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RYA Volvo Team GBR announced for the ISAF YouthSailing World Championship 2011
The Croatian Sailing Federation will host the 41st event at the Uskok Sailing Club in Zadar from the 7 -16 July 2011. The event is dubbed as the pinnacle event of the Youth sailing calendar, seen by many as the 'Youth Olympics' for sailing, and has over the years identified talented sailors such as Olympic gold medallists Ben Ainslie and Sarah Ayton.
The decision on who to send to compete in the SL 16 class was made somewhat easier by the fantastic performance of Rupert White and Nicola Boniface in the Spitfire class. Nine race wins and four second place finishes, gave their new partnership a tiny points score of 23 to win the fleet by a considerable margin. As well as defending last year's crown, this will be Boniface's third consecutive ISAF Youth Sailing World Championships which is an incredible achievement for the young aspiring Olympian. White, who finished the 2010 Championships in second with a different crew, is now on course to follow in the footsteps of his grandfather who won a gold medal at the 1976 Olympics racing the Tornado.
Boniface commented: "It's very exciting to be going back to the ISAF Youth Worlds and hopefully this will be my third time lucky! It's the top Youth event and it always feels different as there are more classes there which make it a lot more enjoyable."
The 29er class was a tough battle at the top of the fleet, but in the end the regatta win and the ISAF Youth Worlds spot went to 29er class Youth Worlds silver medallists and last year's championship winners Henry Lloyd Williams and Sam Batten. The high performance dinghy sailors had a slow start to the week but their experience clearly paid dividends towards the end of the week as they posted some excellent results. This will be the second year running that the Lymington based pair have attended the ISAF Youth Sailing World Championships having narrowly missed out on a medal in Turkey last year.
Lloyd Williams said: "It is a great feeling to be selected again, we can't wait to get out there and I'm sure there will be some tough competition for us to race against."
Batten went on to say: "We didn't sail great at last year's event so this year we are hoping to do better and would love to come back with a medal. The event is run a lot more like the Olympic Games than any other sailing event we do. It is a lot more formal and a lot more competitive which we are both looking forward to."
Attending the prestigious event in the RS:X windsurfing class for the second year running, Sam Sills, will look to build on his experience from the 2010 event.
"It's great to be selected again for Team GBR. Last year I did okay but I lacked international experience, I feel more confident this year and am aiming for a good steady performance."
The RS:X fleet provided an intense battle all week, going down to the last race of the day, but with Sills posting consistent results all week he thoroughly deserves his place on the plane come July.
Joining Sills on the RS:X windsurfer is Jade Rogers, who will compete for the first time in the girls' fleet.
"I'm over the moon to have been selected and it is a great achievement. Its going to be the biggest sailing event I have ever raced in and will be great to sail against international competitors" said Rogers.
In the two person dinghy class for both boys and girls at the event, 420 crews Craig Dibb/Charlie Cox and Jess Lavery/Georgie Mothersele will make up RYA Volvo Team GBR's contenders.
Craig Dibb and Charlie Cox have had a very impressive and positive run of results in the 420 European/Junior Selector Series which would have been a contributing factor to their championship title. With confidence high and their partnership blossoming, the duo will be valued members of the team.
420 sailors Jess Lavery and Georgie Mothersele will be making their Youth Worlds debut after taking the championship glory at Hayling Island. The pair have made huge improvements since last year's championships as they finished 17th overall compared to their spectacular overall third at this year's Championships.
Lavery commented: "We are delighted to have been selected for Team GBR and are really looking forward to competing in our first Youth World Championships."
In the single handed categories, Laser Radial sailors Cameron Douglas and Rheanna Pavey will be doing battle for the team in Croatia this summer.
Douglas has proved his skill and determination performing under pressure to gain his place for the second year running on RYA Volvo Team GBR, winning his Youth Nationals title by only one point after an extremely tight fought competition.
Douglas commented: "It's been a week of very tight racing and going into the last race I was two points ahead and I knew what needed to be done and thankfully I managed to hold it together. It feels fantastic to be selected again and gives me another chance to go back and hopefully pick up a medal this time around. The ISAF Worlds is a really high profile event, with sailors competing from all over the world so the pressure will defiantly be on."
"Hopefully the ISAF Youth Worlds will be the start of my professional sailing career and one day I would love to compete at the Olympic Games" said Douglas.
Rheanna Pavey stayed focused and consistent throughout the week fighting off tough competition from the UK's top Radial sailors to land her RYA Volvo Youth Nationals title and her place on the 2011 RYA Volvo Team GBR. The 17-year-old has asserted her dominance throughout the season picking up some impressive results against some tough competition.
The RYA Volvo Team GBR this year will be supported by Henri Lloyd: "We are delighted to be involved with the RYA Youth sailing programme having done so for many years. I have been extremely impressed with the scale and professionalism of the RYA Volvo Youth National Championships and wish our young sailors all the best for the 2011 ISAF Youth Sailing World Championships and beyond. The future of British sailing is most defiantly in the right hands" said Paul Strzelecki, Joint Chief Executive of Henri Lloyd.
The 12 sailors who have been picked to represent RYA Volvo Team GBR have all proved their worth this week, all winning their individual classes to earn their place in the team as RYA Youth Racing Manager Duncan Truswell explained: "This year the level of sailing has been excellent. One or two classes have been extremely close but I believe we have a good all round solid team. We have got a real mix between experience and youth as we have got a number of sailors who went last year and a number of new faces who have been very quick this week in similar conditions which will be expected in Croatia."
Skandia Team GBR and Team Volvo for life sailor Paul Goodison, the 2008 Olympic gold medallist in the Laser class, commented: "It is now important that the sailors who have been selected for the 2011 ISAF Youth Sailing World Championships have a clear and focused training regime between now and July. The young sailors need to research the conditions expected in Croatia, which I expect will be very light winds ranging from 8-10 knots, and understand what is needed to do well.
"For the guys who missed out on selection this year, it's crucial to remember that the ISAF's aren't the be all and end all as I never went and it's all seemed to work out for me. They need to set themselves new goals and targets, achieve something within six months and continue to work hard" Goodison explained.
RYA Volvo Team GBR squad for 2011, ISAF Youth Sailing World Championships, Zadar, Croatia (7-16 July 2011):
Boys: Craig Dibb (Andover) and Charlie Cox (Lymington)
Girls: Jess Lavery (Emsworth) and Georgie Mother (Emsworth)
Henry Lloyd Williams (Lymington) and Sam Batten (Lymington)
Boys: Sam Sills (Launceston)
Girls: Jade Rogers (Derbyshire)
Boys: Cameron Douglas (Wirall)
Girls: Rheanna Pavey (Ipswich)
Rupert White (Brightlingsea) and Nicola Boniface (Polegate)