Light winds, but local girls progress at Youth Nationals
The scheduled second day of racing at the RYA Youth National Championships and Trials was plagued by more light wind conditions, although all six classes did manage to leave the clubhouse at Hayling Island for their racecourses on Wednesday (11 April).
Just as the 330 young competitors enjoyed a long stint in the sunshine on Tuesday’s opening day, there was a further opportunity for them to relax on the beach and top up their suntans today, as the lack of breeze prevented any action until the middle of the afternoon.
Just after 1400hrs, the wind had built to around five knots inside the harbour and the 29ers headed out for the start of their day’s racing, while the remaining classes were held on shore for a another hour until the eagerly awaited announcement came which allowed them to launch their boats.
The 29er course saw the best of the day’s action, managing to fit in two races as the breeze increased to around seven knots. Frances Peters (Hayling Island) and Hannah Diamond (Southampton) followed up their strong opening day with two solid race wins and end the day not only as the top female crew but also at the head of the 49-boat fleet comprising both boy and girl crews.
“We’re really pleased with how it’s gone so far,” said 17-year-old Diamond. “We’ve been planning well and sticking to our race routines so I don’t see any reason why we shouldn’t be able to keep up with the boys!”
The girls sail out of Hayling Island Sailing Club, and admit that their knowledge of the home waters and tides is proving an advantage. They remain unfazed by the delays and light wind conditions so far.
“We just stayed on the beach and relaxed for most of the day!” said Peters. “But then when the wind started to increase we started getting on with our preparations.
“We’ve got a routine we have before racing and we stick to that – we know pretty well the times when we need to really be focussed and the times when we can just chill out.”
After four races, Peters and Diamond are leading nearest rival James Ellis (Plymouth) and Rob Partridge (Weaverham) in second, and Anglesey pair Huw Humphreys and Max Todd in third. Current Under-19 and Ladies World Champions Sophie Weguelin and Sophie Ainsworth are poised in fifth and are second female crew.
The Hobie 16 and Laser Standard classes saw a frustrating day – sent out to their racecourses with the hope of finally seeing some action, the breeze finally shut down for the day just before 1800hrs making it impossible for them to finish a race.
With better conditions expected on Thursday, event organisers and race officials have brought the time of the first warning signal forward to 1025hrs, and will be hoping to make up some lost ground.
Racing is scheduled through until Saturday 14 April. For results and further information, please visit http://www.ryaracingevents.org.uk/regattas/ythnatchamp2007/
For more media information or for press registration to attend the event, please contact Lindsey Bell, RYA Team GBR Communications Officer, on 07900 570530, or email [email protected]
Notes for Editors
Ø The RYA is recognised by all government offices as being the negotiating body for the activities it represents. It continually fights for the rights and freedoms of its 103,000 personal members, the majority of whom choose to go afloat for purely recreational non-competitive pleasure on coastal and inland waters.
Ø It represents a further estimated 500,000 boat owners nationally through its 1600 affiliated clubs and boat owner associations.
Ø Olympic and Youth sailing is a beneficiary of the Lottery funded World Class Programmes (WCP) and administered by the Sports Councils. The Programmes focus on performance sport with the aim of achieving sporting excellence on the world stage. Further information can be found on the UK Sport website at www.uksport.gov.uk and Sport England’s website at www.sportengland.org. The Volvo RYA Champion Club Programme and Volvo RYA Keelboat Programme are supported by Volvo.
Ø Further information can be found at www.rya.org.uk