scoring a third place today, the final days racing will be crucial, not only to determine the national champion, but to determine who will win the coveted spot in the team.

Bird said: “I had a good race today and really enjoyed the conditions. I like it when the wind gets up and as I am a little heavier now it really helps. I managed to lead the race from start to finish. I was the first to round the windward mark and managed to extend my lead throughout the race.”

The battle for the female place in the team is between Beth Williamson from Southport and Laura Bray from Astbury Sailsports. Bray closed the point’s gap today after scoring a sixth, but with two points between them, there will be all to play for today.

In the 6.6 windsurfer class, there was a different winner in the windy conditions and Kim Jiskoot from Bewl Valley Sailing Club scored his first race win of the week. However, a second place for Bosworth Water Trust’s Chris Higham continues to place him first overall, six points in front of Peter Fey from Bewl Valley Sailing Club.

Although there is not a position at stake in the Youth Worlds team, it has not dampened the competition in the 29er fleet. Race elevens win went to Justin Visser and Simon Wheeler from Royal Lymington Yacht Club who clawed back some overall points from Ed Chapman and Tom Peel and are just three points behind them. A second place for Dylan Fletcher and Nick Hollis, from Northampton Sailing Club, places them third overall going into the final day of racing.

Today’s forecast look set for another windy day and in the hope to get some racing in, the race committee have amended the sailing instructions to allow the possibility of an earlier start to racing.

After the final day’s racing the RYA selection committee, comprising of chairman Stuart Childerley, David Campbell-James and Zeb Elliot, will have their final meeting to decide who will win their place in the GB Volvo ISAF Youth Sailing World Championships team as well as review the RYA National Youth Squad and award international grants for the summer events.

Results (day 4)

Hobie 16

1, Tom Phipps/Jon Cook, Restronguet SC (2,(4),2,1,1,1,(3),1,1,1,2) 12 pts

2, Ben Mansfield/Ben Hinks, Royal Southern YC (1,1,1,(3),(2),2,1,2,2,2,1) 13 pts

3, Sam Newton/Nick Tayler, Restronguet SC (3,2,3,4,3,4,2,6,(8),(RTD),3) 30 pts

Mistral 7.4

1, Peter Bird, Largs Sailing Club (1,(3),1,2,2,1,(OCS),1,1) 9 pts

2, Richard Hamilton, N Lincs & Humberside (2,(4),2,1,1,2,1,3,(3),3) 12 pts

3, Joseph O’Callaghan, Queen Mary SC (3,(6),3,(OCS),5,3,2,2) 21 pts

1st girl

6, Beth Williamson, Southport ((DNF),5,7,4,6,6,5,(DNS),NYF) 41 pts

MJOD 6.6

1, Chris Higham, Bosworth Water Trust (1,1,2,3,1,2,(6),(5),2) 15 pts

2, Peter Fey, Bewl Valley SC (2,2,1,5,3,(7),3,2) 18 pts

3, Anthony Scales, Bewl Valley SC (4,4,4,2,2,6,1,(7)) 23 pts

Laser Standard

1, Giles Scott, Grafham Water Sailing Club ((2),(1),1,1,1,1,1,1,1) 7 pts

2, Luke Breen-Turner, RAYC (1,(2),(3),2,2,2,2,2,2) 13 pts

3, James Royston, Bewl Valley (3,3,2,3,(4),(DSQ),3,3,3) 20 pts

Laser Radial Gold

1, Max Holloway, Mudeford SC (1,1,2,1,3,(5),(5),3,3,3) 17 pts

2, Alison Young, Trimpley (4,1,1,(16),1,4,4,(5),5,5) 25 pts

3, Evan Scott, GWSC (8,8,2,(10),1,1,2,(10),1,9) 32 pts

Laser Radial Silver

1, Ryan Seaton, Ballyholme YC (14,(OCS),OCS,18,18,6,1,(11),1) 111 pts

2, Michael Gorzkowski, Loch Venechar SC (9,33,15,35,(37),22,5,(6),2) 121 pts

3, Melissa Addy, Pennine SC (26,18,(53),13,28,34,2,2,(26)) 123 pts


1, Tom Malindine/James Clark, Corus SC (2,(4),1,1,3,1,1,1,(5)) 10 pts

2, Richard Mason/Dan Schieber, Royal Lymington YC ((BFD),1,2,4,4,(5),2,4,4) 21 pts

3, Fynn Sterritt/Matthew Day, Loch Morlich SC (3,5,4,7,(14),(11),5,3,1) 28 pts

1st girl

8, Hannah Mills/Peggy Webster, Corus Margam SC (1,13,6,12,1,4,12,(NYF),(34)) 49 pts


1, Ed Chapman/Tom Peel, Rutland SC (2,1,1,1,1,2,2,(3),2,1,3) 16 pts

2, Justin Visser/Simon Wheeler, Royal Lymington YC (1,2,2,(5),2,1,4,2,1,3,1) 19 pts

3, Dylan Fletcher/Nick Hollis, Northampton SC (3,(8),5,2,3,3,1,1,3,2,2) 25 pts