Tricky day at the races


The 2011 RYA Volvo Youth National Championships greeted with difficult conditions on day two of racing

29er twosome, James Bollingbroke and Tim Walton made the most of difficult conditions as light fickle winds made for a tricky day two at the 2011 RYA Volvo Youth National Championships.

With the breeze veering in direction and speed throughout the day, race officials battled against the elements to ensure racing was completed by as many classes as possible. The Laser standards, 420, 29er and Spitfire classes all completed a full day of racing whilst the RS:X class completed two of their three scheduled races. Despite the best attempts of the race officials on the Laser Radial course conditions ultimately proved unsailable.

Tim Hall, RYA Competitions Manager, commented: “It was certainly a challenging day for all race teams today and especially for the Laser Radial course being closest to the land with the biggest fleet to try and get started.”

After completing four races, posting 3-3-16-5, 29er helm Bollingbroke commented: “Conditions were very challenging due to winds continually shifting. Starting races were a lot harder than yesterday and there were a couple of general recalls which slowed the racing down.

Our third race was disappointing which was down to a bad start and also being the wrong side of every shift. The final race was extremely close and there were six of us at the top of the fleet fighting for position. It is going to be very close come the end of the week.”

Walton said: “Our main aim of the Championships is to win and then move up from the 29er class to the 49er class and hopefully continue to do well.”

Henry Lloyd Williams and Sam Batten finished the day with 2-4-6-1 to lay second. Hot on their tails are Danish crew Mads Emil Lubeck and Marie Thusgaard Olsen who posted a 5-2-5-2. Vikki Payne and Stephanie Orton are currently leading the way for the British female crews.

Racing kicked off today for the Laser Standard class with 20-year-old Alex Mills Barton, previous bronze medal winner at the Laser Standard Junior Worlds, leading the pack.

Today was a good, consistent day with wind conditions up and down,” he said. “It was hard to keep up with the fleet at times and people gained from placing themselves away from the fleet due to the changing wind shifts.

Having competed in Palma last week and then flying off to Hyeres next week, it’s nice to compete on British waters. I have not sailed to my full potential at previous Youth Nationals and this is one that I have wanted to win for a very long time.”

With the Youth Nationals Championship crown to be presented to the top Under 19 sailor, Jack Wetherall leads that charge in second overall. Two fellow Under 19s, George Spedding and Alex Horlock, follow in third and fourth.

Girls 420 pair Jess Lavery and Georgie Mothersele revelled in the conditions scoring 2-1-5 for the day to impressively move to second overall in the 420 rankings. Tarra Gill Taylor and Christian Townrow top the fleet.

There has been a change at the top of the RS:X leaderboard with Sam Sills enjoying the light winds with a 2-1 to leapfrog overnight leader Connor Bainbridge who sits in second. It was also a good day for Youth Olympic bronze medallist Kieran Martin who moved into third courtesy of a 1-2. Noelle Finch is the leading British girl.

Rupert White and Nikki Boniface strengthened their grip on the Spitfire title with two firsts and an ultimately discarded sixth to move six points ahead of nearest challengers Andrew Sinclair and Gilbert Sutcliffe.

Despite failing to get any further racing under their belts today the Laser Radial fleet has been split into Gold and Silver fleet from tomorrow.

Radial sailor Lorenzo Chiavarini admits today’s conditions were testing. “Today was very tough both mentally and physically. Having to continually plan my pre-start routines due to course changes over and over again was very frustrating. Being able to maintain concentration in that situation is key.”

Racing is set to resume at 10.55am tomorrow when the sailors will have the chance to show off their talents in front of Her Royal Highness The Princess Royal who is paying a visit to the Championships.

For more information regarding the 2011 RYA Volvo Youth Nationals, to follow all the live action from the Championships via the official 2011 RYA Volvo Youth Nationals blog or to view the official event vodcast please visit


12/4/2011 22:36


Photo © Paul Wyeth/RYA

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