Sunshine and a steady 15-20 knot wind greeted the 320 sailors vying for honours this week at the 2010 RYA Volvo Youth National Championships as they took to the water for a cracking opening day of competition today (Monday 5, April).
Racing kicked off, as scheduled, at 11:15am and competitors were eager to start the ball rolling and get some results under their belts making the most of the days fantastic conditions. The RS:X’s were first to get their three races in on the inner most race course, course ‘A’. RS:X Youth World Champion Izzy Hamilton and BIC Techno World Champion Sam Sills bought some impressive calibre to the racecourse and competition was fierce. Sills asserted himself right at the top of the fleet with a win in race one but Connor Bainbridge having settled for second place in race one responded to his challenge taking wins in the following two races. Sills picked up two seconds, with Bainbridge sitting top of the fleet after day one and Sills in second.
Bainbridge commented: “It was me and Sam Sills today. In the first race he just got me by about a meter which I was a bit annoyed about but after that I got two firsts - the last race I was quite far in front”
“I moved up earlier than Sam onto the RS:X because of my size but we’re the same age. We were all expecting him to do quite well and he’s very good!”
In the girls competition Hamilton dominated the day posting two fifths and a sixth, placing her first girl above Sophie Bailey sitting in second place for the girls (11th overall) and Chloe Bennett in third (12th overall). Watch Izzy’s blog here.
Taking over from the RS:X’s on course ‘A’ just after lunch, the 29ers saw Alex Poyner and George Hand take advantage of the good conditions topping the leader board, winning the first two races then taking second in the third race. Henry Lloyd Williams and Sam Batten finished in second place for the day with two seconds and a first with Christopher Matthews and Edward Gibbons behind them with a fourth and two thirds.
Over on course ‘B’, where racing was split into four separate flights being the largest fleet at the regatta (110 boats), the Radials saw three races take place with conditions being more windy than on the inner course. In what became quite though conditions by race three Cameron Douglas dominated the fleet posting bullets in all his races with Bleddyn Mon finishing second and Jack Wetherell third.
Out on course ‘C’, the most exposed course, the 420 class completed two races, the third being cancelled due to strong winds and rough conditions. Mike Wood and Hugh Brayshaw lead the way with firsts in both the races placing firmly at the top of the table. Tim Gratton and Ed Riley posted a second and a third putting them second overall and James Hayward and Tim Carter sit just behind in third after posting a second and fourth. The all female crew; Anna Burnet and Flora Stewart, are placed first girls for the day after finishing sixth in the first race and then third in the second, the pair excelling in their most favoured high wind conditions.
In the spitfire class, who were also racing out on course 'C', Adam Butler and Nikki Boniface, who went to the Volvo Youth Sailing ISAF World Championships last year, dominated both races posting bullets. Hit by the same strong winds and rough conditions that affected the 420's, the cats also saw their last race of the day cancelled. Josh Hunt and Gilly Sutcliffe placed second in the first race but fell to sixth in the next putting them at third place for the day. Just ahead of them in second place stand Andrew Sinclair and Benedict Harrison achieving a third and a fourth.
As a new introduction to this years event GPS tracking has been set up to enable live animation of one of the courses each day. Today saw tracking on the 420 course. To watch all the action again click here
. Tomorrow tracking will be available on the Laser Standard course.
Principle Race Officer for the event David Campbell James commented: “The first day is always quite a challenge organising everybody but everyone was ready to go pretty early with such great conditions.
“The 420’s and the Spitfires had a tough day with 22 knots and pretty rough conditions but we were pleased to get two races in for them and really pleased to have got a full series in for the others.
“A couple of 420 sailors were saying it was the best sailing they’ve ever had – a cracking start to the week!”
Conditions are set for another great day tomorrow with 15 knots forecast and more sunshine.